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Homekeeping · Cleaning · How To Clean Your Mattress (And Why You Should Do It Regularly)

How To Clean Your Mattress (And Why You Should Do It Regularly)

If you can't remember when you last cleaned your mattress, it's probably time to do it! I'll show you how here.

With all the sweat, dirt, and dead skin we leave behind when we sleep on our mattresses, it’s no wonder they don’t exactly smell like a summer’s day! But there’s a quick and easy way to clean a mattress that will not only remove dirt and moisture, but eliminate odors too.

I’ll be showing you how to clean a mattress in today’s post, in case your beds at home could use a good deep cleaning too. I’ll also cover how to get rid of stains, and how to keep your mattress clean once you’ve cleaned it!

Related: 3 Easy Ways to Avoid Bed Bugs

How To Clean A Mattress

1. Strip Your Mattress of Blankets & Sheets

In order to be able to clean your mattress, you’ll first have to remove anything on it. Strip off your blankets, sheets, mattress cover, memory foam mattress topper, or any other layers you have on your bed. (Cleaning your mattress provides an excellent opportunity to toss all that stuff in your washing machine too!)

2. Make A Baking Soda Cleaning Powder And Sprinkle It Over The Mattress

Next, whip up a quick mattress cleaning powder by adding 1 cup of baking soda and 4-5 drops of essential oil to a jar. (You can’t go wrong with lavender essential oil for a fresh and relaxing scent, but essential oil blends like Defend or Simple Clean are great options too!)

Replace the lid on the jar and shake well to mix. If you have a king-size mattress, you may want to double the recipe to make sure you have enough of the baking soda mixture to cover it!

Then apply the baking soda cleaning powder to your mattress by sprinkling, shaking, or sifting it in an even layer across the entire surface of the bed. If you have a shaker top that fits onto your jar, that would definitely come in handy here! If you don’t have a shaker top, a fine mesh sieve will work just fine too.

3. Let It Sit For At Least One Hour

The baking soda and essential oils need time to deep clean your mattress, so let the powder sit undisturbed for at least one hour. This gives the baking soda time to draw moisture and oils out of your mattress, while the essential oils help eliminate germs and dust mites and freshen the fabric.

4. Vacuum It Up With The Upholstery Attachment

After you’ve given the cleaning powder enough time to do its job, grab your vacuum cleaner and the upholstery attachment (if it has one.) Use your vacuum to remove the baking soda mixture from your mattress, using slow passes to ensure you lift out as much of the baking soda, dust mites, and dead skin as possible.

And that’s all there is to it! After you vacuum the mattress thoroughly, your bed will be fresh, clean, and ready to make up again. Aim to use this process to clean your mattress every month or so to deep clean it, get rid of musty smells, and keep your bed clean and hygienic!

How To Remove Stains From Your Mattress

When it comes to treating mattress stains, the best things you can do are act fast, use the right stain remover, and be patient. Here, we’ll explore each of these factors in more detail so you know exactly why they’re so important!

1. Act Quickly To Remove The Stain Completely

The quicker you can address and treat a stain, the easier it will be to remove completely. And conversely, the longer a stain sits on your mattress, the more time and effort it will take to remove.

Another part of acting quickly to treat a stain is removing as much of the substance that caused the stain as you can. That means picking up or scraping off any solid matter, or absorbing excess liquid with a clean cloth or paper towels.

2. Use The Right Stain Remover

The best stain remover for the job depends on what sort of stain you’re working with. For organic matter like blood stains and urine stains, an enzyme cleaner can help break down organic proteins and make the stain easier to remove.

For body oil, sweat stains, and other smelly stains, a combination of vinegar and baking soda can be very effective. The best way to do this is to follow the cleaning method I shared earlier, pausing after Step 2 to spray your mattress with a spray bottle of white vinegar and letting it sit before proceeding to Step 3. That will give the vinegar time to get rid of odors before you sprinkle baking soda over it to draw the moisture, odor, and stain out of the mattress.

And lastly, hydrogen peroxide is great for treating all sorts of mattress stains. While it can have a bleaching effect on fabrics that aren’t color-fast, you can always do a spot test if you’re concerned that hydrogen peroxide may bleach your mattress.

I should also mention that I don’t recommend using dish soap to remove stains from your mattress, because it can be really tricky to rinse it all out. And if you don’t get all of the dish soap out, the residue can attract more grime to your mattress in the long run! As far as mattress cleaning goes, it’s best to leave your bottle of dish soap in the kitchen. 🙂

3. Give The Cleaning Solution Time To Work

And finally, a little bit of patience goes a long way when it comes to cleaning your mattress! After applying your cleaning solution of choice, let it sit for a few minutes before you blot or do anything else.

A lot of cleaners work best when you give them a little while to work their magic, and that’s especially true of stains. Stain removers need time to help get the stain out, and it can make removing the stain much quicker and easier than it would be otherwise!

Patience is also important after removing a stain, because you need to allow your mattress to dry completely before putting anything back on it. Covering up a wet mattress can trap moisture inside of it, and potentially lead to the growth of mildew or bacteria. So be patient and resist the urge to replace your mattress protector, sheets, and other bedding items until you’re confident that your mattress is totally dry.

2 Bonus Tips For Keeping Your Mattress Clean

You’ve cleaned your mattress and removed any unsightly stains… now what? Here are a couple of useful tips that will help keep your mattress clean, and also help prevent future stains and odors!

Tip #1: Use A Mattress Protector

There are a lot of nasty things that can get into your mattress, from bodily fluids to dust mites and beyond! But you can keep these and other unsavory substances at bay simply by encasing your mattress in a quality mattress protector.

Using a mattress protector is the single most affordable and effective way to keep your mattress clean. Choose a mattress cover that’s machine-washable so you can clean it in your washing machine as needed, or every three to six months.

Tip # 2: Flip Or Rotate It Regularly

Flipping and rotating your mattress isn’t just important for reducing wear, it can also help you keep it clean too. If sweat and body oils are confined to one area of the mattress for too long, the resulting stains and odor will be much tougher to eliminate.

But if you flip your mattress every three to six months (according to conventional wisdom), you’ll end up with lighter stains, less odor, and a mattress that’s easier to clean. If you mattress has a specialized top layer, you may only be able to rotate it 180° instead of flipping it, but it will still help!

Do you have any tips or tricks for mattress cleaning or stain removal?

How To Clean A Mattress

Jill Nystul
When was the last time you cleaned your mattress? It's important to do it regularly to eliminate moisture and odors, and I'll show you exactly how it's done here!
Prep Time 5 mins
Active Time 5 mins
Waiting Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Cost $20
Yield 1 Use


  • Jar & Lid
  • Sift
  • Vaccum


  • 4-5 Drops Essential Oil
  • 1 Cup Baking Soda


  • Add 1 cup of baking soda and 4-5 drops of essential oils to a jar. Place a tight-fitting lid on the jar and shake well to mix.
  • Strip off your blankets, sheets, mattress protector, memory foam topper, or any other layers you have on your bed.
  • Shake or sift the cleaning powder in an even layer across the surface of your mattress. The cleaning powder needs time to work its magic, so let it sit undisturbed on your mattress for at least one hour.
  • Vacuum the cleaning powder out of your mattress, working slowly to ensure you remove as much of the powder, dirt, and grime as possible.


If you have a king-size mattress, you may want to double the recipe to make sure you have enough powder to cover it.
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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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