How to Remove Urine Stains From a Mattress

Nobody actually WANTS to have to deal with this dilemma, but even the most protected mattresses may eventually fall prey to the dreaded urine stain, especially if you have a child who wets the bed, or pets. And unfortunately, if you have pets and you are unable to eliminate urine odor from the mattress, they will continue to pee in the same spot.

Regularly deep cleaning your mattress may help you catch these accidents soon after they occur so stains are unable to set too deep, (and before they begin to provide you a waft of ammonia as it breaks down in the fabric). But if you have an old, dried urine stain you somehow missed, or have been unable to neutralize the urine smell even after cleaning, the following tips may help with these problems.

You may want to read: How to Stop Your Dog from Sleeping in Bed

What You Need

Obviously you may have some of your favorite products to attack urine soaked mattresses with, but I’m going to provide you with a natural, and effective way to get out the toughest of stains – with the use of chemical cleaners only in the worst cases (such as in the case of dog urine, or cat urine where even the most thorough of cleanings can leave behind the enzymes our noses are not sensitive enough to pick up on).

  • Measuring Cups and teaspoons
  • Spray Bottle
  • Color safe cotton towels, or absorbent paper towels
  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Baking Soda
  • Dawn Dish Liquid
  • Vinegar

Solution Directions: Mix approximately 8 ounces of peroxide, 3 Tablespoons of baking soda, and a half teaspoon of detergent in the spray bottle IMMEDIATELY before use (you don’t want this to sit around to lose effectiveness). Also, DO NOT SHAKE the bottle, rather swish it around or stir it with a spoon. You also do not want to dilute this with water as it will not be as effective on set in stains if you do.

You may also want to add in a few drops of an essential oil that provides natural sanitizing properties, as well as fresh scents for aromatherapy properties. Some of the most favored oils for cleaning purposes include: lemon, tea tree, rosemary, and cinnamon, to name a few.

Pet Enzymatic Cleaner
Essential Oils

Step 1: Blot up Urine Immediately, or Soak with Vinegar if Dried

If you happen to catch the accident shortly after occurring, your first step is to blot it up right away with a dry cotton towel or paper towel. Keep blotting until the towels come away dry, and then soak the area with Vinegar. Allow that to sit for a few minutes and begin the blotting process over again until it again comes away dry.

If the accident has already dried, then you want to soak the area with vinegar and allow it to soak in for a few minutes. This allows the dried urine to rehydrate, making it easier to draw out of the material through your blotting. Note that this will not often remove any staining you see, but will soften it for the following steps.

What to Remember: Urine soaks both down, and out into mattress fabric, so be sure to apply vinegar to areas surrounding the stain as well to make sure you are getting all of it.

Step 2: Liberally Apply the Solution

Liberally spray the accident or stain areas, and the spaces around the stain, with the solution and allow it to soak in for 5 to 10 minutes. Even the most set in stains should begin to lift within this time frame, but if you know you have a particularly stubborn stain, you can allow it to sit for up to 20 minutes. After this the cleaning agents within the solution won’t be as effective.

Blot up the solution until towels are dry, reapplying to areas that are not lifting.

What to Remember: Never wipe with the towels, or rub. Rather keep blotting over applied solution until the stain is no longer visible. Using a light colored towel or paper towels also allows you to see if you are raising any deep set stains as well. If your towels are coming away clear, then you know you have drawn out the stains.

Step 3: Reapply as Needed

If you have blotted well, the surface of your mattress should feel relatively dry, with perhaps a film of baking soda over it. During this time urine stains may rise to the surface if this was a particularly deep soaking. If you notice stains beginning to rise, begin step 2 all over again until staining is no longer visible.

What to Remember: This may seem tedious, but removing urine accidents and stains properly will save you a lot of heartache in the long run as these types of accidents have a habit of sending up smells over time when you least expect it.

OPTIONAL Step 3: Apply an Enzymatic Cleaner

If your pet is the culprit of the accident, I strongly suggest following up with an enzymatic cleaner. The reason for this is that a pet’s sense of smell is MUCH better than ours, and most pets will continue to pee in the same spot because they will be able to smell where they have gone before. This is especially true of cats, which truly can cause long term problems due to how cat urine may crystallize and smell especially strong.

What to Remember: There are many different options available for enzymatic solutions, so it is important you follow the directions provided on the choice you purchase for effectiveness.

Step 4: Sprinkle the Area with Baking Soda

Baking soda is an excellent cleaning agent for many reasons, one of them being how it is able to draw odors from both the air and surfaces it is placed upon. Is also can help absorb excess moisture from your cleaning process.

Sprinkle the surface of your mattress liberally with baking soda, making sure to apply well outside the margins of the stain. Allow this to dry along with the mattress before vacuuming up.

What to Remember: Some people like to apply a sprinkling of baking soda over their mattress and underneath their sheets to help keep everything smelling fresh between cleanings. This is especially worth doing if your mattress has had any untimely accidents or spills upon it.

Step 5: Let Your Mattress Dry

Allow the mattress to dry completely (usually 4 to 6 hours) without any sheets or covers over it. This is important so all moisture is allowed to dissipate. Otherwise you may trap it within the mattress fibers which may cause issues with mildew or molds.

What to Remember: This may also mean that you, or your child, may be displaced if the mattress is not dry enough to sleep upon. Consider this a sacrifice worth suffering through to keep your mattress odor, and stain, free.

Step 6: Vacuum up Baking Soda

You do need to vacuum up the baking soda used in the cleaning process even if you do wish to keep a thin layer between the mattress and sheets. Baking soda traps the odors it come in contact with and in order for it to be effective, it needs to be refreshed.

What to Remember: When vacuuming the mattress surface, take the time to get in between the fold and crevices caused by pillow tops, and seams. This helps keep allergens down, as well as sucks up any sifted baking soda.

Step 7: Apply a Waterproof Mattress Protector

If you haven’t already, or did but was surprised to find in ineffective, invest in a new waterproof mattress protector. Many time existing protectors no longer work due to age, or poor care during washing and drying. Many protectors cannot handle any type of high heats often occurring in dryer settings so it is important to follow care directions closely.

What to Remember: Waterproof protectors have come a long way from the loud, crinkly, plastic like materials that were once used. Using them ensures your mattress will have a long life and stay well within warranty guidelines.


Hopefully you never have to worry about how to get pee out of a mattress, but chances are if you are reading this you are in search of a way to deodorize a mattress, or otherwise remove urine from your mattress. The above recipe and steps can help you remove unpleasant odors and unsightly stains from your mattress if you have had an unlucky occurrence, and the important thing to remember is to keep applying and blotting until your towels are coming away clean and dry.

The addition of a mattress protector can ensure you don’t have to deal with this occurrence too often, as well as keep your mattress long lasting and fresh. If you have any tried and true recipes or steps you would add into our suggestions, we would love to hear about them below. And please, as always, if you found this helpful – share.