How to Clean a Crib Mattress

Considering how much time your baby spends sleeping, keeping the mattress clean is imperative 1. Between dust mites and inevitable leaky diapers, your baby’s crib mattress can become quite dirty over time. As susceptible as young immune systems are to germs already, regular cleaning of your baby’s mattress goes a long way to keeping them healthy. This simple chore can be done in an afternoon with minimal effort.

Vacuum the mattress using the brush attachment to remove dirt, dust and debris. Flip the mattress and vacuum the other side.

Add a powdered bleach-free laundry detergent to warm water to make it sudsy; 1 tbsp. per 5 cups of warm water should be enough.

Dip a clean cloth or a sponge into the solution and gently scrub the mattress with it working from one side down to the other. Do not over-saturate the mattress because that will make it harder to get it dry later, which can promote mold.

Lay down some towels to protect your floor and flip the mattress over to clean the other side. Pay close attention to any stains.

Treat any stains that the soapy water didn’t remove with lemon juice by slightly dampening the area.

Set the mattress outside in the sunshine to dry 1. The sunshine is especially important if you are removing stains. The combination of lemon and sunlight works as a natural bleaching agent. If the weather isn’t cooperating, set the mattress in a cool dry place with good airflow. Placing a fan nearby can help the mattress dry faster.

Sprinkle baking soda over the mattress once it is dry and allow it to remain for one to two hours on each side before vacuuming it up. The baking soda will help to absorb and eliminate any lingering odors.


Launder the crib’s bedding weekly and clean the mattress every two to four weeks. Launder the bedding in water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit to help eliminate dust mites. Using a crib mattress cover can help keep the mattress cleaner as well as protect your baby from dust mites. A latex mattress is easier to clean and impervious to dust mites.


Avoid using harsh chemicals to clean a crib mattress because they can be unsafe for your baby. Do not place the mattress back in the crib until it is completely dry because that can lead to mold and mildew.