How to Clean Your Mattress Naturally

4 Natural Ways to Clean a Mattress

The Spruce / Emilie Dunphy

Project Overview
  • Total Time: 1 hr, 30 mins - 2 hrs

Your mattress is exposed to a lot: sweat, drool, shed skin flakes, hair and skin oil, and various bodily fluids. Add the allergens, dust mites, and pet dander found in most homes, and your mattress is ripe for a cleaning.

Despite using it daily, most people show their mattress little love, never giving it a proper cleaning. But just as you wash your sheets on a regular basis, you need to clean your mattress, although fortunately not nearly as often.

When it is mattress-cleaning time, you might already have everything you need at your disposal. While it is very important to keep the space where you spend up to a third of your life clean and fresh, you can use natural methods and simple ingredients to freshen and clean your mattress, remove stains, and leave your sleeping space pleasantly scented and ready for dream time.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Vacuum
  • Bowl
  • Small strainer
  • Clean cloths and/or towels
  • Spray bottle(s)
  • Fan or blow dryer (optional)

Materials

  • Baking soda
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Salt
  • 3-percent hydrogen peroxide
  • A few drops liquid dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Water

Instructions

materials for cleaning a mattress naturally
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
  1. Strip the Bed

    Strip all the bedding from your mattress, and toss it into the washing machine while you work.

    putting dirty bed linens into the washing machine
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 
  2. Vacuum the Mattress

    Vacuum the top of your mattress, the sides, and underneath the bed. Now lift the mattress (get someone to help if it’s difficult), and vacuum between the mattress and the box springs.

    person vacuuming a mattress
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 
  3. Sprinkle Baking Soda

    Mix 1 cup of baking soda with a few drops of lavender essential oil in a bowl, and then put the mixture in a strainer. Shake the fragranced baking soda evenly over the entire mattress. Leave the baking soda on the bed until your bedding is finished washing and drying. Vacuum the baking soda off the mattress.

    person sprinkling baking soda onto a mattress
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 
  4. Treat Stains

    Spot-clean any stains on the mattress by mixing a paste of baking soda, salt, and water. Rub the stain with the paste, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Wipe away with a damp, clean cloth.

    person wiping off baking soda paste
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 
  5. Remake the Bed

    Remake your bed with clean linens.

    remade bed
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

Removing Urine and Sweat Stains

Bedwetting happens plus sweat produces similar yellowish stains, and over time, it’s common for mattresses to become discolored and musty smelling from sweat.

  1. Create a Cleaning Solution

    Mix together 1 cup of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and just a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap. Stir until the baking soda dissolves.

    preparing a cleaning solution

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  2. Soak the Mattress

    Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, and then spray the entire stained area of the mattress, letting the solution soak into the mark.

    spraying the mattress

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  3. Let the Mattress Dry

    Leave the solution to air dry for at least an hour. If you want to speed things up, set a blowing fan near the mattress, or use your blow dryer on the cool setting.

    Letting the mattress air dry after cleaning

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Removing Blood Stains

If your mattress gets stained with blood, treat the stain as quickly as possible with the following steps.

  1. Prep the Cleaning Solution

    Fill a spray bottle with 3-percent hydrogen peroxide.

    Hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  2. Spray the Mattress

    Spray the bloodstain, and then blot with a clean towel. Repeat spraying and blotting the stain until it is gone.

    Spraying the mattress with peroxide

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  3. Let It Dry

    Let the mattress air dry, or use your blow dryer to speed up the process.

    Allowing the sprayed mattress to air dry

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Removing Vomit Stains

Acting quickly is key to eliminating the odor and stain from vomit. Here's what to do.

  1. Prep the Cleaning Solution

    Mix a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.

    Mixing a 50/50 vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

  2. Treat the Mattress

    Spray the soiled area of the mattress, and then blot with a clean towel. Continue spraying and blotting until the mark is gone.

    person spraying a mattress
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  
  3. Apply Baking Soda

    Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda over the treated area. After an hour, vacuum away the baking soda, and let the mattress air dry.

    person vacuuming baking soda off of a mattress
    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 



Tips for Keeping Your Mattress Clean Longer

  • At a minimum, you should clean the mattress every six months. However, if you have the time, clean it thoroughly every three months. If there's a stain, treat it immediately to avoid setting.
  • Change the sheets at least once a week to prevent dead skin—and its ramifications, such as dust mites—from building up on the bed.
  • Invest in a mattress cover. This will protect moisture from getting into the mattress, which will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Regularly use a vacuum with a HEPA filter on the mattress to suck up dust mites, using the crevice tool to get into tight spots. To get rid of odors, sprinkle baking soda on the mattress first and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Flip your mattress every three months. If it's a pillowtop mattress, rotate it from top to bottom every six months.