How to Clean Mattress Stains Easy & Effective Way

If you want to know how to clean mattress stains, the answer will depend on the type of stain. Don’t worry. We’ll tell you how to clean mattress stains whether it has sweat stains, urine stains or spilled wine discoloring it. Where possible, we’ll tell you how to clean mattress stains without using toxic chemicals or the next choice for cleaning a stain when the standard option isn’t good enough.

Generic and Unknown Stains

Suppose you’ve pulled back the sheets and found the mattress discolored. There isn’t an obvious odor telling you it is a urine stain. It may be sweat, dirt or something else.

First, try to clean it with diluted dish soap. Add a teaspoon of non-colored and hopefully organic dish soap to a sixteen ounce water bottle. Mix it well. Spray it on the stained surface. Don’t leave any part dry, or it will be harder to clean. You’ll need two or three bottles of this mixture if you’re spraying an entire queen or king sized bed.

The next step is getting to work while the mattress is still damp. Mix in equal parts three percent hydrogen peroxide with water. Mix it well. Then spray the entire mattress. This time, spray more of this mixture on the stained areas.

Now break out a box of unused baking soda. Sprinkle this on the mattress. You will need two to three cups of baking soda. It will react with the hydrogen peroxide and create a bubbling mixture. Grab a clean rag and spread it over the mattress, though you don’t want to push it into the mattress cover. This will help lift blood, juice and other stains out of the mattress surface.

Let the room air out, and let the mixture dry overnight. The next morning, you’ll find the stains significantly broken down. You can sweep the dried baking soda mixed with various compounds off the bed. You may need to vacuum it to get all the traces up.

If there are stains that didn’t get eradicated, use a soapy water mixture to get that spot wet. Then press down on the area with a wet sponge. Let the sponge pull in the nasty material. Work from the outside of the stain in.

Periodically rinse the sponge so you don’t accidentally spread the stain material. If this isn’t enough, use a mixture of soap and baking soda. You’ll want to pat it dry, rinse it with a wet sponge, and then dry it again.

Once you’ve removed the stain, you need to dry out the surface of the mattress. Don’t wrap it in sheets, blankets and/or plastic before that point, or you’ll foster mold growth in the mattress.

Bodily Fluids

Bodily fluids refer to anything that comes out of your body. It may be urine, poop, vomit or blood. These stains tend to be high in protein. Avoid just spraying liquid water on it, since this tends to spread it. You’ll want to try to clean it up as quickly as possible.

If you discover the stain in the morning, pull the sheets and blankets from the bed immediately. Shake them out into the toilet or sink, and then throw them in the washing machine. If there is vomit or other semi-solid material, use paper towels or cloth towels to gather it up and get it off the bed. Now you need to deal with the liquid stain.

Get paper towels or clean rags. Lay them on the stain and see if some of it can soak into the towel. You can gently press on the rag to try to absorb more of the material. Don’t rub, because this can push it into the mattress.

The next step is applying cleaning solution to help break up the protein in the stain. Spray the area lightly with plain water. Mix a cup of three percent hydrogen peroxide, three table spoons of clean baking soda and a few drops of color-free dish washing liquid in a 16 ounce container of water.

If you’re dealing with blood stains, the water needs to be cold. For other types of stains, the temperature won’t make a difference. Spray this mixture over the stain. It will help break down the stain.

Brush the area gently with a brush you’ll never use again. (It could even by your old toothbrush.) When the stain is gone, mist the area with clean water. Blot the area with a clean towel to pull up the liquid and any stain material. You can repeat this process if necessary. You’ll probably need to make another pass including scrubbing if it is a blood stain.

Another trick you can try is pet stain remover. Spray it on the bed and use the same steps outlined on the bottle to clean up the stain. Just remember to use several rounds of clean water and towels to thoroughly remove the chemicals from your bed.

No matter how you clean the mattress, there is still a risk that the bed will smell bad. Apply baking soda to the surface of the bed. Let it sit for a few hours. This could neutralize the odors and remove extra moisture. Then you can vacuum up the baking soda, though some try to sweep it off. We think that vacuums are more effective. Make sure the bed is fully dry before you put the sheets back on.

Food and Drink Stains

Did you spill coffee or juice when you had breakfast in bed? Did you spill wine on your bed during a romantic evening?

In either case, the best way to treat the stains is to mix one part vinegar, one part laundry detergent and ten parts water in a spray water bottle. This means that for every ten ounces of water, you’d add a couple of teaspoons of laundry detergent and vinegar.

Don’t use flavored vinegar. Don’t use laundry detergent with bleach, coloring agents or scents. The bleach won’t remove stains, but it will discolor your mattress.

Once this mixture has been mixed in the spray bottle, spray it on the stain until everything is moist. Gently rub the area with an old toothbrush or scrub brush. (Make sure it isn’t a used, dirty one from your toilet or shower.)

With food and drink stains, give the solution ten minutes to sit before you try to blot it up. Use a wet sponge or clean towel for this step. Rinse the sponge or towel and continue blotting. Work from the outside in to avoid spreading the stain. Then you can blot it with an absorbent rag or paper towels to remove any extra liquid. Let the bed surface fully dry before you return the sheets and blankets.

Oil and Grease Stains

Oil and grease stains are generally left behind by people sweating heavily on a bare mattress. This is a common problem with unprotected memory foam mattresses. You have two options for cleaning it. Each comes with its own cleaning method.

The first choice is mixing two table spoons of hydrogen peroxide with a table spoon of color-free dish soap. This is the best option if you have small spots or a given area to deal with instead of a whole mattress. Mix them together until you get a rich lather.

Dip a clean toothbrush you won’t be using again into the mixture. Then scrub the stained areas with the mixture. Let the suds do their work for ten to fifteen minutes. Wipe away the foam. Clean it with wet rags or sponges. Let everything dry.

The second choice is to apply an enzyme cleaner like pet mess cleaner on the bed. This is a good choice if the bed smells bad due to the stains. Spray a light mist on the bed. You don’t want this to sink deep into the bed, and you can’t afford for it to get the memory foam wet.

Let it sit for the amount of time listed on the bottle. Then use clean water and clean sponges or towels to try to clean up the bodily fluids and enzyme solution.

No matter which of these two processes you chose, you’ll want to deodorize and dry out the mattress. If you want to add a given scent to the bed, you can mix a few drops of essential oil into the baking soda before you dispense it. Sprinkle it with a lot of baking soda.

If you’re not sure you can do this evenly on your own, use a sifter. Let the baking soda sit for a few hours. If you’re in a hurry, it needs to sit for at least thirty minutes to do any good. Then sweep or vacuum up the baking soda. Make sure you get the corners and cracks in the bed.

Removing Unknown Odors

We’ve told you how to clean mattress stains based on the type of stain. Unfortunately, there are times where you don’t see an obvious stain but the bed certainly stinks. A good first step is removing all the bedding. Wash the blankets, sheets, comforters and pillows. They may be the source of the smell.

If the bed surface is lightly stained, you can use our generic process for removing unknown stains. Let the bed dry out.

The next step is the baking soda trick. Sprinkle the whole bed with baking soda. Ideally, it should have 24 hours to work. It will remove a lot of moisture from inside the bed as well as most odors. Vacuum it all up. You can make a second pass, if you have the time. You can skip to the baking soda trick if there are no obvious stains on the bed.

One potential source of the odor is mold inside the bed. This isn’t something you can solve by cleaning the surface of the bed, but you’ll have come to that conclusion by eliminating the most likely culprits. You can try to solve this problem by exposing the mattress to sunlight and fresh air as well as lifting it off the ground in case that’s where the moisture is coming from.

In theory, you can use antiseptic fabric spray to kill surface bacteria or fabric sanitizer. This can only be done after the mattress has been thoroughly cleaned. Note that you can use fabric sanitizer after you’ve removed biological messes. The next step is steam cleaning, but that’s not something most people can do on their own.

If this doesn’t work, you probably need to replace the mattress. And next time, you should take steps to prevent it from getting stained.

How to Protect Your Mattress from Stains

Fitted sheets are a good first step. They prevent sweat and body hair from staining the mattress. However, this won’t stop urine, vomit or blood. The best way to protect your mattress is with a plastic mattress cover. Remember that you can put sheets and blankets on top of the mattress cover.

Mattress pads are somewhere in between fitted sheets and plastic mattress covers in terms of mattress protection. It is generally thick enough to absorb most stains. It is less of a pain to clean than a mattress surface. If you would rather have a mattress pad than a plastic mattress cover, pick one that is machine washable.

If you’re mostly relying on sheets and blankets to protect the mattress, take extra care to make certain they’re all dry before you put them on the bed. Putting a damp comforter on your bed could foster mold growth and be the source of that nasty odor.

Remember that you can eliminate the risk of spills and other messes in the future. Have your dogs sleep on the floor instead of in bed with you. Skip breakfast in bed, and enjoy it in the dining room instead. Drink that glass of wine while lounging in the tub instead of in bed.

Things to Avoid when Cleaning Your Mattress

There are mistakes people often make when trying to clean their mattress. Don’t use soap that contains colors. You’ll replace a yellow urine stain with a light shade of green from your fancy dish soap. Don’t use soaps that contain harsh chemicals, or you may discolor the mattress. That’s why you should never use bleach to clean your mattress.

You can vacuum a mattress to pick up crumbs, dirt and even dust mites. However, if you think you have bugs in the mattress, call for pest control and get rid of the mattress.


You spend around a third of your life in bed. Don’t sleep on a dirty and potentially hazardous mattress. Know how to keep it clean and sanitary, no matter what happens.I hope you enjoyed this how to clean mattress stains post.