How To Clean A Mattress Without Baking Soda

Need to remove a stain but don’t have access to baking soda? All hope is not lost!

In this article, you’ll learn how to clean up stains and other nastiness on your mattress with other options you’ve probably already got handy.

How To Clean a Mattress Without Baking Soda

how to clean a mattress without baking soda

There are several options to choose from when cleaning a mattress. Most people default to the traditionally-used baking soda, a years-old technique used among homeowners for decades.

Although it effectively eliminates odors and light stains, baking soda often isn’t effective for removing heavier stains from things like urine and red wine. In situations like that stronger cleaning solutions, both chemical and natural, are much better.

Why Not Use Baking Soda To Clean a Mattress?

Baking soda commonly irritates sensitive skin even though it may not be harmful. According to Healthline, baking soda can leave your skin more acne-prone.

This happens because baking soda is too basic for constant exposure to the skin. Skin is naturally acidic, and contact with baking soda may alter the pH of the protective barriers on the skin, leading to irritation and an increased chance of infection.

Since a mattress is used every day for hours at a time baking soda may not be the best choice for you and your loved ones.

7 Ways To Clean a Mattress Without Baking Soda

Like most other household items, mattresses really should be maintained and cleaned over time. Here some ways to do just that without baking soda.

1. Carpet Cleaner or Fabric Cleaner

Carpet cleaners are always made to remove tougher stains and usually come in a spray form. The same goes for fabric cleaners.

To clean the mattress:

  • Just give it a few sprays and use a brush or rough towel to work it into the fabric.
  • After letting it settle for about 10 minutes, use a clean cloth to wipe it off and let it dry.

2. Vinegar and Water Spray

A vinegar and water solution is an effective way to clean stains, disinfect, and remove odor from a mattress.

  • Simply pour some distilled white vinegar into a spray bottle and dilute it with water.
  • No wiping is needed and the vinegar smell quickly goes away as it dries.
  • To freshen the mattress up and keep it natural, give it a light coat of plant-based room spray afterward.

3. Water and Dish Soap

Water and dish soap is a less natural but more convenient method to remove stains from a mattress due to its simple ingredients. All you need is:

  • Dish Soap
  • Water
  • A bowl
  • A whisk or fork
  • A sponge

How to clean your mattress with water and dish soap:

  • Pour a couple of drops to a light scribble of dish soap into a bowl of warm water and whisk it rapidly until lots of bubbles form at the top.
  • Use a sponge and work the soap bubbles into the stained area of the mattress.
  • After the soap is worked in, use a towel to remove the excess moisture and allow the rest to air dry.

It’s a very effective way to get specific areas and harder stains clean.

4. Diluted Bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide Spray

Bleach and hydrogen peroxide spray are usually the last resort because even though it gets the stain out it turns the affected area white. If you’re going to use bleach and hydrogen peroxide it should be a spot treatment rather than a full mattress cleaner.

  • Dilute some bleach or hydrogen peroxide with water and pour it into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the stained area and use a brush to work the mixture into the mattress.
  • Once the stain has lifted, leave the area to air dry.

5. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another natural and effective stain remover. You can use it either from a spray bottle or turned into a rough paste mixed with salt.

Salt makes a perfect additive to lemon juice due to its abrasiveness and ability to absorb grease.

  • Mix the two ingredients in a bowl and use a cloth to work it in.
  • Leave it for an hour to settle and then clean it off.
  • Once it’s wiped off it leaves the mattress with a fresh lemon scent – a nice bonus!

6. Fabric Stain Remover Bar

Using fabric stain remover bars is another effective – and handy – way to clean stained areas on a mattress. It also uses the least amount of ingredients and is the most simple to apply.

  • Wet the bar and rub it into the stained area of the mattress until clean.
  • Using fabric stain remover spray with a towel works as well but applying the bar directly to the fabric is the most effective way.

7. Soap Nuts

Soap nuts are a fantastic method of removing stains while remaining sustainable and environmentally friendly. They also have several uses so if there are any left after cleaning the mattress they can be used for various other household needs like your laundry.

Soap nuts are also natural so they can be safely used for hair and body needs, too!

Here’s how to use them:

  • Create a soap solution by boiling soap nuts in water
  • Let it cool then rapidly mix the solution to create suds
  • Work the solution into the mattress with a brush or sponge
  • Allow the area or full mattress to air dry

How Do You Get Urine Out of a Mattress Without Baking Soda?

how do you get urine out of a mattress without baking soda

Urine can be a huge headache due to the strong smell and hard stains it leaves in a quick matter of time. Parents may face this problem a lot more while their children are in the potty-training phase of their youth.

These stains can become harder and harder to clean over time, especially with repeated urination in the same spot. My advice is not to let them set in for a long period of time.

6 Ways To Clean Mattress Urine Stain Spots

Though urine creates tough stains and gives off a strong stench you can get it out with the right products and approach.

1. Using Vinegar

Vinegar is an easy yet natural and effective way to remove urine stains and odor. White vinegar works the same as baking soda without harming the skin.

  • Pour some into a spray bottle and generously saturate the stained area.
  • Work in the vinegar or leave it to air dry, depending on how deep the stain is.
  • The vinegar will temporarily leave a smell but it will fade as it dries.

2. Dish Soap, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Water

Concentrated dish soap may not be the first thing someone thinks of using to clean urine, but it does the job for minor stains. It isn’t harmful to the skin or the mattress and you won’t have to worry about acne or a white spot on the bed.

  • Apply the dish soap directly to the stained area of the mattress.
  • Next, use a wet cloth or sponge and a bowl of warm water to scrub the stain out. 
  • Once it dries, both the smell and stain should have disappeared. Using hydrogen peroxide can also give the method a good strength boost, and it may require less scrubbing.
Note: Be careful when scrubbing your mattress or bedding. While it’s true the soap won’t ruin the mattress, depending on the material your mattress is made from scrubbing too hard can rip or ruin it.

3. Salt and Lemon Juice

Like vinegar, lemon juice works similarly to baking soda while also avoiding the potential harm done to the skin. Mixing it with salt makes an abrasive cleaning paste that can be used to remove stains and replace the urine stench with a lemon scent.

  • Pour some salt into a bowl, and slowly stir in lemon juice until it becomes a thick paste.
  • Apply the paste to the stain and allow it to sit for around 60 minutes.
  • Once an hour has passed, use a towel or other cloth to wipe the paste off. The stain should come up with the paste as you wipe.

4. Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is an effective way to remove urine from a mattress, but only after pre-treatment. Without pre-treatment the heat and steam can make the urine stick to the fabric.

  • To pre-treat the mattress, dab as much urine up as you can by putting pressure on a towel or paper towels for a minute. 
  • Next, vacuum the mattress to loosen the area back up.
  • Once pre-treatment is done, prepare the steam cleaner by filling the tank with a carpet or fabric cleaner.
  • Run across the mattress a couple of times with the steam cleaner, releasing the solution into the mattress then back into the cleaner until the stain appears to be gone.
  • Let the area air dry.

5. Diluted Bleach

Bleach is the household classic when it comes to almost all cleaning jobs. It can easily remove urine stains and smells from a mattress.

  • To do so, mix it with some water then apply it to the area and leave it for a few hours to air dry.
  • Don’t use a lot of bleach as too much will cause yellowing in fabric and isn’t required.

The downside to bleach is it will leave a white discoloration on the mattress after cleaning even if you dilute it. If the looks of the mattress aren’t an area of concern this way is great for urine stains.

However, if you want to keep your mattress looking its best use this only as a last hope.

6. Stain Remover

As stated in the product name, stain removers do a fantastic job eliminating urine stains from mattresses and other fabrics alike. Sprays specifically advertised for urine may work best, but most stain removers are effective and get the job done just the same.

The steps for cleaning are simple as well:

  • Spray the product onto the urine stain. Keep in mind, the deeper the stain, the more that needs to be sprayed.
  • Give it a few minutes for the chemicals to settle in and begin working. Wait time varies depending on the product.
  • Once time is up, wipe the area with a towel or paper towel and let it air dry.

How Do You Prevent Urine Accidents From Reaching the Mattress?

how do you prevent urine accidents from reaching the mattress

Sometimes urine accidents are unavoidable if young children are involved but there are ways to stop the accident from reaching and staining the mattress.

  • Waterproof sheets or a waterproof mattress cover prevent urine from spoiling the bed. Regular bed sheets or blankets can be placed on top of both for comfortability.
  • Mattress pads are another great way to protect a mattress from urine in case of an accident. Ecosa states that they also protect from other moisture, bacteria, and dust mites.

Even though mattress pads aren’t really designed for cushioning the padding can add a little bit of extra comfort to your bed.

How Do You Dry a Mattress After Wetting the Bed?

Drying a mattress after bedwetting is very simple as long as you act fast and make the right moves.

  • The easiest way to dry a mattress is to let it air dry. You can accelerate the process by placing the mattress in a well-lit and ventilated room, or in front of a window with a fan.
  • The wet area can also be blotted with towels to soak up excess moisture. When doing this sure not to wipe or the stain could spread and get worse.

How Long Does It Take for Pee To Dry on a Mattress?

Urine can dry on a mattress within about 2 to 4 hours. So, if you prefer a simple cleaning job, waiting until the next morning isn’t the best option and you really should act right away.

The dry time does depend on the size and depth of the stain so observing the mattress and determining when the accident happened may help you know when the stain will dry and how much cleaning solution you’ll need.

Can You Steam Clean a Memory Foam Mattress?

can you steam clean a memory foam mattress

Yes, a memory foam mattress can be steam cleaned similarly to the way a regular mattress can. Here’s what I recommend for cleaning your memory foam mattress the right way:

  • Brush the mattress with a soft-bristled brush to loosen up small pieces of dust and other debris.
  • After brushing, pick up what you can with your hands and vacuum the rest.
  • If there are any stubborn spots on the mattress treat them with a stain remover first. Be sure to use a gentle cleanser as memory foam mattresses are much more delicate than normal ones.
  • Once the vacuum prep is finished begin steaming the mattress in even strokes, making sure not to spend too much time on one spot. Too much moisture in memory foam can lock in and cause mold to form.
  • Wipe the mattress with a towel to collect any excess water and allow the mattress to air dry.

Can You Wet Vac a Mattress?

can you wet vac a mattress

Yes, mattresses can be wet vacuumed after being cleaned to lift stains and speed up the drying process. Wet vacs are used mostly when urine is involved because lots of liquid is used to remove the stain.

The mattress won’t be hurt. Just slowly move the vacuum across the stained area to lift it out.

How Do You Deodorize a Mattress?

how do you deodorize a mattress

You can take several routes when deodorizing your mattress, some natural and some not. Some effective things to use when removing odors are:

  • Lemon juice
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Water and essential oil with a scent
  • Fabric Freshening Spray

Apply these items to the mattress after cleaning, and you’ll be left with a fresh-smelling, odorless bed ready that’s a treat to sleep on.

James Marshall

About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »