Let’s face it: accidents happen. If you have children or pets, at some point you’ll need to deal with urine on your memory foam mattress.
Fortunately, quick action when it happens can help you preserve your mattress. No need to worry if you don't find the stain until it’s dry, either. In this article, we’ll review the techniques to get pee and other stains out of your mattress at all stages.
- Act fast. Fresh urine is much easier to clean than dried urine, so don’t put off cleaning!
- Remove excess moisture. Gently press rags or paper towels on top of the area to blot out excess moisture before using any cleaning solution.
- Try a DIY cleaner. A homemade solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water may be all you need. Saturate the area on your mattress using a spray bottle, and then follow with a layer of baking soda. This method is excellent for getting cat and dog pee out of a mattress.
- Be patient. Let your DIY solution sit for several hours, or a full day if you can. Afterward, vacuum the baking soda and make sure your mattress is completely dry before replacing your sheets.
- Be proactive against accidents. Mattress protectors help protect your mattress from accidents.
Step 1: Assess the Damage
First things first: assess the situation. Are you dealing with fresh urine, or does it look like the stain has been there a while? Is it a lot of urine, or just a little? Is there a mild odor, or do you need to address a more pungent smell? Understanding what you’re working with will help you approach your cleanup method.
Another consideration is the type of mattress that you have. Foam mattresses tend to absorb liquid faster than other types, so working quickly to soak up moisture is key. Follow the same steps for a pillow top and a Euro top mattress.
If you’ve caught the stain soon after it happened, that’s good news. The fresher the stain, the easier your cleanup will be. But it’s important to act fast, before the urine has a chance to soak in. If you notice a dried urine stain on your mattress, however, don’t worry. You may need a stronger solution, but cleaning dried pee from your mattress is still an option.
Step 2: Remove Your Bedding
Next, remove your bedding and throw it into the washing machine—stat. (Check out our article on how to wash bed sheets for more tips on keeping them clean.)
Step 3: Blot the Area
Gently press rags or paper towels on top of the area to blot out excess moisture. Be careful not to rub it, as this can set the urine even deeper into the mattress. At this point, you will want to open any windows in the room and turn on a fan (if you can) to help increase airflow throughout the room.
Step 4: Clean
Vinegar is a powerhouse natural cleaner that helps break down the uric acid found in urine, making it easier to remove. This method is best for cleaning a fresh urine stain on your mattress.
To create your solution, all you have to do is fill a spray bottle with half white vinegar and half water. Saturate the area with the solution, and then follow with a layer of baking soda to completely cover the stain. Let that sit for several hours, or a full day if you can! You should see the baking soda clumping up as it soaks in the vinegar at this point. Finally, vacuum up the baking soda.
Still stained? Repeat the steps above until your mattress is clean and odor-free.
How to Deal with Dried Urine Stains & Smells
If the smell or stain isn’t budging, it may be time to pull out the big guns. Hydrogen peroxide is perfect for stubborn stains because it’s an oxidizer, which removes bacteria and helps neutralize odors.
Note: hydrogen peroxide may bleach some fabrics, so make sure you’ve removed all bedding from the area before getting to work!
For this solution, combine 8-10 ounces hydrogen peroxide (3%) with 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 2-3 drops of dish soap. Swirl to combine (don’t shake). Spray to cover the stains thoroughly, then let sit for about an hour. Finally, use a damp cloth to gently rinse the area, and then blot with the dry cloth to thoroughly remove the solution.
An enzymatic cleaner, such as OxiClean, can also work wonders on pee smells. These cleaners include ingredients that actually attack the source of the odor. Look for cleaners with protease enzymes, specifically. To use, saturate the affected areas of your mattress and let dry completely. You can also try covering the area with plastic wrap while the cleaner is working, which helps prevent any evaporation.
How to Get Cat or Dog Pee Out of a Mattress
Dealing with dog or cat pee on your mattress? Pet urine (especially cat urine) is known for smelling a little stronger than human urine; this is because of the amount of urea in it, the main element in urine that decomposes into ammonia.
The directions for cleaning cat and dog pee are quite similar, but it may require a little extra effort because of the smell. Here are the steps:
- Remove all bedding and blot the area with a clean cloth to remove as much of the liquid as possible. We recommend using disposable paper towels or old bath towels that are ready to be tossed.
- Create a solution with 50% white vinegar and 50% water in a spray bottle, and mist the area lightly. Vinegar will help break down the stain and neutralize the odor.
- Let the area air dry.
Once it’s dry, the stain and odor should be gone. If not, repeat the steps until there is no longer a lingering scent or visual indication of the urine on your mattress. This is important, since pets will often return to places they’ve peed on before! If you’re having trouble getting the stain out, you may need to resort to store bought enzyme cleaners or a hydrogen peroxide solution.
Tip: To double-up your efforts, try sprinkling some baking soda on the stain once saturated with the vinegar solution and allow it to dry before vacuuming it up.
Is it Bad to Sleep on a Urine-Soaked Mattress?
So, let’s say you—or your kid or dog—had an accident. If it’s in the middle of the night, maybe you’re tempted to wait until the morning to address the problem, or move over the couch or guest bed for the night. But this could be a big mistake.
Unfortunately, letting urine linger on your mattress will just make it harder to clean later on. Not only will it start to smell, thanks to the ammonia in the urine, a wet mattress is the perfect breeding ground for gross bacteria and mold. Yuck!
Want to avoid urine stains in the first place? Protecting your mattress is key. Our waterproof mattress protector keeps it clean and dry, even when accidents happen. Plus, with its soft and breathable knit top, there’s none of the annoying crinkles & crunches of traditional plastic mattress protectors.