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How to Clean an Old Mattress: Reviving Your Bedding

From the Puffy Editorial Team | 5 min read.
How to Clean an Old Mattress: Reviving Your Bedding

Maintaining an old mattress can be a challenge, especially when dealing with accumulated stains and odors over the years. Regular cleaning is essential for ensuring a hygienic and comfortable sleeping environment. This guide covers various techniques for cleaning old mattresses, helping to prolong their life and improve your sleep quality.

How to Clean Old Mattress

Refreshing an old mattress is crucial for a good night’s sleep and can extend its lifespan.

Cleaning Process:

  • Vacuuming: Begin with a thorough vacuuming using the upholstery attachment to remove dust, dead skin, and other debris. Pay special attention to seams and crevices where dust and mites accumulate.
  • Spot Cleaning: Identify and treat individual stains. Use a mild detergent solution for general stains or specific cleaners for tougher stains.
  • Deodorizing: Generously sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface of the mattress. For an extra freshness boost, you can mix a few drops of essential oil with the baking soda before application. Allow it to sit for a few hours or even overnight if possible, then vacuum it off thoroughly.

Additional Tips:

  • Air Out: If weather permits, let the mattress air out in the sun after cleaning, as sunlight can act as a natural disinfectant.
  • Regular Maintenance: Incorporate these steps into your regular cleaning routine to keep your mattress fresh and extend its life.

While newer mattresses like Puffy come with washable covers for easy cleaning, these methods can help maintain older mattresses without removable covers.

How to Clean Old Mattress Stains

Dealing with stains on an old mattress requires targeted approaches depending on the stain type.

Stain Removal Techniques:

  • Immediate Action: The sooner you tackle a stain, the easier it will be to remove.
  • Appropriate Cleaners: Choose a cleaner based on the stain type. For protein-based stains like sweat or bodily fluids, an enzyme cleaner is effective. For oil-based stains, a detergent solution works best.
  • Gentle Blotting: Always blot stains gently with a clean, dry cloth. Avoid scrubbing, which can push the stain deeper into the mattress fibers.

Persistent Stains:

  • Repeat Treatment: For tough stains, you may need to repeat the treatment several times.
  • Avoid Excess Moisture: Use as little liquid as possible to prevent soaking the mattress, which can lead to mold and mildew growth.

How to Clean Old Blood Stains from Mattress

Blood stains can be particularly challenging but are manageable with the right cleaning solutions and techniques.

Blood Stain Cleaning Steps:

  1. Cold Water Soak: Initially, gently blot the stain with a cloth soaked in cold water. Avoid using hot water as it can set the stain.
  2. Enzyme Cleaner: Apply an enzyme-based cleaner to break down the blood proteins. Let it sit for a few minutes before gently blotting away.
  3. Salt or Hydrogen Peroxide: For older or more stubborn blood stains, create a paste with salt or apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. After application, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently dab it off. Hydrogen peroxide is particularly effective on blood but can bleach some fabrics, so test it on a small area first.

Preventing Stain Setting:

  • Quick Response: The faster you address a blood stain, the easier it will be to remove it completely.
  • Rinsing Thoroughly: After treating the stain, gently rinse the area with cold water and blot dry to remove any residue from the cleaning agents.

How to Clean Old Urine Stains from Mattress

Cleaning old urine stains from a mattress requires specific steps to effectively remove both the stain and the odor.

Urine Stain Removal:

  • Vinegar Solution: Start by blotting the stain with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. This helps in neutralizing the odor and breaking down the stain.
  • Enzyme-Based Cleaner: Apply an enzyme cleaner specifically designed to tackle urine stains and odors. These cleaners break down the urine proteins, effectively removing the stain and odor. Let it sit as per the product instructions before blotting it away.
  • Baking Soda Application: After treating with vinegar and enzyme cleaner, sprinkle baking soda over the area to absorb any remaining moisture and odor. Leave the baking soda on the mattress for several hours or overnight, then vacuum it thoroughly.

Additional Cleaning Tips:

  • Repeat if Necessary: For particularly stubborn stains, you may need to repeat the cleaning process.
  • Gentle Drying: Ensure the mattress is completely dry after cleaning. You can use a fan or place the mattress in a well-ventilated area to speed up the drying process.
  • Protective Measures: To prevent future stains, consider using a waterproof mattress protector.

Interested in how Puffy stacks up against other brands? Check out our mattress comparisons: Puffy vs Purple, Puffy vs Nectar, Puffy vs Casper, Puffy vs Leesa, Puffy vs Saatva, Puffy vs DreamCloud, and Puffy vs Tuft and Needle.

Caring for Different Types of Mattresses

Different mattress materials may require specific cleaning approaches.

Material-Specific Tips:

  • Memory Foam: Use gentle cleaners and avoid saturating the foam.
  • Innerspring: Ensure adequate drying to prevent rusting of springs.
  • Latex: Use natural cleaning solutions to maintain the integrity of the material.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.

Preventive Measures for Mattress Care

Prevention is key to reducing the frequency and severity of stains.

Preventive Strategies:

  • Mattress Protector: Use a waterproof mattress protector to guard against spills and stains.
  • Regular Cleaning: Schedule regular cleaning sessions to keep your mattress fresh.
  • Immediate Action: Address spills and stains immediately when they occur.


Cleaning an old mattress can breathe new life into your bedding, enhancing your sleep experience. By using the right techniques and solutions for different types of stains and mattresses, you can effectively maintain your mattress’s hygiene and comfort. Regular maintenance, along with preventive measures, will ensure your mattress remains a cozy and clean haven for rest.

Use our store locator to find the closest furniture or mattress store near you and feel the cloudlike comfort of our Puffy Mattress in person.

While new mattresses like Puffy offer ease of maintenance with their modern design, these cleaning methods provide great ways to care for older mattresses, ensuring they remain in good condition for as long as possible.

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