How to sanitize a used mattress

Written by constance barker
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How to sanitize a used mattress
Sanitise a used mattress before placing in your home. (floorbed image by Adrian Hillman from

Mattresses can be costly, especially when money is tight. Used mattresses are not as expensive, but they need cleaned and sanitised before you bring them into your home. You need to know that the mattress has been disinfected and you're not bringing any mildew or bedbugs into the house.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Shop vacuum or hand-held sweeper
  • Liquid chlorine bleach
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloth
  • Baking soda

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  1. 1

    Place the mattress upright against an outdoor wall where it can receive full sun. Turn the mattress after several hours, so each side is exposed to the sun's rays. The UV rays help to kill any mildew or germs in the mattress.

  2. 2

    Vacuum the mattress outside with a shop vacuum or a hand-held sweeper. Empty the hand-held sweeper in an outside dustbin to reduce the risk of taking any allergens inside your home.

  3. 3

    Mix a solution of one part liquid chlorine bleach to four parts water. Place the solution in a spray bottle, and lightly spray the entire mattress. The bleach formula kills any germs hiding in the mattress fabric.

  4. 4

    Wipe the mattress with a clean damp cloth after the bleach solution has remained on the mattress for 15 to 20 minutes. Dry the mattress with a clean towel.

  5. 5

    Sprinkle baking soda over the mattress, and rub it into the fabric. Baking soda neutralises odours and helps the mattress regain a fresh smell.

Tips and warnings

  • Place a mattress cover over the mattress after cleaning and disinfecting.

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