Effective Ways to Clean All Types of Mattress Stains

From urine to bed bugs, find out how to clean gross mattress stains so you can sleep soundly.

Updated October 25, 2023
cleaning a mattress

You spend about a third of your life in bed, so it's probably no shock that mattresses get a lot of wear and tear. And with so much time spent in bed, sometimes stains happen. Even when you're super careful or use a mattress protector, kids, pets, spills, and life can cause stains. 

When stained spots show up on your mattress, you're much more likely to get them out when you treat them right away. From urine to bed bugs, discover how to clean mattress stains so you can sleep tight.

How to Remove Urine Stains From Mattress

Cleaning urine from mattress

If you have toddlers, you're definitely going to encounter a urine-stained mattress from time to time. And since nobody wants to go to sleep every night in a bed that reeks of urine, this method for removing urine stains and smells from a mattress is a lifesaver.


  • Paper towel
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • Spray bottle
  • 2 cups hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 teaspoon Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda


  1. Use a paper towel to blot up the urine first, removing as much as you can.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the area and let it sit for 30 minutes to absorb the liquid. Then vacuum or brush off the baking soda.
  3. In the spray bottle, mix the hydrogen peroxide, Dawn, and baking soda. Shake well.
  4. Spray generously over the entire stain. 
  5. Let it sit until dry. Find another place to sleep for the night (because chances are, the accident happened in the middle of the night).
  6. Vacuum.

Try an Enzymatic Cleaner

If that doesn't work, it's time for the big guns (or you might want to start here if you have an enzymatic cleaner handy). Enzymatic cleaners like Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength cleaner or Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover work great for all types of biological stains — both from pets and from humans. Follow manufacturer's instructions for use.

How to Remove Blood Stains 

Cleaning and removing blood stains on a mattress

When the air is super dry in the summer, I tend to get bloody noses — and it's almost always at night. My mattress protector is a hero here. And if you can remove the stains from your mattress protector, mattress, and pillow before they set (discover how to remove dried bloodstains), you'll save yourself a ton of hassle down the line. This method works for your mattress, pillows, mattress cover, and any linens the blood hits. 


  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • Spray bottle
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Clean white cloth


  1. Sprinkle the baking soda on the blood and let it absorb for about 15 minutes.
  2. Vacuum thoroughly.
  3. Fill the spray bottle with vinegar and water. Shake to mix.
  4. Spray the bloodstain.
  5. Let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  6. Blot the area with a clean, white cloth.
  7. Repeat until gone.

Alternatively, you can spray the bloodstain with peroxide or even an enzymatic cleaner and let it sit for about 20 minutes before blotting. Repeat until the bloodstain is gone. 

How to Remove Food and Drink Stains From Mattress

Those Mothers Day breakfasts in bed also sometimes cause spills. Excited kids bringing a tray laden with OJ and coffee and then unthinkingly diving into bed with me did a number on my mattress more than once. Pro mom tip: when a kid brings you breakfast on a tray in bed, immediately put anything with liquid in it on the bedside table. IMMEDIATELY. On the off chance you haven't honed this to a reflex quite yet, you can still get the stain out.

Removing wine stains from bed mattress


  • Enzymatic cleaner (if the stain is set in)
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Spray with enzymatic cleaner if the stain is dried and set. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes and then blot.
  2. In the spray bottle, mix vinegar and water. Shake well.
  3. Spray liberally on the stain. Soak for 10-15 minutes. 
  4. Blot away with a clean paper towel.
  5. Repeat until the stain lifts.
  6. Allow to air dry.

Remove Vomit Stains From a Mattress

I could share a harrowing tale here involving a birthday party and a bologna Lunchable (ew), but I'm sure you'd rather I not. And frankly, I don't want to relive it. Instead, I'll just get straight to the aftermath and stain removal.


  • Paper towel
  • White rag soaked in water and wrung out
  • Spray bottle
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • Additional water
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum


  1. Using a paper towel, remove any liquid or solids from the mattress.
  2. Soak a rag in water, and blot the area generously to dilute the stain.
  3. Mix the water, vinegar, and Dawn in the spray bottle and shake well.
  4. Spray onto the stain.
  5. Using a clean towel or rag, gently scrub the area.
  6. Spray the area with straight water and dab to remove excess liquid.
  7. Repeat as necessary until the soap is removed.
  8. Sprinkle the area with baking soda to remove any lingering odors.
  9. Allow the baking soda to sit for several hours.
  10. Vacuum the baking soda off the mattress.
Helpful Hack

For any biological stain, enzymatic cleaner is your friend. So if smells linger after all your efforts, spray liberally with a commercial enzyme cleaner, let it sit, and then blot it away. This is almost always my final step in cleaning a biological stain.

How to Remove Sweat Stains 

Folks, I am married to a hot sleeper. It can be 30°F in my bedroom, and dude is still covered in sweat. Once again, the mattress protector does the hero's work here, but occasionally I've still had to remove a sweat stain or two. You can use a deodorizing enzyme cleaner. But if you don't have one, you can also use materials you probably have around your house.


  • Spray bottle
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Clean cloth


  1. In the spray bottle, mix the water, Dawn, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda.
  2. Spray generously on the stain.
  3. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Blot with a clean cloth.
  5. Rinse with clean water, blot, and allow to air dry.

How to Clean Bed Bug Stains 

Removing bed bug stains from mattress

I am so relieved to tell you that I do not have any personal anecdotes for this one (knock on wood). But bed bug infestations happen. And as bed bugs get more resilient, they're happening more frequently. So here's hoping you never have to deal with bed bug stains. But if you do, we've got your back. 


  • Vacuum
  • Spray bottle
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Clean cloth
  • Baking soda


  1. Vacuum the mattress.
  2. Pour hydrogen peroxide straight into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray down all the stained areas.
  4. Allow to sit for 20 or so minutes.
  5. Blot the area with a cloth.
  6. Sprinkle the entire mattress with baking soda (this will work to get rid of odors and remaining stains).
  7. Allow the baking soda to dry.
  8. Vacuum.
  9. Repeat as needed.

How to Remove Old Stains From a Mattress

Sometimes, in despite our best efforts, we miss a stain. So if you come across an old stain on your mattress, don't panic. You can remove it. Try either of these methods.

Salt & Baking Soda

Nothing special required here — you already have what you need at home to blast old mattress stains.


  • Vacuum
  • Bowl
  • ½ cup salt
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup water
  • Microfiber cloth
  • More baking soda, as needed


  1. Vacuum the entire mattress.
  2. Mix the baking soda, water, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Dab a microfiber cloth into the baking soda paste mixture.
  4. Gently dab and rub the area, lifting the stain.
  5. Allow the mixture to sit on the area for about 30 minutes.
  6. Using the vacuum, sweep up all the mixture.
  7. To provide general deodorizing and cleaning of large stains, sprinkle the entire mattress with baking soda and allow it to sit for 30 minutes before sweeping it up.

Commercial Steam Cleaner

Commercial steam cleaning mattress

Sometimes that old stain requires deeper cleaning. In that case, rent a commercial steam cleaner (or use your own if you have one) to remove stains from your mattress. 

Traditional Mattresses vs. Memory Foam or Hybrid Mattresses

 Memory foam or hybrid mattresses require a little more caution than traditional spring mattresses do. Most at-home cleaners that use mild ingredients like Dawn, vinegar, baking soda and water are fine to use on a memory foam or hybrid mattress. However, you'll want to avoid cleaners like bleach, ammonia, and hydrogen peroxide. These cleaners can deteriorate the foam and cause discoloration.

Get Your Mattress Clean

I spent 20 years with kids in the house, I have had as many as four dogs and a cat at one time, and I have a sweaty spouse. And in spite of my best efforts, sometimes I wind up with a dirty mattress — so I bet you do, too. With some simple solutions, though, you can keep your mattress in great shape for years to come.

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Effective Ways to Clean All Types of Mattress Stains