How to Clean a Mattress - the Professionals Guide

Mattress cleaning


1.  Pre-inspection

  • Inspect mattress for stains, wear or damage and document.
  • It is recommended that the piping, seams and the underside of any tags be inspected for any signs of bed bugs or their excrement which usually consists of small droplets (.5 to 1.5mm) of blood. In the event that a bed bug infestation is identified, do not proceed in cleaning the mattress until it has been treated by a pest control technician. Take photos of any damage or areas of concern. Advise the client of any issues that may arise as a result of the cleaning process and gain consent to proceed (preferably written).

2.  Dry Vacuum

  • The mattress will contain a substantial amount of dry particulate soil including dust, dead skin, dust mite, dust mite excrement, mould spores, allergens and numerous other 
    contaminants. It is essential that a thorough dry vacuum of all sides of the mattress is undertaken even if it is a ‘non-flip’ design such as a memory foam mattress.
  • A powerhead vacuum head with beating action which ideally has HEPA filtration should be used to suitably remove deeply imbedded contaminants.

Note:  There are numerous claims that passing a medical grade UV light over the surface of a mattress will kill dust mite and sanitise a mattress however it is our opinion that the UV style powerheads offer little or no benefit in regards to sanitising or killing dust mites. The UV light will not penetrate the surface fibres nor will it successfully treat the sub surface which means that any dust mite that have burrowed into the mattress or are shielded by the strands of fibre won’t be affected by this system. The UV generating tools will definitely not kill bed bugs.

3.   Prepare the mattress for cleaning 

  • Place the mattress in a suitable area for cleaning where chemical overspray won’t cause any issues. Ideally place a ‘drop sheet’ or protective layer of plastic under the mattress to contain any cleaning solution or liquid used during the cleaning process.
  • The mattress can be cleaned on the bed frame if it is only the top and sides being cleaned (non-flip construction) OR alternatively cleaned on the bed frame with a drop sheet slid under the mattress, cleaned on a drop sheet placed on the floor (if space permits) or stood vertically against a wall that won’t be affected by overspray during cleaning.

4.  Pre-treat stains & Sanitise

  • Stains such as blood and urine should be pre-treated.  Use HD Protein Spotter (extract using cold water) for Blood, Oxyspot for urine, Releasit Hydrox for urine, browning and stain removal.   Follow chemical application instructions.  Urine Decon Ultra can be used to remove the residue & kill bacteria. 

Note:  Avoid using solvent spotters.  Mattresses typically contain several components made from a range of foam products which can be adversely affected by solvents. This is especially the case with latex mattresses or mattresses that have a memory foam or surface latex layer. A single application of a solvent spotter can easily dissolve the foam it comes in contact and won’t be repairable. Care should also be taken not to over wet the mattress as steel springs and retaining clips will rust and cause a rust stain to transfer to the surface fabric.

  • Apply a medium to coarse spray of a suitable antimicrobial treatment such as Decon Ultra to the Mattress to treat any pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, viruses or other microorganisms. Take precautions to use suitable PPE items such as gloves and suitable respirator.  This would usually be completed at the end of a job however for hygiene and personal safety reasons it is advised that this step is undertaken prior to cleaning.

5.  Prespray 

  • Pre-spary both sides of the mattress using a fabric prespray like Fabriclenz for routine cleaning or an enzyme prespray such as BioClenz for heavily stained Mattresses.
  • Agitate – using a suitable brush, agitate the cleaning solution into the surface fabric paying close attention to wear areas and remaining stains. A horse hair brush with handle or RotoBrush drill attachment are ideal.

6.  Extract

  • Hot water extract using a suitable upholstery detail tool preferably with an internal jet to minimise over wetting. It is also recommended that an emulsifier or rinsing agent (CleanRinse or Xtract Ultra followed by a post spray of an acid rinse) be used (in tank or chemically injected) to enhance the cleaning result.

 7.  Finishing

  • Apply a final light spray application of Oxy Spot to any sections of the Mattress that still have a yellow stain and work this into the fabric whilst drying off the mattress with a clean dry white towel. Stand the mattress upright and lightly lean against a clean dry wall on a strip of clean, dry plastic or suitable material to dry prior to the client placing back on the bed frame later in the day.
  • ALTERNATIVELY use Releasit Hydrox - the new encapsulation 7 in 1 Textile Cleaning product for amazing results (used on mattress below).
  • DO NOT place the mattress in the sun to dry as this will cause moisture to simply penetrate further into the mattress which will then migrate back to the surface once the mattress has been removed from sun. Air movement will assist in accelerating the drying process.


Mattress Clean Before After


  • HD Protein Spotter     -RTU for severe staining or dilute up to 1:4 for light staining
  • Oxy Spot     -RTU – will self neutralise so no need to rinse.
  • Releasit Hydrox - 300 ml per 5L warm or hot water

Antimicrobial/ Sanitisers

  • Urine Decon Ultra    -RTU for large residue or dilute up to 1:4 for light soiling
  • Decon Ultra    - 40ml of concentrate per 1 litre of water


  • Fabriclenz     - 250ml of concentrate added to 4 litre of water
  • BioClenz Ultra    - 15 grams of powder concentrate per 1 litre of water

Rinse/ Emulsifier

  • CleanRinse    - Portable (in tank) – 50ml per 10 litres of water    -Truckmount (chemical injection) – 300ml per 10L set at 3GPH
  • Xtract Ultra     -Portable (in tank) – 10 to 15 grams per 10 litres of water     -Truckmount (chemical injection) – 300gr per 10L set at 2 to 4 GPH


  • Horse hair brush with handle
  • RotoBrush  – attaches to variable speed / slow speed power or battery drill
  • Sapphire Upholstery Pro