Baking soda deodorizes a mattress after a stomach flu disaster

Amazon: Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You've Probably Never Thought Of Perhaps the title of this hack was enough information, but in case you want more detail, here it is, from Rebecca:

The other night I found out the hard way that baking soda is good for yet another thing.  I was snuggling my 4 year-old to sleep. He had been talking about his tummy hurting, and all of a sudden it was clear that it was stomach flu. 

… [Insert scary movie music here. — Ed.]

The cleanup was epic and the mattress pad was NOT in fact waterproof.  So, after stripping the bed and wiping the mattress with a damp soapy rag, it still needed something.  I grabbed my huge jug of baking soda and started pouring little mountains on the mattress and sort of gently distributing it and rubbing it in (just barely).  I let it sit a few minutes and then vaccuumed it up.  It eliminated nearly all of the remaining… concern.  Within 15 minutes there was pretty much no odor. 

The next day we marched out and bought a working moisture barrier.

Is there nothing baking soda can’t do? That’s why it’s part of the Parenthacker’s Toolkit.

Related: Fun toilet cleaning? Use baking soda and vinegar!


  1. Kimberly says

    Also helps with a milk spill on a rug. I left it sit for TWO DAYS and the smell is finally gone. I think. Need to vacuum it up today.

  2. says

    Baking soda also works for potty accidents on the mattress. We had a pad that was also, unfortunately, not waterproof, and my 3yo left a huge urine spot on the bed! I sprayed it with vinegar (she was gone for the weekend), and then sprinkled with baking soda and vaccuumed it up once it all dried. No smells were left behind!

  3. says

    I also use baking soda on dog urine stains on the floor. I use a towel to soak up the urine then smother the stain with baking soda and let it sit for a day or two until I get around to vacuuming it. No smell!

  4. says

    Had a similar situation with new wall-to-wall carpeting (after spaghetti sauce mind you). The carpet cleaner took care of the stains, baking soda took care of the smell!

  5. Marcy says

    All 3 kids (and me) got a nasty virus after having just moved in, so of course hadn’t gotten the mattress pads installed yet :(
    Googled how to get vomit smell out of mattress:
    1. Blot up as much liquid as possible.
    2. Use carpet cleaner with “enzyme action”. I couldn’t find any when I was looking, but I had 3 sick kids with me, so I used the best looking carpet cleaner I could find. Blot again.
    3. Pile on the baking soda. Really pile it on. Box of baking soda: 69cents. New mattress: over $100, you do the math. Leave it for a few hours, or overnight if possible.
    4. Remove baking soda and vaccuum up the remaining dust.
    5. Febreeze like crazy.
    That’s what I did, and it was great. Probably it was overkill, but I thought I would prefer to overkill it than have a yucky smelling mattress.
    I love baking soda!

  6. says

    Thank you for this tip. He have a potty training puppy, and I hate use chemicals; because, they usually do not work as well as they should, for the price that I pay.

  7. Rebecca says

    It was ugly… but we rush ordered a cover from Amazon. The one we found out was not waterproof was a tyvek type that zipped over the entire mattress. It wore thin quickly in the area where a small body would be during sleep. In any case, once we got a more breathable one my son also stopped sweating so much at night. Win win!

  8. says

    It won’t help your mattress much, but when you go to wash those sheets, make sure you use some vinegar. It will disinfect and deodorize and hopefully keep those sheets usable. We’ve had some stomach flu issues of our own (although, from the other end), so I’m feeling for you, Asha.