How to clean urine stains from a mattress
Urine stains can cause unpleasant stains and smells! To avoid this act fast and use these tips to clean stains from a mattress.
Updated 8 April 2020
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With kids in the house, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll end up having to deal with a bed-wetting incident at some point – it’s a perfectly natural part of growing up, and occasionally happens in later life as well. Dealing with it is hardly fun, but removing urine from a mattress is something that can actually be pretty simple if you act fast, and treat the situation sensitively and sensibly.
All urine (animal and human) is made up of crystals of uric acid, so to permanently remove the acid, odour, and bacteria and properly clean urine from mattress fabric and bedding, it is best to use an enzyme-based cleaning solution. There is also a wide selection of products specifically developed for treating urine stains caused by pets, which are often perfectly suitable for use on human accidents too. Make sure to check the label on your chosen product and follow the instructions to ensure you use it safely and effectively. Always test any cleaning product in a small area first before continuing.
How to Clean a Mattress: Urine Stains
- Use a dry towel, cloth, or paper towels to lightly blot up the excess urine, then strip the bed. Avoid rubbing the stain, as this will only spread the urine deeper into the mattress.
- Sprinkle baking soda onto the affected area to absorb the remaining moisture.
- Make a solution of biological washing powder – we like Persil Bio – and water. Alternatively, if you don’t mind the smell (which can be somewhat potent at first) you can try a solution of one part white vinegar to one part warm water.
- Spray your chosen solution onto the stain and leave to sit for 3-5 minutes. If using a commercial stain remover, always carefully follow the instructions on the product packaging, be sure to wear protective gloves, and open the windows for ventilation. You should use enough of the stain remover to counterbalance the amount of urine that has soaked into the mattress before leaving to air-dry.
- Repeat step one, blotting up any moisture with a towel or dry cloth. This is to get rid of any residual urine and prevent mould, so try to get the mattress as dry as possible.
- Bring back the baking soda and sprinkle over the entire mattress. The mattress needs to be given time to dry out thoroughly – at least 18 hours – so you should make other sleeping arrangements and leave it to dry overnight.
- Vacuum up the baking soda and prop the mattress up outside or in a well-ventilated area to allow air to circulate and shift the last of the odour.
The above guide explains how to clean urine from mattress fabric and stuffing – check out our article on cleaning mattresses and bedding for tips on doing a regular clean.
Protection and Prevention
Now that you know how to clean urine from a mattress, you can be prepared for future incidents. Sealed protectors are available for pillows, duvets, and mattresses that will not only shield your family’s beds from urine, but also help protect you from dust mites, bacteria and all number of other allergens.
Don’t be put off by uncomfortable childhood memories of crackly waterproof covers and cases – the latest products are far subtler, and won’t leave you slipping and sliding with every movement. Choose from zippered or fitted styles, with breathable fibres that will keep you and your children protected and relaxed.
Now that the mattress is clean again, you and your family are ready for a good night’s sleep!
How to Remove Urine Stains from a Mattress
Updated: March 31, 2019
This article was co-authored by Michelle Driscoll, MPH. Michelle Driscoll is the Owner of Mulberry Maids based in northern Colorado. Driscoll received her Masters in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health in 2016.
There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
Accidents happen with children and pets, and at some point, you may need to remove urine from a mattress. Although it can seem like a difficult task, don’t worry! All it takes for the mattress to look as good as new is a few simple household ingredients. To remove wet stains, blot the excess liquid, add baking powder, and use a vinegar solution to neutralize the smell. For old, dry stains, create a hydrogen peroxide solution to help lift the stain.
About this article
To remove dried urine stains from a mattress, start by mixing 8 fluid ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and 2 drops of dish detergent in a bowl. Then, dab the stain with the solution using a cloth, and let it sit until it dries. Alternatively, you can mix 3 tablespoons of dry laundry powder with 1 tablespoon of water and apply it to the stain. Whichever method you use, vacuum the mattress once the cleaning solution is completely dry. To learn how to remove wet urine stains from a mattress, read on!
How To Get Urine Smell Out Of Mattress
A detailed guide on how to clean urine out of a mattress, and make sure there is no smell left to linger.
Whether it was your child or puppy who hasn’t quite gotten the hang of potty training yet, or your friend who had way too much to drink last night — there’s now a pee stain that you’re responsible for cleaning up.Your blankets and sheets will be fine if you throw them in the washer right away, but unlike your linens, mattresses can’t just be thrown into the washing machine.
Guide To Cleaning Urine From Your Mattress:
Below you’ll find our step-by-step guide on how to completely clean urine out from your mattress, properly sanitize it, and remove any smells or stains left behind. The ingredients we recommend are normal household items that may already be a staple in your pantry, so no need to run to the store in the middle of the night.
Step 1: Remove Sheets & Bedding — Fast
As soon as you notice the urine stain, remove everything off of your mattress including sheets, blankets, or comforters, andthrow them in the washing machine ASAP(double check that your comforter is machine washable). The sooner the better. If the urine is really set, though, we suggest you check out our simple guide on removing yellow stains from your bedding.
Step 2: Blot The Urine Area On Your Bed
Blot away all the extra liquid on the mattress with your towel or paper towel.Pro tip: don’t rub, dab!That way, you don’t push the stain deeper into the fibers of your mattress.
Step 3: Spray Down Your Mattress
Spray down the urine-stained area with a generous layer of vinegar. We recommend you use straight vinegar without any dilution if there is a strong urine odor, because it’s the best way to tackle the stubborn smell. Otherwise, you’ll be okay with using a diluted vinegar mixture that’s 50% vinegar and 50% water.
Use a spray bottle to prevent over saturating your mattress with liquid, because you risk damaging the bed’s foam and you want it to dry in a timely manner. Let the vinegar penetrate the fibers of your mattress, andleave it for 10-20 minutesto really ensure you remove that nasty urine smell. After you’ve let it set, soak up the vinegar with your paper towels or cloth (not the ones you originally used to clean up the extra pee, ew).
Step 4: Sprinkle Baking Soda Over The Area
This will help to soak up any lingering odors, and should get rid of the vinegar smell as well.We recommend leaving the baking soda for a full work day, like 8 hours or more. You can even leave it overnight if you want to be extra careful. Don’t worry about not being able to sleep on it though — you can just throw a pair of clean sheets over the mattress and get back to cleaning in the morning.
Step 5: Vacuum Up The Baking Soda
After eight hours or so (even longer if you can), vacuum up all the baking soda from your mattress. Use the attachment piece that should have come with your vacuum to make the process a bit easier, or even a handheld mini vacuum.Make sure to go over the surface multiple times— this isn’t a one-and-done type deal. If you rush through this step you may not get all the baking soda out of your mattress. And voila! The urine accident should be all but forgotten (until the next time).
Save Our Full Step-By-Step Infographic:
Below is a full-size version of the infographic for how to clean urine from a mattress. If you end up sharing it, please give us credit by linking this page.
What You’ll Need To Clean Up Pet/Animal Urine:
- Baking soda
- 8 oz hydrogen peroxide
- Liquid detergent (a few drops)
- Optional: essential oils, lemon water
- Optional: rubber gloves, a blow dryer or standing fan
Cleaning Pet Urine From Your Mattress:
If one of your furry friends had something to do with the wet spot on your mattress, the odor can be a little smellier than that of human urine. That’s because pet urine is more concentrated, and contains significant amounts of alkaline and acidic substances. In this case, there are slightly different steps you should follow to make sure the pee, and its smell, are gone for good.
Step 1: Throw Your Linens In The Wash
Like human urine, you’ll want towash your blankets and sheets right awayto prevent the urine from staining or ruining your linens.
Step 2: Sprinkle baking soda, Vacuum, Repeat
Unlike cleaning humane urine from a mattress, you shouldfirst spread baking soda over the urine spotwhen dealing with pee from your pet. Why? The goal is to absorb all of the urine out of the bed first. You should notice the baking soda begin to darken in color, and when that happens, vacuum up the baking soda. From here, you’ll want to repeat this process until the baking soda stays white in color.
Step 3: Spray Down The Spot
Combine a mixture containing8 oz of hydrogen peroxide, three tbs of more baking soda, and a few drops of liquid detergentin a spray bottle. You can also add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil or lemon water to leave a more pleasant smell on your mattress.
Spray down the spot with your mixture, and coat your mattress with a generous layer without completely soaking it. Also, you should make sure it’s all even.
Step 4: Vacuum The Residue
Vacuum up the excess residue after the sprayed-down spot has completely dried, and your mattress should look (and smell) like it’s back to normal.
You can also follow these same steps if you’re trying to clean up urine that has already dried from when you were out of town or asleep during the night. It’ll work on both dried animal urine, and dried human urine.
If it was your child or your loved one who left the urine, there are steps you can take to prevent another big clean up in the future. You can purchase a protective covering that’s actually quiet, comfortable, and will keep your mattress fresh and clean. You can also get a sealed protector for things like pillows and duvets. As an added bonus, sealed coverings will protect you from dust mites and other unwelcome allergens.
You can also consider getting a waterproof mattress protector. Not only will they protect your mattress from your child’s or animal’s pee mishaps, they’ll extend the life of your mattress overall and protect your warranty. There are some popular protectors that won’t break the bank on Amazon.
If it was your animal that peed on your mattress, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. Dogs especially have a strong sense of smell, and may instinctively return to that spot to claim their territory (a.k.a. continue peeing).
Make sure the odor is completely gone, and bring in some extra reinforcements with commercial dog repellents, or a DIY remedy like cayenne pepper. Spray the repellent/ spread small bits of cayenne pepper to keep your dog from peeing on the spot again. Don’t worry, the cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt your pup/animal. It contains a certain molecule that slightly bothers their skin without hurting them. Kind of like an uncomfortable sweater your grandma knitted for you.
If the culprit was your too-drunk-to-function buddy, then the biggest advice we have for them is to take it easy, and slow down.
Important Things To Remember
Whether you’re cleaning urine left by your cat or from your 4-year-old who had an accident, there are a few key things you should keep in mind.
The longer urine sits (especially your animal’s urine which is much stronger than yours), the better chance it has to leave a nasty stain or lingering smell. That means, if you notice the urine right away, don’t put it off because you don’t feel like dealing with it. Get to cleaning right away.
If the stain happened while you were out of town and the stain sat a few days, you’ll just have to put in a bit of extra TLC and time when you’re cleaning your mattress.
Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals
Your run-of-the-mill store brand carpet cleaner is not a good alternative to clean urine out of a mattress. Many cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful for humans and animals, and you don’t want that inside the mattress you sleep on every night. The strong odor from these harsh chemicals like bleach or disinfectants can also be a little too overpowering for your pet.
How to Clean Pee Out of a Mattress
Updated: March 1, 2018 Erin 99 Comments
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With three young children, we’ve dealt with our fair share of bedwetting accidents over the past the past 7 1/2 years. Thankfully, we’ve now learnedthe very best way to clean pee out of a mattress. Urine odors and stains (for the most part) don’t have to ruin mattresses forever!
Right before Christmas, my husband and I got abrand new mattress.
And it was not just any mattress either: It was a queen size, luxury mattress from the innovative online mattress company, Leesa, delivered forfree, straight to our door.
We were ecstatic.
Not only did we have a very nice brand new mattress, but we also avoided the dreaded mattress showroom experience and avoided any and all delivery fees by ordering it online.
Since I absolutelyhateshopping, I was doing a happy dance when ordering our mattress took a matter of minutes!
The mattress came to us in a box about the size of a mini fridge box.
It came all rolled up, and hubby and I (plus my amazing mentor, Holly, who was here for a visit) unrolled it together. We then left it for a few hours to expand a bit.
I was especially excited because the Leesa mattress is made with CertiPUR-US-approved foams.
CertiPUR-US approved foams are:
- Made without ozone depleters
- Made without PBDE flame retardants
- Made without mercury, lead and other heavy metals
- Made without formaldehyde
- Made without phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions for indoor air quality (This is what the stain looked like the first time I went through the above process.
I was very satisfied after using this method to remove urine from the mattress the first time.
There was still a faint circle, especially around the edges where I did not get baking soda, but I was happy that it was mostly unnoticeable.
As irony would have it, another one of our children wet in our bed two nights before I wrote this post!
Lucky me: I had the opportunity to try out this method of getting pee out of a mattressagain.
Here’s a large view of the stain after the second bedwetting and second time through the process…barely visible!Here’s a close-up…the stain is almost gone!
I used the exact same method, and this time I saw it work even better–even removing more of the original stain!
This confirmed to me that repeating the process really does yield the best results, if you have the patience for that!
Get $75 off your Leesa Order!
If you’ve had your old mattress for close to ten years and are in the market for a new one (or just want one with a CertiPUR-US-approved foam), then I’m excited to share that Leesa is giving the first 50 readers who claim it a $75 off coupon to their store!
Use code HOMEMAKER75 to redeem it! Click here.
One thing I love about Leesa is that they let customers try their mattresses risk-free for 100 nights! If they don’t like it, they can return it after those 100 night! Mattresses start at $525, and shipping is always free.
The 10” mattress comes in all sizes, and is made with 3 unique foam layers, including 2” of memory foam and 2” of a really cool latex-like foam called Avena™ that’s perforated to keep you cool as the other side of the pillow.
Have you ever had your child wetyourbed? What are your tips for getting pee out of mattresses?
p.s. I also LOVE that Leesa gives back. In the same vein as TOMS Shoes, they give mattresses away to those in need. For every 10 mattresses they sell, they will donate one to a shelter!
Thank you, Leesa, for sponsoring this post.
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All-Natural Mattress Cleaner – How to Clean Odors and Stains from Your Mattress
If stains and odors are taking over the mattress in your child’s room, this simple method to remove those nasty urine odors and stains will quickly become your best friend. This is kind of a gross topic to discuss on the blog, but it’s a real life issue that we deal with on a weekly basis. When I talked about my son’s bedwetting issues last year, I had a lot of feedback from moms dealing with the same thing so I figured maybe you could use some cleaning tips like this as well. Follow these easy tips for how to clean your mattress with my easy, all-natural mattress cleaner.
HOW TO CLEAN URINE ODOR AND STAINS FROM YOUR MATTRESS
I have broken this post up into a few pages to make is easier to read since there is a lot of text. Be sure to read my favorite comments and tips from readers at the end of this post. You won’t believe #5!
*DISCLAIMER – My son loves to help and asked to help with this cleaning project. Since the products I used are completely safe, I said yes. He loves to be my model! 🙂
HOW TO MAKE AN ALL-NATURAL MATTRESS CLEANER
My son has always had a nighttime issue with wetting the bed. Even as an infant/young toddler I would have to buy the Huggies extra absorbent nighttime diapers (the Pampers brand never worked as well for us), and at times he would even leak through those. I have spent more time cleaning his bedding then I care to count and even now at six years old, it’s still a very prominent issue.
His poor mattress is riddled with stains because he doesn’t always tell me that the sheets were wet, and by the evening, they are dry. Despite using mattress protectors, the urine would soak through even that. I would clean it as best I could but nothing worked. Febreze and other cleaners simply masked the urine odors, and some cleaning solutions that I’d found online would remove the odor but didn’t work well on the stains.
So I decided to create my own method with a mattress cleaner based on items in my pantry, and it’s been working great! This method of removing odors from your mattress is really simple and doesn’t require any fancy scented oils or kitchen utensils. I also like that the products I use aren’t harmful and my son can help with the clean-up.
HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO CLEAN YOUR MATTRESS:
- A roll of paper towels (or lots of rags that you don’t mind washing)
- Baking Soda
- Distilled White Vinegar
- An empty spray bottle
HOW TO CLEAN A MATTRESS
- Saturate that mattress (or the stains at least) with vinegar. You can use a spray bottle or just gently drizzle it right on. (*note – I have only tried with a spray bottle. I don’t recommend the pouring method because it can over-saturate the mattress). Let the vinegar sit for 5-10 minutes. If you have a ceiling fan, turn it on, or run a stand alone fan if you can. At the very least open the windows. The increased air flow helps to speed up the process. (If the stain is brand new, and still wet, be sure to blot it as much as possible before using the vinegar – just don’t press into the mattress as it could send the liquid even deeper). I’ve seen a lot of methods that call for diluting the vinegar but that just didn’t seem to work as well. The straight vinegar is very strong and really helps to pull out that nasty urine odor.
- Using paper towels or rags, soak up the vinegar. Press several layers of paper towels into the mattress for this step.
- Sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress. You can get real fancy and use a sieve or a sifter for this step, but I don’t think it’s necessary. If there are a lot of clumps just break them up with your fingers. We’re going for simple and quick with this mattress cleaner. Let the baking soda sit for several hours. The longer the better, but I’ve gone from two to five hours and both times it worked perfectly. After a couple of hours, you’ll begin to see the baking soda caking as it soaks up the vinegar (and takes that nasty odor with it!).
- Vacuum up the baking soda from the mattress. Make sure to go over the crevices several times. It makes me kinda happy making those lines in the powder with the vacuum cleaner.
That’s it! If you have some really difficult stains, rub the vinegar into them with your fingers or even use an old toothbrush to really rub it in.
As you can see the stains are pretty much gone. Simple and quick and no elbow grease required!
Now if I could just get him to make the bed…
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND TIPS ON MY MATTRESS CLEANER AND FOR REMOVING URINE ODOR AND STAINS
Click below to read our most frequently asked questions and some fabulous tips from readers!
Can I use other types of vinegar?
I recommend Distilled White Vinegar. I keep it on hand in the gallon bottles because it is amazing with so many different household cleaning tasks like this mattress cleaner, and it’s super cheap. Other vinegars are for cooking and are more expensive, and really just won’t work as well. However I did have a reader mention that she used apple cider vinegar and it worked great. The vinegar is just a strong acid that breaks down the odor causing proteins.
Why don’t you just use a waterproof mattress cover?
We do – I actually have 3 of THIS ONE. It works really well, except for that time you are so tired that you forget to put it on, or it rips and you didn’t know, or your son makes his own bed and forgets to put it on, or it slips off the corner because he thrashes around too much at night, or he just doesn’t like the sound/feel of it so he takes it off without telling you, or he wets more than once in a night and you don’t have a back-up, or sometimes, they just fail. It’s not for lack of trying, believe me. Sometimes these accidents just happen and are totally random and it’s always good to have a great mattress cleaner method ready to go.
READER TIPS FOR REMOVING STAINS AND ODORS
Here are some tips from readers who have tried this method.
Set your mattress in the sun.
Jim says, “Vinegar and baking soda do an excellent job for cleaning a mattress. It has always worked for me. If there is too much odor, you may have to put the mattress out in the sun.” (editor’s note – this is great for freshening pillows, too!).
Works on pet stains and odors, too.
Hadley says, “This method works wonderfully on urine odor and stains from pets, too! Last weekend, my sister’s dog had an accident on the end of my bed, and there was a large, yellow urine stain. I was going to purchase some fancy expensive pet stain remover, but I found your web site, and read about your method, instead. Ingenious! I saturated the stain with distilled white vinegar, let it set for about ten minutes, blotted the vinegar with some paper towels, sprinkled a generous amount of baking soda on the stain. I let the baking soda sit for about three hours, and I literally just finished vacuuming the baking soda up, and the stain and smell is completely gone! Thank you so much for telling folks about this method! Your mattress cleaner saved me time and money!”
Bridget says, “I just had to tell you I wish I could give you the biggest hug! I have a tempurpedic mattress and my cat decided to pee on it! I almost had it out my door to throw away and I was so angry that I knew I would NEVER get that smell out! Yes it had ALL the appropriate waterproof covers too! Still soaked through! Well something told me google it before you throw it. I did and I saw this. Well I did it and oh my god! It worked. No smell at all. Thank you!”
Add vinegar to really smelly laundry.
Cassie says, “Thank you! I am going to try this! Why didn’t I think of vinegar before? It’s the best to use on any odors, and I’ve even used to get odors out of clothes and bedding. I tried the baking soda [but] didn’t try vinegar! Genius – I will be doing this today. FYI, they do make vinegar for laundry [too].”
Worried about the strong smell of vinegar? Add scented oils.
Katie says, “I have found that adding a few drops of essential oil (lemon works well) to the vinegar in the spray bottle works wonders to mask the strong smell of the vinegar.”
Don’t have vinegar? Try…vodka?
Sheridan says, “I also have another remedy that is great for getting rid of smells… Vodka! I tried it once to get mildew smell out of a hat and have used it for smelly fabric issues ever since. Same principle, put it in a spray bottle, spray the fabric object down with it until it’s pretty moist to the touch, but for best results put it in a warm sunny spot to evaporate. You can’t really do that with a mattress but alcohol evaporates fairly quickly anyway, and using a fan helps. It doesn’t do much for stains, but works wonders on smells, including mildew!”
*Editor’s note: Basic rubbing alcohol would work the same way, similar to how hand sanitizer works.
Works on vomit, too.
Laura says, “I tried it today on vomit as my son got sick on my bed this morning. It worked great, and luckily there weren’t any stains. I also used a hot iron and damp cloth to get the stains up (to soak up the vinegar & stain), before the baking soda. It’s not great on the iron, but the stains come up so much easier. It’s the same trick used to get (pet) urine stains out of carpet.”
For more tips and tricks, try these:
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