How to Clean a Stained Mattress: 7 Easy Steps

How to Clean a Stained Mattress:

Wondering how to clean a stained mattress and maintain its freshness? 

We have seven easy steps to do it!

Cleaning Supplies and Materials

Mattresses are a costly investment, but maintaining them does not have to break the bank. 

This is what you’ll need to get rid of stains on a mattress by yourself.

Clean clothsWater
SpongesBaking soda
GlovesWhite vinegar
Vacuum cleanerSalt 
A small bowlHydrogen peroxide (3%)
Essential oils (optional)

Now let’s take a look at the step-by-step process explaining how to get stains off a mattress:

How to Get Rid of Wet Stains

1. Get all the bedding off the stained mattress

This includes sheets, pillows, blankets, mattress covers, protectors and toppers. Toss them in the wash and air them out afterwards to have your bedding smelling fresh and amazing. 

2. Vacuum the surface of the mattress 

Use the upholstery cleaner attachment on the vacuum and carefully go over the surface, taking special care around the seams and edges to get rid of any build-up dust mites or bacteria.

3. Pour baking soda over the stain

Bicarb soda quickly soaks up the liquid, but if you don’t have any at the moment use an old towel or cloth to get rid of the moisture. Let the soda sit for a while and then vacuum the powder residue.

4. Apply white vinegar 

Pour white vinegar and lukewarm water at a 1:1 ratio into a spray bottle and apply over the stain. The trick is to apply the solution over the stain making it damp, but not too wet as extra moisture on the mattress might damage it. Then soak up the solution with a dry cloth or some old rags.

Note: White vinegar helps remove stains and odours. If you don’t have vinegar, you can also use vodka or rubbing alcohol, although this will just get rid of the smell and won’t have a huge effect on the stain.

5. Apply baking soda again

Spread baking soda on the top of your mattress generously and even add a few drops of your fav essential oil to neutralise any odours (although this is entirely optional). Let the mixture rest for a few hours. 

6. Vacuum again

Vacuum up the powder and paste residue, again taking care to go over the nooks and crannies. 

7. Let the mattress dry completely 

Remember that moisture is the most suitable environment for mould and bacteria, so ensure that the mattress is completely dry. Letting it sit outside for a few hours in the sun is the best method.

How to Clean a Soiled Mattress

1. Make a hydrogen peroxide solution

Mix in 240 ml of hydrogen peroxide (3%) with around 44 g of baking soda and a few drops of liquid dish wash, soap or laundry detergent. 

Note: Be careful when using hydrogen peroxide on coloured mattresses as this can bleach them. Try white vinegar instead. 

2. Apply the solution over the stain

Dab it lightly, not allowing liquid to seep into the mattress. 

3. Let the solution do its job

Leave it on for about half an hour and then remove the dry foam from the mattress with a vacuum cleaner.

How to Get Stains Out of Mattress

How to clean blood stains off a mattress

To get rid of these particularly tough stains, salt and hydrogen peroxide are your best friends. 

If the stain is a few days old, put some water on it and then apply some salt. After that gently scrub it and let it sit for a couple of hours. Apply some hydrogen peroxide to whiten the bedding and ensure that the stain is completely gone.  

In case of a fresh blood stain, use either cold water or baking soda. Remember to just blot the stain instead of scrubbing it as this can damage the mattress even further. 

How to clean urine stains off a mattress

This is one of the most common “accidents” especially in the kids’ room. To make your mattress look spanking new again, follow the steps outlined above.

You can also use lemons or cornstarch to clean urine stains off a mattress and get rid of unpleasant odours. 

Cut the lemon in half and scrub the stain with it. Lemons have natural bleaching and antibiotic properties so they will remove odours and stains. Although for more stubborn stains, you are better off using hydrogen peroxide. 

Cornstarch, which has the added benefit of absorbing body oils, is most effective when combined with baking soda, so just sprinkle the mixture on the stain and add a few drops of water. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes and then blot out the liquid. Vacuum thoroughly afterwards. 

Note: If you are dealing with pet urine, an enzyme cleaner is your best bet. Mattress cleaning products like Enzyme Wizard, Di-San, and SARD Wonder Powder are the best option as these will break down the uric acid crystals in pet urine (which home-made cleaning solutions cannot) and will also remove any lingering odour.

How to remove other stains (wine, vomit, poo, coffee, tea stains) 

The procedure is similar.

If you are dealing with vomit or poo, take off as much of the substance as you can with a damp cloth. 

If it is a liquid stain, use the damp cloth or paper towel to blot out the liquid. After that apply the white vinegar solution and repeat steps 4 to 7 of the guide above. 

Note: With stains like these it’s important to act as quickly as possible. The less time wine or coffee stays on the mattress, the easier it is to clean. 

How to remove mould and mildew off a mattress 

If you see any mould on your mattress, clean it right away as it can be hazardous to your health. The best way to clean a mattress covered in mould would be to let it sit in the hot sun for 12 hours. If this is not possible, use isopropyl alcohol (available at the chemist or the supermarket) mixed in some warm water.

Sponge the area with the mixture and let it dry. If cleaning the mould is not an option, you should consider getting a new mattress.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Mattress?

In general, it is recommended to clean your mattress at least once every six months. Bedding should be washed and changed every two weeks and pillows are supposed to be washed twice a year to ensure that you are sleeping in a clean and fresh environment. 

Note: Always check if your mattress should be flipped or not. For instance, some beds like the New Koala Mattress are not meant to be flipped and doing so will damage the structure of the bed. 

How to protect your mattress from stains

One of the best ways to protect your mattress from stains is buying a mattress protector. 

Investing in this bedding accessory will not only protect your bed from stains, but it will also keep it fresh, clean and free of allergens, bacteria and dust mites.

Bottom Line

Buying the right mattress is a costly and time-consuming process. In fact, once you find the perfect mattress, it should be in your life for at least seven to ten years meaning that proper care and maintenance is a must. This will also prevent having to get rid of your mattress too early.

Use a mattress protector or cover to prevent stains and rotate it twice a year to keep it clean and in shape. And if you do stain it (which is inevitable), act quickly. Wipe the stain with some white vinegar and baking soda and you won’t even need to buy a costly mattress stain remover.


1. What causes yellow stains on a mattress?

Yellow stains on a mattress are typically caused by sweat, urine or oil (both your body and food). Excess moisture can also result in the build-up of mildew and mould, leading to yellow stains on a mattress. Finally, an ageing mattress might also start turning yellow. 

2. How do you get bad stains out of a mattress?

While there are mattress cleaning products available in the market, you can use traditional methods, such as a water and vinegar-based solution, and some baking soda, to remove almost any stains on a mattress. 

3. Will baking soda remove stains on a mattress?

Baking soda mixed with salt and water is a great solution to spot clean any stain on a mattress. It also helps neutralise odours and disinfect the area. Plus, It is the most convenient option since bicarb soda can be found in the kitchen cabinet in most homes.

4. How do you get a stain out of a mattress yourself?

While some stubborn stains will require a professional mattress cleaning service or a top-end mattress stain remover, people who want to go the DIY route should follow the guide on how to clean a stained mattress outlined above and they won’t have any issues doing the job themselves.

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