How to Clean a Pillow Top Mattress

Nothing is more comfortable than crawling onto a nice, soft pillow-top mattress at the end of a long day. That is if it’s clean! Many people forget the importance of cleaning your mattress, especially since you sleep on it every single night. 

If you have recently spilled something on your mattress, if it has absorbed some bodily fluids, or if you think it is just time for a good deep cleaning, then keep reading. In this article, we will discuss the best tips and tricks to help you successfully clean your pillow-top mattress. 

How to Clean a Pillow Top Mattress

If you have a pillow top mattress, it is vital to incorporate a routine mattress cleaning into your to-do list. This is a simple and fast way to ensure that you are sleeping on a fresh, clean mattress every night. 

Step 1: Strip Your Bed

The first thing to do when cleaning your mattress is to strip everything off, including the mattress cover or mattress topper. 

Step 2: Vacuum

Next, you will want to vacuum the entire mattress. This will remove any dead skin cells, dust mites, and particles that have made their way into your mattress. Be sure to get in all of the crevices and along each of the seams. 

If you have a handheld vacuum, then use it to get the sides of the mattress as well. 

Step 3: Sprinkle Baking Soda

Now you will want to sprinkle baking soda across the top of the mattress and allow it to sink in for up to an hour. This will remove any odors and will neutralize your pillow top. 

How to Remove Stains From a Pillow Top Mattress

Pillow top mattresses are susceptible to stains because of their high absorbency of the top layer. If you spill something, pee the bed, vomit, bleed, or even just from sweat and body oils, your mattress can become stained. 

Below are some simple techniques to help spot clean and remove stains from your mattress. Remember, the sooner that you can clean up a stain, the better. As soon as something has been spilled, it starts to soak into the fibers making it more difficult to remove over time. 

Step 1: Soak Up The Spill

As soon as something is spilled, use a clean rag to soak up as much of the liquid as you can. Dab into the mattress to absorb the liquid rather than scrubbing it in deeper. Use cold water on a damp cloth first to absorb as much as you can. Avoid warm water, as this will make the stain set in faster. 

Next, use a dry towel to soak up any of the remaining spills. Press down hard and lift as much as you can. 

Step 2: Apply a Cleaner

Once you have absorbed what you can, spray a cleaning solution onto the stain. You can use a store-bought stain remover, or you can mix 50 percent water with 50 percent white vinegar in a spray bottle and apply it directly onto the stain. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes then use a dry paper towel to soak up as much of the stain as you can. 

The vinegar spray will loosen the mattress stains and allow you to absorb more. 

Step 3: Use a Brush

Next, create a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Apply it to the stain and gently brush it into the mattress in a circular motion. Let the solution sit until it is completely dry. Consider putting a fan on the mattress to help it air dry faster. Once it is dry, use a vacuum to remove all of the baking soda from the mattress. 

If the stain has not lifted, repeat the process until you can see a noticeable difference in the stained area. You can also use upholstery shampoo if you have any on hand.

How to Clean Urine From a Pillow Top mattress

Unfortunately, peeing the bed happens, especially if you have young children and pets. People commonly worry about what to do if someone wets the bed, but cleaning urine out of a pillow top is not as daunting as it seems.

Step 1: Remove and Wash Everything

Strip the bed of all sheets, blankets, and even the mattress protector. Wash these all in hot water with laundry detergent. 

Step 2: Soak Up The Stain

Use a towel to soak up as much of the urine as you can. The sooner you begin soaking it, the better. Once you have soaked up all you can, discard the towel and wash it. 

Step 3: Spray

First, fill a spray bottle with pure white vinegar and spray it generously into the stain. Use another clean towel to dab it dry. 

Then, fill another spray bottle with 3 tablespoons of baking soda, a teaspoon of Dawn dish soap, and a cup of hydrogen peroxide. Spray this directly onto the sain and let it soak in for 20 minutes. Use another clean towel to blot it up. 

Step 4: Repeat as Necessary

Sometimes a urine stain will need multiple cleanings. Keep spraying the mixture onto it until you feel satisfied. 

Step 5: Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda all over the area and allow it to sit for 24 hours. You may have to sleep on the couch for a night! The following day you can vacuum it away and your mattress will be good as new. 

How to Deep Clean a Pillow Top Mattress

Sweat marks and discoloration are very common on mattresses that have been used for a long time. If you have noticed sweat stains, yellow discoloration, or color transfer from sheets, follow these steps to help remove it. 

If you have the resources to get your mattress professionally cleaned, this will be the best way to remove all discoloration and sanitize your mattress in the process. If you are unable to do this, however, then keep reading for the “do it yourself” version. 

Step 1: Vacuum 

The first step is to use a vacuum cleaner on the mattress to remove all dead skin cells, dust, and more. Sprinkle baking soda onto your pillow top mattress first and let it sit for about 20 minutes before vacuuming if there is an odor to your mattress. 

Step 2: Soap

Mix laundry detergent and water or dish soap and water. Rub the mixture into the discolored area using a scrub brush or a cloth and let it soak in for 20 minutes. Use plain water on a new cloth to soak up the soap. 

Step 3: Hydrogen peroxide

Next, take a cloth and wet it with hydrogen peroxide. Scrub the area in circular motions to remove any discoloration. This may bleach the fabric, so try it in an inconspicuous area if your mattress is not white so you can test its effects before using it. 

Step 4: Dry

Set up a fan or use a hairdryer to completely dry the area after you have soaked up all of the liquid that you can. Open windows to create air circulation and allow it to dry completely. 

Step 5: Steam

If you still see discoloration, use a steamer to help remove the stain further. Run it over the stain quickly and make sure it doesn’t get the mattress too damp. Dry it completely after steaming. 

Step 6: Try Other Methods

If none of these techniques worked, try spraying vinegar and then sprinkling baking soda over the top until the baking soda stops fizzing. Let it dry then vacuum. 

You can also try sprinkling the mattress with borax or making a Borax and water paste that you can scrub into the mattress with a scrub brush. Let this dry and vacuum completely. 

If you see a color reduction but it still is not completely clean, continue each method until you get the results you desire. 


Now that you know how to clean your mattress, we will answer some common questions surrounding the process. 

Why Should You Clean Your Mattress?

You spend about ⅓ of your life asleep, and that time adds up. Each night your body sweats almost a half of a liter into your mattress and sheds nearly one gram of skin. That adds up quickly! Your mattress can be filled with fungus, bacteria, and dust mites, and you probably don’t even know it!

Allergies, viruses, and more can develop from sleeping on an unclean mattress. Cleaning your mattress regularly is good for your health and will ensure that you stay healthy. 

Another reason why it is good to clean your mattress is to increase its lifespan. Mattresses are expensive, and you don’t want to have to buy one every few years. Cleaning your mattress often will help keep it in excellent condition and allow you to get as much use out of it as you possibly can. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Mattress?

Your bedding should be washed at least once every two weeks. This will minimize the amount of sweat, oil, skin, allergens, and dust that make it into the fibers of your mattress. Your pillows and mattress should be washed at least twice a year. Cleaning your sheets and mattress more often is always a good idea and will help keep you healthy and clean. 


There you have it, the step-by-step guide to cleaning your pillow-top mattress. Above we covered multiple ways to clean your bed and different at-home cleaning products that you can use. Trying multiple methods and cleaning your mattress regularly will ensure that your mattress stays clean for years to come. 

Before you go to bed tonight, give your mattress a good clean and sleep easy knowing that all of the dust, dirt, mildew, sweat, dead skin cells, and more are no longer nestled in your bed!