Yes, You Can Steam Clean Your Mattress: Here's How to Do It

Mattresses are highly prone to odors, bed bugs, stains, dead skin cells, bacteria, dust mites, and other pollens. You can clean your mattress using a standard vacuum and a powerful steam cleaning machine.

Steam cleaning a mattress is an effective way of getting rid of bacteria, dust, odors, urine stains, bedbugs, and other allergens and contaminants from your mattress for a restful, healthy night's sleep or day naps.

Plan for the task because your mattress needs to dry quickly and adequately to prevent mold and mildew growth.

If you're wondering how you steam clean mattress and why, this article is all you need.

Can You Steam Clean Mattresses?

Yes, you can steam clean mattresses with the necessary tools and skills. One-third of our lives are spent in bed; while in bed, we may sweat, spill food and beverages, and release dead skin cells.

A mattress cover or protector cannot totally prevent moisture and other contaminants from penetrating the mattress, making mattress cleaning unavoidable.

Steam cleaning the mattress at 212 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) kills dust mites and bacteria and breaks down all stains.

Bed bugs are resilient, and harsh chemicals may not kill them. Steaming a mattress for bed bugs at 212 °F or more kills them and their eggs.

Below are the advantages of steam cleaning your mattress

  1. Deodorizes Your Mattress: Steam cleaning a mattress neutralizes and removes odors, leaving it completely clean and smelling fresh.
  2. Removes Stains: Steam cleaning a mattress is an effective way to easily and quickly eliminate urine and other stubborn stains.
  3. Eliminates Impurities: High temperatures in your mattress may create a conducive environment for dust mites, bacteria, allergens, and viruses. Steam cleaning eliminates them instantly.
  4. Eco-Friendly: When steam cleaning, you only need water and a steam cleaner. A commercial steamer is more powerful and heats water to high temperatures. High temperatures successfully remove stains, dust, dirt, dust mites, bed bugs, and other pollens without too much effort.

How to Steam Clean a Mattress in 10 Simple Steps

First, check the material of your mattress to see if it can be steam cleaned. If so, strip the bed of the protector and other bedding and wash them.

Gather all the necessary equipment and materials for cleaning the mattress.

What you need to steam clean your mattress:

  • Vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment
  • Steam cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Dry lint-free towels
  • Deodorizer (optional)

Here's how to clean mattress with steam cleaner:

Step 1: Strip the Bed of All Sheets, Blankets, and Pillows

Remove the pillows, comforters, blankets, sheets, and the mattress topper to ensure the mattress is completely exposed.

Step 2: Wash the Bedding

Machine wash all blankets, sheets, and other bedding. They also absorb sweat, oils, and dead skin cells from your body.

If the care instructions allow, use high water temperatures to deodorize and sanitize the bedding. Otherwise, use the recommended temperatures and washing method.

You may need to hit up a laundromat with larger washing machine bins or dryers in order to properly agitate and dry bulky bedding and comforters. Or you may want to take some items to a dry cleaner to properly care for.

Step 3: Vacuum the Mattress

Use a vacuum cleaner to remove surface-level debris and dirt.

Step 3: Deodorize the Mattress

Sprinkle baking soda on the mattress to deodorize it. One cup is enough for a twin-sized mattress, and ½ cup would be enough for a smaller one. A whole box of baking soda would be enough for a king or queen-sized mattress.

Increase or reduce the quantity accordingly based on the size of your mattress.

To perfume your mattress, add several drops of essential oils to the baking soda before sprinkling it. Eucalyptus, peppermint, or lavender deodorize the mattress and remove dust mites.

Add white vinegar to help the mixture penetrate the mattress and remove stains.

Step 4: Let the Baking Soda Sit for About an Hour

Allow 1 hour for the baking soda to absorb the oils, stains, and odors. If there are urine stains, allow more time (sometimes even 24 hours) for the baking soda to sit on the mattress to absorb the smell completely.

Step 5: Vacuum the Mattress

Use the hose attachment and the rotating brush when vacuum cleaning. Slowly run the vacuum over the mattress.

When vacuuming areas that are in frequent contact with the skin, for example, where you lay your head, hold the vacuum cleaner a little longer to suck up the loose fibers, dust mites, dirt, and dead skin.

Step 6: Choose a Steam Machine

Use a powerful steam cleaner like the ones used by commercial cleaners such as Zerorez®, which can heat water to 212°F.

If you're renting one, check its specifications to ensure that water will get hot enough to do the job. If you cannot afford a steaming machine, use an iron box with a steaming function.

Avoid a household carpet steamer; its water temperature isn't ideal for killing bed bugs, bacteria, or dust mites.

Step 7: Fill the Water and Heat the Steamer

Most steamers have a wand to apply steam, a tank for water, and a motor to generate heat. Fill the tank with water up to the recommended level.

Following the manufacturer's instructions, turn the machine to heat the water.

Step 8: Steam the Mattress

Holding the steam cleaner at least 6 inches above your mattress, steam clean from the top left corner. Steam towards the right and then down, ensuring the hot steam covers the entire mattress.

Use slow, long, but even strokes to steam clean.

Don't steam one spot for an extended time as you could overwet or damage it. If the mattress takes too long to dry, mold and mildew may grow on it, so simply dampen it.

Turn down the dial to reduce the amount of steam released if you notice that the machine is overwetting the mattress.

Once the top is dry, flip it over. Start the whole process again to ensure both sides of the mattress are clean.

If you're lucky to have a one-sided mattress, you won't have to flip it to clean the other side.

Step 9: Steam the Sides

Steam cleaning the sides, working from top to bottom, leaves no room for bed bugs, dust mites, bacteria, dirt, and other contaminants.

Step 10: Allow the Mattress to Dry

Wait for the mattresses to dry completely for about 2 to 4 hours. If you use too much steam, you may have to wait longer, sometimes up to 8 hours.

Use dry towels or a wet-dry vacuum to suck out excess water from the mattress and then move it outside to dry thoroughly under the sun (which has the added benefit of helping lift stains), laying something underneath the mattress to protect it from getting dirty.

If there is insufficient space outside, run the fans and properly ventilate the room to shorten the drying time.

Step 11: Confirm if It's Dry

Press down the mattress with a dry towel or hand to check if it is completely dry. Allow more time if there's some moisture. Cover your bed with clean bedding if it's completely dry.


Can You Steam Clean Memory Foam Mattress?

No, you cannot steam-clean memory foam. High temperatures damage the mattress's construction and compromise the memory foam's layer, bleaching the warranty's terms and conditions (T&C).

Should I Steam-Clean My Mattress to Sanitize It?

If the manufacturer's washing instructions approve using a steamer, you can steam clean the mattress to sanitize it. Otherwise, the high temperatures may damage the mattress.

Use a temperature of at least 212°F or more to sanitize your mattress. Steam cleaning a mattress is a great way to remove bed bugs, dust mites, stains, dirt, and other pollens.

Steam clean your mattress twice a year but more often if you eat in bed, sleep with children or pets, or have allergies.

Mattress bed that is half dirty and half cleaned by Zerorez with steam cleaning
Before Zerorez Cleaning on the Left; After Zerorez Cleaning on the Right

Can you hire a professional to steam clean your mattress?

Yes! Zerorez offers a wide range of affordable and customizable cleaning services to help you keep your home clean, including professional mattress cleaning services.

If your mattress is particularly stained, dirty, or smelly, you probably want to let us use our hot water extraction tools and equipment, along with our proprietary Zr™ Water, to clean your mattress. As our Zr Water doesn't have soaps or detergents in it, we leave your mattress Residue Free® which helps it stay cleaner, longer. It also is free of any fragrances, in case you are particularly sensitive to smells.

Our team boasts years of experience and excellent customer reviews that only confirm that we are the best! Give us a call at 866-937-6739 or schedule a cleaning online today!

Book a Cleaning with Zerorez Today!