The best way to deal with mattress stains is to not let them happen in the first place. However, with kids and pets running around the house, that’s easier said than done.

And while it may be tempting to call in professionals, in reality, most mattress stains can be removed with natural products you already have lying around at your home.

The best way to deal with mattress stains

To be a bit more concrete, you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • 3% Hydrogen peroxide
  • Clear washing up liquid
  • Liquid detergent
  • Essential oils (optional)

If you have read some of our previous articles on carpet stain removal, the above products are likely already familiar to you. Unsurprisingly, they also work on mattresses!

Important note: The compiled home remedies may not be effective on all mattress types. Consider getting in touch with the mattress manufacturer to ensure how best to clean your specific mattress before using any cleaning product on it.

Another important note: Remove the bedding from the mattress and put it in the washer. If you have a mattress topper, just get it out of the way for the time being. And be aware that your mattress may not be usable for the same night, as some of the cleaning procedures require for the products to stay on top of the mattress for a bit more than just a few minutes.

How to remove mattress stains
How to remove sweat stains from a mattress

How to remove sweat stains from a mattress?

To sweat during sleep is completely natural – we all do it, and there’s no shame in that. Therefore, we should all learn how to deal with the consequences, a.k.a. the stains.

Now, it should be pointed out that the yellower the stains are, the more difficult it would be to fully remove them. That’s due to them slowly forming over time, and not receiving the proper attention in a timely manner. But fear not! By following the below steps, you ought to at least slightly improve the look of your mattress:

  1. Into a bowl, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water, and add a dash of washing up liquid. Stir it up well and transfer the mixture into a spray bottle.
  2. Go to the mattress and soak the stained areas with the solution. Don’t be afraid to fully saturate the marks, even if you have to spray the whole mattress.
  3. Put a timer on for 30 minutes, and go make yourself some tea.
  4. Grab a cloth or two, preferably microfibre ones, and blot the excess liquid that you just sprayed onto the mattress. No rubbing, no scrubbing, no circular motions. Just blot until there’s no more moisture transferred onto the cloth.
  5. At this point, some of the stains would have hopefully been removed or at least improved upon. If, however, you don’t see any visible difference, repeat steps from 2 to 4.
  6. Then, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the mattress and let it sit. The longer it stays there, the better. If you can leave it for a full 24 hours, it would be best. To put it simply, baking soda does a great job in absorbing moisture, and is a great deodorizer.
  7. Lastly, hoover the baking soda up and enjoy the new look and feel of your mattress!

How to get urine stains out of your mattress?

No matter how the accident occurred or whom it was caused by, urine stains are no joke and should be dealt with immediately! Don’t trust us? Ask any parent!

From our professional experience as a mattress steam cleaning company, urine stains (and odours) are not as difficult to be removed compared to sweat ones, assuming you notice them on time. The below recipe is for those exact cases (when the stain is still fresh).

  1. In a spray bottle, mix 1:1 lukewarm water and white vinegar.
  2. Spritz the cleaner over the stain until it’s visibly damp.
  3. Then, with a dry cloth, start treating the stains using only blotting motions.
  4. Repeat this process as many times as it’s needed, until the stain is either barely visible or completely removed.
  5. Akin to the sweat stain removal method, sprinkle baking soda onto the treated urine stains and let it for a while.
  6. Once the baking soda has completely absorbed the excess moisture, and simply go over it with a hoover.

To confirm, the above method is better suited for fresh urine stains. For ones, which have happened a while ago, you need a certain amount of luck, and the ability to follow the below cleaning method:

  1. Combine 250ml of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, 2 to 3 drops of washing up liquid and a few drops of essential oil to help neutralize the urine odour.
  2. Spray the mixture over the stain and simply let it sit until it’s fully dry.
  3. You’ll notice when it’s fully dry once a solid paste has formed – that’s when you need to hoover it up.
  4. Repeat if the stain or the smell persist.
How to remove blood stains from a mattress

How to remove blood stains from a mattress?

To remove blood stains, the use of cold rather than hot or warm water is absolutely vital. Reason being, hot water helps the blood bond with the mattress material, in other words completely sealing the stain. You obviously don’t want that to happen, so just follow the steps below:

  1. If the stain is fresh, grab some paper towels and absorb as much of it as you can with dabbing motions.
  2. Then, mix equal parts cold water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, and soak the stained area.
  3. Use a clean cloth or paper towels to dap it, and re-apply the solution when needed.
  4. Repeat until the stain is removed or can no longer be improved.

How to remove coffee, tea and wine stains from your mattress?

The second most common mattress stains, behind bodily fluid ones, are those caused by drinks. Now, you may not like drinking or snacking in bed, but many people do! And in all honesty, who can blame them? Being served a morning coffee by your partner can be a great start to the day!

For spillages which have just happened, you should firstly look to absorb as much of the liquid as possible with a cloth or paper towels. Just blot, don’t rub, as that will drive the stain deeper into the mattress. You’ll then need to slightly re-dampen the stain, and apply a generous amount of salt or baking soda on top. This will help absorb the original liquid colour.

Once the area dries up a bit, with a toothbrush, gently rub the salt into the stain. Lastly, you’ll need to dab the area with a clean dry cloth, and hoover up the remaining mess.

As for stains, which have already dried and are who knows how old, a slightly different approach is required:

  1. Mix one part white vinegar, one part liquid detergent and ten parts water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the stained areas, but do not soak them. Then, with an old toothbrush, gently brush the drink stains in order to agitate the solution.
  3. Wait for about 10-15 minutes and gently blot with a damp towel.
  4. Now, with a dry cloth, go over the issue once more to deal with the moisture.
  5. If needed, repeat steps from 2 to 4.
How to prevent mattress stains

How to prevent mattress stains?

The only way to not have to deal with mattress stains is to let them happen in the first place, as mentioned in the beginning of this article. While this can be obvious, many of us think about protecting something only after it gets damaged. So why go through all the hassle, when you can simply:

  • Get a mattress protector – a mattress protector, especially one, which is waterproof, is an ultimate lifesaver for parents and pet-owners. Not only would you be protecting your main mattress, but whichever liquids go onto the protector can easily be wiped without a stain settling.
  • Don’t allow pets on the bed – if the main reason for your mattress stains are your pets, you might need to consider setting new rules. An easy way to do this is to get them their separate beds. Another investment, which can definitely pay itself out in the long run.
  • Wash your bedding regularly – make a habit of washing your bedding every week, preferably with hot water. This will keep your mattress and the bedding itself clean, which in turn will help you sleep better.
  • Flip your mattress every 6 months – most mattresses are double-sided, and are intended to be used on both sides. If yours isn’t consider rotating it 180 degrees.

When is it time to have your mattress professionally cleaned?

If you haven’t yet had your mattress professionally cleaned, right now might be a good time to get that sorted, regardless of how stained it is. As an upholstered item, it gathers a great amount of dead skin cells, sweat, allergens and dirt. This can easily ruin the quality of your sleep, and the overall state of the mattress in the long term. And since professional mattress cleaning costs are not nearly as high as the cost of an actual mattress, it's really a no-brainer!