How to Clean Mattress Stains (Yes… we all have them!)

Our mattresses are so important to the quality of our sleep (and therefore, the quality of our LIVES!), but we really don’t give them as much care and attention as we should.

The average mattress lasts 8 years, but some types can last even longer. In those years your mattress will see a lot of use!

If you’re a lazy-bug like me, then you’re mattress probably gets above-average use!

But, of course, there will be accidents. Maybe you’ll spill your morning tea or coffee (guilty!) or maybe the baby will pee or puke on your bed (it happens!). Whatever the cause, it’s important to clean your mattress the best you possibly can. After all… do you really want to be sleeping on regurgitated baby food?!

I’ve written a whole guide about how to deep clean your mattress (easy step-by-step instructions to REALLY get it clean!), but this post is going to be a bit more specific. We’re going to talk about how to clean mattress STAINS!

Grab my Mattress Cleaning Cheatsheet for recipes and steps for how to get your mattresses really clean!

Types of Mattress Stains

There are many different types of mattress stains, but we’re going to focus on the most common ones (and the grossest ones!).

The majority of mattress stains are “biological”… meaning your bodies cause them! Nice, right?!

The trouble with biological stains is that if you don’t clean them REALLY well, then they will start to smell. Eventually, your mattress will smell worse than a teenager’s gym bag! (trust me… that’s bad!).

In this post we’ll look at how to clean three types of biological mattress stains:

  • Urine
  • Sweat
  • Blood

These types of messes can happen to anyone, at any time. So it’s a good idea to remember these tips for the future… just in case you need them!

How to Clean Mattress Stains

It is best to treat mattress accidents when they happen. But they normally happen in the middle of the night, and no-one has the energy to start cleaning then!

If your adorable little toddler wets the bed in the middle of the night, the last thing you’re going to do is start cleaning the mattress! That’s OK! Use an old towel to dry up as much of the pee as possible, then take the little one into bed with you (after you’ve changed their PJs, of course!) and deal with the mattress the next day!

However, you do want to clean the mattress stain as soon as possible. The sooner you treat it, the easier it will be to remove! So don’t wait days to clean it (that’s just gross anyway!).

Cleaning Urine Stains

Urine stains on mattresses are probably one of the most common (especially in a home with kids or pets!), and they can also be the hardest to get REALLY clean once they have dried.

The trouble with pee is that it smells! As it dries, the moisture evaporates and leaves behind the stinky pee crystals!

If you have pets, then you know that even a small amount of pet urine can stink out a whole room (yes… this is my current battle with my new puppy!).

DIY Urine Cleaner

There is a very quick and easy way you can treat urine stains and smells, without having to buy any fancy cleaners. Although for really tough jobs… those “fancy cleaners” REALLY do a great job! I have four dogs and four cats… I know about cleaning up tough messes. I LOVE Anti Icky Poo Urine Cleaner – stupid name, great product!

For this DIY urine cleaner all you need is hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and baking soda.

  • 1 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 3 tablespoons of Baking Soda (the stuff in the orange box… not baking powder!)
  • A few drops of Dish Soap (Dawn dish soap works best)
  • Optional: You can also use a few drops of essential oil
How to Clean ALL TYPES of Mattress Stains - Fed up with your urine smells and stains on your mattress? These tips show you how to remove blood, sweat and pee stains and smell from your bed!

Mix these ingredients together in a spray bottle (make sure the baking soda is completely dissolved).

You can use this solution neat for really tough urine stains, or you can dilute it slightly with water.

Spray the mixture over the affected areas of the bed (don’t get it too wet though), then let the solution sit and do its work!

Once the mattress is fully dry, you can vacuum it to get rid of any baking soda residue.

If the smell or stain is still there, then repeat the process again. Sometimes it can take more than one application.

Cleaning Sweat Stains

The yellow sweat stains that can develop on your mattress will eventually make it start to smell… well… gross! 

If you are regularly cleaning your mattress (once every 6 months, as I suggest in my How to Deep Clean your Mattress guide), then it’s a good idea to treat any sweat stains then as well. The longer they sit and build-up, the harder they are to clean.

How to Clean ALL TYPES of Mattress Stains - Fed up with your urine smells and stains on your mattress? These tips show you how to remove blood, sweat and pee stains and smell from your bed!

The solution above for urine stains will often work well on sweat stains (on clothes and pillows as well as mattresses). But if there is still a lingering yellow tint, then you might want to try a paste of lemon juice and salt.

DIY Sweat Cleaner

You will need:

  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt

The quantity of the ingredients you need will depend on the size of the stain you are cleaning.

You want to mix enough salt and lemon juice together to create a paste.

Using an old toothbrush (keyword here is OLD… please don’t use your husband’s toothbrush. Trust me, they don’t like it!) to rub the paste onto the stain.

Let the paste sit on the stain for a short while (15-30 minutes should do it), and then wipe off. Your gross yellow sweat stains should now be a thing of the past!

Grab my Mattress Cleaning Cheatsheet for recipes and steps for how to get your mattresses really clean!

Cleaning Blood Stains

No post about how to clean mattress stains would be complete without talking about BLOOD!

OK, this might be a bit of a gross one to talk about. But it happens! We’re all grown-ups (or at least pretending to be grown-ups), so we can talk about this without getting embarrassed!

Ladies, sometimes we have accidents too. When we have our period, there are times, that menstrual blood ends up on the mattress. It’s not pleasant, but it happens to ALL of us!

And menstrual blood isn’t the only kind of blood we can get on our mattresses. Maybe someone gets nose bleed, or they scratch a scab.. blood happens!

There are a few different solutions you can use to clean up blood, and if one doesn’t work, then go ahead and try a different one.

DIY Blood Cleaner

Generally, the best one for fresh and dried blood stains is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, salt and dish soap.

To treat a small bloodstain you will need:

  • 1/4 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1 tablespoon of Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Dish Soap (Dawn works well)

Mix them together into a paste and spread it on the stain. Let the mixture sit for a while (you can even leave it until it fully dries), and then scrape it off.

To remove any residue (and the last of the stain), you can bloat it with a clean cloth that’s been dipped in hydrogen peroxide.

This also works REALLY well on clothes, bedding or underwear!

Other Blood Cleaners

There are a few other ways you can clean blood out of your mattress (or clothes). In fact, I learned these three methods from my grandmother, who learned them from her mother in the late 1800’s! They have stood the test of time!

  • Salt – Sprinkling salt on blood stains (especially when they are fresh) is a fast and easy way to treat them. Then wash with cold water and the stain should easily come out.
  • Meat Tenderizer – Make a paste out of unseasoned meat tenderizer and water. Rub the paste onto the stain and let it sit for a short while. Wash the paste off and the stain should go too!
  • Spit – Yes, this is gross. But it really works. My grandmother was a seamstress, and if she pricked her finger and got a drop of blood on the fabric, then she would use spit to rub the bloodstain off the fabric! Probably not practical for large stains, but good for tiny ones!

Ounce of Prevention

While on the subject of my grandmother, one thing she used to say (a LOT!) is that an “ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure”. Basically, taking a small preventative step will save you a lot of work later!

So I’d recommend that everyone invests in a good quality mattress protector! We spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on our mattresses, protecting them just makes good sense!

You shouldn’t need to know how to clean mattress stains if you have a good mattress protector!

Mattress protectors aren’t those horrible vinyl plastic bags anymore, either. There are plenty of soft mattress protectors, that you won’t even realize are on your bed!

Hopefully, you’ve found these tips useful!