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How to Clean a Mattress and Box Spring after Storage

You'll never get a good night's rest on a smelly bed. Clean, disinfect, and deodorize your mattress and box spring so you can sleep like a baby.


  • Step 1: Spray sanitizing disinfectant over the mattress and box spring to get rid of odor-causing microorganisms. Agitate the disinfectant to distribute it, and then go over both pieces with the water extraction machine again.
  • Step 2: Dry the pieces thoroughly with a wet vac or the water extraction machine with the water turned off. Stand the mattresses on end while you're drying them and aim fans or air movers at them to speed the drying process.
  • Step 3: Spray commercial furniture deodorizer over the mattress and box spring, allow them to dry, and have a good night's sleep on your clean, fresh-smelling bed.
  • FACT: The Sealy mattress company was started in 1881 when founder David Haynes, a cotton gin builder, filled a request for a cotton-filled mattress.
  • Step 4: Allow the chemical to sit for a few minutes, and remove it with a hot water extraction machine, such as a carpet steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment. Add deodorizer to the rinse water and spray and extract the box spring's dust cover.
  • TIP: Alkaline pre-conditioners are available wherever carpet and upholstery cleaning products are sold.
  • Step 5: Use a powerful vacuum with an upholstery attachment and thoroughly vacuum each side of each piece. Concentrate on the sides, where soil accumulation tends to be heaviest -- especially the unprotected side of the box spring.
  • TIP: Give extra attention to the underside of the box spring, which is typically covered with a black or gray dust cover.
  • Step 6: Apply a mild alkaline pre-conditioner to the fabric areas of the mattresses to loosen oil-based soil and soot. Then agitate the conditioner with a nylon-bristle brush, working it into the fabric and evenly spreading it over the fabric.
  • Step 7: Leave your mattress covers on while you transport the mattresses. If you didn't cover them while they were stored, cover them for the ride home and use sheets or blankets to prevent them from being soiled while you move them.

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