Tips to Clean and Remove Mattress Stains


My mattress has been through rough times and fun times… and both have caused problems.

Late night snacks that we’ve spilled or the kids climbing into bed we all wake up laying in a wet spot because someone wet the bed.

Illness, blood stains, sweat, the icky list of mattress problems goes on and on…

With so many types of materials that can stain your mattress, it’s important to have your tools ready and with just a little knowledge and skill, you can clean up most mattress stains quickly- just like the stain never happened to begin with.

I’ve got first-hand experience (thanks to my lovely little girls) and I’m ready to share my cleaning tips with you… Are you ready to clean your mattress stains up?

I’ll show you how. Let’s get busy cleaning!

Cleaning Precautions

Keep the following things in mind when you need to remove a stain.

One of the most important things to remember when cleaning a mattress is to avoid over-saturating the mattress with your chosen liquid cleaning product:

  1. Keep your cleaning fluid use down to a minimum.
  2. Mattresses don’t dry quickly and if it becomes over-saturated the wood inside the mattress can become damaged.
  3. Any mattress that stays damp for some time can develop foul odors and have the potential to develop mold and mildew which will ruin the inside of the mattress.

Standard Mattress Cleaning

You’ll need to address all aspects of the stain because the fabric material is so dense it’s hard to extract the stain and the cleaning solution completely.

  1. Treat the element of the stain first and be sure to remove the staining substance thoroughly.
  2. You will need to treat any odor that is there.
  3. Then make sure the mattress is dried completely.

Identify the Stain

Make sure that you know what the stain is and where the stain came from. Of course, it’s obvious that you’ll know where a urine stain came from, but unexplained stains may signify a more serious problem.

If you find small dots of blood on your sheets and mattress and cannot determine the source or you find black spots on the mattress, especially in the seams, you may have bed bugs.

If this is the case, make sure to have the mattress removed from your home and call the exterminator right away. Pests can wreak havoc on your lives even though you can’t see them.

Cleaning the Mattress:

It is important to get to stains as quickly as you can. Urine or blood stains set quickly and are nearly impossible to fully clean once they have dried into the material. But the good news is that if the stain is dry, applying hydrogen peroxide will still help to activate the material, allowing you to remove it.

  1. Blot dry as much as possible with clean terry cloths.
  2. Do not rub or scrub, but blot and use pressure to remove as much liquid as possible.
  3. When no more liquid can be absorbed into the towels, stop.
  4. Next, massage a good amount of hydrogen peroxide on the stain to wet the entire stained surface. Use full strength household hydrogen peroxide,
  5. You can spritz hydrogen peroxide on with a spray bottle if you are cleaning a large area and have a bottle handy.
  6. Remember to use your cleaning products in a minimal fashion so as not to drench the mattress with liquid.
  7. Blood stains will foam up on contact with hydrogen peroxide- blot at the blood that comes up with the foam immediately to quickly remove a large amount of the stain.
  8. When the hydrogen peroxide stops foaming on contact, allow the solution to sit on the stain for five minutes.
  9. Blot the mattress dry completely.
  10. You can repeat this process if necessary

Extra Strength Stain Removal:

  1. Apply dry borax to the stained area.
  2. Gently rub to work it into the stain.
  3. Repeat the process of removing the stain listed above until it is fully removed.

Removing Mattress Odor:

  1. To remove odors, sprinkle baking soda on top of the area where the stain was and allow it to sit for several hours.
  2. Brush or vacuum off.

Drying the Mattress

If any odor remains, you’ll need to sprinkle the mattress with baking soda and allow it to sit for several hours before dusting clean.

  • Take the mattress outdoors and allow the sun to dry it.
  • Pick the mattress up on its side and allow it to dry in a well-ventilated room.
  • You will need to press firmly on the wet area to insure that not only the outside of the mattress is dry but also the inside.
  • Do not put the bedding back on the mattress until it is completely dry.

If you do not allow the mattress to dry thoroughly and completely, you will put yourself at risk for problems with bacteria, mold and mildew and various other stinky smells or discoloration of the mattress fabric. These are all things that you do not want growing in your bed frame!

That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

Now you’ve got the tools and the knowledge to tackle stains and clean your mattress just like a pro does. If your mattress is at risk of frequent future staining, consider using a protective mattress cover to help keep liquids out of the mattress to start with.

Good luck!


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