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mattress guides

How To Remove Stains From Mattress? Getting Rid of Urine, Blood & Sweat Stains

mattress stains

Things happen, and they happen in bed, too. We spend ⅓ of all our time on our mattresses, and yes, they get dirty, accidentally or naturally (body oil and sweat can damage them, too). So, everyone, anywhere, should clean their mattresses from time to time.

But what if there are old stains? Is there any chance to remove them from a mattress surface and finally see that brand new bed once again without paying an extra $1000 for a new one? Yes, there are some solutions, and we describe all the ways to get rid of urine, blood, sweat stains fast and easily.

How to clean a mattress: Koala’s ultimate guide

stuff for cleaning mattress

Though in different cases, cleaning methods vary, there is a basic set of things you should have at home to clean the stain ASAP or use it when you decide it’s time to make your mattress as good as new again. So, you are likely to need the following things:

  • Vinegar (effective in most cases)
  • Baking soda—is necessary to absorb the liquid and prevent mold growth (if it’s already there, take a look at the tips on how to get mold out of the mattress)
  • Salt
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Meat tenderizer (for bloodstains only)
  • Cornstarch (also works for removing blood stains)
  • Spray bottle
  • Old toothbrush (for super-stubborn stains)
  • Vacuum cleaner

Now, let’s take a look at more specific cases. 

How to get blood out of mattress: Easy ways

There are 3 best methods to get rid of blood stains, and we describe all of them below. 

Good old vinegar

using vinegar

Vinegar and water work well for all types of stains, so if your stain is relatively fresh, try to do the following: 

  1. Mix vinegar with water (50/50, water must be cold!), pour the mixture into the spray bottle
  2. Blot blood if it’s a fresh stain
  3. Spray the solution and let it dry 
  4. Blot it with the dry towel/paper towel/toilet paper.

If the stain is too stubborn, try the method that we describe below.

Cornstarch paste

using cornstarch paste

If vinegar didn’t help, try cornstarch—it works well enough even for old stains. Do the following:

  1. Mix ½ cup cornstarch with ½ cup hydrogen peroxide
  2. Add a tablespoon of salt

So, apply the paste and wait for about half an hour. Then take an old toothbrush (or another brush) to ensure your cleaning solution really lifts the area. Then take a slightly wet towel to dab paste away and wait until the stain is completely dry. If the stain wasn’t removed completely, repeat. 

Mixture with meat tenderizer

using meat tenderizer

Blood contains proteins, and meat tenderizer can break them down:

  1. Take 1 tablespoon of tenderizer
  2. Add 2 teaspoon water
  3. Mix them to get the paste

Apply the paste and wait until it’s dry. Vacuum your mattress. Again, repeat if necessary.

How to get urine out of mattress

If you have old yellow stains on your mattress and definitely know it’s fresh urine (old urine stains are removed in a different way, and we provide the instructions below), just do the following: 

  1. Take vinegar and water, mix them (50/50%)
  2. Pour the solution into a spray bottle
  3. Spray it right on the stain 
  4. Take baking soda and sprinkle it over the stain after you use the solution
  5. Wait until soda absorbs the liquid (at least 10 hours)
  6. Vacuum the mattress

Act fast—the sooner you start removing the stain, the better. If you still see that stain, repeat—if it’s a really fresh stain, it is likely to be removed completely after using this cleaning solution and soda 1-3 times.

how to remove urine stains

If there is an old urine stain on the mattress, do the following: 

  1. Take 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide 
  2. Mix them with about 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  3. Add some liquid dish soap (don’t add too much, 3-4 drops will be enough)
  4. Essential oils (a few drops, a wet stain may smell even stronger than a dry one)

So, now you have a great solution. Spray it over the area you want to clean, but don’t rub it—you don’t want to get that moisture deep inside your mattress, right? Wait until it gets dry and vacuum it. If you still see the stain, repeat as many times as needed to finally get rid of the stain or at least make it less visible/get rid of the smell. 

How to remove sweat stains from mattress

Fresh sweat stains turn into yellow stains, and you don’t need that to happen. Still, if it already did, there is a way to solve this problem—just follow these recommendations:

  1. Take hydrogen peroxide, water, and liquid soap (mix equal parts)
  2. Pour the mixture into the spray bottle
  3. Spray it over the stain and wait for half an hour 
  4. Blot out the remaining moisture using a dry towel/paper towel/toilet paper
  5. Sprinkle baking soda on the stay and let it absorb the liquid (wait at least a day)
  6. Vacuum the mattress

If it didn’t work, repeat.

How to clean a used mattress

What about the used mattresses? Should you clean them too? Yes, you should, even if the mattress looks clean.

First, you should check if there are bed bugs before you pay for it—it’s nearly impossible to hide. Pay special attention to corners, and if you see any super-tiny black spots, just don’t buy this mattress. If everything is alright, you still need to sanitize it:

  • Air your new mattress out outdoors if the weather is hot and sunny
  • Vacuum it super carefully
  • If there are stains, use the methods that we’ve described above (use baking soda to absorb all the liquid and vacuum your mattress)
  • Apply antibacterial spray lightly, take a clean, slightly wet rag and ring it out to make sure the spray covers your mattress surface completely and then wait until it is dry 
  • Make sure it’s completely dry before you finally start sleeping on it

Bonus tip: How to disinfect mattress (DIY and pro solutions)

tips on how to disinfect mattresses

We mentioned that sleepers could use an antibacterial spray to clean a used mattress. This is not the only way to disinfect it, though. You can also do the following: 

  • Use vodka—vacuum a mattress and then spray vodka over the mattress and wait until the mattress is dry again (don’t apply too much vodka, just make sure that all areas are sanitized—it’s still moisture). 
  • Use a steamer—vacuum your mattress, and run the steamer across all the surfaces, without missing a single inch, but don’t do it too slowly (the mattress will become wet, and that may cause mild growth), and then dry your mattress completely. 
  • Hire professionals—you can also choose an easy path and call experts who’ll get rid of all allergens and microorganisms using ultraviolet light. 

As you can see, there are many ways to get stains out of mattress—just choose the one that can solve your problem.


How to clean a mattress with baking soda and vinegar?

It depends on the stain, but in most cases, you just need to mix cold water and vinegar (50/50%), pour it into a spray bottle, spray the solution over a mattress and then sprinkle baking soda that will absorb the liquid. Wait 24 hours, and then vacuum clean your mattress.

How to clean a pillow top mattress?

Vacuum your mattress, then sprinkle soda over it, wait until it absorbs odors (for at least an hour) and then vacuum it once again. If there are stains on the mattress, you can use vinegar/water 50:50% cleaning solution or solutions with liquid dish soap or hydrogen peroxide to remove the stain. 

Can you clean a mattress with a carpet cleaner?

Yes, you can. Note that if there is too much moisture in the mattress, you can sprinkle baking soda over the mattress that will absorb it, as well as all the odors (note that your mattress still shouldn’t be too wet—that may cause mold growth). Also, you should vacuum your mattress after applying a carpet cleaner.