Can You Steam Clean a Mattress?

Is it safe to Steam Clean a Mattress?


Steam cleaning a mattress can be one of the worst things you can do to it especially if it’s a memory foam mattress.

No matter what others are saying you should not use a traditional steam cleaner on a mattress. When I say traditional steam cleaner I mean the ones you use on hard surfaces like tile and counter tops. These steam cleaners will emit too much steam which will make the mattress very saturated and turn the mattress yellow due to the heat.

Steam and Mattress Don’t Mix Well

The Steam Cleaners work well on hard surfaces, but when it comes to soft surfaces like a mattress, the steam just turns into warm water and mixes with the stains of the mattress. This new mixture of warm-nasty-water doesn’t escape easily as it gets buried deep into the mattress.

If anything using a Steam Cleaner on a mattress is much worse then keeping the stains there.

Also, when it comes to dust mites, they love warm, humid environments, so you’re only making it better for them to live. You may kill a few with the hot steam, but really you’re just making it a better living environment for the ones who do live to thrive in.

When you start to think about it, using a steam cleaner all your really doing is pushing hot water into the mattress to make hot water with stains, oils, urine, and whatever is in the mattress. Unless you have something to remove that hot water that now has all those things in them, then you’re no better off than before.

What To Use Instead

To Deep Clean a Mattress you should instead use a Hot Water Extraction Machines. This is what the professionals use and it’s a far better way to clean a mattress then using Steam Cleaner.

The good news is that you must use a Hot Water Extraction Machine to clean a mattress, the bad news is that they’re expensive and mostly only professionals use them. Now, there is a difference between a hot water extraction machine and a carpet cleaner so don’t think you can use a carpet cleaner instead. A carpet cleaner on a mattress is even worse than a steam cleaner.

You could call a professional and pay for proper cleaning OR you can follow these steps below.

How To Clean Mattress

The best thing you can do is vacuum your mattress. You can use a regular vacuum cleaner but the way I do it is with a Shop Vacuum. The reason why I use a shop vacuum is for its power and its ability to handle anything, even liquids.

***Make sure to test spots before using any cleaner on a Mattress. Also, makes sure to read proper care instructions for your mattress. Every mattress is different, so different care must be taken.

Step One – The first thing I do is vacuum the entire mattress with a shop vacuuming using a clean floor attachment. Make sure the floor attachment is clean before using it – if you must you can rinse it off in the sink.

Step Two – Its important to vacuum the top, sides, bottom, and even the boxspring and bedframe. The goal is to be as thorough as possible. Don’t be afraid to vacuum the same area twice.

Step Three – The next thing you want to do is get rid of the stains. The stains are organic or at least most of them are. These stains come from urine, sweat, feces, and even bugs. To get rid of these stains you need something that can attack them and go deep. The best thing to use is an Enzyme Cleaner like this one here*.

Step Four – With an Enzyme Cleaner spray the area of the mattress you want to clean. Allow the cleaner to sit on the mattress. If the stain is still there, then spray again and rub the stain in with a towel or light scrub brush. You don’t want to saturate the area with the cleaner too much.

Step Five – Once the stains look to have been dissolved or have gone away, then you need to grab the shop vacuum. Using the floor attachment again you need to suck up or clean the mattress. You want the shop vacuum to be sucking up the enzyme cleaner, and any debris left behind. The enzyme cleaner eats the organic matter and what is left needs to be vacuumed up or wiped off.

Following these steps can help you have a cleaner mattress that freshens up for a new year. We do recommend you clean your mattress every year or two. A mattress can get filthy over the 5 to 7 years of owning one. If your mattress is over 7 years old then it’s time for a new one, we cover the reasons why here.

For more cleaning instructions check out this deep guide on cleaning bedding.

There’s Got To Be A Better Way?

A lot of this cleaning mess can be avoided. I haven’t washed my mattress in years and it’s not because I’m a nasty person but because I know a little secret.

The secret is that I use a Mattress Encasement like this one here*. A mattress encasement stops bugs, sweat, urine, and many other stains from getting to your mattress. If the stains don’t get to the mattress, then the mattress never gets dirty.

It really is that simple, just use a mattress encasement. You could use a mattress protector, but the encasement covers the entire mattress which helps with the dust mites and such.

It’s way easier to clean a mattress encasement then a full mattress and cheaper to replace them too. Also, modern day mattress protectors are quiet and feel like an ordinary bed sheet. It’s insane to not have a mattress protector on your bed – just plain crazy! You have only positive things to gain from using one.

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