How to clean mattress with baking soda

A clean and fresh mattress is key for a good night’s sleep. Over time, mattresses can accumulate dirt, dust mites, dead skin cells, sweat, and other contaminants that can impact your sleep quality and health. While you may vacuum and spot-clean your mattress periodically, deep cleaning your mattress more thoroughly on occasion is recommended.

One safe, effective, inexpensive, and natural way to deep clean and freshen up your mattress is with baking soda. Baking soda has mild abrasive and absorbent properties that help lift dirt and odours out of fabrics. It’s also a natural deodorizer and neutralizer. Follow these steps to learn how to easily clean your mattress with baking soda.

clean mattress with baking soda

Supplies Needed

  • Baking soda (Arm & Hammer Baking Soda – $5.99 for 4 lbs)
  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment (Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum – $34.99)
  • Soft bristle brush or cloth

Step 1: Strip the Mattress

First, remove all bedding from your mattress, including sheets, mattress pads, and protectors. Take off any pillowtops or cushions as well. This allows you to access the entire surface of the mattress for cleaning.

If you have a removable mattress protector, take that off and wash it according to the care instructions. This will make both the protector and mattress cleaner:

Recommended Mattress Protector

SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector – $29.95

Step 2: Vacuum the Mattress

Use the soft brush or upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to thoroughly vacuum all surfaces of the mattress. This will lift away loose dirt, dust, hair, and other debris. Make sure to get into seams, tufts, and crevices. Vacuuming first makes the baking soda cleaning more effective.

Pay extra attention to areas that get the most use, such as where you normally sleep. Also focus on any visibly stained or soiled areas.

Step 3: Apply the Baking Soda

Liberally sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress, making sure to cover all areas. Focus on areas that are the dirtiest or have odors you want to neutralize. Use about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup baking soda per square foot. The baking soda will start lifting and absorbing dirt, odors, oils, and perspiration from the mattress.

If you have pet odors or more excessive soiling, you can use up to 1 cup baking soda per square foot.

Step 4: Let It Sit

Allow the baking soda to sit on the mattress surface for at least 15 minutes, or preferably several hours. Overnight is ideal to give the baking soda time to fully work into the mattress fibers and absorb odors and dirt. The longer it sits, the more effective the cleaning.

Step 5: Scrub It In

After letting the baking soda sit for a while, scrub it into the mattress surface using a soft cloth or soft bristle brush. Make sure to get into all the crevices and tufts. This will break up more dirt and stains and work the baking soda further into the mattress. Apply a bit more baking soda to areas that need more cleaning power.

Helpful Tools:

  • Soft Bristle Mattress Brush – $9.99
  • Microfiber Mattress Cleaning Cloth – $12.99

Step 6: Vacuum Again

Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum to thoroughly vacuum up all the baking soda from the mattress. Make sure to get it fully up from crevices and tufts. This will lift away the absorbed dirt, oils, and odors.

You may need to go over the surface several times to fully remove all baking soda residue.

Step 7: Let the Mattress Air Out

After vacuuming up the baking soda, allow the mattress to air out and dry completely before replacing bedding. This allows any remaining baking soda and moisture to fully dissipate. Air it out for a few hours or overnight if possible.

You can place a fan nearby to speed up drying time if needed.

Step 8: Finish with Spot Cleaning

Inspect the mattress after airing out, and spot clean any remaining soiled or stained areas using a small amount of mild laundry detergent and a damp sponge or soft brush. This helps remove stubborn stains like sweat and body oils. Let spot cleaned areas fully dry before putting sheets back on.

Recommended Cleaners:

  • Bunch O Fresh Mattress Stain Remover – $19.99
  • OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Spray – $8.99

Tips for Effective Baking Soda Mattress Cleaning:

  • For a deeper clean, allow the baking soda to fully sit overnight before vacuuming it up. This gives it more time to work on stains and odors.
  • Use a larger amount of baking soda for heavier soiling or difficult odors. The more baking soda you apply, the more cleaning and deodorizing power it has.
  • For stubborn odors like sweat, focus extra baking soda on those areas and let sit longer before vacuuming.
  • Make sure to fully vacuum all baking soda up from the mattress, especially in tufts and seams. Any moisture left behind can grow mold and mildew.
  • Allow the mattress to dry completely before putting bedding back on so no dampness or baking soda is trapped.
  • Repeat the baking soda cleaning every few months for a fresh mattress, or whenever it starts looking or smelling dirty.
  • Alternate baking soda cleaning with periodic vacuuming to keep your mattress fresh between deep cleans.
  • Use baking soda along with essential oils or lemon juice for added freshening and antimicrobial action.
  • Make sure your mattress is stain-resistant and designed to be cleaned at home for best results and safety.

Why Baking Soda Works

Baking soda is mildly abrasive, which allows it to scrub away dirt, stains, and debris from the surface and fibers of the mattress with gentle action. It also absorbs and neutralizes odors rather than just masking them. The baking soda clings to the mattress materials to work, unlike powdered cleaners that mostly fall away. It naturally deodorizes without leaving any added scent or chemical residue. Baking soda is also inexpensive, non-toxic, and gentle enough for most mattress fabrics. Just make sure to fully remove all baking soda after application so it doesn’t leave a residue. With some elbow grease and time, baking soda can refresh and restore most mattresses.

When to Deep Clean Your Mattress

Here are some signs it’s time to give your mattress a deep cleaning:

  • You notice stains, dirt buildup, or clouding on the mattress cover.
  • There are visible dust, dirt, or hair accumulating on the mattress.
  • Your mattress has an odor from sweat, body oils, or other sources.
  • You or a partner have been sick in bed recently.
  • It has been over a year since you last deep cleaned the mattress.
  • You wake up congested or stuffy several mornings a week.

Deep cleaning your mattress with baking soda every year or so ensures dirt and odors don’t accumulate. More frequent spot cleaning or vacuuming can keep it fresher between deep cleans. Anytime you notice odor or staining is also a good time for a baking soda scrub.

Mattress Cleaning Tips

In addition to periodic deep cleaning, here are some good habits to keep your mattress fresh daily:

  • Use a mattress protector to shield your mattress from sweat, oils, and skin cells. Wash it regularly.
  • Wash sheets weekly or more often if needed. Dirt transfers from sheets to mattress if not washed.
  • Let the mattress air out for 30 minutes after stripping bedding to release moisture.
  • Rotate your mattress regularly to spread out wear and allow it to fully air out.
  • Vacuum the mattress monthly using the soft brush upholstery attachment.
  • Spot clean stains immediately with a damp cloth and mild detergent.
  • Consider using an antimicrobial mattress spray between cleanings to inhibit bacteria and odors.
  • Don’t eat, drink, smoke, or keep pets on the bed to prevent stains and contaminants.

By regularly cleaning your mattress and keeping your bedroom clean, you can enjoy fresh, healthy sleep for years before needing to replace your mattress. Proper maintenance makes your mattress last longer too. Just be sure to use gentle, non-toxic cleaners that are safe for you and your mattress. Baking soda is one of the most effective options. With a little routine effort, you can keep your mattress free of dirt and odors for excellent sleep hygiene.

Alternative Cleaning Methods

While baking soda is a great natural cleaner for mattresses, there are some other options you can try as well:


White vinegar helps sanitize and deodorize. Mix equal parts vinegar and water and spray onto the mattress. Let sit briefly before blotting.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleaching agent that can brighten and disinfect. Mix with baking soda and apply to the mattress. Rinse thoroughly.

Essential oils

Oils like tea tree, eucalyptus, and lavender have anti-microbial properties. Add a few drops to baking soda or dilute in water and spritz on. Provides a fresh scent.

enzymatic cleaner

Breaks down organic matter and odors. Use an enzyme-based pet odor eliminator for tough pet stains. Check for mattress-safe options.

Castile soap

Add a few drops of mild castile soap to water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist on mattress and wipe with a damp cloth. Rinse thoroughly.

No matter what cleaning solution you use, be sure to fully remove it from the mattress after treatment so it doesn’t leave behind moisture or residue. And consult the mattress manufacturer’s care instructions before using any cleaner to ensure it’s safe for the materials. With the right methods, you can keep your mattress fresh and clean.

Sharing Is Caring:

As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.

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