I hear it all the time, people who write or call and want to know how to clean their mattress. And usually it's after the fact, after some kind of spill or stain.
- Waterproof protectors made with organic cotton
- Waterproof protectors made with terry cloth material
- Washable wool pads
If you don't have a protector and you find you are dealing with a stain or spill, there are several factors to consider in order to not further damage your mattress. Damage? Yes, spilling anything on your mattress, depending on the material and the volume of the material, can cause considerable damage to your mattress and even void your warranty.
One of the factors to take into consideration is what type of fabric covers your mattress. Depending of material, you could potentially tear the fabric or rub a hole in it quite easily. Not all mattresses are created equally and believe it or not, mattresses are rarely designed to be cleaned. The fabric covering a mattress is there to keep the materials covered and protected. Mattresses really are designed to be covered with an additional covering.
Another factor is what is inside your mattress. If there is some type of foam, moisture can prematurely breakdown the foam and cause separation in the layers. Most mattress companies will use adhesives to adhere the foam layers. Also, if there is cotton batting, the moisture can cause it to matte down and even mildew and smell.
Mattress warranties are always going to be conservative and give the benefit to the manufacturer. Most warranties immediately become invalid for any kind of stain. Professional cleaning companies can use cleaning solvents to remove stains, but if there is a good amount of fluid, the damage can be unforeseen.
Despite all that, if you find you have spilled fluid on your mattress and it does not have a protective mattress cover, do NOT use Windex or other cleaning products. Take a clean dry towel and press, not wipe or scrub, the spot. Keep dabbing until no more moisture appears on the towel and then leave the bed sheets and covers off until the spot dries. If the dried spot leaves a stain, you can call a reputable cleaning company to remove the stain.
In general, if you just want to clean a mattress that hasn't been covered and is not stained, simply use your vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment to remove dust and dust mites. And get a cover!
Please consider purchasing a mattress protector if you value your mattress.