How To Clean A Mattress With Baking Soda and Vinegar

Have you ever tried cleaning your mattress with baking soda and vinegar? Or are you wondering when was the last time you cleaned your mattress? If you are not sure, it's probably advisable to give it a good clean. In total you spend about 4 months a year in it, so why not? 

There are lots of mattress cleaning products out there. But if you are trying to be environmentally friendly, then the two cleaning agents that every household has are baking soda and vinegar.

Even though vinegar might smell like a salad dressing, it is a great household cleaner. It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties to get rid of germs, fungi, and bacteria. On the other hand, baking soda is also an effective cleaner because its high pH neutralizes acids and odors.

Before we share with you how to clean your mattress, let's highlight what causes yellow stains, which are quite common in many mattresses.

READ NOW: The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Mattresses
How To Clean A Mattress With Baking Soda and Vinegar

What Causes Yellow Stains on Mattress


Did you know that up to 1 liter of sweat is produced in an average night's sleep? Sweat falls freely onto the mattress. It mixes with dead skin cells, body oils and accumulates as droplets.  The mixture can be very hard to remove from your mattress, but definitely not impossible.


Because you spend a third of your life inside the bed, it is only normal for bacteria to accumulate on the mattress. The droppings from dust mites can highly contribute to this build-up. This is one of the most common reasons why mattresses are dirty and smelly.

Food and Drink

Your mattress can easily get stained with foods, drinks and can even cause allergies. If you're the kind of a person who carries food to the bedroom, you have to be much more careful. These food particles will not be friendly to your mattress.

Dust Particles

Most modern mattresses are made from synthetic materials which do not let dust particles pass through. So what happens is that the dust settles on the surface of the mattress and accumulates over time. You'll definitely not like the sight.


Dandriff comes from pet fur or human skin flakes. It can clog your pores and cause acne breakouts. If you are allergic, dust mites are another reason why your mattress turns yellow.


Yes, it's not a pleasant topic, but it happens. If you have young children or pets, accidents do happen from time to time, and they will stain your bed sheets. The mattress absorbs the urine, which then starts breaking down the fibers over time. Wee can do so much harm to your mattress, but you can remove it using baking soda and vinegar.

how to clean a mattress

How to Get Wee Out of Mattress

Accidents from pets and children are common, but you can't allow them to ruin your precious mattress. If you can catch the accident faster, then here is a simple guide on how to clean it.

What you need:

  • Baking soda

  • White vinegar

  • Spray bottle

  • Towels

  • Vacuum cleaner

Step 1: Act Quickly

This is the main step to remove accidents from your mattress. The longer you allow it to sit in the mattress, the harder it would be to clean. If possible, seek medical attention for your child and try to clean up as much of your bed yourself.

If you can't catch it in time, you can at least attempt to soak up as much pee as you can using towels. Use a fresh towel and continuously wipe the area until it absorbs all of the accidents.

Step 2: Sprinkle Baking Soda on Mattress

Creating a baking soda solution will be your next move. To do this, pour a 1/4 cup of baking soda into a spray bottle and fill it up with water. You can adjust the recipe depending on the size of your mattress.

Spray the solution all over the surface of your mattress until completely wet. Leave it for 10 minutes to an hour for the baking soda to do its thing. Be sure to use a mask to avoid breathing in the baking soda.

Step 3: Use Vacuum to Suck Up Baking Soda

After you have given enough time for the baking soda to do its magic, it's time to suck it up using a vacuum cleaner. You need your hand attachment so that you can get rid of the powder stuck deep inside the mattress.

Step 4: Use White Vinegar to Neutralize the Pee

Mix 50% vinegar and 50% water in a spray bottle. You can adjust this mixture depending on how big your mattress is. Spray the mixture all over your mattress until it's completely wet. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Use Towels to Suck Up Vinegar

By now, the vinegar should have soaked up most of the pee on your mattress. Use a fresh towel to wipe down the area until all of it is absorbed by the towel. Repeat as needed until you're satisfied with how clean it looks.

Step 6: Spray Down Mattress with Water

To prevent the mattress from smelling too much like vinegar, use a spray bottle filled with plain water to dampen the area. Leave it for ten minutes before using your favorite vacuum cleaning attachment to suck up all excess moisture.

what causes yellow stains on mattress

How to Clean a Sweaty Mattress

Sweat on your mattress might seem scary, but it's very easy to clean. All you need is baking soda, distilled white vinegar, water, and a vacuum cleaner. Let's get started!

Step 1: Sprinkle Baking Soda on Mattress

By far, the simplest way to remove sweat from your mattress is simply sprinkling baking soda on it. Just shake some baking soda over the mattress and leave it to sit for at least an hour.

Step 2: Vacuum Baking Soda

After you've given enough time for the baking soda to soak up all of the sweat, use your vacuum cleaner to suck it up. Be sure to use a brush tool so that you can get deep into the fibers of the mattress to pick up as much residue as possible.

Step 3: Spray with Vinegar Solution

Now that the baking soda is gone, it's time to use vinegar to neutralize any remaining odors on your mattress. Mix 50% water and 50% distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Give it 10 minutes before wiping everything down with a cloth.

Step 4: Let It Sit

Before you start vacuuming, leave the vinegar on your mattress to soak up any leftover moisture. After ten minutes, use the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner to suck up all of the liquid.

If you follow these steps exactly as recommended, then there is nothing that can stop you from having a sparkling clean mattress.

Consider a Mattress Protector

There is no need for despair for those of you who think that your mattress is too stained and cannot be cleaned. There is something you can try before buying a new mattress, and that is to buy a waterproof protector for your mattress.  This is like a sheet you can buy in the supermarket or online that fits over your mattress and covers it.

To use this, simply put it on top of your existing bed sheets and then place your fitted sheet over it. This sheet has an absorbent lining that will soak up any liquids that come into contact with it before they seep through to your mattress. This is a great and cheap way to protect and prolong the life of your mattress.

READ NOW: Find The Best Mattress Protector - Buyers Guide

Related Mattress Care Questions

How do I protect my mattress from stains?

Although stains are inevitable over time, you can always protect your mattress by using a mattress protector. This is like a sheet that fits right on top of it to provide an extra layer of protection against spills, stains, dirt, and sweat.

Can I wash my memory foam mattress?

While memory foam mattresses are much easier to clean than other types because you can simply remove the cover, it is still not advisable to wash them unless you have no other option. Memory foam is sensitive and should always be dry cleaned by a professional if possible. Otherwise, it could break down over time or become less supportive.

If I buy a waterproof protector for my mattress, will I also need a regular protector? 

No, this is simply an extra layer of protection you can buy to protect mattresses from stains. You never need to use more than one protector at a time, so if your mattress already has a waterproof cover, then it is safe to say you won't need another one for this purpose.

How long does it take vinegar to remove sweat smells from a mattress?

Vinegar only needs 10 minutes to neutralize any odors and remove all moisture from your mattress. After this time, switch over to the vacuum cleaner and suck up the liquid before it has a chance to settle into the fabric of your bedding. 

Bottom Line

It's totally possible to remove sweat smells from your mattress. By using simple household ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda, you can get back to sleeping on a fresh, clean bed that doesn't smell like old gym socks.

The best part is that all of the cleaning products leave no harmful residues behind, so it should be safe for anyone with sensitive skin to use them. We hope you now feel more confident in knowing how to clean a mattress with baking soda and vinegar. 

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