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Canning Day Quilt

Spring Clean Your Mattress

I’ve been making my way through the bedding in our home giving it a good Spring Cleaning. It feels so nice! Saturday we even had enough warm weather to open up the windows!  My home always feels cleaner after it has been aired out a bit after the long winter.

Spring cleaning mattresses is a simple process for me.  I start by removing all the bedding, including bed skirts and mattress covers… and putting it all into the wash.

Next I lift the mattress and box springs off the bed and thoroughly vacuum and dust.  I also love to wipe down the wall and floorboards behind the bed.

I lay the mattress back into place and make my own special concoction.  You could just use straight baking soda, but I love to pour about 1 cup of baking soda into a mason jar and drop in 4 drops of lavender essential oil.  Put on the lid and shake up the jar.

Using a kitchen strainer sprinkle the baking soda mixture all over the mattress and let it sit.  I leave it for an hour or more, usually the time it takes for me to finish washing all the bedding and press the bed skirt.

Using the hose end of your vacuum and an upholstery attachment, thoroughly vacuum the mattress.  Bye, bye dust mites and other nasty things.  The baking soda helps draw up any moisture and deep dirtiness.  It deodorizes and leaves the mattress smelling fresh and clean.  I also love the faint scent of lavender left by the essential oil.

The word lavender is derived from the Latin “lavare” meaning to wash…. I guess I’m in good company with the Ancient Romans in thinking it smells nice and clean.

When I get in bed after a deep clean like this, I wonder how I ever slept a wink in my dusty bed.  I am pretty much guaranteed to sleep like a baby tonight!

Next step is washing the quilts on our beds…. but that’s for another day.

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95 Responses to “Spring Clean Your Mattress”

  • Thank you for sharing such a useful tip! I have a Kirby vacuum that has a wondeful attachment for cleaning the mattress. I love th idea of going the extra step with baking powder and lavender. I will give this try!

    • Nancy:

      I had a Kirby once. The salesman had a hard time selling to me until he showed me the mattress cleaning. When I saw all the stuff that was inside my mattress I was sold!!! this solution may not be a kirby but at least it will get it clean.

  • Bethaney:

    I am so going to try this!

  • Jen:

    I’m totally going to do this since I just made my spring cleaning checklist for each room in the house. And I’m assuming you meant to say baking soda, rather than baking powder, since that’s what is in the photo. Thanks for the cleaning tip!

    • Calli:

      Jen, thank you so much for the heads up on the powder! I need a full time editor. I’ve made the change in the post.

  • Thank you so much for your post.
    I am going to use your method just as soon as I purchase a kitchen strainer. :o) I love to spring clean and so glad you can open your windows. I cherish those days.
    Have a nice day.
    Sincerely, Trish

  • Rachel:

    Love the idea of this…I’ve heard of people cleaning mattresses but never really knew how they did it.

    Just to clarify, do you use the powder or soda when you do it?

  • Kimberlee:

    That is a fantastic tip. Can’t wait to try it!
    ~Kimberlee, http://www.TheSpunkyDiva.com

  • Becci Manies:

    I am definitely going to do this! I don’t have lavender handy but I am definitely going to try out the baking soda. I’ll do my daughter’s mattress first- it needs it. :)

  • I never would have thought of this! Terrific idea.

  • Great tip! I can’t wait to try!!!!

  • Great tip! I did this and the bed smelled clean and lovely! Definitely a keeper! Thanks for posting.

  • Annie:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! Where do you purchase lavender essential oil?

    • Calli:

      I bought mine at my local health food store, you can also find it at natural grocery stores like Whole Foods. It lasts forever even though I use it fairly often.

  • Amy:

    I cannot wait to try this! Thanks for sharing.

  • Erin Anderson:

    thanks for sharing

  • Eurie:

    Does this work on tempurpedics?

    • Calli:

      I’m not sure, since I have traditional coil mattress, but I can’t see a reason why it wouldn’t. Maybe test it out on a small area or check with the manufacturer.

  • I found and pinned this on pinterest. I used it today on my mattress and it works FANTASTIC! Thank you!

  • Jeff:

    I could do this on couches too right? Want to clean couches that dogs are constantly on, that stink to the high heavens, this would work right?

    • Calli:

      Yes, I’ve used baking soda on my sofa as a matter of fact. Our naughty dog, Finn loves to sleep on our sofa whenever we aren’t home, even though he knows he’s not allowed when we are home. I also sprinkle baking soda on my carpets, let it sit for a while and vacuum it up. It works great for odor control.

  • Denise:

    Do you think this could be used on a sofa set?

  • Karen:

    I love using baking soda to freshen up mattresses, carpeting, etc. … but, I’ve never added essential oil. Why didn’t I think of that … I use baking soda, vinegar & essential oils in so many ways in my home. What a wonderful scent to doze off to … love it … thank you so much for sharing!

  • Amanda:

    Lavendar is also an anti bacterial agent. if you want to clean your kitchen you can use water dispersable lavender about 1 tspn in about 1 litre of water. Works wonders and calms the house down.

  • Whitney:

    Is the lavender oil the only oil you can use? Or can you use any other scent?

    • Calli:

      Hi Whitney, You can use another scent, I like lavender since it’s one of my favorite calming bedtime scents, but I think anything you love would work great.

    • Elaine:

      I use Lime Essential Oils as well…citrus is a fresh, clean scent any time of the year.

  • Hi – I came across this on pinterest. I hope you don’t mind that I shared on my latest blog post. I gave your credit and linked directly to this post. Check it out – http://365daysasmom.blogspot.com/2012/01/cleaning-your-mattress.html

    I can’t wait to check out more of your blog :)

  • Dana:

    Do you know if this voids the warranty on the mattress? It says stains and bodily fluids do… But does this leave anything that would be like a water mark or anything??

    I love this idea!!

    • Kimberly :):

      Dana, I wondered that, too. But I’ve tried it and I know it doesn’t leave a watermark. If you have “stains” I can recommend the following; (seriously, who doesn’t have something on their mattress?) I started the process by dabbing peroxide on the stain until wet, brushing stain gently with a toothbrush, blotting with a dry towel, and then putting the baking soda on and letting it dry. Remove soda and vacuum. Repeat peroxide if needed. Make sure you start the project early in the day so you have time for drying. Our mattress is good as new after doing this!

  • This is a great idea!! Ever since my baby was born, I thought we’re doomed to a stinky mattress forever (or buy a new one). Thank you for sharing! I’ll be trying it the next time we change our sheets! :)

  • Gretchen:

    I loved using the baking soda on the carpets, until my vacuum broke. The repairman told us the baking soda clogged the filters! Who knew? This sounds like a great idea though. I’m wondering if anyone else has ran into this issue or know of a solution?

    • Calli:

      I love baking soda for my carpets too (and the mattresses) I don’t do it often and I’ve never had trouble with my vacuum. I hope I don’t in the future! Thank you for the alert.

    • Heather:

      I have washable filters in mine so i just wash after use

    • Roxann:

      I have a dyson, I too was having problems, but I take the barrel of the dyson out to the shed & use the air compressor to blow the dust out, bring it in, put it togather and it cleans & sucks like a new machine. Good luck!

  • Just in case you don’t know, lavender is antibacterial too..so you’re doing double duty!

  • Heather:

    I tried the sifter and made a mess :( i had mason jars and put it in that and poked holes with scissors. Works awesome!

  • Wow! This is a totally new idea for me. My mattress is not that old yet, but I’m sure this method will help keep it smelling fresh for years. I can’t wait to try it. Also, I think I’m going to try Heather’s mason jar method :)

  • prairiecactus:

    If you use one of those elastic edged plastic bowl covers over the top of the strainer it will keep the soda from going over the top….or use a rubber band and any fabric to make a cover…I have an old tin rimmed strainer so the rubber band stays in place.

  • Thanks for sharing this! I believe lavender oil also helps repel bed bugs! I’ll probably do this one the weather gets a bit warmer

  • karen:

    Thanks for the great tip! Having an empty nest with girls that come home occasionally and the animals using the beds in between visit’s this will hopefully make the rooms smell less animal-like

  • Judi:

    My dh has allergies so I totally strip my bed each week, wash everything in hot water except the down duvet, vacuam and either flip or turn the mattress. Our mattress looks almost new and I have had it since 1988. The duvet either gets hung outside to air or put into the dryer on airfluff.

    I will try the baking soda to see if it gets the mattress “fresher” but when I flip the mattress I never see any dust coming out of it.

  • Debra:

    Do you think it would work on a temperpedic mattress?

  • Ann:

    That is a great tip that I already use! :) I made a “Febreeze” type spray that is basically baking soda, lavender and water and spray the mattresses and let them air out once a week. :) I use the spray all over the house.

    • CJ:

      Would you post the homemade “febreeze” recipe? I use febreeze a lot. I have cats and I’m a smoker, I know, my bad. I very aware of the odor and diligently work to keep odors to a minimum. I feel a homemade may be healthier for sensitive noses and allergy prone loved ones. Thanks.

  • I referenced this post in my own newly started blog,(http://growlovehome.blogspot.com/) I can’t wait to try it, but it’s winter here in South Africa and I found the post after the electric blankets were on, Now I have to wait for September!

  • Jenny:

    Any ideas on spring cleaning a memory foam mattress topper?

  • Megan:

    I’m thinking I’ll wait until I have fresh lavendar from my garden and give that a try…grind it with a mortar and pestel and mix it with the baking soda. thanks for the idea!

  • Loni Bandet-Barss:

    I really enjoy and use your tips. I can’t tell you how invaluable they are. Thank you so much!

  • Leigh:

    I use Borax instead of baking soda and found it also works great. I can’t use scents since I’m allergic to everything, but I found the Borax is MUCH cheaper since you can buy it in much larger boxes for around $2.

  • Marla:

    Borax is an awesome idea. It repels all sorts of bugs….

  • Kristin:

    I have a Tempurpedic memory foam mattress. I wonder if this will work on it? Also, is the lavender necessary or could you get away with just using baking soda/borax?

    • Calli:

      I would check with Tempurpedic to see if it’s OK, but I would think it would be. The lavender is for scent and baking soda alone works great.

  • Kailey:

    I like using Lemongrass oil. It smells good, acts as an antidepressant, and helps kill germs/fight off infection. I do this with my carpets too. Great for if you have small children crawling around.

  • Malea:

    Awesome. I wonder if it would be good for cleaning pillows too!

  • Kelly:

    My aunt owns a major company in NC (she even does some military cleaning) they use all this great equipment to clean a mattress, hotels barracks etc. but something she tells us to do is to put alchohol in a spray bottle , you can buy different % so its not super strong, to spritz the mattress. thats part of their disinfection process and prevents mites and such gross things! im off to do my daughters bed with this before the usual alchol spray:) thx for the tip

  • [...] decided to take a cue from Calli at Make-It-Do.com and mix up my own mattress-cleaning concoction.  Baking soda with a little Lavender essential oil [...]

  • Jenn:

    I recently decided to combine my two favorite household items and stepped this idea up a notch. Instead of using essential oil, I have lavender plants that I take regular cuttings from, dry them, just a week or so on the kitchen table, strip the leaves then pulverize them in a coffee grinder until they are just powder and mix them into baking soda. I use it so often, on the carpet, furniture, everywhere, that I use a large cardboard stuffing container with holes poke in lid with a corn cob holder to keep enough on hand. I use about a cup of dried pulverized lavender to about half a large box of baking soda. Smells great, and I can constantly replenish my lavender supply. It’s an easy container plant!

  • griz:

    Would you know how to remove mold/mildew from a foam mattress. I discovered it when I lifted my daughters mattress to change the bed skirt. I wash and change sheets weekly. We think she spilled something and didn’t clean it. She doesn’t know when it happened but I think its been a while.

  • kim:

    ok so here is dumb question.. i know it says 4 drops. about how much.. I dont have a dropper.. what else can i use

  • Myra:

    I tried this today and loved it……I save my empty seasoning containers and mixed up the baking soda and some lavender essential oil right in it then shook it over the mattress . Worked like a charm. Thanks!

  • [...] Think of all the dead skin cells, dust mites, and general nastiness living (sleeping?) on your mattress. No can do. Solution: sprinkle some baking soda on your mattress, let it sit for an hour or so, and use the hose attachment of the vacuum to remove it. For a light, fresh scent, mix some lavender essential oil with the baking soda. (Calli over on Make It Do outlines the entire process here.) [...]

  • Laura:

    Trying this now with tea tree oil instead of the lavender!

  • Kathy:

    Where do you find the essential oil?

  • caro:

    Can I use baking powder instead of baking soda?

  • Linda:

    Would be great to have an empty plastic cheese shaker jar that has perforated holes on screw lid. This could be repurposed for this use.

  • We have a mattress and box spring in our basement that we thought my on-laws were taking. We decided to use them for our guest bedroom but they’ve been in the basement uncovered for probably about 2 years. Do you think they would be safe to use after cleaning them with this method?



  • Stephanie:

    Cant wait to try this!

  • Cora:

    Someone mentioned dead skin cells fro your normal shedding what if you mixed baking soda, alcohol, lavender crushed not just oil maybe a little of both of the lavender type is that what is actually on the market anyway. read the fabreeze bottles maybe?

  • Aimee:

    Question – besides sheets of course, I have a mattress cover and a pillow topper between me and the mattress. What do you recommend?

    • Calli:

      Depending on the materials in your mattress cover, I would wash it in the washing machine if you can. For a pillow topper that can’t be washed in a machine, I use the baking soda trick just like a mattress. Happy cleaning! Calli

  • trish:

    I wonder if tea tree oil would be ok? don’t know where I could get lavender oil where I live

    • Calli:

      Hi Trish, Tea Tree Oil would be great. Good luck with your cleaning, Calli

    • Cara:

      Trish, look for a health food stores most carry the essential oils. and try hobby and/or craft stores. they should have the oils for making sachets with scents, the kind the 1950′s mom may have had in her lingerie drawers.

  • irene winstanley:

    great idea, I would use steamer (mop,iron) after vac and before sprinkle

  • Ani:

    I too have a Kirby and this sound like such a wonderful idea. If you don’t like the smell of lavender, you can try another essential oil.

  • Nancy:

    This is such a great idea, I’m going to try it as soon as possible! I also love lavendar. It’s also a very calming scent that helps you sleep, so it’s such a great choice of fragrance for this project. Thanks!

  • Lily:

    I just read this and cant wait to try it, but don’t have lavender oil….so I decided to use what I have for another purpose. This is an anointing oil, but I am sure it will work for my mattress as well. I am hoping it will help me sleep better as well

  • Shannon:

    great idea…I had an empty body powder bottle in the recycling bin so I used that…sprinkled it on the pillows too and will vacuum it up when mattress pad is done in the dryer. Have a lot of essential oils on hand but lavender is my favorite! was just reading about lavender plants, there are so many varieties..to those that do grow it can any type be used to make your own essential oil?

  • Mayline:

    hi Calli, what is the proper proportion? should we add water? our place is a mold-prone place..since we converted our basement to a bedroom..and am afraid of using or adding water in it..hope u could help me..thanks!

  • Sandy:

    Young Living Essential Oils are the purest oils. They would work great for this. Can’t wait to try it!

  • orhan:

    thank you very much
    ill try it and give u my feedback asap :)

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