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Does baking soda really clean a mattress?

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  • fabric cleaning
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Ed Hawes
does baking soda really clean a mattress?

I’ll put my hands up and confess I do not look after my mattress. I’m not the only one, looking after and cleaning a mattress is overlooked by most. But this shouldn’t be the case. Overtime, a mattress can suffer from discolouring, accumulation of body oils, sweat and dust, and produce odours and bad smells. 

On average, we spend seven to eight hours per night on our mattresses – that equates to just under half of our lives (don’t quote me on that). So maintaining your mattress should be something we get into the habit of adding to our regular house cleaning itinerary. 

That’s why, in this article we’ve created a step-by-step guide on how to clean a mattress. Disclaimer: it can take time, but in the long run you’ll be thankful. 

Say ‘no more’ to yellow stains, discolouring and bad smells. Say ‘yes’ to sleeping in comfort smelling of lavender (lavender spray can be bought at your local pharmacy). 

Does baking soda really clean a mattress?

The rumours are true. Baking soda really does clean a mattress and is a great natural solution for turning an old mattress into a sleeping haven. 

The benefits of using baking soda to clean a mattress is as follows: 

Baking soda is a good solution to absorb moisture. It’s an effective hack for those with a damp mattress. 

Smell removal
As you can imagine, over time the mattress collates a mixture of body oils, dust, and sweat. All of which can accumulate to create a nasty odour. Baking soda can act as a good, natural cleaning solution that removes those smells. 

When used with other methods, baking soda can lift mild stains off the mattress. 

How to use baking soda to clean a mattress? 

Using baking soda to clean a mattress is a relatively simple procedure, you just need a few spare hours. Those spare hours are hours well spent, see below our quick step-by-step guide on how to clean a mattress with baking soda. 

Remove bedding 
Remove all bedding; pillows, duvet, sheets, etc. 

Hoover both sides of the mattress to remove any dust or debris from the surface. 

Clean any stains 
Use fabric cleaner or soapy water to remove, clean any stains from the mattress. 

Apply baking soda
Use a sieve to generously sprinkle baking soda over the entire mattress. The sieve isn't necessary but will help create an even spread. The longer you let the soda sit, the better. At an absolute minimum it should be left for 30 minutes. By doing this, the baking soda will absorb the moisture and odours embedded in the mattress. 

Hoover again 
As soon as you’re happy, hoover all of the baking soda from the mattress. 

Let the mattress air in sunlight, if possible. A natural disinfectant, but will help dry the mattress. 

You should now be the new owner of a clean, odourless mattress.  If you’re not, that’s unfortunate. But it’s worth bearing in mind that baking soda is a good natural cleaning solution. For a stronger cleaner that will fight through tough stains, mould and odours, getting the mattress professionally cleaned or using a stronger cleaning solution might achieve better results. 

how to clean a mattress

How do you clean a yellow mattress?

Mattress discoloration, let’s talk about it. Often seen as yellow stains, the decolourisation can be the result of a multitude of things. From body oils, sweat, accidental liquid spills to simply the ageing of the mattress. Considering we spend more time in bed than anywhere else, it’s no surprise that a mattress can discolour overtime. So, how do you clean a yellow mattress? 

Pre-cleaning: What you need to do before cleaning a yellow mattress


  • Cold water 
  • Mild liquid cleaner 
  • Clean towels (preferably white) 
  • Baking soda (see above) 


  • Spray bottle 
  • Hydrogen peroxide 
  • Lemon juice 

Spot clean 

As soon as your solutions are ready you can begin spot cleaning. See below for details of each cleaning solution. 

Hydrogen peroxide: For tough yellow stains, you need to head straight in with the hard stuff: hydrogen peroxide. Before you commit it’s worth noting that hydrogen peroxide can bleach some fabrics, so make sure you test on a small area of the mattress first. If you’re good to go, then use a solution that is 3%. Use a cloth to dab the stained area and leave to sit for some time before blotting away with a damp cloth. 

Lemon: Lemon juice is a natural deterrent that will lighten the yellow stain. Add lemon juice to the stained area and let it sit for one hour before blotting away. This might not be the most effective solution, but it’s a cheaper and more natural alternative. 

Baking soda: Baking soda is good for stains, see above for the full instructions. 

Mild cleaning solution: Add a small amount of cleaning solution with cold water. Dampen the cloth into the solution and blot onto yellow stained areas. Make sure to blot not rub – rubbing might push the stain further into the mattress. Let it sit for a short time before blotting away with a clean, dry cloth. 

Odourless refresh
As stated above, baking soda is a great way to remove smells and odours from a mattress. To do this, follow the steps above. In short: sprinkle baking soda over the mattress and let it sit for many hours (possibly overnight) before hoovering. 

Dry your mattress 
To prevent mould, it’s important to make sure that the mattress has dried properly before using. Ideally, place the mattress in sunlight for an air dry, but if that’s not possible, or to speed up the process a hairdryer on a cool setting can be used. 

Moving forward, to prevent the mattress from further damage or yellow staining, it might be worth buying a mattress protector that can be placed underneath the sheet and, or matter topper. You should also rotate your mattress every few months, air out and hoover regularly to remove dust. Getting into the habit of looking after your mattress can not only help prolong its life, but also reduce stains and discolouration.

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