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How To Get Odour Out Of Mattress & Make It Fresh?

image of our writer Filip Maric

Written By Filip

Sleep Advisor

Featured image of how to get odour out of mattress.

29 April 2024 9 min read

There are several ways to solve this problem. You can hire professionals, try odour removers yourself, or buy a new mattress. You can also remove the unpleasant smell with various sprays. Here are the best ways on how to get odor out of mattress.

Instead of calling professionals, you can neutralize unpleasant odours from the mattress yourself, remove ugly stains, and refresh it to make it like new. The best-known ally in the fight against unpleasant odours is baking soda. You should remove the cover, vacuum the mattress and sprinkle the product over the entire surface. Regardless of the size of the mattress, prepare a larger package. Sometimes it is necessary to apply several times or several layers. You can also take advantage of distilled white vinegar and dish soap.

Leave the mattress sprinkled with baking soda for a couple of hours, the best results are if it remains sprinkled for a day. After the specified time, vacuum your mattress. This procedure will remove dirt, sweat, dead skin cells, dust and unpleasant odours from your mattress. For a stronger effect, try baking soda in combination with other cleaning products.

Why does a mattress have an unpleasant smell?

A mattress absorbs your body cells, sweat, and dust for years. Mattress smell will become more noticeable over time, due to the sweat and dirt that can be left behind – especially when you have children and pets around. That is why it is recommended to replace it every 7 to 12 years in order to always sleep on a quality mattress. Sometimes it is necessary to make a purchase even earlier. For example, if you've been having an unpleasant feeling after waking up for a while, pain in various parts of your body, or you're sleeping poorly, you probably need a new mattress. If you take proper care of it, you can extend its duration up to three years.

Mattress deodorization with baking soda

If you just want to freshen up your mattress a little, baking soda will be enough. Baking soda is unique in that it actually absorbs odours rather than just masking them. Baking soda's basic pH helps neutralize the generally acidic smell of urine stains, while its tendency to absorb liquid helps draw out any remaining moisture.

Sprinkle baking soda over a mattress

a baking soda powder in a small glass pot

Remove the sheets from the bed and put them in the washing machine. Then, pour soda over the entire mattress surface, let it stand for a while and then vacuum. Be sure to use plenty of baking soda and give it plenty of time to soak up all the excess moisture.

The product needs at least half an hour to work, and it is recommended to leave it on for 2 hours. You can leave it on all day.

Vacuum the baking soda

After you have waited enough time, remove the remaining baking soda. A vacuum cleaner is effective when it comes to cleaning your mattress because it gets rid of dust mites. One week of vacuuming should become a habit, and the job is much easier if you have a furniture attachment. This way you protect the fabric. Always clean the base and ends of the bed before returning the mattress. If necessary, repeat the steps until the odour and stains are completely removed.

Mattress deodorization with essentials oils

Essential oils are obtained by different methods of extracting some part of the plant such as root, bark, flower. Therefore, they have the smell and all the therapeutic and medicinal properties of those plants, while being completely safe for you or your environment. Mix a few drops of an essential oil with water, such as lavender or eucalyptus, to mask any unpleasant odours and deodorize a mattress. Whether it's a memory foam mattress or a mattress pad, it will do the trick.

Spray essential oils over the mattress

Essential oils and a slice of a lemon

Now that it's time to start washing, do it carefully. After you have put away the pillow cover, you can remove larger dirt from the surface of the pillow. Use a vacuum cleaner followed by mild detergent and warm water to remove spills or stains. Gently pat only the spots and wipe with a dry towel when finished.

Mattress deodorization with cornstarch

Cornstarch is another handy ingredient used to refresh mattresses. It may also have antimicrobial benefits. Place a small amount of the product on the stain and add a few drops of water. It should work for a few minutes, then wipe the surface with a paper towel.

Mix baking soda and cornstarch together

The cornstarch can also be mixed with baking soda. These two products are a great combination, because while baking soda removes odours, cornstarch absorbs oil. Mix the ingredients until you get a paste. It is enough to leave the mixture for one day, and then vacuum it in the evening.

Spray the mixture over the mattress

If you choose this method, you have several choices. You can simply pour the products in their raw state, along the entire length of the mattress. You can also mix them with water in a spray bottle and treat the surface that way. Regardless of the form of the ingredient, you need to treat both sides of the mattress and pay attention to the corners.

Let it sit for 2 hours

It is recommended to leave the mattress in this state for at least 2 hours. The more time that passes, the better the ingredients will do their job. It will also work better in a well-ventilated room.

Vacuum everything

an image of cleaning a mattress with a vacuum cleaner

The last step is vacuuming. Get a upholstery attachment if you don't already have one and carefully vacuum up the baking soda and cornstarch residue. In this way, you will pick up all the dirt that the products have brought to the surface and the mattress will be ready for use again.

Mattress deodorization with laundry detergent

First determine where the stain is from, whether it is fresh or old. The choice of cleaning agent, sequence of actions and safety rules depend on it. Gently wipe the surface with a sponge soaked in liquid. Do not rub the stains if you do not want to ruin the fabric. Friction damages the material and deforms the product. Wear waterproof gloves when cleaning. Stain removers have a negative effect on the skin.

Mix the laundry detergent & baking soda

Make a solution of laundry detergent & baking soda and put it in a spray bottle. Choose a laundry detergent for sensitive or children's clothes. Pay attention to the choice of products if you also have pets. Use in the same way as baking soda on its own. Spray the affected area with the solution.

Spray it over the mattress

Dilute the detergent in water, pour into a spray bottle. Apply it to the stain and cover with an absorbent cloth. Remove it after some time. Do not exaggerate the amount of detergent and water mixture, because you will over-soak the mattress. This is especially important if you don't have good drying conditions.

Remove it with a towel or a spoon

Using a cleaning towel or paper towels, gently blot the wet areas to absorb as much liquid as possible. Do not rub or scrub the mattress, as this risks pushing the fluid further into the bed. It is enough to apply slight pressure with the fabric and it will pick up the excess liquid by itself. Repeat the process as many times as necessary, but replace the towels or cloths as soon as they become wet.

How to keep the smell fresh as long as possible?

Dormeo Memory Fresh mattress on a bed base

The best way to prevent stains and odours from building up on your mattress is to ensure it is properly protected. We recommend using a high-quality mattress protector — ideally one that's completely waterproof.

It is also important to change your bedding regularly and wash it properly. In this way, you will protect the shower from the accumulation of unpleasant odours. It is recommended to change the bedding once a week. Add a few drops of essential oil from time to time if you want to prolong its freshness. Even if you use a cover all the time, ordinary house dust full of microscopic dust mites penetrates the mattress. That's why it's important to maintain it properly and buy a new one when the time comes.

Get a mattress protector

This accessory will protect your mattress from the worst stains and moisture. It can absorb sweat, so it does not penetrate the mattress. The mattress protector is thinner and can often be machine washed and tumble dried. It is recommended to wash the protection at least 6 times a year. People suffering from allergies should wash the protection even more often. Like pillows, you should replace them every 2 to 3 years.

Ventilate the room regularly

An image of a woman opening up the window and letting fresh air in

Good ventilation is important, because it evaporates all the moisture from the mattress. Otherwise, you can end up with fungus or mold. It is equally important that the bed is of good quality and that there is good ventilation under it.

Another tip is to avoid bed covers or at least don't use them immediately after getting up. Open the windows and let the mattress air out for a while.

Let the sunlight refresh it

Good air flow has a big impact on the health of the mattress. Although everything is fine with your ventilation, it is necessary to take the mattress out to fresh air. It is preferable that it be a place where it will be exposed to a sufficient amount of sun. In this way, excess moisture will disappear, as well as harmful microbes.

Keep your bed foundation clean

Depending on the type of foundation material, maintain the structure regularly. Every time you clean or remove the mattress, vacuum this area as well. After that, wipe it with a damp cloth and a mild detergent for the specific type of furniture. Then, go over the entire surface with a dry absorbent cloth and wait for it to dry completely before putting the mattress back.

Is it possible to remove mold out of a mattress?

Mold is a very persistent problem and spreads quickly. They are in the air all the time and as soon as they get the ideal conditions they will immediately start to develop. Such conditions include a combination of moisture and heat. For example, they can appear in rooms that are not sufficiently ventilated. Even if you clean your bed regularly, you can still get mold. When it comes to mattresses, this can become a serious problem as they absorb a lot of sweat. The good news is that you can remove mold from your mattress.

You need to vacuum both sides of the mattress to avoid the spread of mold. Next, make a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and warm water in a bowl. Soak a cloth with this mixture, wring it out completely and go over the mold in a circular motion. Pour new hot water and repeat the process only without alcohol. Finally, evenly spray a small amount of disinfectant used for upholstery usage. Take the mattress out into the sun to dry and prevent mold growth.

Will the mentioned methods remove dust mites?

The use of a mattress cover is the most effective measure of protection against dust mites. You can wash the mattress cover and always have a fresh, dust mite-free sleeping pad. It is recommended to air the mattress every time you change the sheets. In this way, you will reduce the humidity of the mattress – and bacteria and mites will lose their preferred habitat. In this way, you also prevent the formation of mold. 

You can also brush your mattress from time to time to remove hair and dead skin. A humid and warm climate ensures that dust mites breed in the bed, so let the air enter the bedroom every day. Remove the bedding from the mattress and leave it all day to dry. By vacuuming regularly, you will contribute to maintaining a healthy sleeping environment and general well-being. The worst case scenario – you can look for some of the best mattresses on the UK market.


Dirt collects and settles on the mattress, and over time it takes on a gray hue and an unpleasant smellDeep cleaning will remove possible causes of allergies, such as dust mites and similar microorganisms, pollen, dust, pet hair. You can also try products you already have in your home, such as baking soda and cornstarch.

Regardless of which method you choose, make sure to dry the mattress thoroughly before putting the sheets on it. Don't forget to take care of the surface you sleep on every day. This means that you should regularly ventilate the room where you sleep.

Change your bedding often. If you notice new stains, don't wait too long to remove them. The longer they stay, the deeper they will penetrate and the harder they will be to remove. In this way, you will extend its lifespan and stay healthy.

In addition to protection, you should also consider using a canopy. It will relieve the mattress of excessive pressure and maintain its structure. Turning your mattress is just as important to its longevity, especially if you're using a sprung, memory foam, or topper. Thus, the pressure will be evenly distributed over the entire surface.

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