How to Get Urine out of a Mattress
Learn the best ways to get rid of those unwanted stains—with things that are already in your kitchen
Mar 31st, 2023 •
It goes without saying—you don’t want to be reading this page. But here you are, trying to undo a mess from a loved one or animal companion. Let’s get right to it because this problem, while time-sensitive, is thankfully solvable.
First, gather your supplies. You only need a few household items to remove urine from a mattress: white vinegar and baking soda. The white vinegar neutralizes odor. The baking soda wicks the moisture to the top of the mattress, making removal easier.
Next, follow these steps:
- Wash your bedding.
Remove all soiled bedding and wash immediately with laundry detergent. For an extra safeguard against lingering smells, pour one cup of white vinegar directly into the washer tub.
Blot the mattress dry.
If the mattress is still damp from the accident, use towels (paper or cloth) to blot the wet area. Be sure NOT to rub back and forth because this will push the urine further into the mattress. Get the mattress as dry as you can.
You’re going to have to trust me here. Apply white vinegar directly to the area, even going a little wider than the stain. You want to get the mattress pretty wet while not completely soaking it.
Wait 20 minutes.
Try not to worry about the awful vinegar smell. (Are you still with me?)
Repeat step 2, but this time just blot out as much of the vinegar as you can.
Apply baking soda.
Grab a box of baking soda and shake a generous layer of it onto the mattress.
Let this sit for 8 to 10 hours. Much like a bowl of rice can salvage your phone from water damage, the baking soda slowly draws remaining moisture to the surface of the mattress.
Use your vacuum’s handheld attachment to remove the baking soda clumps thoroughly.
More Tips on Removing Urine From a Mattress
Once again, don’t be afraid of vinegar. Vinegar is your friend in this process. The smell doesn’t linger long and it’s an integral part of removing that other smell that you definitely don’t want lingering.
Apply directly: Some recommend creating a vinegar/water solution and using a spray bottle to apply it, but I’m a busy mom who values efficiency. I just pour the vinegar directly onto the mattress, and I’ve had great results.
Try a carpet cleaner. If you have a handheld carpet cleaner, like one from our list of Best Mattress Cleaners, use it and its cleaning solution on your mattress after step 5. I found using my Bissell Spot Clean made me feel like I was cleaning the surface more thoroughly, in addition to just removing the urine.
A generous amount of baking soda is key. Don’t skimp on the baking soda. It doesn’t harm your mattress. And since it takes so long to wick up the moisture, you don’t want to have to repeat this step since you’re working against the clock.
Consult your mattress brand site. It’s likely that your specific mattress brand has its own advice online, in case you’re worried about differences in material. But let me save you time by saying that most websites suggest the same vinegar and baking soda fix I’ve described here.
Maintain your mattress. For related tips on keeping your mattress clean in general, browse our advice in the article, How to Clean and Maintain Your Mattress.
What If the Urine Stain Has Set Into the Mattress?
If you’ve inherited a used mattress, or simply discover a stain after the fact, you’ll need to add a few supplies to your cleaning solution. Now is the time to bring in the reinforcements.
Gather your materials: a bowl, white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish detergent. Dawn dish soap works especially well.
- Pour eight ounces of hydrogen peroxide in the bowl.
- Scoop three tablespoons of baking soda into the bowl, and stir to dissolve.
- Add one or two drops of your dish soap and stir gently to mix.
- Blot this solution, using a cloth or paper towel, onto the stained area and a little beyond.
- Once it’s dry, scrape or vacuum up any baking soda crumbs.
If the stain is still visible or stinky, whisk together three tablespoons of powdered laundry detergent and one tablespoon of water. Spread the paste onto the stain and surrounding area. Let it sit for 30 minutes, and then vacuum up the crunchy, dried paste.
With a few common ingredients for cooking, white vinegar and baking soda, you can restore your mattress back to its clean, odorless self. And then once you have, immediately order a waterproof mattress protector so you won’t be caught off guard next time.
Even if you don’t have to worry about spills or accidents, mattress protectors lengthen the life of your mattress because they safeguard the material from dirt, oils, and spills. Some mattress warranties even require one. For more tips on making your investment last, read How Long Does A Mattress Last?
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Getting on a regular cleaning schedule for your mattress can make a big difference in your sleep quality. Read these tips for making your mattress a cleaner, healthier and more comfortable place to sleep.
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