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How to clean a soiled mattress - naturally

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You know when you have kids you get much more intimately acquainted with cleaning up bodily fluids, including vomit, poo and wee than you ever thought possible.

I distinctly remember getting onto my first flight to Northern Ireland.

No 1 son chose getting on to the plane to do a poonami which exploded out of his nappy, covering clothing, sling and me until I was covered too. The businessman who sat down beside me looked on in horror as I sat covered in baby poo until the 'fasten seat belts' sign had been switched off and I could go and do my best to clean up.

Then there was the time no1 son puked for the entire flight to Menorca. The smell was hideous and although we had a change of clothes for him, we weren't so lucky. Disgusting.

Luckily, this intimacy with grossness stood me in good stead when my friends recently came to visit bringing their 2 little girls who get on famously with our boys.

Our No2 son and their no2 daughter refused to keep their clothes on (as toddlers will - what's that all about?) and were happy bouncing away on our spare bed. That is, until no2 son came in and reported that his playmate had poo'd and wee'd on the bed.

Well, worse things have happened at sea. Armed with some Cheeky Wipes, bicarb of soda and distilled white vinegar we've cleaned it until you'd never know it had happened.

Bicarbonate of Soda

What you need to clean a soiled mattress:

To clean a soiled mattress naturally:

  1. Dispose of any solids (poo or lumpy sick) with a piece of kitchen roll. If you've got a mattress protector, you can pop it straight into the washing machine at this point
  2. Sponge the wet /dirty areas with Cloth Wipes, soaked in cold water and washing up liquid. We used Cheeky Wipes, which meant that rather than using one cloth, wringing it out and reusing, when one wipe was soiled we just chucked it into the washpile and took a clean cloth
  3. The wipes were also soaked in some Mucky Wipes Essential Oils (Tea Tree & tea Tree Lemon) which is naturally anti-bacterial but also has a great fresh lemon smell and we happened to have it on hand
  4. Once any stains are removed, sprinkle baking soda onto the wet patch and leave for 24 hours to air dry
  5. Any smell will be absorbed by the bicarb which can be hoovered off using your vacuum cleaner with the upholstery attachment when dry. It really is amazing and also works well on vomit too.

You've cleaned your mattress. The mattress is as good as new and we haven't used lots of chemicals to clean it (and in any case, most of them don't remove odours but just mask them. Yuck.)

white Vinegar to freshen up a mattress

How to freshen up your mattress using bicarb and white vinegar

To freshen up your mattress using bicarb and white vinegar:

  1. Fill a spray bottle with one part water and one part white vinegar
  2. Spray the mattress all over until just damp
  3. Let it dry for 12 hours
  4. Using a sieve, dust bicarbonate of soda all over the mattress and leave overnight or for a further 12 hours
  5. Vacuum until clean


How to remove blood stains from a mattress

If you think that bleeding onto your mattress means that you're in the market for a new mattress, think again! It's easy to use hydrogen peroxide (cheap from your local chemist) and bicarbonate of soda to spot clean period blood from a mattress.

To remove blood stains from a mattress:

  1. Make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and hydrogen peroxide
  2. Apply the paste to the blood stain
  3. Let the paste dry onto the stain for as long as possible
  4. Vacuum the paste away
  5. Repeat if necessary


White vinegar and bicarbonate of soda can be used in many ways to clean around your house. If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy this one:

FAQ's: My reusable wipes smell musty or bad

About the author: Cheeky Wipes were created in 2008 by Helen Rankin, who was on a mission to prove to parents that they could ditch disposable wipes and save money and the planet by switching to reusable wipes. Since then the company have introduced a range of 'Simple Reusables' including period pants and cloth sanitary pads which lead to them being awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise in sustainable development in 2021. The Cheeky Customer Services Team have all used the products themselves and love nothing more than to chat pee, poo and periods!