How to steam clean a mattress for bed bugs

As a homeowner, you take pride in keeping your home clean and comfortable for your family and guests. However, even with regular cleaning and maintenance, it’s not uncommon for pests to make their way into your home. One particularly pesky and unsanitary problem is bed bugs. These tiny insects feed on the blood of humans and animals, and they can be found in any type of dwelling, from apartments to hotels to homes. If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, one of the most effective ways to eliminate them is by steam cleaning your mattress.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to steam clean your mattress for bed bugs:

#1: Preparation

Before you start steam cleaning your mattress, it’s important to prepare your space and gather the necessary materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A steam cleaner specifically designed for use on mattresses. Some options include handheld steamers or larger, more powerful machines.
  • A vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment.
  • Mattress protectors or zippered covers.
  • Laundry detergent and a clean cloth.
  • An all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant.
  • Plastic bags and a sealable storage container.

Once you have all of these items, it’s time to move on to the next step.

#2: Remove Bedding and Wash All Linens

Before you begin steam cleaning your mattress, you’ll need to remove all of the bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, and comforters. Wash these items in hot water and a high-quality laundry detergent to kill any bed bugs or eggs that may be hiding in the fabric. If possible, dry the linens on the highest heat setting to ensure that any remaining bed bugs are killed.

#3: Vacuum the Mattress

Next, you’ll want to thoroughly vacuum your mattress to remove any dirt, debris, or bed bugs that may be lurking on the surface. Be sure to use the hose attachment to get into all of the crevices and corners of the mattress. Pay extra attention to the seams and any tufts or buttons, as these are common places for bed bugs to hide.

#4: Steam Clean the Mattress

Now it’s time to bring out the steam cleaner (affiliate link). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for filling the tank and preparing the machine. Once the steamer is ready, begin working your way over the surface of the mattress, using a slow, back and forth motion. Be sure to pay extra attention to any areas where you suspect bed bugs may be hiding, such as the seams and corners.

#5: Wipe Down the Mattress

After you’ve finished steam cleaning the mattress, it’s important to wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth. This will remove any excess moisture and help to kill any remaining bed bugs or eggs. Be sure to use an all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant to further sanitize the surface of the mattress.

#6: Protect the Mattress with a Cover

Once your mattress is clean and dry, it’s important to protect it from future infestations. Invest in a high-quality mattress protector (affiliate link) or zippered cover to keep bed bugs out and prevent them from re-infesting your mattress. These covers are made from a durable, bed bug-proof material and can be easily removed and washed to keep your mattress clean and fresh.

#7: Seal and Store Any Infested Items

If you found any infested items during the cleaning process, such as stuffed animals or pillows, it’s important to properly seal and store them to prevent the bed bugs from spreading. Place the items in plastic bags and seal them tightly. Then, store the bags in a sealable storage container or dispose of them properly. This will help to prevent the bed bugs from spreading to other areas of your home.

#8: Check for Remaining Bed Bugs

After you’ve completed the steam cleaning process, it’s a good idea to double-check for any remaining bed bugs or eggs. Look for small, reddish-brown insects or tiny white eggs in the seams and corners of your mattress. If you find any, be sure to steam clean that area again and wipe it down with a disinfectant.


By following these steps, you can effectively steam clean your mattress and eliminate any bed bug infestations. While steam cleaning is a powerful tool in the fight against bed bugs, it’s important to note that it’s not a standalone solution. You may need to take additional steps, such as applying insecticides or seeking professional pest control services, to fully eliminate the problem. However, by regularly steam cleaning your mattress and protecting it with a cover, you can keep your home bed bug-free and ensure a clean and comfortable night’s sleep for you and your family.

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