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 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
Do you use powder, capsules or liquid to wash your clothes?
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 Clean A Mattress and Get Rid of Stains
Knowinghow to clean a mattresscan help you sleep better at night. This guide explains how to clean your mattress and get rid of stains, odors, and allergens. It also covers how to protect your mattress, so it stays clean and fresh.
Why You Should Clean Your Mattress
Dead Skin Cells and Dust Mites
Of the estimated 1.6trillionskin cells on our bodies, roughly 30,000 to 40,000 of them fall off every hour. Multiply that by the eight hours we’re supposed to get, and we’re shedding around a quarter-million dead skin cells in our sleep.
Sure, your sheets catch most of the skin cells. What they don’t protect your mattress from are the dust mites that feed on those dead skin cells. And, there arehundreds of thousandsof those dust mites in your bed.
Or, Glen Needham, a retired professor of entomology at Ohio State University, says, “Every mattress is a crime scene in terms of how it gets inoculated with mites.”
Moisture, Mold, and Mildew
When we sleep, our bodies lose moisture. Some of that is simply the result of us breathing. Some of it is also sweat.
If you’re a person who “sleeps hot” or who suffers from hot flashes or night sweats, you know how damp your bedding and mattress can get. Combine the two, and our bodies produce over a pound of moisture each night!
While much of that evaporates in the air, plenty soaks into your mattress. There, the dense materials and warm, dark environment provide the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew spores.
Pets, Kids, and Other Messes
If you have young children, the chances are that at least one mattress in your home bears the results of a nighttime accident. Even house-trained pets can leave your mattress damp if they spend much time licking their paws or hop on your bed right after a bath. And, of course, full-grown adults can soil a mattress several ways, too.
So, you can put up with a stained mattress that stinks of sweat and body oils, or you can set aside an afternoon to deep clean your mattress and get it looking — and smelling — new again.
How to Clean Your Mattress
You need to strip the bed before you begin cleaning your mattress, so this is a good time to launder your bed linens, too.
- Using the hottest setting allowed on the manufacturer’s label will kill dust mites on your sheets and blankets.
- Go ahead and wash your pillows and fabric mattress toppers.
- You can even wash an electric blanket if you use one.
While the washer and dryer are doing their thing, follow the steps below to clean your mattress.
1. Vacuum the Top and Sides
Your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment is the best tool for mattress cleaning. Start at the top and work your way down in overlapping, narrow paths.
Vacuum the sides the same way. Don’t worry about the other side of the mattress just yet — we’ll get there in step 5. For now, we’re clearing away dead skin cells, pet hair, and surface dirt to make the next step more effective.
2. Remove Odors with Baking Soda
S prinkle your mattress well with plain baking soda (bicarb for UK readers) andgentlyrub it in, so it bonds with surface moisture. Let it sit for 10 minutes to continue neutralizing odors.
What about adding essential oils?
Several readers have asked about mixing essential oils with the baking powder before sprinkling it on their mattresses. I don’t recommend it for a couple of reasons.
- Essential oils are stilloils.Rubbing any oil into a fabric is never a good idea — it attracts dirt and can make the bond between the material and soil permanent. That’s pretty much the exactoppositeof what we’re trying to achieve when we clean a mattress.
- It’s a waste of time.By the time you’ve cleaned the mattress, removed stains, and protected it from future problems, you won’t be able to smell the essential oil. So why bother?
3. Vacuum Again
After giving the baking soda time to bond with surface moisture and odors, it’s time to vacuum it out of the mattress.
Using the upholstery attachment, vacuum the top and sides of the mattress with slow, overlapping strokes. Donotpress too hard — it interferes with your vacuum’s suction and may snag your bed’s fabric.
4. How to Remove Mattress Stains
Mattresses typically acquire three types of stains: blood, urine, and what we’ll call “other bodily fluids.”
While it’s best to treat stains immediately, sometimes sleep is more important. Fortunately, you can still clean stains on your mattress even after they’ve been there a while.
You can often get fresh blood stains out of mattresses with just a rag, some cold water, and a little soap. For fresh blood stains, it’s important to usecoldwater, since heat causes the proteins in blood to bond with the mattress material.
If cold water and a bit of soap didn’t do the trick, use the dried blood remover for mattresses below.
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?