Clean Tu Casa Blog 

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Published On
March 15, 2024

The Best Guide to Cleaning Pillows and Mattresses

Written By
Osi Egwuogu

Everyone wants a clean and tidy home, a home with aesthetic appeal. That’s why the patio, pantry, kitchen, living room, bedrooms, toilets, and bathrooms are always kept clean and tidy. You probably already know the importance of clean bedding too, so you know to wash your bedding every week. But do you know you are also supposed to clean pillows and mattresses?

Pillows and mattresses are most often neglected. Many people don’t know how to clean pillows or mattresses because they’re genuinely unaware that it’s a thing.  This article will educate you on how and why you should clean your pillows and mattresses for a better sleeping area.

Related: How to Make a Bed And Other Bedroom Cleaning Tips

Why Cleaning Pillows And Mattresses Matter

Washing your bedding bi-weekly is not enough. Over the course of a day, sweat, oil from our skin and hair, dirt, and dust mites settle and make a home in the pillows and mattresses. Over time, disease-causing bacteria, mold, mildew, and fungi make a home there, which could lead to a host of things. Allergens can easily settle on these items and cause allergic reactions like sneezing and coughing when lying on your bed, making your sleep restless and uncomfortable. 

When left unwashed for a very long time, funky smells and odors could also develop with time and irritate your nose when you lie down. These odors can easily saturate your entire bedroom. Additionally, unsightly stains from liquids, food, and other things will typically build on your mattress over time until you decide to wash it.

Dirty pillows and mattresses could also cause and even exacerbate skin conditions like rashes, acne, and eczema. In this time when adequate skincare is becoming a norm, it would be counterproductive to use dirty bedding, pillows, or mattresses after investing in skincare products.

The importance of cleaning your mattresses and pillows can’t be overemphasized. Cleaning them is simple and easy to do. Your entire sleeping area and your skin will thank you for it.

How To Clean Pillows

pillow in the mouth of the laundry machine

The first step in knowing how to clean a pillow is reading the care instructions. You must check the care instructions so that you don’t end up ruining them. 

Washing pillows are generally easy as most can be washed with a washing machine. Foam and latex pillows, however, need to be hand-washed. When using a washing machine, you’ll need a gentle detergent, a delicate wash setting, and cool water. While cleaning pillows with a washing machine, you should put two pillows at a time so the load is balanced and effectively washed. 

You should dissolve the detergent in the water before putting your pillows into the washing machine. This is so the detergent doesn’t form clumps in your pillow. You can also add hydrogen peroxide to the washing machine to whiten your pillows. 

Air drying is preferable while drying pillows. Drying with a dryer could ruin your pillow, except if your care-label says otherwise. If you are drying your pillow in a dryer, fluff it out a few times while it is still drying so that the stuffing doesn’t clump together. If, on the other hand, you aren’t using a dryer, hang it outside to dry on a clothing line. A plus is that the sun is your ally in the fight against mold, mildew, and bacteria. 

If there are stains on your pillows even after washing and leaving them out in the sun, baking soda is your next bet. Lightly dampen the area and sprinkle baking soda on it. Scrub it with a stiff brush, and you can use a toothbrush if the area is small. After scrubbing, spray with distilled white vinegar. It will bubble and foam up. After the reaction, wait for your pillow to dry and then brush or vacuum off. Leave it to dry in the sun, as it also helps fade stains.

How To Clean Mattresses

cleaning pillows and mattresses

Cleaning mattresses can sometimes seem like an arduous task because they are bigger and heavier than pillows and can’t fit into your washing machine. Also because knowing how to clean a mattress involves collecting dust mites and allergens, as well as treating mattress stains and odors. However, we will make the job easier by giving you a step-by-step guide. 

First off, you’ll need to strip the bed of its sheets. Vacuuming the mattresses is the next step. Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. This will collect dirt, particles, allergens, and dust mites on the mattress. 

For simple stains, dilute some detergent in a spray bottle and spray on the stained area. Leave it to soak for 5-10 minutes, then blot it with a microfiber towel. Mix baking powder, salt, and water into a paste for tough stains. Rub the paste over the stained areas, leave it for 30 minutes, then wipe it off with a damp cloth. 

To neutralize any odors, sprinkle a thick covering of baking soda and leave for a few hours before you do your vacuuming. Mix half a liter of water with two teaspoons of eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture on the mattress and leave it to dry if you want to get rid of dust mites. 

It is also essential that you disinfect your mattress as it could be home to some disease-causing bacteria and fungi. To disinfect, mix two cups of water, half a cup of white vinegar, a quarter cup of alcohol, and 10-20 drops of tea tree oil. Spray this mixture and leave for 5 minutes, then wipe away. 

You could invest in mattress protectors to keep your mattresses fresh in between deep cleans, especially if you have children. It’s also a great idea to ensure you’re not trailing in mud or allergens before lying on your bed.

How Frequently Should Pillows And Mattresses Be Cleaned

With time, all sorts of dirt accumulate on your pillows and mattresses. Sweat, oil, dust, and even stains from make-up, blood, mud, and so on build up on them, forming a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and fungi. You’d assume they are always protected by your beddings but they are not. It is, therefore, essential that you clean your pillows and mattresses often.

The cleaning frequency for mattresses is twice a year, while the cleaning frequency for pillows is about four times a year. These numbers are not fixed as they can be affected by other situations like seasons. Hence, your pillow might need to be washed more than once in the summer, compared to the winter, because of the hot and humid climate. You’ll also have to clean pillows and mattresses more often if you have children, as they can be messy.

However, always ensure to follow the care instructions so you don't reduce the lifespan of your pillow.


Cleaning your pillows and mattresses is important as it creates a healthy sleep environment. It ensures that your sleep is not disrupted by allergens, dust mites, and odors; and that your skin is safe from any irritants that will cause a bad reaction. It will also ensure that your mattresses and pillows have a long lifespan.

Our step-by-step guide will help you maintain clean pillows and mattresses. It might seem like a lot of work at first, but our tips will make the work even more manageable, and once you start, you’ll be happy you did.

Clean Tu Casa is the team to call for any cleaning service in Atlanta. We offer Atlanta residential cleaning services and corporate cleaning services. We provide commercial cleaning services in Marietta, Buckhead, and Brookhaven areas. Whether you want a one-time, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly cleaning, simply reach out to us for your free quote today.

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