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 Clean Old Pee Stains From A Bed – Tips & Tricks
If your pet or child had an accident on the mattress, you need to clean it fast! The worst thing is when the stain sets in and you’re reminded of the unsightly mess every time you change your sheets.
Or worse, your friends help you move and are completely grossed out by those tell-tale splotches on the surface of your mattress.
And who knows? Maybe it was you who had the accident. No judgment here. But your friends? They’ll definitely judge.
If you want to knowhow to clean urine stains from a mattress, whether they’re fresh or already set in, check out these easy tips to make your bed look and smell new again.
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What You Need
Before we get started, here’s a quick disclaimer. Make sure you spot test a small, unobtrusive area of your bed before going all out and dousing your bed with the cleaning solution. While I doubt that this will harm your mattress, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Empty spray bottle
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
- Liquid dishwashing soap, Dawn is the best
- Lavender essential oil (optional and for fancy people)
- Vinegar (to get things started)
For the cleaning solution, you’ll combine eight ounces of hydrogen peroxide, three tablespoons of baking soda and half a teaspoon of dish soap into your empty spray bottle. If you want to get fancy, add a drop or two of lavender oil. It’ll neutralize the smell, and help your child (or you, for that matter) sleep better.
Shake gently, or better yet just swish it around, to combine the ingredients, but too vigorously or you’ll have a bubbly mess to clean up in addition to a pee-stained mattress.
Soak with Vinegar
Whether the accident just happened or it’s been dry for ages, vinegar is your best friend. If the scene of the crime is still wet, the first thing to do is soak up all of the moisture with either paper towels or a dry cotton towel.
Once dry, soak the entire area and a little bit beyond with vinegar (make sure it’s white vinegar). If your accident has already dried on its own, then go straight to this vinegar step. Blot the vinegar until it’s dry.
Apply the Solution
Spray the solution over the affected area, and let it soak it for five to ten minutes. If your stain is particularly gnarly or set in, you can have it set for 20 minutes. Blot the solution with your towels until the mattress is dry.
Reapply as Needed
If the stain doesn’t lift, keep reapplying.
Note:Avoid wiping or rubbing with the towels. That only distributes the stain. Instead, blotting will lift it. Also, use light colored towels or white paper towels so you can see the stain is being lifted.
Use an Enzymatic Cleaner (optional)
If you’re dealing with a pet accident, you may need to use an enzymatic cleaner, which is better at neutralizing odors. Since pets have an acutely strong sense of smell, they’ll keep urinating on the same spot if there’s a lingering odor that signals your pet that it’s a sanctioned potty area.
While our DIY solution works wonders, there’s still a chance that there will be a lingering odor. This is where the enzymatic cleaner comes in. Urine, whether it originates from a human or animal, contains uric acid crystals. Regular formulas won’t be able to break down these crystals, which is why an enzyme-based cleaner is sometimes the only solution.
Sprinkle with Baking Soda
Baking soda is excellent for odor removal, so if the stain carries a stubborn smell, baking soda may be precisely what you need to neutralize it. Baking soda is also adept in absorbing moisture.
To apply the baking soda, sprinkle liberally on the surface of the mattress, making sure that it covers both the stains and outside the edges of it. If your bed is the victim of frequent accidents, you may want to also regularly apply a thin layer underneath the sheets to keep things fresh.
Let it Dry
After applying the solution, let the mattress dry completely. This usually takes about four to six hours. The bed should be naked without sheets, blankets or covers. For evaporation and ventilation to occur, nothing should obstruct the airflow.
The last step of the cleaning process is vacuuming the baking soda. Work the vacuum into all the cracks, crevices, and folds. Since baking soda can be gritty, especially once it’s absorbed moisture, this is an important step.
Use a Waterproof Mattress Pad
A surprising number of people who’ve experienced accidents already had a mattress pad, but it didn’t perform to expectations. If you’ve had a leak, then it’s time to invest in a new one that’s waterproof. And, it goes without saying that if you don’t have a mattress pad, this should be your very next purchase. Even if you’re not worried about accidents, the right protector will keep your bed feeling (and smelling) new and fresh longer.
This concept is especially true if you ever need to file a warranty claim with your mattress manufacturer. Not many people know this, but having a stained mattress often voids any warranties.
How to Easily Remove Old Pee Stain and Smell from a Mattress
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There are many joys of parenting. One of those joys is not having toremove pee stains from a mattress, a mattress thathada waterproof mattress protector on it.
One of my daughters, unfortunately, has an issue with wetting the bed at night. While she’s been potty trained for over a year, and doesn’t wet her bed every night, it’s still regularly happening. Unfortunately this has led tourine stains on her mattress. Multiple urine stainsthat smell.
The waterproof mattress protectors we placed under our daughter’s sheets, failed. I think the heat from the dryer or their less than top-of-the-line materials, left them anything but waterproof.
Since our twins don’t have assigned beds,not only did I have to clean a mattress that has urine on it once, but twice.
This stank (literally) because they werenewmattresses.
I really wanted to remove the stainandthe smell, as quickly and easily as possible, because I couldn’t afford to replace them. And because I love efficiency.
Thanks to an internet search I found this awesome post from the Inspired Housewife, which had a cheap, easy, and effective way to get urine stains out of a mattress.
I decided to try it out for myself on my daughters’ very urinated on mattresses, with old pee stains, and their nice musty pee smell. I wanted to see if it really would work and how well or not it did.
I did the following urine stain removing method and then promptly bought this new waterproof mattress cover so I would never have to do it again.
You canwatch the video belowfor the instructions. But be sure to check out the FAQ section at the end for more tips and advice on how to do it, like recommended spray bottles, and more:
Table of contents
The Pee Stained Mattresses Before Cleaning:
First, I want to show you just how bad my kids’ pee stained mattresses were:
Yuck! Definitely not what I want my kids’ mattresses to look like and to be sleeping on! Plus, the smell was not so hot.
*If you want a print-friendly version of the following tutorial, CLICK HERE or enter your name and email in the boxes below:*
How to Get a Pee Stain out of a Mattress
I used the following tutorial on a regular spring mattress and it worked great. Hundreds of others have also used it with the same great results.
Pee Stain Removal Cleaning Solution
To remove a pee stain from a mattress you need:
How to Get Urine Out of a Mattress When Dry
DISCLAIMER: Please spot testa small area before doing your entire mattress. I am not responsible for any lasting damage that may occur from you doing this or any voiding or warranties.
Some mattresses, like memory foam or pillow-top mattresses, may not do well with this treatment. It will depend on what your mattress is made out of and how you are supposed to clean it. Use at your own risk.
Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
How to Remove Urine from a Mattress
- Mix Your Urine Removing SolutionTake the empty spray bottle (these ones are supposed to not clog – if it does, see my FAQ at the bottom) and pour in 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda (add with a funnel) and a drop of liquid hand dishwashing soap.
You can also add in a drop of lavender or other essential oil to help neutralize the smell. Plus, lavender oil is said to help induce sleep.
Spin everything around a little bit, but don’t shake it up too much or it may bubble up way too much. Now your urine removing formula is ready to go!
Spray solution onto pee-stained mattressSpray (or pour) urine remover solution onto your mattress, getting it nice and saturated, especially on yellow pee stains.
Make sure to use the mixture right away for best results as the peroxide starts to break down in light.
Make more solution and saturate as needed for large mattresses. Don’t forget to get sides of the mattress too.
*If you want a print-friendly version of this cleaning tutorial, sign up below and I’ll send it and some more awesome cleaning tutorials right to your inbox*:
The end results are amazing! There is aslightyellow residue, but vastly improved.
I have heard from so many people that this tutorial really worked for them and has been such a blessing to them! If you don’t believe me, read all the comments on this post! I get even more comments about how well it works via email and on Pinterest.
The Mattress After Removing the Stains:
Here are the results!:
FAQ When Trying to Get Pee Out of a Mattress
What types of mattresses will this work on?
Traditional spring, pillow top, and hybrid beds should all respond well to this method of removing urine from mattresses, but ALWAYS TEST A SMALL SPOT FIRST.
I have had a handful of people who said it didn’t work on their mattress, mostly those with foam or memory foam mattresses. 🤷♀️
Will this tutorial work on a dark-colored mattress or a printed mattress?
While I used this on a white mattress, many have used this same method on colored mattresses and mattresses with prints. You will want to spot test it for color-fastness, but thankfully, you cover up mattresses with sheets and never see it.
My spray bottle is clogging, what do I do?
If you have problems with clogging, try the following:
- Using less baking soda, mixing it in the peroxide really well first,thenpouring it into the spray bottle
- Pour the solution directly onto the bed and scrub it gently in with a cloth or carpet brush.
- Mix the solution in a bowl, then saturated with a rag and blot it onto the mattress, making sure every time you blot, you use a clean area of the rag so you’re not putting urine back on the mattress.
- Get a better spray bottle.
What strength peroxide should I use to remove pee stain from the mattress?
A 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide is high enough. You can use higher if you want.
How long does a mattress take to dry?
It will usually take 2 hours or more to completely dry.
If you want to speed up the drying time, blot your mattress with some clean rags, turn on a fan or two.
The smell is still there. What can I do?
I would consider doing another round of the treatment above, spraying with vinegar and letting air dry, or someone recommended spraying with rubbing alcohol or straight cheap vodka.
The stain is still there! What went wrong?
If the stain is not lifting after multiple treatments, I would buy a new bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Peroxide loses its potency over time, especially if exposed to sunlight or the lid is left open too long, etc. Make sure your baking soda isn’t too old, too.
You could also be trying to treat a stain that isn’t urine. I cannot guarantee this solution works on all mattress stains (like oil and dirt and sweat) though some have said it worked on other stains on the mattress as well.
Will this urine removing solution work on my couch?
Many have asked if it will work on other fabric furniture, and I have never personally tried it. But, like always, you can experiment yourself in a small area. I don’t know how it works on leather or other couch materials however, and peroxide can change the color of your fabrics.
Will this pee stain remover work on my carpet?
Chances are good that this will work on your carpet! Carpets and rugs are also easy to vacuum so win there! Just test a spot if you are worried about color-fastness.
Can I use Baking Powder instead of Baking Soda?
One commenter asked this, tried it herself, and said YES! Worked like a charm.
What if I don’t have a vacuum?
Definitely not the end of the world if you don’t. You can use a dry towel and brush the baking soda residue to the floor and then sweep it up. Or pick up a simple stick vacuum or handheld vacuum for pretty inexpensive.
What mattress protector do you recommend?
I recommend waterproof mattress protectors. I also highly recommend ones that are also dust mite barriers for better health.
For a really good terry cloth topped, waterproof mattress protector, for not much money, SafeRest makes one of the highest ratest ones on Amazon!
For a 100% waterproof mattress protector that also protects against dust mites and allergens, with a soft top, Ultra Plus makes one of the highest rated ones on Amazon and it’s still very affordable!
Will this work if the pee stain on my mattress is really old and dry?
People have commented that they had pee stains on their mattresses that had been there for YEARS and they were magically removed with this formula. Give it a shot and it may surprise you that this can remove old pee stains with ease.
Be sure toFollow my Cleaning Board on Pinterestfor even more cleaning tips and ideas!
And check out my more of my amazing How to Clean tutorials!:
What have you done to remove a pee stain from a mattress?
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.