3 basic household products you need to clean your mattress (and how to use them)

A woman prepares to put a comforter on a freshly cleaned mattress
(Image credit: Getty Images)

All the best mattresses need some love and care to keep them in top condition for longer. Even if you've been using one of the best mattress protectors (and you really, really should be using a mattress protector) you still need to be cleaning your bed. 

But just how do you clean a mattress? It turns out – with the help of a few basic household products. Rebecca Mayes, sleep expert at Harrison Spinks, explains more:

“Your mattress goes through a lot in its lifetime so it’s important to take care of it and prolong its life as much as possible. Generally, it’s recommended that we clean our mattress once every six months. It doesn’t need to be complicated or costly to do this, and you can clean and maintain your mattress easily using a few simple household items."

With spring around the corner, now is the best time to clean your mattress. Let's explore the three simple household products you need to get your bed dreamily clean again.

3 household products for cleaning your mattress

You don't have to go shopping for some fancy mattress cleaning machine. Instead, all you need is:

1. Unscented washing up liquid or laundry powder

We all sweat at least slightly during the night. And while you can limit sweating by choosing breathable sheets and opting for one of the best cooling mattresses, there's no way to completely eliminate it – but this sweat might be why your mattress has yellow stains.

To combat these stains, all you need is one simple household product: washing up liquid. Or unscented laundry powder, depending on what you have to hand.

“For a deep spring clean use gentle, bleach-free, unscented laundry powder, or washing up liquid mixed with a small amount of water," explains Rebecca. "Simply blot this onto any marks."

A person wearing pink rubber gloves attempts to get a yellow urine stain out of a white mattress

(Image credit: Getty)

“Be sure not to soak your mattress, and instead tackle stains with a gentle circular motion," says Rebecca. Mattress foams hate getting wet, and a damp bed can grow mold or mildew. So stick with a light touch.

2. Baking soda / bicarbonate of soda

Once you've tackled those initial stains, it's might be time to head to the kitchen cupboards. Baking soda – or, if you're in the UK, bicarbonate of soda (not baking powder!) – is one of the most popular natural cleaning solutions, and yes, you can use it on your mattress. 

The next step in your easy cleaning method is to sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda across the surface of your mattress. Baking soda is able to neutralize bad smells and odors, for a fresher overall mattress. It needs some time to get to work, so at this point, you can step away and put your feet up.

3. Soft brush

When your washing up liquid and baking soda have had a chance to sit for a couple of hours, it's time for step three: getting all that stuff off your mattress. Rebecca recommends using a soft brush to brush away all the remaining cleaning solution, plus any lingering nasties caught in the surface – "a soft brush will also effectively remove dust from your mattress too," says Rebecca.

A hand wearing a rubber glove uses a soft brush to clean a mattress

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"Once finished, allow the mattress to dry and then flip it over and repeat the process," says Rebecca. "[Leave] it to dry out completely on both sides." And then, depending on your mattress, flip it back the right way. Finish with fresh sheets, and enjoying the deep sleep of a job well done.

Keeping your mattress fresh between cleanings

If you want a fresh bed, you can't just focus on the mattress. “Make sure you’re cleaning your sheets every week, and your pillows and duvets every few months, to keep your whole bed feeling fresh,” says Rebecca.

That might sound a little overwhelming, but if you're not sure where to get started, we have some advice on that. Discover how to clean your pillow (and why pillows turns yellow in the first place) and then learn how to clean a duvet (good news: sometimes, you can stick it in the washing machine). Also, give your mattress a chance to breathe by not making the bed right away. This allows sweat to circulate and dissipate. So, fewer yellow stains in six months time.

Ruth Jones
Staff Writer

Ruth is TechRadar’s Sleep Writer. She’s here to help you find the perfect sleep setup for your budget and personal preferences. As well as keeping a keen eye on everything that’s going on in the world of mattresses, she regularly speaks to experts to help you learn how to improve your sleep habits, whether that’s by debunking sleep myths or explaining the science behind it all. Prior to joining the TechRadar team, she wrote features and product guides for new parents hoping to get a decent night's sleep, as well as writing for a variety of online spaces.