How to Clean Urine Out of a Mattress

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Urine can be a major headache to clean, as it’s known to have quite the pungent smell and can quickly spread through materials. If you, a family member, or a pet had an accident on a mattress and need to get the urine out, you’re in the right place. 

Below, I’ll share an easy, DIY, and non-toxic way to clean urine out of your mattress. This should work for most mattress types, but it’s always a good idea to check with the company you got your mattress from to see if they have a preferred cleaning method. If you’re specifically looking to clean a pet’s pee stain, you can jump to that section below. 

I’ll note it’s essential to clean a stain as soon as you can in order to achieve the best results. The longer the stain’s been in place, the more difficult it is to remove.

An image of a urine duplicate stain after using this cleaning method and before.

Supplies

Let’s start with the supplies you’ll need. Most of them you may already have at home.

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Several boxes of baking soda
    • It depends on the size of your bed and the stain, but I suggest having at least three boxes to be on the safe side.
  • Clear dish soap 
  • A spray bottle
  • A toothbrush or type of brush to scrub with
  • A few rags
  • A vacuum cleaner

If it’s a bad stain that’s dark and has been around for awhile or it’s a pet stain, you’ll also want to grab: 

  • White distilled vinegar
  • Another spray bottle
  • Enzyme cleaner (this is for pet stains only)
  • Essential oil (this is optional to help combat the smell)

Note: Before starting the cleaning process, be sure to completely strip the bed. 

These supplies are all safe & non-toxic to use.

Cleaning Steps

  1. Sprinkle baking soda all over the urine stain, rub it into the stain, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. 
  2. Then, vacuum it up.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water, then add two big squirts of the dish soap. 
  4. Shake it up, and spray it all over the stain.
  5. Then cover the stain with baking soda again and scrub it in.
  6. Wait. Let it sit for at least eight hours.
  7. Remove the residue. After the eight hours are up, come back and scrub the residue to break it up.
  8. Vacuum remaining residue up. 

Check the Stain

If you’re satisfied with your results, which you very likely could be since I’ve seen this method do some killer work, then you’re all done! But if you still feel there could be more done to lift any smell or stain, double down with this next cleaning method. 

Second Cleaning Method (Doubling Down)

  1. Combine equal parts of the white vinegar and baking soda to make a paste, and scrub it into the stain and leave it covering the stain for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Then come back and vacuum it up.

If it’s a really bad stain, you can repeat this doubling down method.

Note: We recommend allowing your mattress to air dry after completing your cleaning (and not using other drying methods)

Dog, Cat, or Other Animal Pee Stains

Animal urine tends to be more concentrated than human urine, which means it can come with a stronger, more unpleasant smell. There’s also the risk that your furry friends will want to re-mark their territory if there’s any lingering odor from the original stain. For these reasons, it’s important to fully get rid of their stains. 

Cleaning up after a pet’s accident is similar to humans, but with a few tweaks you’ll see below.

  1. Immediately apply baking soda to the stain to blot up any liquid, remove it, and re-apply fresh baking soda. Repeat this cycle until the baking soda no longer turns yellow when you apply it to the stain.
  2. Vacuum the powder up.
  3. Conduct the two cleaning methods mentioned above in this article. If it’s a fresh stain and not a huge concern, you can skip the main cleaning method and solely do the second cleaning method (aka the doubling down method).
  4. Use an enzyme cleaner. You can find these at pet stores and we recommend choosing a non-toxic one.

Removing the Smell

Baking soda can do wonders lifting the smell from urine stains, but to take it a step further, I recommend:

  • Trying both of the cleaning methods mentioned above in this article 
  • Adding a few drops of essential oils into the spray bottles as you’re mixing the solutions together. Lavender, lemon, or eucalyptus can be nice scents, but it really comes down to personal preference. 

How to Protect Your Mattress

If you find yourself dealing with a urine stain, you’re probably hoping to never have to experience that mess again. Here are some good tips to protect your mattress in the future. 

  • Invest in a mattress protector, and a waterproof one at that. These can be game changers for your mattress’ cleanliness! Mattress protectors simply fasten on top or around your mattress and don’t change the feel or firmness of your bed. There are a lot of affordable options out there too if cost is a concern. 
  • Evaluate any bad bed habits. Sometimes it can be best to get to the root of the problem and try to fix it. For example, as much as we love having our furry friend on the bed — if accidents are a common occurrence, it may be beneficial to impose a new rule of not allowing pets on the bed. If human urine stains are a consistent issue, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor for potential solutions.
  • Use pet repellants on your mattress. You can either find them at pet stores or try using the following homemade concoction Casper recommends:
    • Mix 1.5 cups of cold water, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, and about 20 drops of any citrus-scented essential oil. Then spray on the area where the stain was.  

Final Thoughts

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, the older and darker a stain is, the harder it’s going to be to remove. Also keep in mind, if you see any residue leftover from the stain — that doesn’t mean your bed isn’t now clean. Check out our full cleaning guide for more information. Good luck!

Bridget Chapman

Bridget Chapman

Bridget is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and senior editor here at Sleepopolis. From testing mattresses to writing about various sleep health topics, her goal is to help you get a good night's sleep. You can also find her in videos on our YouTube channel. Bridget graduated magna cum laude from San Diego State University with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. Before joining the Sleepopolis team, she was a TV news reporter and worked in cities across the country. She loves spending time outdoors, checking out new restaurants, snuggling with her pets, and of course — getting some quality Zzz’s.