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Every day, somewhere in the world, a mattress gets peed on, soiled, or stained somehow. Urine stains and odors plague mattresses around the world, and you want to know how to get pee stains out of a mattress. Well, look no further, because this article tells you how to clean mattress stains, not only from urine, but from other types of stains common to mattresses. This post updates my original from March 30, 2012.
Mattresses get a LOT of use and sometimes the inevitable happens: they get stained and smell horrible, especially if the accident involves urine. If you are a parent, I am sure you know getting the dirty bedding cleaned and back on the bed the same day does not always happen.
In the case with my son, cleaning did not happen for three days. Everyone in our household was sick. I let my son sleep in our guest bed for a few nights, because his bedding was still nasty. When I pulled off his sheets to wash them, to my dismay I discovered he also peed on his brand new mattress. I was horrified and disgusted I failed to realize this earlier! I felt like a bad mom! The brownish yellow urine stain smelled awful. This upset me, because this mattress was high quality, expensive, and less than two months old.
How to Get Pee Stains Out of a Mattress with 3 Simple Ingredients
Here is the recipe to remove urine stains from a mattress, and many other types of stains also. It only takes 3 easy ingredients, but you also need a measuring cup, a tablespoon, a funnel, and a heavy duty spray bottle (read more about the type of spray bottle to use in the Tips section). If you do not have these items already, you can still get them for a fraction of the cost for professional stain removal.
Here are the 3 Simple Ingredients to Clean a Mattress:
- 8 ounces/237 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide
- 3 tablespoons/45 grams of baking soda
- 1 drop of liquid hand dishwashing soap
Instructions: Place the baking soda into the spray bottle using a funnel. Next add the 3% hydrogen peroxide, and finally add a drop of liquid hand dishwashing soap. I use Dawn® brand. Next, swish the bottle around gently. DO NOT SHAKE the bottle as this tends to clog the siphon straw.
You must use this mixture relatively quickly, and it cannot be saved for later use. The recipe only works if you use it immediately, because the cleaning byproducts and chemical interactions remain active only for a short time. Also, the chemical reaction of all three ingredients combined can cause the mixture to ooze and leak out of the bottle, creating a mess if you leave the bottle sitting around.
3 Easy Steps to Clean Mattress Stains
- Spray the stained areas of your mattress thoroughly saturating them and let the mixture sit until it has dried. There is NO scrubbing and NO blotting. You literally spray and walk away.
- Wait for 5 to 10 minutes for the stain to lift and disappear. If this does not happen, you must apply the mixture again to ensure it fully cleans the the stained areas.
- Once the mattress dries, if a baking soda powdery film remains, then simply wipe it off with a damp cloth or vacuum it.
This way to remove urine from a mattress is so simple and easy. I still jump for joy when I get to use this recipe!
Before and After Mattress Photos
Here are my original photos of my son’s pee-stained mattress. The second image shows how well this recipe works to get urine stains out of a mattress.
Frequently Asked Questions and Testimonials for How to Remove Urine from a Mattress with this Recipe
Most of my FAQs come from reader messages and comments. The discovery of which continues still.
Spray bottle and clogging issues?
MANY people have issues with their spray bottle, but I have done this application at least ten times without issues. I even used two different spray bottles, but here are some tips from me and readers to get you on your way to successful mattress cleaning.
Make sure whatever spray bottle you have that the straw is as large as possible. Otherwise, the mixture is too thick and it will clog your spray bottle. Again, DO NOT SHAKE! It can definitely clog your spray bottle.
3 Key Spray Bottle Helpful Hints:
- Use the heaviest-duty spray bottle you can find.
- Remove the bottom siphon straw filter, if present.
- Do not shake the mixture, swirl gently instead.
If you still have issues with clogging, then try what these readers did successfully:
“My sprayer clogged too, but I simply took a thin rag/washcloth and dabbed/rubbed it on the stains. All of it disappeared. UH-mazing!”
“I had trouble with it clogging too, so I put it in a squirt bottle, like a ketchup bottle and squirted it onto the area. Then I spread it around some with a white washcloth. Worked wonders!”
Will this work on a foam mattress?
This method works on a foam mattress.
“Amee. Thank you so much. I must say this really quickly to everyone ATTN: EVERYONE! THIS WILL WORK ON ANY FOAM MATTRESS. Amee, I wish I posted a before pic… I can’t thank you enough. We have a 3 thousand dollar Aloe Vera mattress. So, yes, you can imagine how I felt, lol. The joy of being a housewife, right? Lol, but all jokes aside thank you, thank you very much.”
“Whoa! I used this because my daughter who uses night training pants that failed to work last night had peed all over MY bed. She peed all over my new memory foam mattress topper. I didn’t take photos because I honestly didn’t think this would work. But alas it disappeared before my eyes. Thanks a million. Not only is the stain gone, but the smell too. Wow!”
Is Dawn® liquid dishwashing soap brand required?
Nope! You do not have to use Dawn®; it is just what I usually have on hand. Use whatever you have in your kitchen as you only need one tiny drop! That drop acts to break down any oils that could be present as part of the stain. It seems like so little, but it plays an important role.
How long does it take to dry?
It all depends on how much mixture you apply to your mattress or other stained surface. The room temperature and humidity can also have an effect on drying time. It took only a few hours for my stained area to dry when I cleaned my son’s mattress. I cleaned a urine stain from another mattress, and I used a box fan to speed up the drying process. The fan worked well.
Does this work to remove pet urine stains and smell?
“Wow this definitely works on pet stains! I have 4 ferrets and my oldest fuzz butt has problems with his back legs, and he doesn’t always hit the puppy pad in the corner, which is on carpet. I used this yesterday and I was amazed. I sprayed this on the stain, and within 2 or 3 minutes it was gone. I didn’t even have to get down on all fours and scrub. Thank you for sharing this.”
“Thank you so much. I tried this and on an old dog urine stain on my carpet and it made it better, but did not take it all away. Then, I re-read your instructions, and realized I did not leave it on long enough. I went back and reapplied it and left it on a bit longer than the time you indicated. The horrible stain the commercial pet urine cleaner would not remove was almost invisible. I cannot thank you enough for posting this!”
NOTE: One caveat, this mixture works well for dog stains, but cat stains often present challenges, especially the lingering smell. After you get out urine stains, you can use an enzymatic cleaner for cat urine or other pet odors.
Does this remove vomit or food stains?
“This DOES take out 7-year vomit stains (thanks to one person’s drunken bachelor nights)! Awesome! Now here’s to hoping they stay GONE! :)”
“I didn’t have pee stains on my mattress, but rather vomit, drool, and a couple blood stains. I just did this and they ALL came out. I’m gonna use this as a general mattress freshener. Thanks so much for sharing!”
“Thanks for the info. Worked like a charm on soy sauce that had been spilled on a mattress. Don’t ask. I downsized the ingredients as the spill was not that bad. And I used an old toothbrush (I didn’t have a spray bottle). Can’t even tell it was ever there. Cheers!”
“I was actually looking for a formula/spit up stain remover when I came across your page. My little one is on a really smelly/oily formula due to allergies and allergic colitis. Nothing I tried before worked for the smell or stains. This did the trick! Thanks for sharing!”
“My son was ill, and last night he climbed into my bed and vomited and urinated on my mattress. I was in tears when morning came and I saw the full extent of the damage. A google search led me here and I honestly could not be more thankful. I will be passing this information along!”
“My son spilled a whole bottle of grape juice on my recliner, and you would never know now – Thank You!”
Does this recipe mixture work on old urine stains?
“This worked awesome! I did it on a fresh spot and an old stain. It took away both stains and the smell (and the yuck factor). Thanks so much.”
“Hi! I wanted to share my experience. I had a year-old pee stain, I cleaned the stain right after my daughter had her accident with Folex. Folex did not take out the yellow color, and it left a huge water mark. After finding your blog via Pinterest, I went to the store and bought everything to make the pee remover and the car cleaner you recommended. It cost less than $10 for everything. I came home made my batch of pee remover and “MAGIC”, it’s gone! Thank you, thank you for sharing! You rock mama!”
Does this method work on skunk smell?
Yes it does! This was actually confirmed on MythBusters. Have you ever had a dog get a little too friendly with a skunk? I remember when I was a little girl we had a dog named Sally who could not leave the skunks alone. I swear she thought it was a fabulous perfume. If only my parents knew about this recipe back then, lots of tomato juice would have been spared for better uses. Here is what one of my readers said about this recipe’s ability to de-skunk your pet.
“That same formula works great for neutralizing skunk odors. When our dog gets sprayed by a skunk we use this mixture in a spray bottle and spray him down, being careful not to let it get into his eyes, and the odor is neutralized. Not covered up, but neutralized. Works great.”
How does this work to clean suede leather?
Yes, it should work fine. It is important, however, to test any surface in an inconspicuous area first before you apply it to the stained locations. The hydrogen peroxide works by breaking down proteins, and it can damage dyed leather. I would let it sit about 10 minutes and then use a clean rag to blot dry. I would then also use a leather conditioner after cleaning.
“Hi, I need help! I have leather couches, they are brown-like suede, and my kiddos and dogs have dirtied it up! Could I use this mixture on it? I need to clean it badly, and is stinky too….soooo embarrassing, you rock thanks!”
How does this remove breast milk stains or infant formula?
Yes, this method will clean breast milk stains or those from infant formula.
“Thank you! My 2-year-old had an accident last night, and I’ve been searching the web high and low for a non-chemical/harsh/eat-your-skin-off answer. I didn’t want to smell any cleaners or fabric deodorizers. I just ran to Target (9pm Target run) and voila! The stain is gone, as well as the chocolate Pediasure stains:) Thank you for sharing!”
Does it remove poo stains?
Yes, this method can remove feces stains, but you must thoroughly remove the poop before applying the mixture.
“Wish I had taken before and after pictures, I can’t believe how well this worked! I used it for cleaning up a year old-stain from a diarrhea accident (which I initially cleaned with my upholstery cleaner, but it was still stained badly) and stains from breast milk. Had to do two coats, but totally worked.”
“I had a family member soil our spare bedroom mattress REALLLLLLLY bad (feces and urine), and I tried different things for a week and nothing worked. I found this site and I literally watched the stains disappear! Thank you so much! Can’t thank you enough!”
Will this work as a homemade carpet cleaner?
Yes, this works to clean carpet. As a caveat, however, like I mentioned for leather furniture, or any upholstered furniture for that matter, test an area of the carpet in an inconspicuous before applying to the stain in a visible area.
“I used this on my cream-colored carpet and it worked great! I was worried about using it on my gold-colored carpet, but figured what the heck; it couldn’t make it any worse. It worked fantastically on it! The ugly spot is gone along with the odor! Thanks!”
“Thank you so much for this info! It worked great on my mattress, I was pleasantly surprised. I have also used this solution on my tan carpet for pet stains and it did not discolor it.”
How does this work to remove blood stains?
This mixture works well to remove blood stains. My husband who is a veterinarian, however, used straight hydrogen peroxide to remove blood from his scrub outfits after surgery.
“This also works on blood stains. If you have teen-aged girls, or girls just entering puberty who haven’t gotten their period yet, they can also stain a mattress. Hydrogen peroxide will get blood out of clothing too, so if you have cuts, or bloody noses etc. of any kind, use hydrogen peroxide, full-strength, on it!”
What about cleaning other stains like ink, dirt, coffee, or rust stains?
Yes it can, but it depends on the type of stain and the surface. It is always worth a try!
“This combo has taken out ink stains, dirt, coffee, and even rust stains from a wire dog crate, on IVORY colored carpet! The rust stains had been there for years, and I hadn’t yet found a product that could take it out!”
Does this clean cement or tile grout urine stains?
Yes, some readers successfully used it to clean cement or grout stains.
“The same mixture is great for removing the pee smell from bathrooms and it cleans the grout too! I watched it on MythBusters. They removed skunk spray and I thought well I wonder if it works for little boys too. It does and the grout was a bonus!”
“Last night my husband and I asked each other “What’s that smell?” It turned out one of our cats was peeing in her cat bed, so much that it soaked through to the stone tile in front of the fire place. We threw the bed out, but there were stains on the tile. Ewwwww! Nothing I used worked. I tried this and it is working! I will try on the mattress next!”
Miscellaneous tips, tricks, and discoveries from readers:
“My grandchildren just left after a month-long visit. I discovered the stain this morning, tried your remedy, and the stain is gone. I did take dry white cleaning cloths to blot as we live in a very humid area. You would not believe how brown the cloths were! This might be the extra help that some of your readers need to completely remove their stains.”
“This also works on the “spots” that show up on lamp shades. Thanks for posting!”
Don’t use expired baking soda
“At first I used old generic baking soda I had. It lightened the stain, but didn’t remove it. Then I thought, “Use a little common sense here.” So I purchased Arm & Hammer™ baking soda (new-not expired), a great spray bottle from a lawn care store, Dawn and a funnel. Once all ingredients were in the bottle, I shook it up and sprayed away liberally. It worked. I swear it was the fresh box of Arm & Hammer and Dawn liquid dish soap that did the trick the second time around. Thank you for this great idea. It’s affordable, non-toxic and works with the correct measurements and ingredients.”
This method on how to get pee stains out of a mattress is simple, safe and works great! If your kids are like mine they usually also maintain an army of stuffed animals in bed with them. Here are my tips to wash the pee and grime safely off your stuffed animals and make them look and smell like new again.
Do you have any other methods for how to get pee stains out of a mattress? Have you discovered other uses for this simple, but effective recipe?