The City Mattress Blog

How to Deodorize a Mattress


sitting on bed

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Have you recently noticed a faint yet not-so-pleasant smell coming from your mattress? It’s all right; it happens to all of us! But don’t worry. Deodorizing a mattress is not as complicated as you might think. Let’s take a look at some quick and easy ways to freshen up and deodorize your mattress so you can get back to enjoying a good night’s sleep. 

Option 1: Vacuum

Vacuuming your mattress regularly is one of the simplest ways to deodorize it. Vacuuming helps remove dust, dirt and other allergens that can trap smells and accumulate over time. To ensure you get the best results, use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment and a HEPA filter to trap everything you’re pulling out. Make sure to vacuum both sides of the mattress and pay special attention to the seams and crevices where dust can easily accumulate. Vacuuming your mattress once every two months should help keep it clean and odor-free.

Option 2: Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great option for deodorizing your mattress. It’s a natural and non-toxic solution that helps to absorb moisture and neutralize odors. To use baking soda, simply sprinkle it liberally over the entire surface of your mattress. To get an even distribution, try using a flour sifter. Then, let it sit for at least two to three hours. However, the longer, the better! For example, you’ll notice the best results if you do this in the morning and can give it 8 to 12 hours. After the allotted time, vacuum up the baking soda with an upholstery attachment. This should help remove any lingering odors and keep your mattress fresh and clean. For best results, repeat this process every few months or as needed.

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Option 3: Essential Oils

Essential oils are a great way to deodorize your mattress. Not only do they smell great, but they also have antimicrobial properties that can help keep your mattress clean and fresh. Essential oils work best when used in conjunction with the baking soda method. 

Please, whatever you do, don’t just drip essential oils onto your mattress. The smell could end up being overpowering, and it could stain your mattress. Instead, start by adding three to five drops of essential oil to the baking soda before sprinkling it over the mattress. If it’s your first time, use only a few drops. You can increase it in future treatments if you decide you need more. 

toxic free room freshener

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Lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon and clove are popular for their pleasant scents and deodorizing properties. However, be cautious when using essential oils around pets, as many can be toxic if ingested or inhaled. For this reason, it is best to avoid using essential oils if your pet spends time in the bedroom or opt for pet-safe essential oils instead. To keep your mattress smelling fresh, repeat this process every few months when you do your baking soda treatment.

Option 4: Cornstarch

Cornstarch is an excellent option for deodorizing your mattress. It helps absorb body oils, moisture and odors, making it an ideal solution for freshening your mattress. To use this method, simply mix cornstarch with your baking soda in a 50/50 ratio in a jar and shake it up. Then sprinkle the mixture over your mattress and let it sit for at least two hours. But, again, the longer, the better. After that, you can vacuum the powder to remove any excess residue. You can use this method whenever you do the baking soda treatment or every second time as needed.

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Option 5: Vinegar

If your mattress has stains that need cleaning, you can opt for white vinegar. White vinegar is a great natural solution for removing odors and stains from your mattress. To use this method, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and shake it up. Spray the mixture over stained areas, but sparingly, as you don’t want your mattress damp or wet. 

Let it sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the vinegar to work its magic. Then blot the area with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture. Finish off by vacuuming the mattress once it’s completely dry. As white vinegar is quite strong, you’ll want to let your mattress air out for some time before putting the sheets back on or sleeping in the bed. Repeat this one as needed. 

person hand spray vinegar solution

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Option 6: Laundry Detergent

If you’re wondering how to clean mattress stains that are more stubborn, you can try using laundry detergent. Start by making a mixture of one part laundry detergent, one part baking soda and enough lukewarm water to make it into a paste. Spread this over the stained areas and let it sit for at least an hour. Then, remove the paste with a damp towel and let it fully dry before following up with a quick vacuum. This is another one of those as-needed treatments, best combined with the baking soda method for best results. 

What Not to Use to Deodorize Your Mattress

Now that we’ve explained some simple ways to deodorize your mattress, let’s discuss a few products and methods you should avoid. 

  • Don’t ever use bleach or harsh chemicals on your mattress. Not only could this cause significant damage to the fabric, but it can also release toxic fumes into the air. 
  • Avoid using steam cleaners for mattresses, as this can cause permanent damage to your mattress. 
  • Avoid using products like fabric fresheners and fragrances, as these can leave a residue on your mattress that could be hard to remove.

Other Ways to Keep Your Mattress Fresh

In addition to the methods outlined above, there are also a few other ways to keep your mattress fresh and odor-free:

  • Mattress protectors can help keep liquids from seeping into your mattress and provide an extra layer of protection against dust mites and allergens. They are also great for keeping sweat and body oils from becoming trapped in the fabric of your mattress over time. 
  • Mattress pads act as a cushion between you and the mattress itself, providing comfort while helping to absorb moisture that could otherwise get trapped in the bedding material. Some can be washed when needed for added convenience.

Final Thoughts

You should always test any cleaning solution on a small, discreet area of your mattress before using it on the entire surface. This way, you can ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration or any other damage to your mattress fabric. And, last but not least, keep up with regular mattress maintenance and cleaning to keep it in top shape. With these tips, you can enjoy a clean, fresh-smelling mattress for years to come. After all, our mattresses are where we spend one-third of our life — so why not make them as comfortable and inviting as possible?