How To Clean A Pillow Top Mattress (Quickly & Easily!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Pillow top mattresses are increasingly popular these days, and not just because of how cozy the name sounds. They are fairly affordable and can be found in virtually every mattress size available. Surprisingly, they are one of the oldest types of mattresses around. They’re making a comeback, and that means it pays off to know how to clean them.

Cleaning a pillow top mattress is a fairly labor-intensive procedure, but it’s not difficult. To do this, you will need to follow these steps below:

  • Clear your mattress of all covers and items.
  • Sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress and let it sit for an hour.
  • Vacuum the mattress, getting all the nooks and crannies.

This simple three-step method is the best choice for people who want to do regular mattress maintenance. However, when you add stains into the mix, things get more complicated. Let’s talk about what you need to be aware of when you’re trying to keep your mattress pristine.

How Do You Get Rid Of Stains On A Pillow Top Mattress?

If nothing else, pillow top mattresses are pretty easygoing when it comes to stain removal. You don’t need any commercial sprayers in most cases, especially if it’s something along the lines of a sweat or oil stain. Here’s what you need to know for most stain types, by the stain that you want to remove.

Get Rid Of Sweat/Oil Stains

Oil stains and sweat stains are the most common stain type on mattresses, and that includes pillowtop mattresses. Removing them is simple. Just follow these steps below:

  • Spray white distilled vinegar over the yellowed and discolored parts of your mattress. Don’t be shy about it. Do this liberally.
  • Let the vinegar sit for 10 minutes. If the stain in question is really deep in there, you may need to wait 15 minutes instead.
  • Get a rag or a paper towel, and blot at the stain. You should start to see the stain lift up into the paper. Keep blotting, switching out the blotter as it gets saturated.
  • Make a paste of water and baking soda, then apply it to the remainder of the stain. Most stains will not be able to be fully removed through the use of vinegar alone. This will improve your results.
  • Once the paste has dried onto the mattress, grab a vacuum and vacuum it up. This completes the deodorization of your mattress.

Get Rid Of Dye Stains

If you have kids, there’s a good chance that they use markers or paints in their bed when they’re working on school projects. Parents who need to clean mattresses that have been stained through dyes will need to make a mixture of dish soap and water. To get the best results, check out what we suggest you do…

  • Start by mixing your solution and spraying it on the stained mattress. Let the soapy water sink into your mattress for 20 minutes. If you want to work it in deeper, take a soft-bristled brush and scrub away.
  • Use a clean white cloth to blot up the soap. The soap should be totally removed by the time you’re done. Check the paper towel to see if it’s picking up.
  • Let the mattress air dry. If you have a particularly bad dye stain, try using the sweat stain protocol above to finish it off.

Get Rid Of Blood Stains

The best time to get rid of blood stains on a mattress is when they are still fresh. Thankfully, this procedure is so easy, you don’t even need numbered steps. All you need to do is pour peroxide on the stain and blot it up. Continue using peroxide until you can’t see the stain. Then, rinse it by rubbing the area with a damp cloth. Let it air dry.

Get Rid Of Urine Stains

Had a little accident during the night? If you’re a parent, then it’s a common enough occurrence. Getting rid of urine stains, though tough, is not impossible. Below, you can find the steps you need to get rid of urine stains best as you can:

  • Start by grabbing a rag and blotting the urine out. Try to soak up as much of it as you can, since it can be fairly difficult to remove it after other liquids are introduced.
  • Then, spray the stain liberally with white distilled vinegar. Let it sit for five minutes, then blot the area dry with a towel. This will sanitize the area.
  • In a small sprayer bottle, mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide, a teaspoon of dish soap, and three heaping tablespoons of baking soda. Shake it to mix it up.
  • Spray the stain, and let it sit for around 20 minutes. Once it’s sat there for a bit, blot up the stain as best you can.
  • Repeat the spray and blot process until you no longer see the stain. This can take two to three times, depending on how much urine ended up on the mattress.
  • Once you have gotten to the point where you no longer can blot up any more coloration, pour baking soda on the stain. Don’t be afraid to use a bunch of it in your area. The baking soda will absorb any odors that your mattress may have trapped as a result of the accident.
  • Let the baking soda sit overnight. Since urine can be very pungent, it will take time for the baking soda to absorb everything.
  • Use a vacuum to remove the baking soda in the morning. Once the odor has been removed, you can go back to using your mattress as usual.

How Often Should You Clean A Pillowtop Mattress?

Like with all other parts of your home, it’s important to keep a pillowtop mattress clean and sanitary. Trying to figure out a schedule, though, can be a bit taxing. If you’re an adult who doesn’t sweat too much, you can typically clean your mattress twice a year and see good results. However, there are exceptions to the rule that call for a quick cleaning:

  • If you spilled something on your mattress, had an accident, or bled on the mattress, clean it ASAP. The sooner you clean it, the less likely it is to stain. Depending on your bedroom habits, this can be a pretty frequent cause for cleaning the mattress.
  • Cases of bed bugs automatically mean that you have to clean (or dispose of) your pillowtop mattress. This should go without saying, but bed bugs are a serious threat to your home and sanitation. Bed bugs will notice the smell of other bed bug carcasses in mattresses, which means an unclean mattress can lead to a bed bug resurgence. Unless you are open to paying the cost of a bed bug exterminator several times over, you will clean your mattress ASAP.
  • If you suffer from hyperhidrosis, you may need to clean your mattress four times a year. Excess sweating can cause your mattress and bedsheets to stain prematurely. By washing your sheets and mattress frequently, you avoid having issues with your mattress’s appearance and odor.
  • Any time that you start to smell something musty, sweaty, or sour smell is an indicator that it’s time to clean a mattress. This often is the first thing people notice when they pull down a Murphy bed.

Related Questions

What causes yellow stains on a mattress?

There are several different causes linked to yellow stains on mattresses. The most common reason for a yellow stain is the bacterial buildup caused by heavy sweating at night. However, that’s not the only reason why your mattress may be discolored. Other common reasons for yellow stains include the buildup of oils from your body, dead skin cells, as well as the presence of urine in your mattress.Regardless of the cause, it’s important to realize that removing those discolorations is not that difficult. With the right tools at your disposal, it can be fairly easy to do.

Can you flip a pillowtop mattress?

Yes, but how you should flip it will change depending on your mattress’s build. Two-sided mattresses can be flipped over so that the top side is now resting on the top of your bed slats. If you have a single-sided mattress, then the only way that you can rotate it is to turn it around. making the old head of the bed the foot of the bed.

How often should you replace a pillowtop mattress?

Mattresses may be a major investment that can pay off in the quality of your sleep, not to mention your back health too. However, the truth is that you will still need to replace your mattress on a fairly regular basis regardless of what kind of mattress you pick. Much like all other types of mattresses, you should replace a pillowtop mattress every seven to 10 years.If your mattress took a lot of abuse, had a lot of stains, was jumped on, or fell victim to a bed bug attack, then you may need to replace it even earlier. So, context matters in this situation, too.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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