How To Disinfect A Used Mattress


July 4, 2021

Sleepy's Express is reader-supported, that means if you buy something via a link on this page, we might earn a commission. Thank you kindly.

Is your used mattress in need of disinfection? The following article contains valuable information on disinfecting a used mattress that you may find useful if you are intending to clean your mattress. Additionally, you will learn how to:

  • How to sanitize a used mattress
  • How to clean a second-hand mattress
  • How to deodorize a used mattress
  • Why you should disinfect a used mattress

A used mattress can be disinfected in several ways. Using simple household products, such as foam shaving cream or baking soda, you can disinfect used mattresses quickly and easily.

How To Sanitize A Used Mattress

The average Australian adult sleeps for about seven hours each night. In order to rest your body while you sleep, it is only fitting that you find a clean and comfortable mattress. A hygienic lifestyle is key to staying healthy and fit. Here are some simple steps for sanitizing a used mattress.

Antibacterial Spray

Antibacterial sprays can be used to spray on your mattress. We recommend that you purchase an antibacterial spray that is bleach-free to avoid damaging and discoloring your mattress. Spray lightly over the mattress to remove germs and contaminants. After several hours, you can wipe off the spray with a piece of cloth. Double check what the spray bottle says incase it requires a different function  

Hand-held Steamer

An old mattress can be disinfected by steam cleaning. A hand-held steamer can be used to steam clean or dry clean a used mattress to eliminate germs, dirt, debris, and dust mites. You should use short bursts of water to avoid soaking the mattress.


Vodka isn't just for drinking. It can be used as a disinfectant to get rid of germs and bed bugs in used mattresses. Spray some vodka lightly over the mattress with a spray bottle and you're done. Blot the mattress with a piece of cloth.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Both of these ingredients are excellent cleaning products, and they can be used on used mattresses as well. Apply vinegar to the mattress with a spray bottle and blot it with a piece of cloth. Then, pour baking soda on the mattress and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming.

Shaving Foam

Shaving creams often contain alcohol, making them an excellent alternative to stain removers. Spray it on the mattress and let it sit for 20 minutes before removing the excess foam and wiping it down. Rinse it off with a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water and let it air dry.


Cornstarch is another kitchen item that is useful for disinfecting and deodorizing a used mattress if you aren't aware. Spread cornstarch and baking soda 50-50 over the mattress and let it sit for 30 minutes. Let the mattress dry completely after vacuuming. 

How To Clean A Second-hand Mattress

Even if it is an old mattress that you have or an irresistible second-hand mattress that you just bought, a mattress should be sterilized before use. How do you disinfect a mattress?

Remove Everything From The Mattress

Giving your mattress a deep clean starts with this step. Remove everything from the pillows to the covers and protectors. You should place the mattress on a flat surface so that it can be easily cleaned.

Vacuum The Mattress

Vacuum the surface, as well as the sides and back of the mattress, using a mattress attachment or a hand vacuum. As shown in the video, vacuum all visible debris thoroughly from top to bottom.


Remove Various Types of Visible Stains

It is quite common to see stains on used mattresses. Sweat, urine, stains from sex, blood from periods, and more can lead to stains.

Sweat and Urine Stains

Sleeping on a mattress with urine or sweat stains is not uncommon. With a mixture of water, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap, you might be able to remove them. Mix them in equal parts in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the mattress. After 20 minutes, wipe the mattress with a piece of cloth to remove all moisture.

Blood Stains

Bloodstains are more difficult to remove than milder stains. The difficulty of cleaning a stain depends on its nature. With cold water alone, you will have a better chance of removing a fresh stain. Blot the stains with a wet cloth until the stain is gone. Finally, sprinkle baking soda over the stain and vacuum it once it has dried. The removal of dried stains requires more than just cold water.

Hydrogen peroxide is an essential cleansing agent. It may be an effective solution for removing dried bloodstains when combined with salt. All you need to do is wet the stain with cold water and sprinkle salt on it. Scrub the stain with a toothbrush to soften it. Keep it there for a couple of hours, then wash it with cold water. You can now use hydrogen peroxide to achieve a clean look on the spot.

How To Deodorize A Used Mattress

You should deodorize a used mattress in order to get rid of the old, musty smell that builds up after many years. To deodorize your mattress, you'll need baking soda and an essential oil that has a fresh scent. Add a few drops of the scented oil to the baking soda box before pouring it over the mattress. Let it sit for 12 to 24 hours. Vacuum the mattress one last time, and you're done! 

As good as new, the mattress looks. If you wish, repeat the same steps on the other side. It can make your mattress smell fresh and clean, but it does not necessarily remove dirt and stains. The deep cleaning of a used mattress usually ends here.

Why You Should Disinfect A Used Mattress

Mattresses are quite absorbent, so you should keep that in mind. Over time, mattresses collect a lot of unhygienic components such as bed bugs, dead skin, stains, urine, and sweat. Sleeping on a dirty mattress won't guarantee your good health. A used mattress should always be cleaned and disinfected once every six months to remove all these gross things from it.

After the deep cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing have been completed, all that remains is to let the mattress fully dry before making the bed with fresh sheets and covers.