How To Get Stains Out Of A Mattress: A DIY Guide

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You may be routinely changing your sheets one day and suddenly notice your bed has developed a stain on the cover. On the other hand, you or a loved one may have had an accident or spilled something on your mattress. Regardless of why many people find themselves wondering how to get stains out of a mattress.

What type of cleaner should be used on a mattress? Are there different options? Is there something specific I should do, or avoid? Well don’t worry, we have done the research, and have answers to the most pressing questions surrounding removing a mattress stain.

If you are not one of the fortunate people who have a bed with a removable, washable cover, this article will help you learn about what causes those unexpected marks to appear on a mattress cover. You will also learn why it is important for you and for your mattress’ health to try and remove the stain. To remove a stain, there are several techniques you can try, some with materials you probably already have in your home right now.

What Causes Your Mattress to Develop Stains?

Unless you have had a spill or accident on your bed, you may be wondering, where are the stains on the cover of my mattress coming from? What causes yellow stains on my mattress, other than urine?

1. Your Body

woman sleeping on a bedThe most common answer to these questions is sweat and it is probably more common than you would expect, so don’t worry too much about it for now. Sleeping hot at night to the point of sweating is common for many people. Sometimes, it is not that much and we do not realize it is happening. But over time, this can cause your mattress to develop small yellowish spots on the surface. We will try to be sure and cover how to get yellow stains out of your mattress later in this article but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Aside from sweat stain, your bed is exposed to a collection of other things which can contribute to a less than sanitary surface for you to fall asleep on. After all, you spend about a third of your life in bed, and you are completely relaxed and uninhibited for the majority of that time especially if you like sleeping naked. Your mattress serves a collection area for not only sweat, but also dead skin cells that are shed from your body, drool, oils from your skin, oils from your hair and hair products, and other bodily fluids like snot and tears.

2. Your Environment

golden retriever on the bedYour mattress is also exposed to other environmental things which can contribute to it getting dirty the longer you have it in your home. The most common of these environmental contributors include pet dander, dust mites, and allergens which can be particularly high in spring and summer months. Other factors are indoor pollution as well as outdoor pollution if you live in a highly populated area and you leave your windows open, which most people do.

3. Other Causes

father and son making the bedLastly, a stain can appear on your mattress if you spill something like food or liquid. The same goes if you, a loved one or a pet has an accident. Bedwetting is more common than most people suspect and there are certain precautions and methods of treatment that are largely encouraged to help aid with the elimination of the issue. As for spilling food and drink, it may be in your best interest to avoid eating or drinking in your bed if you tend to be a bit messy or are a sloppy eater. Definitely avoid eating things that have lots of crumbs as they can easily be lost in the bed and ground into the cover material without you ever noticing.

After reading about all of these possible contaminants, I bet you are really curious about how to clean a soiled mattress. Keep reading and find out!

Is It Important to Get Stains out of Your Mattress?

stains on an old mattressJust in case you are not naturally curious about how to deep clean a mattress, or how to spot clean a mattress, this section explains why it is important for your health, and the health of your mattress.

Build up of contaminants in your bed can, in some cases, cause people to become sick. This is particularly true for people with poor immune systems. Often, this is caused by illness but age can also be a factor. Examples of which are small children, toddlers, babies, as well as the elderly. In less severe cases, a buildup of excess materials in your bed could cause a stuffy nose or congestion.

As far as your mattress’ health is concerned, a collection of bodily fluids, oils, or skin tissues helps to speed up the deterioration of the materials within the bed which shortens its usable years. Keeping the materials clean and sanitary is the only way to make your mattress last and keep it functioning at its peak performance for as long as possible. We recommend keeping your bed for eight to ten years if you take good care of it and keep it clean.

How to Get Stains out of a Mattress: A Step by Step Tutorial

spilled coffee on white sheetsThere is no one best way to clean a mattress stain. Instead, there are several options. Most people attempt homemade remedies before purchasing strong chemicals. More often than not, these chemicals could leave an unwanted residue and are more expensive than do-it-yourself cleaning mixtures. Let’s explore the choices!

Homemade Mattress Cleaner Options

There are a few different homemade mattress cleaner options that you can explore when it comes to removing the stain from your mattress. One may work better for you than the other, but each one has its own cleaning power and should be considered effective on a particular mattress stain.

We recommend trying whichever cleaning solution you already have the ingredients for in your home. Because no option is distinctly more powerful, we also recommend trying a combination of different homemade cleaners if you find that the first attempt to remove the stain from your bed does not provide the desired results.

It is possible for one solution to work better on your particular material or stain. It is also possible to simply use a variety of cleaning concoctions that could help with different aspects of your stain than to clean with only one mixture. Let’s start by going over a list of ingredients so you can check which ones you already have readily available, and which cleaning solution you will want to try out first.

Possible Ingredients Used in a DIY Mattress Cleaner:

  • Dish soap (superior grease-cutting ability)
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Essential oil (for a calming scent that lingers on the bed, mix into any liquid solution)

Before you start with any of these solutions it is important to keep the surface of the bed as dry as possible. This is particularly important when it comes to the topic “how to remove urine stains from a mattress”. Liquid works to help deteriorate the materials inside and should be dried as quickly as you can manage. If the stain is still wet, blot the surface with an absorbent material like a towel until the bed is as dry as possible.

You can add a few drops of different essential oils to any of the homemade cleaning options that follow to give your bed a pleasant smell that will last for a few weeks. We recommend lavender or sage.

Homemade Option #1: Dish Soap

spilled dish washing liquidHow to Clean Mattress Stains with Dish Soap

  1. Add a large squirt of dish soap into a bucket filled with cool to lukewarm water and mix vigorously until a nice lather, or layer of bubbles develop.
  2. Using as little water as possible, scoop the suds from the bucket and rub them into the stain using a circular motion.
  3. Blot the surface with a dry towel to absorb any moisture added by the soap mixture.
  4. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you achieve the desired results.

Homemade Option #2: Vinegar or Baking Soda

baking soda with vinegarHow to Remove Stains from Mattress with Vinegar / How to Clean Mattress Stains with Baking Soda

  1. Mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, shake gently.
  2. Spray the affected areas generously, but not to the point of saturation and wait for 5-10 minutes so the vinegar can work its magic.
  3. Blot the area with a towel to absorb as much liquid as possible.
  4. Sprinkle baking soda on the surface to help absorb even more moisture and help eliminate any odor left behind from the vinegar or the spill itself (this is particularly helpful when determining how to clean dried urine from a mattress because it neutralizes the smell).
  5. Wait another 5-10 minutes before vacuuming up all of the baking soda.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 until the desired effect is achieved.

Homemade Option #3: Hydrogen Peroxide

chemical formula of hydrogen peroxideHow to Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Mattress Stains

  1. Pour pure hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the affected areas generously, but not to the point of saturation, and wait 5-10 minutes for full penetration into the stain.
  3. Blot as much of the peroxide up as possible using an absorbent towel.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 until the desired effect is achieved.

Professional Cleaning Treatment Options

cleaning products and a bucketOccasionally, a mattress stain may need something a bit stronger than a homemade cleaner, often when the stain is older and more incorporated. This section will be explaining how to remove an old stain from a mattress as well as other stubborn marks. So, in case the DIY tutorial does not seem to work as effectively as you hoped, or you wish to just skip ahead to the strong stuff, there is an alternative.

You can purchase a professional mattress stain remover from most stores that sell cleaning supplies or from a multitude of websites online. These professional cleaners come with specific instructions on how to use them effectively but generally, instructions are simply spraying, waiting, blotting the affected areas, and repeating as necessary.

Does It Matter What Kind of Mattress You Have?

young woman looking at her sheetsThe answer is yes! Some types of mattresses have materials and fillings that are more prone to damage caused by liquid than others, specifically if they remain wet for an extended period of time. So when looking for instructions on how to remove stains from a memory foam mattress or how to clean urine from a mattress with a pillowtop, it will vary. The possible damage to the material and filling will also be different but you should always aim to dry the mattress quickly.

A pillowtop mattress will not usually sustain as much damage as a foam one because the cotton and other blended materials can be washed without an issue. Whereas most types of foam rapidly deteriorate when they get wet. Therefore, it should be avoided.

Additional Options for You to Consider in the Future

Now that your mattress is clean and fresh again, you probably want to keep it that way for as long as possible. One way to do this is by washing the sheets and bedding regularly. We recommend washing your sheets once a week, and your blanket, quilt, or duvet cover once every month or seasonally.

Another option, which may actually be the best way to clean a mattress, is to never let it become dirty or soiled in the first place by buying a waterproof, stain proof cover. These are generally inexpensive, can be purchased in most places bedding is sold and can extend the lifespan of your bed considerably. They are also a convenient alternative if you want to avoid cleaning your mattress regularly, or even at all.

Make Your Mattress as Clean as a Whistle

happy young woman in a clean bedThe development of a stain on the surface of a mattress is more common than you may have previously thought. However, most people’s mattresses will develop discoloration after extended use. Much of this is caused by the shedding of your skin, hair, natural body oils, and sweat.

It is important to keep your bed clean and healthy. In other words, learning how to get stains out of a mattress should be a priority, especially when it comes to seasonal cleaning.

There are several methods you can employ to clean your mattress and it is likely you already have one or more of the necessary materials in your home right now.

Many people have success using vinegar, dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, or a combination of these ingredients to remove even the most stubborn mattress stain. We hope that this article helped teach you the proper way to clean a stain out of your bed. With any luck, you will have success in using them so you can look forward to a healthy and restful night of deep sleep for many nights to come.

Have you also been wondering how to remove sweat stains from a mattress? How about how to remove urine stains from a mattress? What at removers work for you? Let us know in the comments section?

Additional Resources

Emily Alexander
Emily Alexander

Emily Melynn Alexander was born on the east coast of the USA but has called Colorado home since 2000. She has a degree in English and Political Science from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She enjoys sleeping in locations all around the world.

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