How to Freshen Your Mattress, and Ban Those Dust Mites

How to Freshen Your Mattress and Ban Dust Mites

Does the thought of microscopic critters living on your mattress conjure up the gag reflex in you? It does me. I don’t even want to think about it, but it’s a fact of human existence. Dust mites live in the dust particles around your home. They feed on the dead skin humans shed daily. One of their favorite places to live is on your bedding, including fabric of your mattress. Washing your bed sheets weekly is the recommended way to control dust mites. I recently read that you can even go every two weeks, but 3 weeks is the max!

Now, every few months or more often, if you’re creeped out about dust mites living where you sleep, you should freshen up your mattress. Strip off those sheets and mattress pad, wash them in hot water, and while this is going on, get ready to attack those mighty mites.

Baking soda is one of the best defenses against stale and musty odors. Pour 1 cup of baking soda into a jar, or plastic container with a lid. Add 4 drops of essential oil – either lavender, eucalyptus or peppermint (I prefer lavender), cover the jar with the lid then give it a good shaking to blend the lavender in with the baking soda. Next, find a strainer or sifter. While standing next to your bed, pour a small amount of the baking soda into the strainer, then sprinkle it onto the mattress. Repeat this until your whole mattress is covered. I got a few clumps, and had to kind of spread it around with my hand. Let the baking soda sit on the mattress for 15 minutes or so, then using the hose end of your vacuum, vacuum the top and sides of your mattress well to remove all the baking soda.

Baking soda does not kill the dust mites, but the good vacuuming should remove most of them. Essential oils are also a good deterrent for dust mites. I feel better using a non-toxic approach in my home.

My mattress and whole bedroom smelled so nice and fresh after I did this, and I felt much better about coexisting with little critters. I plan to repeat this process several times a year – especially with the season changes.
Dust mites aren’t harmful, nor do they carry disease, but they can be problematic for those with dust allergies. They’re invisible to the unaided eye.

The baking soda and essential oil will also remove any stinky or stale odors from your mattress. Don’t neglect the other mattresses in your home either. Give them all a good freshening.


  1. says

    Thanks for the great tip. I love this idea.
    I have but one suggestion, could you add a note somewhere that says my fiance should be the one doing this particular chore?

  2. says

    thanks for the reminder of the benefits of baking soda. i know there are all kinds of things you can use baking soda for – but i didnt know about this one

  3. says

    I’ll have to try this. I’m sure my mattress could use some freshening up. Plus I am allergic to dust mites. My doctor recommended washing my sheets in hot water once a week. I also have a dust mite barrier that goes over the mattress. It was explained to me that dust mites need damp, dark, dusty places to live, so they are inside the mattress and your pillows, not on the surface. But vacuuming can’t hurt.

  4. Diane says

    I haven’t done this but I do vacuum my mattress and after I dome. that I lightly spray it with Febreeze. Works the sa

  5. Susan says

    It sounds quite good but you need a really good vacuum to remove dustmites. A normal vacuum blows the tiny particles (aka mites) just back into the air.

  6. Marquita says

    This is an awesome tip. Thank you so much. What is essential oils? Where do you get them?

  7. Annie Savidge says

    When I was a kid, living in California, near the beach, sand fleas were a real problem. My mom used to keep eucalyptus branches under our beds to deter them. If you have problems with, fleas, I can see the eucalyptus oil in the mix as the perfect solution for keeping them out of your bed. I think I’d also make sure it gets in the dog’s bather water as well!

  8. Miranda says

    Great idea! I use a similar mix for a DIY carpet powder freshener.
    A tip for application – put the baking soda/EO mixture in an empty (sterilized of course) parmesan cheese dispenser, or poke some holes in the top of a mason jar and the sprinkling goes on way easier! :)

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