How to Sanitize a Mattress: Full Disinfectant Guide

  • by GR0
  • 8 min read

Considering the amount of sleeping and laying around we all do, especially in the current COVID-19 world, it might be time to start thinking about sanitizing and disinfecting that old mattress of yours. 

Even if you wash your sheets once a week, sanitizing your mattress takes it all one step further to make sure your sleeping spot is nice and clean. Ideally, you should do this at least a couple of times each year. 

It is best to clean your mattress outside if the weather permits. Doing this will help air things out, and the sunlight can also help disinfect the mattress because of the sun’s UV rays. 

If you can’t go outside, try opening up some windows before you get started. Having fresh air around you while you clean a mattress will significantly reduce the time it takes for the mattress to dry, meaning you get to sleep on your nice clean mattress much sooner than you would otherwise. 

Step One: Prepping the Mattress for Cleaning

Start the process by removing all of the bedding from your mattress and throwing all of these items into the washing machine -- may as well wash your sheets while you wash your mattress! 

Once you have completely stripped the mattress, grab your vacuum cleaner, and use the upholstery tool tovacuum away as much dust and grime as possible. 

If you are cleaning your mattress after a spill or other liquid leakage, grab some towels and try to soak up as much of the liquid as you can before vacuuming or moving on to the rest of the steps. 

Step Two: Stain Treatment

Once you have soaked up any wet spots and vacuumed the dust away, it is time to treat any stains you see. 

If you know what certain stains were caused by, you can go ahead and purchase the appropriate stain removal product for that kind of stain. If you have no idea, which, honestly who does, then go ahead and use any commercially available stain remover to try to tackle it. 

One great way to get rid of stains is to mix castile soap with hydrogen peroxide and blot it into the stain. OurCitrus Castile Soap is multi-purpose and anti-microbial, making it perfect for all kinds of messes,andit contains no toxic chemicals!

For particularly tough stains or smelly spots, grab some all-purpose cleaner and wipe down the area, using a water-dampened towel to dilute and wash away the solution afterward. Take care not to fully saturate the mattress, because a soaked mattress can end up moldy and mildewy. You should aim to only clean the surface using the multi-purpose cleaner. 

Many all-purpose cleaners smell great but contain ingredients that you probably don’t want hanging around in your mattress once the job is done, making it hard to pick a product that will get things done without putting your health at risk. Plenty of formulations contain toxic chemicals that can pose health risks over time, making them poor choices in the long run. 

Dr. Brite is committed to offering effective and safe products, and ourMulti-Purpose Cleaner is no different. Our formula is bleach and chlorine-free, and it includes natural ingredients like orange peel oil which is what gives it its great citrus scent. 

Step Three: Deodorizing the Mattress

The next step is todeodorize your mattress. There are several ways this can be done, but the best way is to sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress and let it sit for, ideally, 24 hours. 

If you have never cleaned your mattress before, don’t be shy with this step. Using the entirety of a box of baking soda is quite standard for this purpose, and will give you great fresh results. 

Once the baking soda has been sitting for a while, vacuum it off of the mattress using the upholstery attachment again. If your mattress still isn’t quite as fresh as you would like, you can repeat the process again, but one time is usually enough to get the job done.

Step Four: Disinfecting the Mattress

The final step to having a nice, clean mattress is to give it an overall surface disinfecting. 

Choose any antibacterial spray you like best, but make sure it does not contain bleach or chlorine, as these can damage the fabric of your mattress. If you opt for a liquid cleaner rather than a spray, use it with a rag and run it over the surface of the mattress, making sure to only clean the surface without actually saturating the mattress with liquid so as to avoid mold and mildew. 

If you do use a spray, spritz it lightly all over the mattress, making sure to get both sides. Wipe it with a clean, damp rag, and then give your mattress time to dry out. It is best to let the mattress dry for several hours on each side to make sure that everything is fresh and dry before you make up the bed again and snuggle in for a good night’s sleep. 

What If I Find Bugs Hiding In My Mattress

As frightening as it may sound, it is common for pests and mites to make themselves comfortable on and in your mattress. If you discover any critters during the cleaning process, your mattress requires more of adeep cleaning

One way to prevent critters from being drawn to your mattress in the first place is by spraying with some homemade bed bug spray. You can make your own by mixing 2 cups of vinegar with 15 drops of your favorite essential oil. This will repel bugs without leaving your bed smelling like a kitchen cabinet. 

Spray the mattress down well and leave it in the sun to dry before spraying it again. If you are using this spray to treat an infestation, continue this process until there are no more bugs. 

Vinegar can also be used as a dust mite spray, and once all of these pests are gone you should spray the mattress with an antibacterial disinfectant spray to make sure things are all clean and ready to go. 

Oh, and by the way, you definitely want to sanitize your hands throughout the entire cleaning process, and then wash them well when you are done! 

Dr. Brite’sCitrus Hand Sanitizer has a 70% isopropyl alcohol formula and it contains no toxic chemicals, meaning your hands will be clean and your health will be protected. 

Sanitizing your hands a couple of times throughout the process of cleaning your mattress helps make sure that all of the grime and bacteria you are ridding your mattress of do not find a new home on your hands and fingers, because who wants that? 

It also helps to avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes until after the process is done and you have washed your hands. If not to avoid being contaminated with germs, then do it to avoid the sneezing and itchy eyes that can be caused by dust and dust mites. 

Once you have completed all of these steps, congratulations, you now have a clean mattress that smells like new! Having a clean mattress is beneficial for several reasons, including the fact that it is no longer full of germs and bacteria, and it can also give you better peace of mind when you finally turn out the lights to get those much needed eight hours of sleep.


You may not realize it, but your mattress is likely full of bacteria, germs, and even critters sometimes, and cleaning your bed sheets every week is not enough to make sure your sleeping area is clean and sanitized. 

You should aim to clean your mattress a couple of times each year at least, and there are several ways to go about doing this. You can start by stripping the mattress and treating stains, and vacuuming away any dust and surface grime that you see. Using baking soda after these steps will help deodorize the mattress, and you should sprinkle it all over the mattress and let it sit for 24 hours, then vacuum it away and follow up with a surface-cleaning using your favorite multi-purpose cleaner (see also winter cleaning tips).

If you find a bug infestation during the cleaning process, you can fight off the critters using a bug repellant that is non-toxic and fabric-safe, and repeat the usage until the bugs are gone. 

Throughout the cleaning process, you should make sure that you are only cleaning the surface (see how to sanitize money, too) rather than saturating the mattress with liquid, as a soggy mattress can end up growing mold and mildew, essentially canceling out all of your hard work.

Deep cleaning your mattress helps ensure that you are sleeping on a sanitized bed, and it can bring you more peace of mind. 

For more cleaning tips, check out Dr. Brite’s blog for how-to’s for sanitizing, disinfecting, surface cleaning, and more!


1. What is the best way to sanitize a mattress?

Use a steam cleaner, baking soda, or antibacterial spray to completely clean your sleeping surface. Allow it to dry thoroughly before dressing your bed.

2. How do you remove bacteria from a mattress?

Apply a light coating of disinfectant solution or antibacterial spray to all parts of your mattress, including the top, bottom, and sides. Dip a clean towel in warm water and wring it out as much as possible to thoroughly clean all surfaces once they have been sprayed.

3. Can I spray alcohol on my bed to disinfect?

The main reason to avoid using alcohol to eliminate bedbugs has nothing to do with the insects themselves. Isopropyl alcohol is a very flammable liquid. As a result of its rapid drying time, spraying it on upholstered furniture, carpets, textiles, clothes, and beds constitutes a fire hazard.

4. Can you bleach a mattress?

Bleach should only be used for stubborn stains on white mattresses. You can use it to remove bed-wetting stains and neutralize any smells or urine remaining in the mattress. Additionally, bleach can be enhanced by diluting it with water and a small amount of liquid soap.

5. Does hydrogen peroxide clean mattress?

By combining 2 tablespoons, you can make a cleaning solution. Baking soda, 1 tablespoon. detergent, and 1 cup 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide degrades quickly, so use it as soon as possible. Discard any remaining solution. You can use a spray bottle or a cloth soaked in the solution to apply the solution to the mattress.

6. How do you deodorize a mattress?

In a spray bottle, combine equal parts of water and distilled white vinegar. Spray the remedy sparingly all over your mattress. Don't overwet it, and let it dry entirely in the air. Next, lean your mattress against a wall and spray the other side with the solution.

7. What happens when you pour baking soda into your bed?

The odor-producing elements and moisture are naturally absorbed by baking soda. Because of this, it makes a fantastic all-natural mattress cleaning. The entire surface of your mattress should be extensively covered in 1-3 cups of baking soda, especially if it hasn't been cleaned in a while or has a strong odor.

8. How do you clean and disinfect a memory foam mattress?

The best approach to sterilize a memory foam mattress is to softly sprinkle it with a solution made by combining 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 cup water in a spray bottle. Pay close attention to avoid soaking the surface. Give the vinegar mixture 30 minutes to sit.

9. How can I clean my mattress without a steamer?

We adore using baking soda, a time-tested cleanser, for routine cleaning. Remove the sheets, then liberally sprinkle the product onto the mattress. Allow to sit for a few hours, then completely vacuum.