How to Clean Mattress Stains (like pee!)

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Inside: Having pets and toddlers is bad for mattresses; a complete review of how to get urine out of a mattress, including how to clean a memory foam mattress and the best mattress stain removers.

Are you ready for this? Because if I’m being honest, I was not. The inspiration from this post came to me when we finally decided to pull the trigger and buy a new mattress for our Master Bedroom. We have a queen-size in there and another in the guest room. We figured we could buy a new one for us and swap the guest room one out. Well, if you read this post about what happened when I accidentally locked the cat in the guest room, then you know the process was sped up exponentially when the cat peed on the mattress and I had to quickly figure out how to clean mattress stains, especially pee. how to clean mattress stains

We researched our mattress purchase A LOT and ended up going with a memory foam mattress in a box from Douglas. We love it so far. Even still, I wanted to arm myself with knowledge of the best mattress stain removers in case the cat pee thing ever happened again.  We are also in the process of potty training P and while we aren’t fully there yet, I anticipate there will be nighttime pee accidents that will warrant some stain removal techniques. 

READ: Ultimate Guide – Keeping your House Clean when you have Pets

General tips for Deep Cleaning a Mattress

Overall, it’s a good idea to give your mattress a good deep clean every few months. Even with a good mattress protector and changing your sheets regularly, it will accumulate bacteria and microbes that you want to get rid of. A good rule of thumb is to deep clean the mattress every three to four months.  This method will work if you have a memory foam mattress or a pillow top. 

  • Remove all the bedding and wash it all in the hottest water permitted (be mindful of washing instructions on things like wool blankets and throw pillows. If you need help washing feather down pillows, check out my post all about how to wash pillows here.) 
  • Sprinkle the mattress with baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes
  • Vacuum it up

How to clean mattress stains like urine

This is a bit more involved as it’s more likely when you’re faced with a pee stain on your mattress, you are in emergency stain removal mode. If the stain is still wet, you have a fighting chance of removing the urine stain and smell immediately. 

  • Once again remove the bedding and launder it well. 
  • Blot the stain with a clean towel, but do not rub it or scrub it as this will only push the pee further into the mattress fabric.

Let that sit for a few minute and soak up as much of the pee as you can. 

Then you’ll want to create a mattress stain removing mixture. It’s a good idea to have this in a spray bottle and keep it handy near your bedrooms. I keep ours in a draw in our hall closet linen cupboard. Mix any of the following mattress stain removers with water to dilute them. 

    • hydrogen peroxide (diluted in the water)
    • cleaning enzyme like oxygen bleach or Persil-bio (alternative to hydrogen peroxide) 
    •  white vinegar
 

Note* You should only need ONE of the above cleaning agents and do not mix the hydrogen peroxide with the bleach under any circumstances. You can mix the oxy bleach with the vinegar if you really want to create a super stain remover though. 

Spray your diluted mixture onto the dried pee stain and let it soak in for a few minutes, then cover it with baking soda. You almost want to form a paste on top of the stain. Have a look at the photos in this post by The Humbled Homemaker if you want to see what I mean.  

The final step is to vacuum up the baking soda and vacuum the entire mattress. I like to do this with the main vacuum head and then follow it up with the crevice tool or the pet hair removal head which gets into the nooks and crannies. 

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What happens if you are faced with a stain and you don’t have baking soda? There are a few alternatives. You can try adding some liquid soap or diluted laundry detergent to the stain. Both of these are degreasers and stain lifters and will work in a pinch as well. Just be sure to spot test it first before adding it directly onto your mattress. 

How do I clean pee out of a Memory Foam Mattress? 

There are a lot of memory foam mattresses on the market and they are fantastic. I honestly don’t know how we lived without our Douglas for so long. But they are definitely made out of new materials and they absorb odors and stains differently than traditional mattresses do. 

The first step is to protect your memory foam mattress with the cover that comes from the manufacturer and then an additional stain blocking mattress protector on top. 

If a urine stain gets through, you can use the stain fighting mixture I mentioned above, but do not use peroxide. Stick to a baking soda-vinegar-oxygen bleach solution along with vacuuming and you should be able to remove stains from the memory foam.

 

Will the baking soda alone get rid of the urine smell? 

The short answer is no. The baking soda helps you soak up the existing urine. But if the pee has dried into the mattress, you’ll have to repeat this process a few times to really get the room smelling fresh again.

If the smell of vinegar or peroxide from the mixture itself is too strong for you (and if it is, it’s likely too strong for your kids), then add a couple drops of your favourite essential oil to freshen things up. I like to keep a DIY air freshener in any room of the house where there might be kid or pet smells anyway which can help with the overall urine stinks!

I think that’s enough pee talk for one day, don’t you? Let me know if you have any luck with the tips above!

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