Sometimes those off-white and vaguely yellow stains on the mattress aren’t pee – they’re from your sweat. It isn’t just the salt and moisture from your body but the oils on your skin that create those stains. Here is how to remove yellow sweat stains from mattress surfaces.
If the stain is fresh, you want to get it up before it sets. Blot the area with a clean dry towel to see if you can get it up. Even if you still have to treat the stain, you’ll have reduced how much you have to clean, since this reduces the odds the mess sinks further into the mattress.
Yes, really, vacuum it. If you have sweat stains on the bed, you’ve got dead skin cells and hair in every little crevice. Break out the vacuum cleaner with an upholstery brush attachment or handheld vacuum cleaner and vacuum the surface of the bed.
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Create a Cleaning Solution
The same soaps and cleaning solutions that break up oil on your skin will break up skin oil on your mattress. You can mix dye-free dish soap or laundry detergent in a half-gallon of cold water. You want the water to be cold since hot water could help the stain to set worse. Mix up the solution until there is a good layer of suds. You can also make enzyme solutions easily. Click here to know how o make enzyme cleaner.
Clean the Bed
Take a clean cloth, get it damp in the mixture, and scrub the stain with a circular motion. Try to get only the suds and not the water, since you don’t want to get the inner layers of the mattress damp enough to fuel mold growth. Work your way inside from the outside of the stain. This minimizes the risk of the stain spreading.
Dry the area you’ve just suds up by applying a different clean, dry towel to the surface. It should absorb some of the moisture like a sponge. Rinse both the soapy cloth and the “dry” one out and squeeze out the liquid. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.
If the stain isn’t quite gone, you can spray it with a light mist of hydrogen peroxide. This will help sterilize the area and break up the oils. Then follow the procedure above to rinse it away. We don’t recommend this first, since hydrogen peroxide can discolor a mattress. Only use clean light or white cloth when rinsing away the hydrogen peroxide, since the chemical can cause colors to leach out of colored rags.
If you’re dealing with a stubborn stain, since it may actually include remains of vomit or poop, mix baking soda and salt with the cleaning solution, then start scrubbing the area. Then rinse with water to remove it.
If your cleaning leaves behind a faint smell of ammonia, that means that at least part of the yellow stain was due to urine, not skin oils. You could spray a little vinegar on the area, let it work for twenty minutes, and then rinse it out with soapy water and dry towels. If you’re spraying vinegar on the area, do not apply hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to the bed – that will create a toxic chemical reaction that could burn your skin or create a dangerous gas.
Dry Your Bed
While you may have lifted out the stain, if there is moisture in the bed, it will fuel the growth of mold and mildew. Then you’d be dealing with an equally bad smell and potentially a black discoloration instead of the yellow one you’ve eliminated.