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What Happens When You Spray Rubbing Alcohol On Your Mattress

Rubbing alcohol is acknowledged as a great disinfectant to fight germs and eliminate odors. It is inexpensive and widely available at many stores, so many people use it on mattresses to prevent bed bugs and pests.

It is a good idea, but are there any disadvantages to applying alcohol on your bed? If this problem boggles your mind, this post can help you. Let’s keep reading to find out the ultimate answer and the pros and cons of the method.

Why Shouldn’t Alcohol Be Used On Mattresses?

If you use rubbing alcohol, it will not deteriorate your bed sheets due to its quick evaporation, but alcohol isn’t potent enough to kill all bed bugs and might leave a risk of a fire hazard.

Not Effective To Kill Bed Bugs For Good

Alcohol only kills bugs on contact, which entails spraying it on the bugs directly. Yet, identifying and exposing bed bugs can be incredibly difficult since they can lurk in tiny holes in your bed, in any electrical outlets, or secluded areas. 

It will be challenging to put this disinfectant in certain places; thus, killing the bedbugs you cannot see is pretty impossible.

Some researchers experimented on two items with high amounts of isopropyl alcohol. One contained 50% alcohol, whereas the other had 91%. Neither of them managed to eliminate half of the bed bugs.

Infestations of bed bugs develop quickly — the average female can lay about 250 eggs in her life — so eliminating only half of the current population would not cure the problem.


The most crucial reason not to eliminate these bugs with alcohol is its flammability.

Spraying it on upholstered furniture, carpets, clothing, fabrics, and beds, even though it dries rapidly, presents a fire danger. Airborne vapors are also extremely combustible.

Many accidents involving alcohol on furniture were published in the news media with their terrible outcome.

Can I Use Alcohol Spray To Disinfect The Mattress?

Yes, it can help disinfect mattresses. Because rubbing alcohol evaporates fast after you spray, it doesn’t damage your mattress or its cover. 

Sleeping on a clean bed can help you have a decent night’s sleep. However, dust mites, bacteria, dead skin cells, or perspiration residue may be present on or beneath the surface, leaving a dirty mattress

Even if you have new sheets on your mattress, you may still be vulnerable to dangerous viruses or germs. This is when isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol comes in handy.

It is also quite efficient at removing body odors, unpleasant smells, viruses, and bacteria from your skin and various surfaces. The aroma will also help discourage the bug from laying eggs in your vicinity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an alcohol concentration ranging from 60 to 90% for disinfection.

When shopping for an item for your mattresses, you might look for one that contains at least 70% ethanol or 90% isopropanol.

However, safety precautions must be taken when sanitizing your mattress with this liquid. Alcohol, as we all know, is highly flammable and can constitute a fire hazard in your room. Ensure to dilute it with water evenly. 

This will assist in cleaning the bed while also preventing fires. Also, open the windows to allow the highly flammable fumes to escape. 

Ways To Use Alcohol To Disinfect Mattress

Here are some steps you should follow to maximize its effects on your mattress:

Step 1: Quickly take off all pieces of pillows and bedding from the mattress to increase the contact surface and clean them with warm water. 

Step 2: Prepare a bit of baking soda and sprinkle it on your mattress. Baking soda can absorb moisture and helps you eliminate bad odors, so let it sit for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Vacuum the mattress to get rid of any dust particles, dead skin, and leftover baking soda.

Step 4: Combine equal parts of isopropyl alcohol (70% or 90%) and water. Spray the liquid liberally on the mattress, scrub with a rag/cloth, and let it dry for 10-15 minutes.

Step 5: After sanitizing your mattress, cover it with a topper or a bed sheet.

How Long Does It Take For Alcohol To Kill Bed Bugs?

In general, it is determined by your mattress’s condition and the length of time it will take to disinfect it. After spraying the bed with alcohol, leave it for 15 minutes. After 10–20 minutes, the substance starts to be effective at disinfecting your bed. 

As mentioned, although you use a solution with 70% – 90% isopropyl alcohol, it isn’t effective to kill bugs, as it can only work when you put alcohol directly on them. 

Bed bugs reproduce quickly, and this disinfectant only kills about 25% of them. A 2013 study found that bed bugs sprayed with alcohol survived four days after the treatment. 

As a result, this strategy is useless in eliminating these troublesome little pests. If you want quick results, spray alcohol every few hours, yet it helps bed bugs leave after one or two hours due to the alcohol smell. 

If your mattress is extremely dirty, you may need to cleanse it numerous times rather than just spraying alcohol. Wash it in warm water and set it aside to dry for a few hours so that you can sleep comfortably.

Read more: Is It Safe To Buy A Mattress From Goodwill


Now you know that your mattress will be fine with some alcohol, even good in some cases. This substance is an excellent choice for disinfecting mattresses, but it is not the most effective bed bug control method. It aids in eliminating dust particles, dead cells, and germs, and your bedding can smell fresh. Remember to dilute the solvent with water.

Alcohol is potentially combustible, so disinfect your bed with extreme caution. You will have a bed with good smells if everything is done correctly.

For more methods to clean a mattress properly, check out this tutorial video:

David Elkie

David Elkie

David Elkie is the CEO at Banner Mattress. He has been in the writing and editing business for the mattress, bedding accessories and décor industries for over 20 years.