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How To Clean And Care For Your RV Mattress: A Comprehensive Guide

Kelly Headshot

By Kelly Beasley

Your bed is a sanctuary, a place for rest and rejuvenation.

Your travel trailer or motorhome bed is that sanctuary while you're adventuring.

Ensuring your RV mattress remains clean is fundamental to your overall health and well-being.

Jessica's Airstream trailer bedroom

But how do you clean an RV mattress? Well, they are no different from regular mattresses regarding the make and material.

The only differences are that some are strange sizes and some have cut corners.

Therefore, cleaning a camper mattress is no different than cleaning any mattress.

Let's find out how to clean and care for your RV mattress!

RV Mattress Cleaning

Regardless of the type of mattress you have, regular cleaning is a good idea.

Your BEST PREVENTION is to have a waterproof RV mattress cover.

Same goes for your pillows. Cleaning RV mattresses starts by removing all bedding and washing the bedding in hot water to kill dust mites. Basic stuff.

Then, vacuum the mattress thoroughly using a clean upholstery attachment to remove dust, dead skin cells, and allergens.

You might get a spray bottle to spray an antibacterial spray lightly onto the mattress to sanitize and maybe kill some dust mites.

Or you could sprinkle baking soda on it and then vacuum.

How To Clean A Mattress Protector

Mattress protectors are the first line of defense against dirt, allergens, and spills.

They're easy to clean because they're designed to be removed.

Follow the care label on your protector; most can be washed in a machine on a gentle cycle with warm water and regular detergent.

Tumble dry on low or air dry to prevent shrinkage.

Never use bleach, as it may damage the protector's waterproof layer. Mattress toppers will also protect the mattress from liquid damage.

Book, reading glasses & coffee on bed

Different RV Mattress Types

The most common types of mattresses are innerspring, memory foam, latex, and hybrid.

Each has unique care instructions. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses can generally tolerate more vigorous cleaning methods, while memory foam and latex require more delicate care to avoid damaging their materials.

Common RV Mattress Stains

Common mattress stains include sweat, urine, blood, and food or drink spills. Each type of stain requires a different cleaning approach.

For most stains, a mixture of liquid dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda works well.

Always remember to blot the stain with a clean towel, not rub it, to prevent it from setting deeper into the mattress.

How To Clean A Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses require gentle cleaning to prevent damage.

This is due to the fact they are a petroleum product.

Therefore certain harsh chemicals can damage the foam. For general cleaning, sprinkle baking soda over the mattress, let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum.

For stains, use a mild detergent mixed with water, apply a small amount to the stain, and gently blot with a clean cloth.

RV memory foam mattress

Can You Steam Clean A Memory Foam Mattress?

Steam cleaning is not recommended for memory foam mattresses as the heat and moisture can damage the foam.

Instead, spot clean stains and allow the mattress to air dry completely.

Routine RV Mattress Cleaning

A regular routine of vacuuming your mattress and washing your bedding in hot water is recommended.

This helps reduce dust mites and allergens.

I know it's a personal preference, but who does that?

Not me, and likely not you, so protecting RV mattresses is as simple as using a waterproof mattress cover.

Get waterproof covers for your pillows, too.

Wash everything once every few months or more frequently.

But here's what you need if you need to clean spots or generally clean:

For Removing Stains From RV Mattresses And General Cleaning, You’ll Need:

  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment
  • Mild detergent or dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Cold water
  • Clean cloths or towels
  • Enzyme cleaner for pet urine cleanup

RV Mattress Care: How To Clean Your RV Mattress

This involves spot-cleaning stains, sprinkling the mattress with baking soda, and vacuuming.

For innerspring and hybrid mattresses, you can also use a steam cleaner for a more thorough clean.

How To Clean Urine Out Of A Mattress

Urine stains are common, especially with children or pets.

Blot the area with a dry towel to absorb as much liquid as possible, then apply a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water.

After a few minutes, blot dry and sprinkle with baking soda. Once dry, vacuum the residue.

Dish towels

DIY Mattress Disinfectant Spray

A simple disinfectant spray can be made with equal parts water and white vinegar.

Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle for its antibacterial properties and fresh scent. Spray lightly on your mattress and let it air dry.

Cleaning Dry Urine Out Of A Mattress

For dry pee, apply a mixture of 3 tablespoons of baking soda, 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, and a small drop of dish soap.

Let it sit until dry, then vacuum the residue.

This combination helps remove both the stained area and the odor.

Cleaning Dry Urine Out Of Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses require a gentle approach.

Mix equal parts cold water and distilled white vinegar, lightly dampen a clean cloth with the mixture, and blot the pee.

Do not soak the mattress. Kneel on the stain on towels to dry it as much as possible.

Afterward, sprinkle baking soda on the stained area and let it sit until dry, then vacuum.

Cleaning Blood Out Of A Mattress

Blood stains are best treated with cold water to prevent coagulation.

Mix one tablespoon of salt, one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, and 2 cups of cold water, then apply to the stain.

Let it sit for 15 minutes, then blot it with a clean cloth. Repeat if necessary.

How To Clean Pet Pee From A Mattress

Pet urine is terrible due to its strong odor.

Dog yawning lying on Casper foam mattress

Start by blotting up as much urine as possible.

Then, apply a pet-specific enzymatic cleaner, which breaks down the uric acid crystals that cause the smell.

Follow the instructions on the cleaner, and remember to test on a small area first to ensure it won't discolor your mattress.

How To Get Vomit Out Of A Mattress

Vomit stains require quick action to prevent the stain from setting.

After removing any debris, blot the area with a damp cloth.

Apply a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and liquid dish soap to the stain.

Allow it to dry, then vacuum.

How To Get Mold Or Mildew Out Of A Mattress

Supposedly, you can clean mold out of a mattress.

However, we don't think that is a good idea, or that you can really kill or get to all the mold or mildew.

Our suggestion is to throw that thing away before you cause yourself health problems!

For your next RV mattress, be sure to put something underneath that allows some airflow so mold doesn't develop (the bottom is where it most often gets moldy, when placed on a solid, non-porous surface).

Examples of good airflow products are Hypervent or Tochta's HyPUR-Flo moisture protection (pictured below).

Tochta mattress moisture protection layer


In summary, maintaining a clean RV mattress is essential for a good vacation and overall health.

Periodic cleaning, along with prompt attention to spills and stains, are the best practices for motorhome and travel trailer mattress maintenance.

Whether you're dealing with common stains or more stubborn ones, this guide provides you with a comprehensive set of tools and techniques to keep your camper mattress clean and fresh.

Kelly Headshot

I dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 6.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road.

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