How to Clean a Bedding or Mattress of Scabies

Updated February 21, 2017

Scabies are tiny mites that burrow under the skin and cause itching and red spots. These mites can live for up to four days without having contact with a human. Therefore, it is important that care is taken everyday for four days after the body is treated for scabies to get rid of any mites that may still be on your bedding and mattress. If proper treatment of the sleeping area is not taken, the scabies mites that are left can reinfect anyone who sleeps in the bed.

Treat your body for scabies according to your doctor's directions. After treating the body, it is time to treat your bedding and mattresses.

Remove all the bedding, including pillows, from the bed. If the pillows can be washed, use laundry soap and hot water to wash them. Wash the mattress pad and sheets in hot water with laundry soap. Do not bring these items back into the bedroom until you perform the necessary cleaning of the bedroom.

Vacuum the floor throughout the bedroom, including under the bed.

Use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum the top of the mattress, sides of the mattress and bottom of the mattress. Remove the mattress and vacuum the box spring. If you have a mattress inside of a wood frame, vacuum the frame while the mattress is removed. If you have a waterbed mattress, you must vacuum the mattress, wash the vinyl mattress with hot soapy water and pull back the corners of the mattress and vacuum as far underneath the vinyl mattress as you can reach.

Vacuum the floor again after you put the mattress back on the bed.

Bring the clean bedding and pillows into the now clean bedroom and make the bed.

Repeat this procedure for four days. If you become reinfected with the mites and need another treatment, you will need to perform these steps for an additional four days from the day you are treated.


If pillows or comforters cannot be washed, place them inside sealed plastic bags for 2 weeks to kill the mites and any possible eggs before using them again.

Things You'll Need

  • Laundry soap
  • Vacuum
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Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years experience writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. She studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.