How to clean urine stains from a mattress

Urine stains can cause unpleasant stains and smells! To avoid this act fast and use these tips to clean stains from a mattress.

Updated 2 October 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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With kids in the house, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll end up having to deal with a bed-wetting incident at some point – it’s a perfectly natural part of growing up, and occasionally happens in later life as well. Dealing with it is hardly fun, but removing urine from a mattress is something that can actually be pretty simple if you act fast, and treat the situation sensitively and sensibly.

All urine (animal and human) is made up of crystals of uric acid, so to permanently remove the acid, odour, and bacteria and properly clean urine from mattress fabric and bedding, it is best to use an enzyme-based cleaning solution. There is also a wide selection of products specifically developed for treating urine stains caused by pets, which are often perfectly suitable for use on human accidents too. Make sure to check the label on your chosen product and follow the instructions to ensure you use it safely and effectively. Always test any cleaning product in a small area first before continuing.

You will need:

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  • How to clean a mattress: urine stains

    1. 1

      Blot excess urine and then strip the bed

      Use a dry towel, cloth, or paper towels to lightly blot up the excess urine, then strip the bed. Avoid rubbing the stain, as this will only spread the urine deeper into the mattress.

    2. 2

      Add baking soda to the affect area

      Sprinkle baking soda onto the affected area to absorb the remaining moisture.

    3. 3

      Make a solution of washing powder and water

      Make a solution of biological washing powder – we like Persil Bio – and water. Alternatively, if you don’t mind the smell (which can be somewhat potent at first) you can try a solution of one part white vinegar to one part warm water.

    4. 4

      Spray onto the stain and leave for three to five minutes

      Spray your chosen solution onto the stain and leave to sit for 3-5 minutes. You should use enough of the stain remover to counterbalance the amount of urine that has soaked into the mattress before leaving to air-dry.

      If using a commercial stain remover, always carefully follow the instructions on the product packaging, be sure to wear protective gloves, and open the windows for ventilation.
    5. 5

      Repeat step one

      Repeat step one, blotting up any moisture with a towel or dry cloth. This is to get rid of any residual urine and prevent mould, so try to get the mattress as dry as possible.

    6. 6

      Sprinkle baking soda over the entire mattress

      Bring back the baking soda and sprinkle over the entire mattress. The mattress needs to be given time to dry out thoroughly – at least 18 hours – so you should make other sleeping arrangements and leave it to dry overnight.

    7. 7

      Vacuum the baking soda and leave to air out

      Vacuum up the baking soda and prop the mattress up outside or in a well-ventilated area to allow air to circulate and shift the last of the odour.

    The above guide explains how to clean urine from mattress fabric and stuffing.

How to get urine out of a mattress when dry

If you have kids or pets, then accidents are bound to happen. From a toddler who is still being potty-trained to a dog or cat marking their territory, it's fair to say the worst place for an accident to happen has got to be a bed. Not every accident is noticed immediately, so what can you do if the urine in your mattress is already dry? Tips include; using enzyme based cleaners or household cleaners to your bed looking and smelling nice and clean again.

How to get urine smell out of a mattress?

To remove urine smell from a mattress, act quickly for best results. Start by blotting up any excess urine with paper towels or a clean cloth. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and lightly mist the affected area. Blot the vinegar solution with a clean cloth and let it air dry. Once dry, sprinkle baking soda over the mattress surface, covering the stained area. Leave it for several hours or overnight to absorb odours. Vacuum up the baking soda thoroughly. For persistent odours, you can also consider using enzymatic cleaners specifically designed for eliminating urine smells.

Protection and Prevention

Now that you know how to clean urine from a mattress, you can be prepared for future incidents. Sealed protectors are available for pillows, duvets, and mattresses that will not only shield your family’s beds from urine but also help protect you from dust mites, bacteria and all number of other allergens.

Don’t be put off by uncomfortable childhood memories of crackly waterproof covers and cases – the latest products are far subtler, and won’t leave you slipping and sliding with every movement. Choose from zippered or fitted styles, with breathable fibres that will keep you and your children protected and relaxed.

Can urine stains damage my health?

Urine stains themselves are typically not a direct health hazard when they occur on surfaces or fabrics. However, urine can contain bacteria and other microorganisms, which can potentially pose health risks if not properly cleaned and sanitized.

In most cases, fresh urine is sterile, but it can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria if left untreated. When urine stains are not promptly cleaned, bacteria can multiply, leading to unpleasant odors and potential health issues. Bacterial growth may also attract pests like flies and insects, further exacerbating the problem.

The health risks associated with urine stains primarily involve:

  1. 1

    Odor: Lingering urine odors can be unpleasant and affect indoor air quality, potentially causing discomfort and annoyance.

  2. 2

    Allergies and Respiratory Issues: In some cases, exposure to urine odors and allergens from dried urine stains can trigger allergies or respiratory problems in sensitive individuals.

  3. 3

    Infections: If urine contamination occurs in an environment where hygiene is crucial, such as healthcare facilities or food preparation areas, it can contribute to the spread of infections.

Now that the mattress is clean again, you and your family are ready for a good night’s sleep!

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