How to Clean a Futon Mattress

Cleaning a futon mattress regularly is key to keeping it fresh and extending its life. With frequent use, futon mattresses can accumulate dirt, dust mites, and odors. Thankfully, cleaning a futon mattress is a straightforward process that can be done easily at home. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean a futon mattress thoroughly.

What You’ll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner with hose attachment
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap or laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Old towels
  • Fan (optional)

Step 1: Vacuum the Mattress

Start by vacuuming the entire surface of the futon mattress. Use the hose attachment to reach corners and crevices. Vacuuming will remove loose dirt and debris.

Step 2: Sprinkle Baking Soda

Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda over the surface of the mattress. Baking soda will help absorb odors and freshen the mattress. Use about 1/2 cup for a twin size or up to 1 cup for a full or queen size.

Step 3: Make a Cleaning Solution

In a spray bottle, mix together:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons dish soap or laundry detergent
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

Shake well to fully mix the cleaning solution. The dish soap helps cut through grease and grime, while the vinegar disinfects.

Step 4: Scrub the Mattress

Use the cleaning solution you made to scrub every inch of the mattress. Pay close attention to stained or dirty areas. Let the solution sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the cleaning agents to work.

Step 5: Rinse the Mattress

Use a spray bottle filled with clean water to rinse away the cleaning solution thoroughly. You may need to use towels to absorb excess water. Work in sections and rinse well.

Step 6: Let the Mattress Dry

Allow the mattress ample time to air dry completely before using or replacing sheets. Place near a window or use a fan to speed drying. It may take up to 4-6 hours.

Step 7: Vacuum Again

Once totally dry, vacuum the mattress again to pick up any remaining baking soda. Your futon mattress is now fresh and clean!

Tips for Keeping Your Futon Mattress Clean

  • Use a mattress protector or cover to prevent stains.
  • Rotate and flip the mattress regularly to evenly distribute wear.
  • Spot clean stains immediately with mild dish soap and water.
  • Air out the mattress outside when possible. Sunlight naturally kills bacteria.
  • Steam clean every 6-12 months for a deeper clean.
  • Replace the mattress every 5-8 years for best comfort and support.

How Often Should You Clean a Futon Mattress?

  • Every 2-3 months for light use
  • Every 1-2 months for moderate use
  • Monthly for heavy use or if you sweat a lot at night

Cleaning more often for heavily used futon mattresses prevents deep stains and odors from setting in. But even lightly used mattresses benefit from regular cleaning every few months.

What is the Best Way to Clean a Futon Mattress?

The method outlined above using vacuum, baking soda, and cleaning solution is the most effective way to clean a futon mattress thoroughly at home. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Vacuum thoroughly to remove loose debris
  • Sprinkle baking soda to absorb odors
  • Make a cleaning solution of dish soap, vinegar, and water
  • Scrub every inch of the mattress with the solution
  • Rinse away all soap residue
  • Allow to fully air dry
  • Vacuum again to remove baking soda

This process tackles dirt, odors, and stains for a like-new mattress! For periodic deep cleaning, consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner to steam clean the mattress.

What Kind of Cleaner Should be Used on a Futon Mattress?

Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning a futon mattress. Instead, use gentle cleaning agents like:

  • Baking soda – Naturally deodorizes and freshens
  • Dish soap – Cuts through oils and lifts dirt
  • White vinegar – Disinfects and kills bacteria
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Removes tough stains
  • Liquid laundry detergent – Degreases without heavy chemicals

Always spot test cleaners in an inconspicuous area first. Never use bleach, which could damage the fabric.

Can You Steam Clean a Futon Mattress?

Yes, steam cleaning is an effective deep cleaning method for futon mattresses. The pressurized steam sanitizes by killing bacteria, dust mites, and allergens. Steaming also lifts stubborn stains.

To steam clean a futon mattress:

  • Vacuum first to remove loose debris
  • Treat any stains with a targeted stain remover
  • Rent or buy a handheld steam cleaner or carpet cleaner
  • Work in sections, steaming over entire surface
  • Use steam, not heat, on synthetic mattress materials
  • Allow mattress to fully dry before using

Professionally steam cleaning a futon mattress every 6-12 months will keep it fresh and hygienic.

Does Vinegar Damage Futon Mattresses?

White vinegar is safe to use on futon mattresses. The acid in vinegar kills mold and bacteria, cutting through clinging odors. Because vinegar is non-toxic, it won’t harm or discolor the mattress fabric.

To use vinegar on a futon:

  • Mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water in a spray bottle
  • Lightly mist over the mattress surface
  • Allow to sit 5-10 minutes to disinfect
  • Blot with a dry towel

Always spot test vinegar on a small, inconspicuous area first. Undiluted vinegar could potentially damage certain mattress materials by long-term exposure. But diluted properly, it is a very effective futon mattress cleaner.


With frequent use, futon mattresses can become dirty and develop odors over time. That’s why it’s important to clean them every 2-3 months. This simple guide shows how to thoroughly clean a futon mattress at home using basic ingredients like baking soda and vinegar. Following these steps removes built-up grime, eliminates odors, and keeps your futon mattress fresh. Consistently cleaning and caring for your futon mattress helps it last longer and saves you from having to replace it as often.