how do you clean mattress stains
how do you clean mattress stains

If you’ve ever struggled with the pesky problem of mattress stains, you’re not alone. Dealing with these unsightly marks can be a real challenge, but fear not – we’re here to help! In this article, we will share some tried and tested techniques to effectively clean mattress stains, ensuring that your sleep sanctuary remains fresh and inviting. From common spills to stubborn spots, we’ve got you covered with practical tips that will have your mattress looking as good as new in no time. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and bid adieu to those stubborn stains!


Before tackling any mattress stain, it’s important to properly prepare the surface. Start by removing all bedding from the mattress, including sheets, blankets, and pillowcases. This will allow you to focus solely on treating the stains without any distractions. Once the bedding is removed, it’s time to move on to the next step – vacuuming the mattress.

Remove all bedding

Taking off all bedding is the first step in preparing the mattress for stain removal. By doing this, you have a clear view of the stains you need to tackle and can work directly on the surface without any obstructions. Plus, removing the bedding ensures that the stains won’t spread or get rubbed deeper into the fabric during the cleaning process.

Vacuum the mattress

After removing the bedding, it’s essential to vacuum the mattress. This step helps eliminate any loose debris, dust, or allergens that might be present on the surface. Use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment and go over the entire mattress, paying extra attention to the stained areas. Vacuuming not only helps you achieve a cleaner surface but also prepares the mattress for the stain-removal methods that follow.

General stain removal methods

When it comes to tackling mattress stains, several tried and tested methods work effectively on various types of stains. Here are some general stain removal techniques you can try:

Blot the stain

If you’re dealing with a fresh or recent stain, start by blotting it with a clean cloth or paper towel. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain further and make it more difficult to remove. Instead, gently blot the stained area to absorb as much liquid as possible. This will help prevent the stain from setting in and make it easier to treat later on.

Use a mild detergent

For stains that are more stubborn or have already set in, using a mild detergent can be effective. Mix a small amount of liquid laundry detergent with water to create a soapy solution. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge in the solution and gently dab it onto the stain. Be sure not to oversaturate the mattress. After dabbing, use a separate cloth soaked in clean water to rinse out the detergent residue. Blot the treated area with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture.

Apply a mixture of baking soda and water

Baking soda is a versatile and natural cleaning agent that can help remove stains and eliminate odors. To create a baking soda paste, mix equal parts baking soda and water until you have a thick consistency. Apply the paste to the stained area and let it sit for about 30 minutes. The baking soda will help absorb any moisture and lift the stain. Afterward, use a clean cloth or sponge to blot away the paste and rinse the area with clean water. Allow the mattress to dry thoroughly before using it again.

Try hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another effective stain remover, especially for organic stains like blood or urine. Before using hydrogen peroxide, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the mattress to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration. If it’s safe to use, pour a small amount onto a clean cloth and dab it onto the stained area. Allow the hydrogen peroxide to bubble and break down the stain for a few minutes before blotting it away with a clean, damp cloth.

Apply vinegar solution

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can help remove stains and neutralize odors. To create a vinegar solution, mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Dampen a cloth or sponge in the solution and gently blot the stained area. Let the vinegar solution sit for a few minutes to break down the stain. Afterward, rinse the area with clean water and blot it dry with a clean cloth. The vinegar smell will dissipate as the mattress dries.

Specific stain removal methods

Different types of stains require specific treatments to effectively remove them. Here are some methods tailored to common mattress stains:

Blood stains

Blood stains can be tough to remove, but acting quickly is crucial. Start by using cold water to gently blot the stain. Avoid using hot water, as heat can set the stain. If the stain persists, create a paste using cold water and enzyme-based laundry detergent. Apply the paste to the stain, let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse it with cold water. For older or set-in blood stains, hydrogen peroxide can be effective. Follow the instructions mentioned earlier for using hydrogen peroxide as a stain remover.

Urine stains

Urine stains can be unpleasant and difficult to remove, but don’t worry – there are effective solutions. Start by blotting up as much urine as possible with a clean cloth. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar, then dampen a cloth in the solution and blot the stained area. Afterward, sprinkle baking soda over the spot and let it sit for a few hours to absorb any remaining odor. Vacuum the baking soda away and allow the mattress to air dry completely.

Sweat stains

Sweat stains are a common occurrence on mattresses and can leave unsightly yellow marks. To remove them, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Dampen a clean cloth with the solution and gently blot the stained area. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with water and blot dry. For older or more stubborn sweat stains, create a paste using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Apply the paste to the stain, let it sit for a few hours, then rinse and blot dry.

Vomit stains

Vomit stains are not only unpleasant but can also leave a lasting odor. Begin by carefully removing any solids from the surface. Blot the stain with a cloth soaked in cold water. Mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar, then blot the stain again with the solution. Rinse with cold water and blot dry. For odor removal, sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up.

Food and drink stains

Food and drink stains are common on mattresses, especially if you enjoy a snack or beverage in bed. To remove these stains, start by blotting up any excess liquid. Mix a mild detergent with water, then blot the stain with the solution. Rinse with clean water and blot dry. If the stain persists, consider using a vinegar solution or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water, following the instructions mentioned earlier.

Dealing with stubborn stains

Sometimes, stains can be particularly stubborn and require more specialized cleaning methods. Here are a few techniques to tackle those tough stains:

Try enzymatic cleaners

Enzymatic cleaners are specifically designed to target and break down organic stains like blood, urine, and sweat. These cleaners contain enzymes that digest the proteins found in stains, effectively removing them from the mattress. Follow the instructions on the enzymatic cleaner’s packaging for the best results. After treating the stain, rinse the area with clean water and blot it dry.

Use a fabric cleaner

If conventional stain removal methods fail, using a fabric cleaner formulated for upholstery can be helpful. These cleaners are designed to penetrate the fabric and break down stubborn stains. Follow the instructions on the fabric cleaner and test it on a small, hidden area of the mattress before applying it to the stained area. After treating the stain, rinse the area with clean water and blot it dry.

Steam clean the mattress

For deeply embedded or persistent stains, steam cleaning can be an effective solution. Steam cleaning not only helps remove stains but also sanitizes the mattress by killing dust mites and bacteria. Use a handheld steam cleaner or rent a professional steam cleaner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for steam cleaning and ensure the mattress is completely dry before using it again.

Tips for preventing mattress stains

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to mattress stains. Here are some tips to help you keep your mattress clean and stain-free:

Use a mattress protector

Investing in a high-quality, waterproof mattress protector is an excellent way to prevent liquids, dirt, and debris from reaching the mattress surface. A mattress protector acts as a barrier, shielding the mattress from stains and spills. It’s easy to remove and can be washed regularly to maintain cleanliness.

Clean spills immediately

Accidents happen, and when they do, it’s crucial to act quickly. If you spill something on your mattress, immediately blot up any liquid with a clean cloth or paper towel. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the liquid further into the mattress. Quickly treating spills can prevent them from becoming stubborn stains.

Rotate and flip the mattress regularly

Rotating and flipping your mattress every few months helps distribute the weight and wear evenly, reducing the chances of permanent stains forming in specific areas. By rotating and flipping regularly, you ensure that different parts of the mattress are exposed to varying pressures, keeping it in better condition overall.

Avoid eating and drinking in bed

While it may be tempting to enjoy a snack or beverage in bed, doing so increases the risk of spills and stains. It’s best to keep food and drinks away from the mattress to minimize the chances of accidents. If you must have a snack or a drink in bed, be extra cautious and use spill-proof containers to reduce the risk of staining.


With the right preparation, stain removal methods, and preventative measures, you can effectively clean mattress stains and keep your bed fresh and inviting. Remember to start by removing all bedding and vacuuming the mattress before tackling any stains. From there, the general stain removal methods can be employed, along with specific techniques for different types of stains. For stubborn stains, enzymatic cleaners, fabric cleaners, or steam cleaning can be effective solutions. By following these tips and being proactive in stain prevention, you can enjoy a clean and stain-free mattress for years to come. Happy stain removal and sleep well!