How To Disinfect a Used Mattress

Have you recently brought in a second-hand bed and are now looking for information on how to disinfect it? We have just the thing for you. 

How to sanitise a used mattress

Before you sanitise your mattress, you first want to perform deep cleaning. Sanitisation involves using steam or sanitising agents such as baking soda, antibacterial spray, diluted vinegar, etc. Here are different household items that you can use to disinfect your secondhand mattress. 

  1. Steam cleaning 

Simply use a steamer (the one used to dry and straighten clothes) against a mattress. The hot steam will break out any stains, dust, dead skin cells, or mould on the bed’s surface. You can also try fumigating your bed, which is a more thorough steam cleaning method. 

  1. A disinfectant spray will work wonders in killing any germs or unwanted guests on the used bed. Make sure to get bleach-free as bleach is not meant to be used with some fibres used for some mattresses. Lightly mist the disinfectant spray all over the mattress and then blot it off with a damp cloth. 
  1. Vodka is also an excellent sanitising agent, which is also why it’s used to clean and deodorise surfaces. Like disinfectant antibacterial sprays, pour vodka into a spray bottle and then lightly spray onto both sides, making sure not to miss the edges. Blot the excess with a damp rug and make sure that it dries properly. 

This is a more comprehensive way that you can sanitise your mattress. 

  1. First, create a disinfecting solution by mixing in half a cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water together. Pour this solution into a spray bottle. 
  2. Spray the solution into the surface, ensuring that you do not soak the bed, especially if it is made of memory foam, as the liquids will settle deep into the layers. 
  3. Allow the mist to sit in for around 30 minutes.
  4. Use a damp cloth or rag to blot off the excess of the solution then. 
  5. Let it out to dry. 

How to clean a second-hand mattress

To sterilise a mattress, you have to clean it deeply first. The process outlined here works to sanitise any kind of mattress, whether a major accident happened in bed or bring in a used mattress. 

Bed bugs spread through secondhand furniture such as mattresses. As a precaution, be very cautious when buying second-hand mattresses and ensuring that they are not infested with bed bugs. Do not buy anything that shows the telltale signs of an infestation, such as spots of blood and brown marks of bed bug poo. Check out our guide on how to get rid of bed bugs.

Also, it is best to clean or disinfect a secondhand mattress outside of your home first or in the garage. This way, you are not bringing in a dirty, unsanitised bed inside your home. This is the process of deep cleaning a second-hand mattress. 

  1. You first want to check the care instructions of the bed if you can. Likely, the bed tag is still attached to it, and you can use the tag to identify the company, brand, and model of the mattress so that you can check its care instructions. This way, you are aware of the dos, and dont’s that you should keep in mind while deep cleaning. 
  1. Vacuum the mattress on both sides by using the upholstery attachment. Use circular and thorough movements to get rid of any dust, dead skin, dust mites, or other allergens that may be clinging to the surface of the bed. 
  1. If there are any dried-up mattress stains, you can tackle them at this point. However, you shouldn’t be buying secondhand mattresses with stains that have ruined the bed. This is why you are recommended only to buy used mattresses from people you trust, such as friends and relatives, for your safety. 
  1. Flip the bed and then repeat all of these steps. If the bed is one-sided, you are still advised to vacuum the underside to get rid of dust or hair that it may have collected from the previous owner. 

If you’re asking yourself how do you disinfect a mattress, don’t fret, as we’ve got here a step-by-step guide. After deep cleaning the mattress, you can also try fumigating the bed for extra measure. Here is how you fumigate a mattress. 

  1. After deep cleaning, bust out the vacuum again, this time using the crevice attachment to get into the nooks and crannies of the bed. Make sure you get the other side and the edges of the mattress as well. 
  2. Now, use a steam cleaner to steam both sides and the edges of the mattress. Move the steam cleaner in large, 2-foot sections, making sure to be very thorough in holding it against the bed. 
  3. Now, mix ½ cup of borax in a gallon of water in a bucket. Fill up a spray bottle with the mixture. Spray the solution into both sides and edges of the bed until it is damp. Finally, move the mattress outside or to your garage with enough ventilation. Prop it up against a wall and let it dry there wholly. 

You can also try deodorising the bed. 

  1. First, simply sprinkle in generous amounts of baking soda on one side of the bed. 
  2. Let it stay there for at least a few hours. 
  3. And then, hoover up the remaining baking soda, making sure not to leave any particles. This process will remove any unwanted odours from the deep layers of the bed. 
  4. Repeat the process for the other side of the bed. If possible, try to get the nooks and crannies in the edges of the bed, too, as these are areas where moisture and dust are likelier to collect. 

If you want to learn more about disinfecting a mattress, this video provides insights and valuable tips and tricks.