How To Clean A Mattress Without A Vacuum In 8 Easy Steps?

Most everyone who has ever owned a mattress has needed to clean it at one point or another. And the process of cleaning the mattress can seem quite daunting if you don’t have a vacuum or steam cleaner. However, you can clean your mattress without a vacuum in a few easy steps.

Many methods of cleaning a mattress rely on a vacuum to pick up dust, dirt, and debris. They also often require cleaning solutions that include baking soda, which requires a vacuum to clean up afterward. A vacuum isn’t necessary for cleaning a mattress. A few simple household ingredients can remove everything from sweat to urine. The eight steps to clean a mattress without a vacuum are:

  1. Remove All Bedding From The Bed
  2. Remove The Mattress Cover or Protector
  3. Blot Any Wet Spots or Spills
  4. Perform Spot Treatments As Necessary
  5. Dry The Mattress
  6. Rotate The Mattress
  7. Put A Mattress Protector On The Bed
  8. Put The Bedding On

If you feel overwhelmed thinking about cleaning your mattress without a vacuum, take a deep breath and read through our guide on how to clean your mattress without a vacuum. We’ll walk you through it step-by-step, including what solutions are best for what type of mess.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Remove All Bedding From The Bed

The first step to cleaning your mattress is to take off all of the bedding. Now is a great time to wash the bedding to ensure that it’s clean and fresh. If it has been a while since the blankets have been washed or the blankets have become soiled, wash them, as well. 

Step 2: Remove The Mattress Cover or Protector

If you have a mattress cover, now is the time to remove it. If it’s wet or needs to be washed, wash it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some mattress protectors have a layer of plastic or other material not meant to be washed or dried in high heat. Be sure you follow the instructions for washing the protector so that it can protect your bed the next time you have a spill. Failure to wash it correctly can cause it to stop working correctly.

Step 3: Blot Any Wet Spots or Spills

If you remove your bedding due to a spill or wet spot, use a dry cloth or towel to blot the mess. Try not to rub the mattress as it could cause pilling or other wear on the mattress, and it pushes the liquid further into the mattress. Be sure to dry up as much of the mess as possible to avoid mold or mildew growth later. This step is crucial with memory foam mattresses because they aren’t designed to get wet and can grow mold more quickly.

Step 4: Perform Spot Treatments As Necessary

The next step is to complete spot treatments depending on the type of stains on your mattress. There are different types of solutions depending on the type of stain. Please keep reading to see our top suggestions for removing urine, sweat, and bloodstains. 

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Step 5: Dry The Mattress

Allow the mattress plenty of time to dry. If you don’t give a mattress enough time to dry, it will grow mold or mildew. Opening windows or using fans can accelerate drying time. Don’t put any bedding on the bed, however, until this critical step has finished. The outer part may feel dry, but the inside may still be damp. 

Step 6: Rotate The Mattress

If your mattress is a traditional mattress, you may be able to flip your mattress over. However, most mattresses these days are not meant to be flipped. As a result, the best you can do to wear the mattress evenly is rotate it 180 degrees. It’s recommended that you do this every six months to prevent heavy sagging. While it’s not a critical step to cleaning your bed, it’s simple enough to do while you have everything off of the bed.

Step 7: Put A Mattress Protector On The Bed

Be sure to protect your mattress from future spills and accidents. Find a mattress protector that will allow your mattress to breathe and prevent spills and protect your mattress. You can even find protectors that protect the mattress from unwanted bed bugs and reduce dust mites and other allergens.

Step 8: Put The Bedding On 

It’s time to put the fresh bedding back on. To reduce the need for future mattress clean-up, you should change your sheets weekly. This prevents dust mites and lowers the chances that you’ll experience mattress odors. 

Special Cleaning Instructions

If you have a specific type of stain, you’ll need to use the appropriate cleaning solution to ensure that the stain can be removed effectively. Not all stains will come out with one solution. 

Removing Urine

If you have experienced a nighttime or pet accident on your bed, you may have been left with a urine stain. Removing urine stains from the bed doesn’t need to be difficult, but they do require a little bit of effort. To remove urine from the mattress, mix half water and half white vinegar and spray it on the mattress. Be sure to only use as much as you need to avoid future mold and mildew. Then let the solution air dry. 

If there is still an odor after the solution has dried, try a pet deodorizer spray that removes the scent of urine from upholstery. Various products on the market remove the odor from the fabric and leave behind a lovely fresh scent. 

Alternatively, if you can get your hands on a vacuum, you can sprinkle baking soda onto the mattress and leave it for several hours to absorb the odor, then vacuum the mattress. You could try to attempt this without a vacuum, but it would be tough to remove. 

Removing Sweat and Other Bodily Fluids

The best solution for removing bodily fluids from your mattress is to use a particular product that dissolves enzymes. However, if you don’t have one readily on hand, you can create a solution that will work nearly as well. 

Mix one cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a few tablespoons of baking soda and add in just a few drops of dish soap. Use this on deep-set stains and let it sit. The longer it can be left to sit, the better. It will give it time to work through tough stains. Once it’s sat for as long as you can, let it sit, use a cloth to blot the area dry, and let the mattress dry out before replacing the bedding. 

Removing Blood 

Blood is much harder to remove from a mattress or any fabric than most other stains. It’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to remove blood from your mattress, but you can certainly give it a try!

Using a bowl, mix one-part baking soda with two parts cold water. The water must be cold! Use a cloth to dab the mixture onto the stain. You’ll need to let it sit for at least 30 minutes to be effective. Afterward, using a cold cloth, dab the solution off of the bed. Blot the affected area to get it somewhat dry using a dry towel and then let the mattress air dry.

Removing Wine 

If you’ve ever gone to bed with a glass of wine, you might have accidentally spilled it, leaving an unsightly stain. Liquid stains can be tough to get rid of. If you have access to a wine remover, you should use that to remove the stain on your mattress. 

However, if you don’t have access to a commercial cleaner, the best way to get rid of a wine or coffee stain is to use a solution made specifically for that purpose. Mix one part dish soap to two parts hydrogen peroxide and use a damp cloth to dab some of the solutions onto the stain. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, and then blot the spot with the solution again. Once the stain is gone, blot the spot dry with a dry towel.

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Special Instructions For Memory Foam

If you have a memory foam mattress, you will need to take special care to ensure that your mattress doesn’t develop mold and mildew. A memory foam mattress is dense and prone to soaking up liquid like a sponge. If at all possible, it’s best if you can avoid using anything wet on the mattress’s surface. If this isn’t possible, then limiting the amount of moisture is the next best solution. 

It would help if you didn’t use certain types of products on a memory foam mattress. To clean your memory foam mattress, stick to products like vinegar and detergents. Try to avoid hydrogen peroxide as it may discolor your mattress or ruin the foam inside the mattress. Additionally, harsh chemicals such as bleach should never be used on a memory foam mattress. 

Taking steps to dry your mattress is even more critical in regards to a memory foam mattress. You can use a hair dryer or fan to speed the drying process and prevent damage to the foam inside. Be sure that if you use a hairdryer, you use the most relaxed setting and that you don’t use the hairdryer too close to the mattress to avoid damaging it.

Lastly, try to prevent future damage to your mattress by using a breathable mattress protector and the appropriate base. Many mattress owners aren’t aware that a memory foam mattress needs to breathe to prevent mold. Often mattress owners use platform beds or beds with solid bottoms to support their memory foam, unaware that it will cause a mold problem in the future. 


You can remove most stains and clean your mattress without a vacuum. While a vacuum does come in handy for quick clean-up, if you don’t have one available to you, you don’t have to wait to clean your mattress. You can use simple homemade solutions to spot treat your mattress and leave it fresh and odor-free. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Bleach To Clean My Mattress?

While bleach may be an effective disinfectant that removes most stains, it’s an incredibly harsh chemical. It’s not recommended that anyone use bleach to remove stains on their mattress because the bleach cannot be removed from the mattress. 

How Can I Disinfect My Mattress?

A mattress can be disinfected using a store-bought disinfectant spray. Spray the disinfectant in a sweeping motion over the mattress and leave the mattress to air dry. Be sure not to soak the mattress as this could lead to mold or mildew.

How Do I Clean Latex Mattresses?

A latex mattress can be cleaned similarly to that of memory foam. However, a latex mattress mustn’t be steam cleaned because it could cause the latex mattress to overbake. Additionally, be careful not to tug when cleaning the mattress as the mattress could get ripped.

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Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.