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Airbnb management: how to disinfect a mattress?

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One of the major tenets of successful Airbnb management is knowing how to disinfect a mattress and your accommodation in between guests. 

Guests expect clean, sanitary lodgings, and you don’t want to spend ages on complicated disinfection processes. 

Luckily, learning how to disinfect a mattress isn’t difficult. 

There are several methods you can use, all of which will keep your guests happy and your ratings high. 

Your mattress specialist at Polysleep tells you more.

Why Is Mattress Cleaning Important?

In Airbnb management, you likely see all kinds of guests come in and out of your property throughout the seasons. 

Each one of your guests brings their own story, personality, and, unfortunately, their own germs along during their stay. 

Between guests, it is vital that you clean every used mattress to get rid of the following:

  • Dead skin
  • Bacteria
  • Dust mites
  • Sweat
  • Body odor

This debris gets caught in mattress fibers and can trigger allergies, causing unpleasant experiences for you and your guests. 

You want your residence and your Airbnb to be clean and sanitary.

Knowing how to disinfect a mattress will allow you to ensure all the mattresses in your Airbnb are in excellent condition for the next person who comes to visit. 

How to Disinfect a Mattress Properly?

A maid with blue gloves touching the mattress by hand

There are several ways to disinfect a mattress. 

In the world of Airbnb management, it’s difficult to hire professional mattress cleaners after every guest leaves. 

If your Airbnb is in a popular area and gets many guests, the mattress cleaning costs alone can become overwhelming.

Instead, consider the following seven simple and affordable ways you can disinfect your Airbnb’s mattresses yourself. 

Steam Clean Your Mattress

Did you know that you can steam clean your mattress to disinfect it to get rid of all the nasty things that accumulate as your guests sleep through the night? 

Traditional spring mattresses can typically be steam cleaned without issue. 

However, follow manufacturer instructions when steam cleaning other types of mattresses.

When steam cleaning memory foam mattresses, use a steam cleaner on medium heat that dries while it cleans. 

Do not steam clean latex mattresses because excessive heat will damage them.

  • Vacuum the mattress to remove loose debris. 
  • Choose any steamer that heats water to at least 100°C (212°F) and fill it with water.
  • Run the steamer over the mattress in slow, deliberate strokes.

Once you have covered the entire mattress in steam, you will need to let it dry completely. The one downside to steam cleaning is that it creates a lot of moisture. 

Steam clean your mattress properly

A cleaner performs cleaning of a white mattress with a vacuum cleaner

Use Antibacterial Spray on Your Mattress

You can disinfect an Airbnb mattress with antibacterial spray as well. 

The antibacterial spray works similarly to steam cleaning, but it’s less work. 

Instead of relying on heat to kill germs, this method kills them through antibacterial ingredients. 

When using antibacterial spray to disinfect a mattress, remember these important points:

  • Do not oversaturate the mattress or make it too wet. Use short sprays to mist the mattress instead, then blot the mattress with a rag.
  • Do not use spray that contains bleach because bleach can damage mattress fibers and harm their integrity. 
  • As with mattresses that have been steam cleaned, make sure you let the mattress fully air dry before adding toppers and bedding.

Popular antibacterial sprays include Microban, Tide Antibacterial Fabric Spray, and Lysol. You can also make your own spray using white vinegar and water.

Disinfect a Mattress with Vodka

You have probably seen movies or TV shows where a character grits their teeth and pours vodka into an open wound. 

It is not just fiction—vodka has disinfecting properties. You can use it to disinfect your mattress in the same way you would use antibacterial spray.

If you’re wondering how to sanitize a bed easily, just pour vodka into a spray bottle and mist the entire mattress

Dab the mattress with a rag and let it air dry. There’s no need to use your top-shelf vodka for this. You can grab the cheap stuff.

Disinfect a Mattress Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

With baking soda and vinegar, you can disinfect a mattress and remove any stains that might be present. 

Mattresses pick up stains from a variety of bodily fluids and drinks spilled in bed. If you are in the Airbnb world, you want your mattresses to look clean and pristine. 

  • Add white vinegar to a spray bottle and spray the mattress, taking care not to soak it. 
  • Let the vinegar sit on the mattress for about 10 minutes, then dab it with a rag. 
  • Lightly dust baking soda all over the mattress and let it sit for as long as you can. Make sure the room is well ventilated and that no kids or pets will interfere with the mattress. 

When you need to dress the bed, vacuum the baking soda and you’ll notice that it has absorbed the vinegar along with any stains and other pollutants. 

This is a satisfying method for disinfecting a mattress because you can actually see it making a difference before your eyes. 

Use Enzyme Cleaner to Disinfect a Mattress

Enzyme cleaners are great for tackling stains. 

Pet owners are familiar with enzyme cleaners because they are marketed to clean pet urine stains from carpets, beds, and other types of furniture. 

They are also great for cleaning urine stains off mattresses. While every Airbnb owner hopes their mattresses never see urine stains, enzyme cleaners are there to clean just in case. 

You can make a homemade enzyme cleaner using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, or you can purchase a special enzyme cleaner like OdorZyme or Biokleen.

Disinfect a Mattress with Cornstarch

Surprisingly, you can disinfect your mattress by sprinkling it with cornstarch. 

Cornstarch will soak up the stains, sweat, and debris, and you can vacuum it up. 

For an even stronger formula, use cornstarch and baking soda. Baking soda’s deodorizing properties will enhance the cleanliness of your mattress.

  • Create a mixture of 50% cornstarch and 50% baking soda. 
  • Sprinkle the mixture all over your mattress and let it sit for about half an hour. 
  • Vacuum the mixture off the mattress and the floor around the mattress.

This method can get a little messy, but the results are worth it. 

Ultraviolet Light Can Help Disinfect a Mattress

UV light dries and deodorizes mattresses. You do not have to have a special UV lamp or mattress-sized tanning bed to utilize UV light. 

The sun outside is a great big source of UV light, so all you have to do is bring your mattress outside.

  • Choose a day when the sun exposure will be at its highest.
  • Find an open, airy spot to place your mattress outside in the sunlight. 
  • Either find a way to place your mattress standing up so both sides get exposed to the sun or flip it periodically. 

UV light kills dust mites, but UV light alone cannot fully disinfect your mattress

It’s best to know how to disinfect your mattress using another method first and then take it outside for UV light exposure as a finishing step.

How to wash memory foam pillows?

Precautions to Take When Disinfecting a Memory Foam or Hybrid Memory Foam Mattress

Cleaning lady wears her precautionary mask while making the Airbnb bed

When learning how to disinfect a foam mattress, you want to keep your mattress safe and protected. 

Keep the following in mind, so you know how to properly clean your mattress.

  • Always disinfect your foam mattress in a well-ventilated area
  • Always make sure your foam mattress is completely dry before adding sheets and blankets.
  • When steam cleaning, never get the foam mattress too hot or you can damage the cells that make up the memory foam.

If you own a Polysleep mattress, you’re in luck! Polysleep’s memory foam can be disinfected by following the steps found in our own cleaning guide.

More Mattress Tips for Airbnb Management

Depending on the company you use, professional mattress cleaning can cost between $50 and $150. That is why DIY mattress cleaning is so great.

Airbnb hosts should strip and clean all bedding and linens between each guest. Unprotected mattresses should also be disinfected between each guest. 

However, mattress protectors come in handy and can lengthen the timespan between mattress disinfections.

Airbnb hosts should always encase mattresses in thick, waterproof mattress protectors to prevent viruses from breaching the porous mattresses inside. 

If an unprotected mattress has been exposed to COVID-19, use the disinfecting methods above, or consider replacing the mattress altogether. 

The consensus is that Airbnb hosts should wash mattress protectors after each guest’s stay. Even waterproof protectors might allow leaks through if they are left for too long. 

Washing your foam mattress pad by hand is easy. Use the guide Polysleep created to wash a foam mattress topper.

Since baking soda absorbs and deodorizes, all you have to do to clean a mattress with it is sprinkle it on, wait for as long as you can, and vacuum it up.

Lysol is perfectly safe for mattresses. Just make sure you do not soak your mattress in Lysol or spray so much that the smell becomes irritating. 

If you have bed bugs, it’s best to hire an exterminator to sort out the problem. Sprays like SteriFab and Bedlam will kill bugs on contact, but they won't rid your Airbnb of an infestation. If you see a bed bug, immediately call a professional.

If you want to keep your Airbnb guests comfortable during their stay, take a look at Polysleep’s mattresses that are made with comfort in mind. 

With these tips, you can keep your mattresses clean and disinfected between guests. Plus, your Airbnb host rating is sure to skyrocket. 

Discover the Polysleep Mattress Protector now!

The waterproof certified Polysleep mattress protector


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