How to Clean Your Mattress – Remove Those Pesky Stains!

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It only takes one accident, one spill, one bad night to stain – and potentially damage – your mattress. It’s painful to think about because mattresses are a crucial part of a good night’s sleep and they do not come cheap.

If you end up with a stained mattress, all hope is not lost. Urine, sweat, and blood stains are incredibly common and may even naturally occur if you don’t place a barrier between yourself and your mattress (that’s why mattress protectors are so important!).

We’re here to walk you through how to clean mattress stains for urine, sweat, and blood! Most of the cleaners we use you can already find in your pantry at home or you can quickly grab them at the grocery store.

Do These Solutions Work for Every Mattress?

If there’s one thing we know at Mattress Clarity, it’s that there are a lot of great mattresses out there. They each offer a different combination of layers, materials and innovative fabrics to keep people sleeping soundly at night.  This means the top of the mattress we used to clean these stains may react differently to both the stain and the cleaning solution compared to your mattress.

One of the best things you can do to make sure you’re cleaning you mattress correctly is to check with the manufacturer. They may have specific cleaners and/or techniques that work best for the materials used in the bed. I always suggest starting here before diving in with any harsh cleaners.

You also may have to try a couple of different cleaners or a combination to get a stain out of your mattress. Some materials will be more receptive to certain cleaners than others.

All in all, if you’re wondering how to make your mattress last longer, keeping it clean is a great start!

RELATED: How to Wash a Comforter

How to Clean Mattress Stains: Top Cleaning Supplies to Have on Hand

mattress stain remover supplies

Here’s what cleaning supplies you will most likely need to have in order to clean a stained mattress:

  • Baking Soda
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Liquid Dish Soap
  • Laundry Detergent
  • White Vinegar
  • Meat Tenderizer
  • Essential Oils (optional!)
  • Rags
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Spray Bottle
  • Vacuum

How to Get Urine Stains Out of a Mattress

how to get urine stains out of mattress

Whether your mattress is stained with human or animal pee, here’s how you can get it out:

How to Remove Fresh Urine

  1. Try to treat the stain as soon as you notice it
  2. In a spray bottle, make a mixture that’s 50/50 water and white vinegar
  3. Blot the excess liquid with a clean dry rag, but try not to rub as it’ll push it deeper into the mattress
  4. Spray a good amount of the mixture on the stain. Then sprinkle baking soda on top and let it sit for 8+ hours (the longer, the better!)

Once it’s dry, vacuum the area and inspect. If there’s still some visible urine go ahead and repeat until you clean up as much as you can.

How to Remove Dry Urine Stains

We didn’t feature this in the video, but if you find a urine stain that has previously gone unnoticed, don’t fret. Create this simple solution and try it on the stain:

  • 8 oz hydrogen peroxide
  • 3 tbs baking soda
  • 2-3 drops of liquid dish soap
  • Optional essential oil added if the smell of urine is really strong (lavender can be so soothing!)

Spray this generously over the stain and wait for it to dry. Then vacuum or sweep off the residue it leaves behind and continue this several times depending on how bad the stain still is.

How to Remove Sweat Stains from a Mattress

how to remove sweat stains from mattress

Fresh sweat stains leave a wet mark on your mattress, but dried ones tend to leave behind a yellowish stain. Here is our best method on how to clean sweat stains out of your mattress.

  1. First, mix together equal parts hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap, and water in a spray bottle
  2. If the sweat stain is fresh, blot out as much of the excess moisture as possible with a clean rag or paper towel
  3. Spray the mixture generously on the stain using the spray bottle and let it sit for at least 20 minutes
  4. Blot out the excess moisture that you just sprayed on the mattress
  5. To help combat any residual fluid or odor, sprinkle a layer of baking soda on the mattress and let it sit for about 24 hours
  6. Vacuum up the residual baking soda and assess the area – repeat if needed

How to Remove Blood Stains from your Mattress

how to remove blood stains from mattress

Keep in mind that blood has proteins in it and that it reacts to water temperatures differently – you will want to go with cold water to remove this stain and avoid using warm or hot water which could make it worse. You should use gloves if you’re working with blood that is not your own.

  1. Mix 50/50 cold water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  2. Blot any blood that’s still wet up with a clean rag (again, don’t rub anything into the mattress)
  3. Spray the bloodstain with this mixture and leave for about 30 minutes or until it’s dried
  4. Continue to blot with a dry, clean towel and repeat if necessary

If the stain has been set for awhile and is acting tough, you may need to try using a meat tenderizer. Crazy, right?

how to get blood stain out of mattress

Meat tenderizer breaks down the proteins found in blood, so it’s actually a great cleaner to remove blood stains from fabric. Here’s how to use it:

  1. You’re going to make a paste with one tablespoon of meat tenderizer and two teaspoons of cold water
  2. Spread this onto the stain and use a brush or toothbrush to work it into the stain. Let it sit until it’s dry and then vacuum or blot away
  3. Repeat if needed

How to Prevent Mattress Stains

waterproof mattres protectors can help prevent accidents like red wine spills

If you want mattress stains to be a thing of the past – or not a thing, at all – consider using a waterproof mattress protector. This is one of the best ways to prevent fluid damage and stains from getting into your mattress. There are so many affordable options out there and there are ones that are super easy to get on and off your bed

A great way to keep your mattress odor-free and help it to absorb less sweat and fewer skin cells is to sprinkle baking soda over the top of your mattress, let it sit for a couple of hours and then vacuum it off. If you do this regularly you’ll be able to avoid small sweat sains and just keep your mattress fresh overall.

RELATED: Mattress Warranties

How to Clean Mattress Stains: Final Thoughts

So there you have it, some quick but effective ways to remove some of the most common accidental stains from your mattress. Plus, now you know how to avoid these stains in the first place – with a waterproof mattress protector!

If you find yourself with particularly tough stains, you may have to consider getting ammonia or an enzyme cleaner and testing it on your mattress. We always recommend checking with your mattress manufacturer before using either of these more aggressive methods. They could potentially damage your mattress materials!

If you can’t clean your mattress completely, take a look at our article on mattress disposal.

Katie Golde

Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news. She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.


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