How To Clean and Freshen Your Mattress

Freshen Your Mattress

This past weekend my niece Jennifer was freaking me out!

It was a perfect evening and we were eating a lovely dinner in my sister’s beautiful backyard (I mean there were literally birds singing and the sound of a babbling fountain too!) and my niece decides to start talking about dust mites and bed bugs and all sorts of disgusting stuff that relates to our mattresses! It was gross I tell you!

I am not going to subject you to the disgusting stuff I learned that night…..(ok…maybe just ONE thing I learned…An average mattress contains 10,000 to 10,000,000 dust mites! ewwwww)….but I will tell you that cleaning your mattress regularly is a very good idea! And if you’re like me….you haven’t done it lately. Or ever. :-/

cleaning your mattress

Dust mites live in pillows, bed covers, mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpeting, even clothing. One of their favorite places is a mattress. Vacuuming your mattresses every few weeks will help to control the dust mite population. It also helps to put plastic coverings on your mattress that essential SEAL it…but who really wants to do that?? I don’t.

But I can vacuum!

I decided to take a cue from Calli at and mix up my own mattress-cleaning concoction.  Baking soda with a little Lavender essential oil mixed in.


Freshen Your Mattress Put approximately 1 cup of baking soda into a small mason jar and add 4 to 5 drops of Lavender essential oil (you can, of course, use your favorite scent) and give it a good shake! This was enough to do half my king-sized bed. I just quickly shook up another batch for the other side.


cleaning your mattress        
cleaning your mattress

Before you start it’s a good idea to strip off all your bedding and wash it in HOT water (at least 130 degrees)! This will kill the dust mites in your sheets and blankets. While your bedding is in the washing machine, pour enough baking soda through a sifter or strainer to lightly dust your mattress with it. Leave on for an hour or more, allowing it time to draw out dirt, moisture, and odor.


cleaning your mattress cleaning your mattress

Using the hose end of your vacuum and an upholstery attachment, thoroughly vacuum the mattress. Vacuum slowly so that you’re using the vacuum suction efficiently to pull out as much debris from within the mattress as possible.


cleaning your mattress

The baking soda not only draws out moisture and dirt, but it also deodorizes and leaves the mattress smelling fresh and clean. The Lavender oil helps calm stress and anxiety and promotes sleep….plus it just SMELLS wonderful!

I think I’m going to sleep very good tonight! :-)



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    • Melanie says

      Michele, with a temper-pedic you should wash your mattress cover. The directions are inside the zipper. You can also vacuum and deodorize the cover just like shown. I wash mine twice a year, vacuum it fairly regularly, but now I’ll be doing some eucalyptus spritzing!

  1. says

    Jillee, I have read that eucalyptus works too. I spray my mattress down with it in a bottle diluted with water while the sheets and blanket are washing in hot water with a few drops added there too. I haven’t vaccummed my mattress in a while so thanks for reminding me. My sister puts the oil on without diluting but still uses a spray bottle. Bet her husband has no trouble breathing for a few nights, huh? Tne company beeyoutiful has great essential oil tips in their catalog.

  2. says

    Thanks for this tip. I’ve been vacuuming the mattress, but like the idea of deodorizing and pleasantly scenting it too. Without using the baking soda, you’ll vacuum up nearly a cup of dust mites and skin cells if you haven’t done it in a while. It’s eye opening and will keep you from neglecting this task!

  3. Rho says

    Thank you so much for all of your helpful tips! I’ve been making small steps to having a more natural home, and all of your simple tutorials have shown me I can do more & have fun at it! I love it! Just about to move, so this is PERFECT timing!!! Clean mattress, YAY!

  4. lynn says

    Just asking…. does the lavender repel the mites or is it just a favorite scent?

    And… I love your site. I shared it with my daughter in law and she also loves it and is sharing it.

  5. Becki says

    Thank you so much for posting this, and as an email this morning! My fiance was sick last week and I have been wondering how to clean the mattress, what perfect timing! I just put some on my mattress now, and used Wild Berry oil, smells so fresh! Thanks again, Jillee!

    • lynda allen says

      Tea Tree oil would work especially on bed bugs but it is very strong. I use it to clean parrot cages. If I where to use it on my beds I would use only one maybe two drops. If it is to strong it smells like roach spray. We used to put it in the kids shampoo for lice (it worked) but my youngest daughter could smell it from the front door when we mixed it.

  6. Julie says

    If you are allergic to baking soda I would try Borax. It works as a drying agent and as a refresher . I know it is recommended to sprinkle in carpets. It is supposed to kill fleas by drying them out.

  7. Marla says

    Wow, get out of my head!! Wait, no, don’t…. You read my mind. I was just thinking today, “I should post on Jillee’s blog a question about how to clean a mattress.” This has helped. Although, I was wondering the best way to get rid of unsightly stains on a mattress. We’ve tried sleeping with a mattress pad, but the hubby hates them.

  8. Tam says

    Well I just sprinkled my bed! Wow sure makes my bedroom smell good…now can’t wait to go to bed tonight! wish I would have read comments earlier…didn’t know about the borax…we have a flea problem right now…just bombed the house…hence reason why cleaning blankets and such. I used the lavendar oil. Then I put the combination into an old garlic powder container I had…that worked great to sprinkle it onto mattress. Now to just wait an hour or so to get it all swept up! Thanks again for the tip!

  9. Joy says

    Thank you soo much for your wonderful tips and giggles! I found your blog about a week ago as I was searching for homemade cleaning items and am very pleased with what I have tried thus far…including the english muffin bread! I will definitely try this for my mattresses. I normally just vacuum, but it would be nice to add a calming scent. I appreciate all that you do!!

  10. Cathy Seifer says

    Is there anything toput in the mix to kill the dustmites? Is that even necessary or does the vacuuming take care of that? I saw the post about borax killing fleas, I wonder if it works on dustmites too.

  11. Cathy Seifer says

    By the way, I so enjoy this website. I get so much useful info from you Jillee, and from your readers. Thans for doing such a great job with your site. You are much appreciated. :-)

  12. Dana says

    SO, I did this today with my mattress…I’m very happy to know I’ll be sleeping on a freshly cleaned mattress. BUT do you think you could also use this on a memory foam topper? I’ve just double checked the label and I’m not supposed to wash it (only the cover) I’d love to know your thoughts…

  13. Elisa says

    Thank you for all your great tips and testing things out (so I don’t have to! :)), you’re awesome and you make my life easier! I’ve recently been moving to a more natural home in general. Anywho, back to dust mites – if you swap out the lavender oil for tea tree oil, it will repel the buggers. They hate the stuff! And putting a few drops in with your laundry detergent while washing the sheets doesn’t hurt either. It’s like kryptonite for fleas too, so I do the same with my dog bedding. Hope that helps and looking forward to your next great tip!

  14. Karina says

    After reading this post I couldn’t wait to clean my mattress but one thing stuck in my mind; you recommended washing bedding in hot water, 130 degrees or so, to kill dust mites.

    I have always gone on the premise that if it goes in the dryer any living organism is killed. But, for this post I did the research and found that household clothes dryers run at a temp around 170 degrees. I think we’re all good if everything goes through a dryer cycle.

    I have some extra pillows on my bed that aren’t used regularly and don’t fit in my washer. I put each in the dryer on high for 20 minutes to rid them of any offenders. Then I used a mixture of white vinegar, alcohol & lavender to freshen (I use this same mixture to freshen the sofa and as a room spray). Not to worry, I do take them to the wash house on occasion as well.

    Thank you for all your wonderful posts Jillee!

  15. Bonnie says

    I think I love absolutely every single tip you’ve ever given. I want to say thank you for taking the time to share what you learn with the rest of us! My family and I are moving into a new home Monday and I’m going through your posts for cleaning information I can use when I go there tomorrow to clean up :) I can’t wait to put these things into practice!!

  16. ashley says

    I too love all of your posts! My mattress came with a dust bag thingie BUT i’m totally going to try this on my carpet and maybe my couches!!! probably with tea tree oil or orange oil because i’ve heard so many good things about them both :)

    p.s. my baking soda looks just like that! That darn bulk container always rips open next to the zipper!! I saw a BPA free air tight container on amazon a while back and have it on my wishlist for baking soda :)

  17. Heather says

    i am so glad i found this!!!!! i purchased a new bed set from a family friend and the mattress REAKS of ciggarettes! i am a non smoker so its definatly a problem so i’m trying this to see of it will help! we are using Japanese Cherry Blossom oil (my fave!) instead of lavender and i can already smell a difference! i really hope it works. thanks so much!

  18. Suz says

    I am highly allergic to dust mites, so have to regularly wash beddings and all. Its hard to regulate temperatures while washing clothes. So I add diluted vinegar (1 part vinegar with 3 or 4 parts water) for a wash cycle.
    This kills the dust mites. Thanks! :)

  19. Lucia says

    Hi Jill,

    I also love your site. Such awesome tips. I do have one and it’s concerning my daughters mattress. She has a problem with peeing in bed and I don’t know how to clean the top. I’ve tried to use Clorox Clean-Up spray and it doesn’t really help. Is there anything else I can use to get the stain out and the smell as well?


    • says

      I’ve never tried it on a mattress, but I do my fair share of cleaning dog urine from our carpets… I spray it down with a 1:2 vinegar and water ratio, then sprinkle with baking soda, let it dry completely, and vacuum up. It may take 2 treatments if the stain/smell is bad but it will always work to get the smell/stain out for me! You will actually see the baking soda absorbing the stain. It’s gross and neat at the same time! :)

      • Kyra says

        Do you shampoo the carpets first? That is what I usually do, but putting the baking soda on there after you spray the Vinegar/Water mixture is new for me? Or, do you do this step without the shampoo machine step ? To clean my carpets first, I use a cleaner that works so well. It’s called “Awesome Cleaner”(yellow liquid in a clear spray bottle, red lettering-only 99 cents). You can purchase it at the Dollar Tree or they now have it at Walmart or the 99 cent store. You wouldn’t think it was great cleaner for anything because of the price, but trust me… It is the best for cleaning anything that you can think of, especially carpets. And the Vinegar is also inexpensive, and the only thing that neutralizes urine or smells.

  20. Tasha says

    I saw one of your posts through Pinterest yesterday & have spent hours going page to page looking at all your posts. You have some wonderful & creative ideas & make it fun with your comical tips & comments. So glad I stumbled upon your site! Thanks again!

  21. Keshia Carwile says

    This may be a dumb question but where can you buy essential oils and what brand do I need to buy? Is it like the ones they sell at Bath & Body Works? I am hoping to clean my mattress today. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • says

      I buy the majority of mine from I’ve never seen them at Bath & Body Works but they might have something similar. For the mattress you won’t need super high quality ones like what Doterra sells. You should be able to get some at your local health food store as well.

  22. says

    It’s 12:30am where I live. I’ve been searching and making lists of things I want to try from your website. My 8yr old Granddaughter, Kate, is staying the weekend with me and we are going to mix up a little of everything. We are going to have a ball!
    I’ll let you know how everything works out.
    Thx so much-Sandy

  23. shanna says

    i do want to say that all of the recipes I’ve tried on this site have been absolutely wonderful. thanks for posting such helpful things.. i do have a question though, can i use washing soda or do i need to use the baking soda for this…

  24. says

    One other issue issue is that video games are typically serious in nature with the principal focus on studying rather than fun. Although, we have an entertainment part to keep the kids engaged, just about every game is normally designed to develop a specific skill set or course, such as math concepts or scientific disciplines. Thanks for your posting.

  25. Mary says

    I am willing to try this mattress cleaning suggestion with baking soda and lavender, etc.
    My question is concerning my cats who like to sleep on my bed.
    Would it harm them??

    • says

      Hi Mary! I wouldn’t think that it would harm the cats, especially since you probably use sheets on top of the mattress. But you might to Google what essentials oils are safe around cats just to be safe.

  26. Lisette Luckhardt says

    The house dust mite (sometimes referred to by allergists as HDM) is a cosmopolitan guest in human habitation. Dust mites feed on organic detritus such as flakes of shed human skin and flourish in the stable environment of dwellings. House dust mites are a common cause of asthma and allergic symptoms worldwide. “’..

    Take a look at all of the newest article on our very own internet site http://wellnessdigest.cods Lisette Luckhardt

  27. maria says

    I have a 3yr old daugther and she always want to sleep with me but the bad thing is that acouple of time i have woken up because she wet the bed. I have tried clean it but insted it leaves a stan. What can I do?

  28. Michelle says

    I’m not sure if this suggestion was mentioned but I was diagnosed as being HIGHLY allergic to dust mites, and this was how I combatted my problems. If you suffer from being stuffed up every single morning upon wakening and have sniffles, runny nose, and coughing..this tip will WORK if in fact you are at all allergic to dust mites!

    1) Invest in a bed cover casing. I know it’s expensive but it DOES work! I noticed a difference the very next morning and am SO incredibly happy I made the switch for a mere $200. ALSO, buy at least ONE dust mite/bed bug pillow cover casing for about $15 from TJMaxx. If you’re going to be stuffing your face into your pillow, you’ll be thanking me later!
    3) Vacuum your mattress thoroughly.
    4) Mix 6-8 drops of TEATREE oil in a spray bottle with the rest being tap water. Strip the bed of all linens down to the mattress and spray BOTH sides of your mattress, allowing each side to dry before flipping (about 20 mins). It will have a very strong odor but WILL disappear once dried. I also sprayed this mixture on all of my pillows, rugs, and on the living room furniture. Teatree oil works because it kills dust mites on contact. Yes, please!

    • Michelle says

      I forgot to mention..I know you suggested washing your linens in hot water of at least 130F but I found that if you stuff your pillows and down comforters in XL trash bags and leave them in the freezer (large freezers, not the mini ones attached to your refrigerators) for 8 hrs to overnight, it’s a surefire way to kill off any lingering dust mites.

      Also, as a side tip..Dust mites have “sticky” hands and they cling to fibers so vacuuming them won’t necessarily work all too well. But what IS great about vacuuming is sucking up all the dead ones that have been laying around for all these years. I was also suggested to buy a HEPA filter for my vacuum. Additionally, dust mites don’t live all too awfully long so suffocating them in the casing around your bed will eventually kill them. YAY!

  29. Kayla says

    I’m wondering if you can use this on furniture. I have a love seat that I bought from a friend and every now and then I notice an odor (like a dog or cat peed on it). Will this work to freshen it up as well??


  1. […] 10. Freshen that mattress….We recently had a case of the grossest thing I could ever possibly imagine with one of our children….pinworms. Don’t judge people…you can get them anywhere! :-) Needless to say, I went on a psycho cleaning frenzy for a while there, but this is one of my favorite things I did in that frenzy. Makes your bedroom smell heavenly! […]

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