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How To Get Stains Out of a Mattress

You can’t throw a mattress into the washer, so how do you clean mattress stains? Here’s a few simple ways to get stains out of a mattress, including blood & urine!


Your mattress is used every single day, and so naturally stains and spills will happen. You can’t just throw a mattress into the washer, so what’s the best way to clean it? Here are a few simple tips on how to get stains out of a mattress.

Need to freshen up your entire mattress? Here’s how to deep clean your mattress.

How To Clean Mattress Stains

Whether it’s a new spill or an old stain you just noticed, follow these simple steps to remove the spot.

  1. Soak up liquid.
    If the stain is still wet, soak up the liquid with a clean cloth by gently blotting. Do not rub or scrub at this point, or you’ll just help the stain penetrate further into the fabric of the mattress.
  2. Spray-on cleaner.
    Once all the liquid has been absorbed, spray on a cleaner of your choice. For a good general mattress cleaner, add the following to a spray bottle: 1/2-cup warm water, 1/2-cup white vinegar, and about a teaspoon of dish soap.
  3. Blot stain.
    With the cleaner applied, blot the stain until it is removed. Spray on more cleaner, and blot again if needed. Let the area air dry before replacing your bed linens.

How to Get Urine Stains Out Of a Mattress

Urine stains can be a bit more stubborn than other mattress spots, and so removal requires a little more effort. Here’s how to clean mattress stains.

  1. Pre-treat the spot with vinegar.
    If the urine stain is new, blot away excess liquid. Then bring out the vinegar which helps clean and neutralizes the odor. Spray straight vinegar onto the stain and blot again.
  2. Spray on homemade urine cleaner.
    This DIY cleaner is a lifesaver when it comes to urine stains. In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 to 3 drops of dish soap. For an extra scent boost, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil like lemon or lavender. Spray this cleaner on the spot and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with baking soda.
    Once you’ve allowed the cleaner to do its job. Sprinkle the spot with baking soda, this will soak up any remaining moisture and odor. Allow the baking soda to sit for another 10 minutes, then vacuum it away with the upholstery attachment.

How To Remove Blood Stains From a Mattress

There’s one thing to remember when it comes to blood stains, stay away from hot water. Hot water can actually set the stain into the mattress fabric and make it impossible to remove. With that in mind, here’s how to get rid of a blood stain.

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.

Blood Stains

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 Get Pee Stains Out of a Mattress!

How to Get Pee Stains Out of a Mattress with 3 Simple Ingredients

Every day, somewhere in the world, a mattress gets peed on, soiled, or stained somehow. Urine stains and odors plague mattresses around the world, and you want to knowhow to get pee stains out of a mattress.

Here is the recipe to remove urine stains from a mattress, and many other types of stains also. It only takes3 easy ingredients, but you also need ameasuring cup, a tablespoon, a funnel, and a heavy duty spray bottle(read more about the type of spray bottle to use in the Tips section).

Here are the 3 Simple Ingredients to Clean a Mattress:

  1. 8 ounces/237 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  2. 3 tablespoons/45 grams of baking soda
  3. 1 drop of liquid hand dishwashing soap

If you do not have these items already, you can still get them for a fraction of the cost for professional stain removal.

Instructions:Place thebaking sodainto the spray bottle using a funnel. Next add the3% hydrogen peroxide, and finally add a drop of liquid hand dishwashing soap. I useDawn®brand.

Next, swish the bottle around gently.DO NOT SHAKEthe bottle as this tends to clog the siphon straw.

You must use this mixture relatively quickly, and itcannot be saved for later use. The recipe only works if you use it immediately, because the cleaning byproducts and chemical interactions remain active only for a short time.

Also, the chemical reaction of all three ingredients combined can cause the mixture to ooze and leak out of the bottle, creating a mess if you leave the bottle sitting around.

3 Easy Steps to Clean Mattress Stains

  • Spray the stained areas of your mattress thoroughly saturating them and let the mixture sit until it has dried. There isNO scrubbing and NO blotting. You literally spray and walk away.
  • Wait for 5 to 10 minutesfor the stain to lift and disappear. If this does not happen, you must apply the mixture again to ensure it fully cleans the the stained areas.
  • Once the mattress dries, if a baking soda powdery film remains, then simply wipe it off with a damp cloth or vacuum it.

My Story on How to Clean Urine Stains

Mattresses get a LOT of use and sometimes the inevitable happens: they get stained and smell horrible, especially if the accident involves urine.

If you are a parent, I am sure you know getting the dirty bedding cleaned and back on the bed the same day does not always happen.

In the case with my son, cleaning did not happen for three days. Everyone in our household was sick. I let my son sleep in our guest bed for a few nights, because his bedding was still nasty.

When I pulled off his sheets to wash them, to my dismay I discovered he also peed on his brand new mattress. I was horrified and disgusted I failed to realize this earlier! I felt like a bad mom!

The brownish yellow urine stain smelled awful. This upset me, because this mattress was high quality, expensive, and less than two months old.

Before and After Mattress Photos

Here are my original photos of my son’s pee-stained mattress. The second image shows how well this recipe works to get urine stains out of a mattress.

This way toremove urine from a mattress is so simple and easy. I still jump for joy when I get to use this recipe!

This article tells you how to clean mattress stains, not only from urine, but from other types of stains common to mattresses. Check out these FAQs to learn more!

Frequently Asked Questions and Testimonials for How to Remove Urine from a Mattress and other Stains and Surfaces with this Recipe

Most of myFAQscome from reader messages and comments. The discovery of which continues still.

Spray bottle and clogging issues?

MANY people have issues with their spray bottle, but I have done this application at least ten times without issues. I even used two different spray bottles, but here are some tips from me and readers to get you on your way to successful mattress cleaning.

Make sure whatever spray bottle you have that the straw is as large as possible. Otherwise, the mixture is too thick and it will clog your spray bottle.

Again,DO NOT SHAKE!It can definitely clog your spray bottle.

3 Key Spray Bottle Helpful Hints:

  1. Use theheaviest-duty spray bottleyou can find.
  2. Remove the bottom siphon straw filter, if present.
  3. Do not shake the mixture, swirl gently instead.

If you still have issues with clogging, then try what these readers did successfully:

“My sprayer clogged too, but I simply took a thin rag/washcloth and dabbed/rubbed it on the stains. All of it disappeared. UH-mazing!”

“I had trouble with it clogging too, so I put it in asquirt bottle, like a ketchup bottleand squirted it onto the area. Then I spread it around some with a white washcloth. Worked wonders!”

Will this work on a foam mattress?

This method works on a foam mattress.

“Amee. Thank you so much. I must say this really quickly to everyone ATTN: EVERYONE! THIS WILL WORK ON ANY FOAM MATTRESS. Amee, I wish I posted a before pic… I can’t thank you enough.

We have a 3 thousand dollarAloe Vera mattress. So, yes, you can imagine how I felt, lol. The joy of being a housewife, right? Lol, but all jokes aside thank you, thank you very much.”

“Whoa! I used this because my daughter who uses night training pants that failed to work last night had peed all over MY bed. She peed all over my new memory foam mattress topper.

I didn’t take photos because I honestly didn’t think this would work. But alas it disappeared before my eyes. Thanks a million. Not only is the stain gone, but the smell too. Wow!”

Is Dawn® liquid dishwashing soap brand required?

Nope! You do not have to use Dawn®; it is just what I usually have on hand. Use whatever you have in your kitchen as you only need one tiny drop!

That drop acts to break down any oils that could be present as part of the stain. It seems like so little, but it plays an important role.

How long does it take to dry?

It all depends on how much mixture you apply to your mattress or other stained surface. The room temperature and humidity can also have an effect on drying time.

It took only a few hours for my stained area to dry when I cleaned my son’s mattress.

I cleaned a urine stain from another mattress, andI used a box fan to speed up the drying process. The fan worked well.

Does this work to remove pet urine stains and smell?

“Wow this definitely works on pet stains! I have 4 ferrets and my oldest fuzz butt has problems with his back legs, and he doesn’t always hit the puppy pad in the corner, which is on carpet.

I used this yesterday and I was amazed. I sprayed this on the stain, and within 2 or 3 minutes it was gone. I didn’t even have to get down on all fours and scrub. Thank you for sharing this.”

“Thank you so much. I tried this and on anold dog urine stainon my carpet and it made it better, but did not take it all away.

Then, I re-read your instructions, and realized I did not leave it on long enough. I went back and reapplied it and left it on a bit longer than the time you indicated.

The horriblestain the commercial pet urine cleaner would not removewas almost invisible. I cannot thank you enough for posting this!”

NOTE: One caveat, this mixture works well for dog stains, but cat stains often present challenges, especially the lingering smell. After you get out urine stains, you can use anenzymatic cleaner for cat urineor other pet odors.

Does this remove vomit or food stains?

“This DOES take out 7-year vomit stains (thanks to one person’s drunken bachelor nights)! Awesome! Now here’s to hoping they stay GONE! :)”

“I didn’t have pee stains on my mattress, but rather vomit, drool, and a couple blood stains. I just did this and they ALL came out. I’m gonna use this as a general mattress freshener. Thanks so much for sharing!”

“Thanks for the info. Worked like a charm on soy sauce that had been spilled on a mattress. Don’t ask. I downsized the ingredients as the spill was not that bad.

And Iused an old toothbrush(I didn’t have a spray bottle). Can’t even tell it was ever there. Cheers!”

“I was actually looking for a formula/spit up stain remover when I came across your page. My little one is on a really smelly/oily formula due to allergies and allergic colitis.

Nothing I tried before worked for the smell or stains. This did the trick! Thanks for sharing!”

“My son was ill, and last night he climbed into my bed and vomited and urinated on my mattress. I was in tears when morning came and I saw the full extent of the damage.

A google search led me here and I honestly could not be more thankful. I will be passing this information along!”

“My son spilled a whole bottle ofgrape juice on my recliner, and you would never know now – Thank You!”

Does this recipe mixture work on old urine stains?

“This worked awesome! I did it on a fresh spot and an old stain. It took away both stains and the smell (and the yuck factor). Thanks so much.”

“Hi! I wanted to share my experience. I had a year-old pee stain, I cleaned the stain right after my daughter had her accident with Folex. Folex did not take out the yellow color, and it left a huge water mark.

After finding your blog viaPinterest, I went to the store and bought everything to make the pee remover and the car cleaner you recommended. It cost less than $10 for everything.

I came home made my batch of pee remover and “MAGIC”, it’s gone! Thank you, thank you for sharing! You rock mama!”

Does this method work on skunk smell?

Yes it does! This was actuallyconfirmed on MythBusters. Have you ever had a dog get a little too friendly with a skunk? I remember when I was a little girl we had a dog named Sally who could not leave the skunks alone. I swear she thought it was a fabulous perfume.

If only my parents knew about this recipe back then, lots of tomato juice would have been spared for better uses. Here is what one of my readers said about this recipe’s ability to de-skunk your pet.

“That same formula works great for neutralizing skunk odors. When our dog gets sprayed by a skunk we use this mixture in a spray bottle and spray him down, being careful not to let it get into his eyes, and the odor is neutralized.Not covered up, but neutralized. Works great.”

How does this work to clean suede leather?

Yes, it should work fine. It is important, however, to test any surface in an inconspicuous area first before you apply it to the stained locations. The hydrogen peroxide works by breaking down proteins, and it can damage dyed leather.

I would let it sit about 10 minutes and then use a clean rag to blot dry. I would then also use a leather conditioner after cleaning.

“Hi, I need help! I have leather couches, they are brown-like suede, and my kiddos and dogs have dirtied it up! Could I use this mixture on it? I need to clean it badly, and is stinky too….soooo embarrassing, you rock thanks!”

How does this remove breast milk stains or infant formula?

Yes, this method will clean breast milk stains or those from infant formula.

“Thank you! My 2-year-old had an accident last night, and I’ve been searching the web high and low for a non-chemical/harsh/eat-your-skin-off answer. I didn’t want to smell any cleaners or fabric deodorizers.

I just ran toTarget(9pm Target run) and voila! The stain is gone, as well as the chocolatePediasurestains:) Thank you for sharing!”

Does it remove poo stains?

Yes, this method can remove feces stains, but you must thoroughly remove the poop before applying the mixture.

“Wish I had taken before and after pictures, I can’t believe how well this worked!

I used it for cleaning up a year old-stain from a diarrhea accident (which I initially cleaned with my upholstery cleaner, but it was still stained badly) and stains from breast milk. Had to do two coats, but totally worked.”

“I had a family member soil our spare bedroom mattress REALLLLLLLY bad (feces and urine), and I tried different things for a week and nothing worked. I found this site and I literally watched the stains disappear! Thank you so much! Can’t thank you enough!”

Will this work as a homemade carpet cleaner?

Yes, this works to clean carpet. As a caveat, however, like I mentioned for leather furniture, or any upholstered furniture for that matter, test an area of the carpet in an inconspicuous before applying to the stain in a visible area.

“I used this on my cream-colored carpet and it worked great! I was worried about using it on my gold-colored carpet, but figured what the heck; it couldn’t make it any worse. It worked fantastically on it! The ugly spot is gone along with the odor! Thanks!”

“Thank you so much for this info! It worked great on my mattress, I was pleasantly surprised. I have also used this solution on my tan carpet for pet stains and it did not discolor it.”

How does this work to remove blood stains?

This mixture works well to remove blood stains. My husband who is a veterinarian, however, used straight hydrogen peroxide to remove blood from his scrub outfits after surgery.

“This also works on blood stains. If you have teen-aged girls, or girls just entering puberty who haven’t gotten their period yet, they can also stain a mattress.

Hydrogen peroxide will get blood out of clothing too, so if you have cuts, or bloody noses etc. of any kind, use hydrogen peroxide, full-strength, on it!”

What about cleaning other stains like ink, dirt, coffee, or rust stains?

Yes it can, but it depends on the type of stain and the surface. It is always worth a try!

“This combo has taken out ink stains, dirt, coffee, and even rust stains from a wire dog crate, on IVORY colored carpet! The rust stains had been there for years, and I hadn’t yet found a product that could take it out!”

Does this clean cement or tile grout urine stains?

Yes, some readers successfully used it to clean cement or grout stains.

“The same mixture is great for removing the pee smell from bathrooms andit cleans the grout too! I watched it onMythBusters. They removed skunk spray and I thought well I wonder if it works for little boys too. It does and the grout was a bonus!”

“Last night my husband and I asked each other “What’s that smell?” It turned out one of our cats was peeing in her cat bed, so much that it soaked through to the stone tile in front of the fire place.

We threw the bed out, but there werestains on the tile. Ewwwww! Nothing I used worked. I tried this and it is working! I will try on the mattress next!”

Miscellaneous tips, tricks, and discoveries from readers:

“My grandchildren just left after a month-long visit. I discovered the stain this morning, tried your remedy, and the stain is gone. I did take dry white cleaning cloths to blot as we live in a very humid area.

You would not believe how brown the cloths were! This might be the extra help that some of your readers need to completely remove their stains.”

“This also works on the “spots” that show up onlamp shades. Thanks for posting!”

Don’t use expired baking soda

“At first I used old generic baking soda I had. It lightened the stain, but didn’t remove it. Then I thought, “Use a little common sense here.” So I purchased Arm & Hammer™ baking soda (new-not expired), a great spray bottle from a lawn care store, Dawn and a funnel.

Once all ingredients were in the bottle, I shook it up and sprayed away liberally. It worked. I swear it was the fresh box of Arm & Hammer and Dawn liquid dish soap that did the trick the second time around.

Thank you for this great idea. It’s affordable, non-toxic and works with the correct measurements and ingredients.”

This method onhow to get pee stains out of a mattressis simple, safe and works great! If your kids are like mine they usually also maintain an army of stuffed animals in bed with them.

Here are my tips towash the pee and grime safely off your stuffed animalsand make them look and smell like new again.

Do you have any other methods for how to get pee stains out of a mattress? Have you discovered other uses for this simple, but effective recipe?

How to clean mattresses and bedding with ease

A clean bedroom can have a big impact on your life. This article makes it easy to clean your mattress and deal with stains!

Updated 8 April 2020


Key Steps:

  • Use water or any cleaning products sparingly to prevent saturating your mattress.
  • A diluted dish detergent can be used to remove general stains on your mattress – always test on a small inconspicuous area first.
  • If you find your washing machine is not big enough for your duvet, pop to your local launderette where they tend to have bigger machines.
  • If you have skin allergies, choose a gentle detergent specially developed for sensitive skin, like Neutral 0% Liquid Laundry Detergent, which contains 0% colourants or perfume, both of which could irritate sensitive skin.

Using a fabric conditioner and laundry detergent suitable for sensitive skin will make your bedding soft & clean, and will help reduce the risk of skin irritation. It’s the perfect combination for sensitive skin, making it ideal for washing baby blankets.


Do you use powder, capsules or liquid to wash your clothes?

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your mental and physical health and clean bedding and mattresses are key to ensuring good sleep and good health. Regular and deep sleep is essential to learning, memory, and overall health, while poor sleep can lead to a greater risk for chronic disease, as well as impaired judgment and reaction time.

How to Clean Your Mattress

A clean and comfortable mattress is essential for a good night’s sleep. While stains, odours, and dust mites are inevitable consequences of daily mattress use, regular cleaning can help to minimise these discomforts.

To keep your mattress clean, follow these 3 essential tips:

  1. Vacuum both sides of your mattress about once a month. Vacuuming your mattress helps to remove dust and dust mites, which can cause allergic reactions and irritation.
  2. If possible, air your mattress every few months by placing it outside in a sunny spot. This will prevent any accumulating moisture that can lead to mould, and will also banish any lingering odours.
  3. You can also air your mattress when changing the sheets and bedding. After removing the sheets, wait for a few minutes to let your mattress breathe. Ideally, open a window to let in fresh air and sunlight.

How to Clean Stains on a Mattress

Cleaning stains off your mattress may seem like an unpleasant task, but here are some tips that will help you clean a variety of stains. Be sure to check any instructions on your mattress tags – including any wash symbols – before you begin, and do not apply too much water or mattress stain remover to your mattress.

  1. For simple or unidentified stains, clean your mattress with a citrus cleanser or diluted dish detergent. Spray the cleanser and let it sit for five or ten minutes. Blot the mattress repeatedly to remove excess liquid, and remember not to apply too much water.
  2. For blood or urine stains,first, try applying a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the affected area. Blot the stained area with a clean cloth just after application. If this does not work, apply a small amount of laundry detergent directly onto the stain. This will help break up the proteins found in bodily fluids. Brush the spot vigorously. Remember to clean bloodstains with cold water only, as hot liquids will set these stains for good. (This article on getting rid of period stains – a common cause of blood on your bedding – has some more useful advice on how to get blood out of sheets.)
  3. For particularly stubborn stains, try applying baking soda after detergent. Let the baking soda set, perhaps overnight, and vacuum the area the next day.

Top Tips for Cleaning Bedding, Bedspreads & Sheets

Cleaning bedding is usually as easy as washing your clothes, though it is important to pay careful attention to the wash symbols on your blankets, sheets, and pillowcases to make sure that you don’t shrink, stain, or damage your bedding. Remember to wash your sheets and pillowcases about once a week, and your duvet or blanket about once a month.

  • In general, it is a good idea topre-treat spots or stainson your bedding with spot cleaners before throwing them in the wash. Simply spray the soiled area with a stain remover and allow to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes before you begin your wash.
  • Be sure tofollowthe wash symbolson your bedding.
  • Consider washing your bedding with a detergent specifically designed forsensitive skinif you or any of your family members have allergies or sensitive skin. For example, you could try an unscented laundry detergent that’s gentle on skin and fabrics.
  • Do not washyour sheets inhot water,as this will set any stains that have not yet been removed.
  • Forduvets, quilts, and comforters,remember to wash them in a machine large enough to provide plenty of space for movement. This may mean that you will have to find somewhere else to wash these large items!

A good sleeping environment could mean a better night’s sleep – give these tips a try, and sleep soundly with fresh, fragrant bedding and a clean mattress.

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.

Vacuum Up

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.

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