SIMPLE Tips to cleaning & preventing mattress stains 🤢

Your mattress is usually exposed to bodily fluids, skin oil, drool, and sweat. In some instances, it may also be exposed to blood and urine stains. Additionally, you may have pet dander, dust mites, and allergens that can linger on your mattress surface, and it becomes necessary to get it clean. Since we all spend a considerable part of our lives sleeping, it is essential to have a clean mattress for a good night’s sleep. As you can imagine, some of the stains mentioned above are trickier to clean than others. Luckily, this guide will take you through some simple and effective practices on how to clean mattress stains for that much-desired sleep quality.

How to Remove Urine Stains from a Mattress

If you have pets, kids, or adults with incontinence problems, you might encounter occasional urine stains on mattresses. However, do not be scared by these stains. Here is a look at how to get them out.

Remove Your Bedding

Before doing anything on your mattress, make sure to remove all other bedding items. These might include duvets, comforters, bed sheets, and pillows. Make sure to toss these into the washer using the manufacturer-suggested cleaning procedures. You can add some white vinegar to the washing cycle to get rid of the urine smell.

Blot the Stained Area

Grab a dry, clean towel and blot the affected area to absorb as much liquid as possible. Do not be tempted to scrub the spot since this will only push the urine further inside the mattress, making the cleaning process significantly more difficult.

Spray White Vinegar on the Stained Area

Mix one part vinegar with two parts water inside a spray bottle. You can optionally add a little laundry detergent. Shake the mixture thoroughly and spray generously onto the stained spot. Do not be afraid to soak the spot; we will go over how to dry it later. Once soaked, let the mattress sit for about 15 minutes. Use a clean towel to soak up any excess cleaning liquid.

Use Baking Soda to Cover the Spot

Take some baking soda and cover the entire soiled area generously. Let the mattress sit for about ten hours. It’s essential to ensure kids and pets do not get into the mattress during this time and make a mess of its surface.

Vacuum and Dry the Mattress

Plug a hose attachment onto your vacuum cleaner and use it to remove the dried baking soda from the mattress. Please ensure that the baking soda has entirely dried up to prevent accidental damage to your vacuum cleaner. If you have a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, you are safe whether the baking soda has dried up or not.

Inspect the Mattress and Repeat Any Necessary Steps

Inspect the spot thoroughly to determine whether the stain is completely gone. If not, feel free to repeat the process, starting with the third step.

How to Remove Sweat Stains from a Mattress

Unlike urine stains, sweat stains are far more common on mattresses. These stains are quite often the result of nighttime sweating caused by high temperatures, mattress types, bedding, and body types. If your mattress begins to develop visible sweat spots, it’s time to get it cleaned.

Remove Your Bedding

When dealing with mattress stains, it is always important to get every other bedding out of the way and clean them separately. Doing this ensures that the resulting odors do not linger on the sheets, duvet, or comforter.

Vacuum the Entire Mattress

Before proceeding, give the entire mattress a quick pass with the vacuum cleaner. Doing this eliminates loose dirt such as pet hair, food crumbs, and dust that might make your cleaning process less than perfect.

Spot-clean the Affected Areas

Depending on your sleeping position and habit, the sweat stain might be in the middle or towards the edges. Wherever it is, start by spot-treating it using a home-made cleaning agent. You can make the latter using a combination of baking soda, liquid soap, and hydrogen peroxide. Mix the ingredients into a small spray bottle and spot-treat the stained area. You can also make a cleaning agent using a mixture of salt and lemon juice. Once you have spot-treated the stained area, let the mattress air dry for about an hour before proceeding to the next step.

Don’t Forget to Deodorize It

The odor from sweat may still linger even when the stain is no longer visible. To get rid of the smell, sprinkle some baking soda over the entire mattress and let it sit for several hours. The powder will absorb all excess liquid and odor, leaving your mattress dry and smelling fresh. You can then vacuum off the dried baking soda using a hose attachment fixed to the vacuum cleaner’s end.

Let the Mattress Air Outdoors

If you live in an area where it’s possible to do it, let your mattress sit outside for a few hours. This will expose it to UV light and fresh air, a combination that naturally gets rid of bacteria that could be lingering inside the mattress.

How to Remove Blood Stains from a Mattress

While not as common as sweat stains, one can also encounter bloodstains on their mattress. Here are some simple steps to get rid of these stains and get your mattress looking incredible again.

Spot-treat the Stain

Like any other stain, ensure you remove all other bedding before working on the mattress. It would help if you blotted the stained area using a damp, cold piece of cloth as soon as you notice the bloodstain. If possible, use a white cloth to spot-treat the affected area. Using a colored cloth might result in color leaching, further complicating the problem.

Blotting the spot with a damp cloth prevents the stain from becoming permanent. However, please do not use too much water at this point since it may soak deep into the mattress resulting in the potential mildew formation. Also, do not be tempted to rub the stained area since this could push the stain further into the mattress.

Clean the Area

Once you are done spot-treating the affected spot, it is time to clean it. You can use a commercial cleaning agent or make one at home using common household ingredients. Here are some effective home-made mattress cleaning agents.

  • Hydrogen peroxide, salt, and cornstarch: Mix a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide, a tablespoon of salt, and half a cup of cornstarch into a thick, consistent paste. Please note that this cleaning agent is only suitable for innerspring mattresses since hydrogen peroxide [1] can easily damage foam mattresses.
  • Water and ammonia: Combine a cup of water with a tablespoon of ammonia. Make sure to use cold water when making this cleaning solution.
  • Water and baking soda: Mix two parts of water with one part baking soda to form a thick paste.
  • Water and meat tenderizer: Mix one tablespoon of powdered meat tenderizer with two teaspoons of water to form a paste.
  • Water and soap: Add three tablespoons of water to about a half cup of mild laundry detergent or dish soap. Mix the ingredients until they foam. Your cleaning agent is ready for use.
  • Water and vinegar: Mix half a gallon of warm water with a half cup of white distilled vinegar.

Cleaning the Area

The specific cleaning procedure will depend on the cleaning agent you decide to go with. When using a liquid cleaner, use a damp, clean cloth to gently apply the cleaning solution onto the stain until the spot is entirely covered. When using a paste, use your fingertips to apply the cleaner to the stain until the affected spot is fully covered. When using liquid cleaners, you may opt to use a bottle sprayer to apply the liquid to the stained area.

Once the spot is saturated with the cleaner, let the mattress rest for half an hour. This will give the cleaning agent sufficient time to break down the stain’s proteins, making it easily removable. Use a clean toothbrush or cloth to scrub off the stain. Once you are satisfied with the results, blot off any excess cleaning agent and dry the mattress using baking soda and a vacuum cleaner.

Preventing Mattress Stains

While the stain removal steps outlined above are quite effective, they involve quite some work. If you want to avoid this, you need to prevent the stains from getting onto the mattress, to begin with. Here are a few preventative measures you may consider.

Use a Waterproof Mattress Protector

A mattress protector prevents liquids from soaking through to your mattress. Typically, it’s much easier to clean stains off a mattress protector than a mattress. These protectors come in various types and materials, the most common being a cotton-jersey blend. Before ordering a mattress protector, ensure that it is fully waterproof.

Get Separate Beds for Pets

This does not exactly prevent the formation of stains; it just transfers the problem to a different mattress. However, it is better to have to clean stains off smaller pet mattresses than your daily-use large mattress.

Invest in a Removable, Washable Cover

If you have to deal with the mattress stain problem frequently, consider investing in a machine washable, removable cover. Such a cover makes it immensely easier to keep your mattress stain-free. However, keep in mind that heavy liquid stains may still find their way through light mattress covers.

Let the Light In

Direct sunshine removes excess moisture that might have resulted from sweat and humidity. The UV rays also keep dust mites in check.

Important Considerations Before DIY Mattress Cleaning

Before embarking on a DIY mattress cleaning endeavor, there are a few factors to keep in mind.

Mattress Type

As mentioned earlier, some cleaning agents are unsuitable for some mattress types. Hydrogen peroxide, for example, is unsuitable for memory foam mattresses but suitable for innerspring mattresses.

Stain Severity

Light stains require mild cleaning agents while heavier, older stains require stronger cleaners to get rid of. It is also important to gauge how big the affected area is to help you see how much cleaning agent you need to purchase or prepare.

Cleaning Agent Scent

If you are sensitive to certain scents present in cleaning agents, make sure to use such cleaners in moderation since the scents may take a while to dissipate fully.

Cleaning Agent’s Pet-friendliness

Some compounds used in cleaning agents are not pet-friendly. If the mattress you intend to clean is home to pets, you might want to avoid non-pet-friendly cleaners.


There are numerous ways through which your mattress can get stained. However, these stains should not prevent you from enjoying a good night’s sleep. By using the stain-removal procedures and preventative measures outlined above, you are guaranteed a clean mattress every time.


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