How to Clean Urine From a Mattress: Everything You Need to Know

by SleePare

By Dustin Morgan | 5 minutes Minute Read

It is quite common among young children to wet their beds. In fact, 20% of children around five years of age wet their beds at night, even after being potty trained. 

This means that five million children in the US alone have frequent bedwetting accidents. Bedwetting is not a severe medical condition, but it may lead to issues like skin problems, shattered confidence, and disturbed emotional state.

However, incontinence in adults could be a sign of multiple health problems. People with diabetes, UTI (urinary tract infection), and weakened ADH (antidiuretic hormone) may find it difficult to hold their bladder.

No matter if it’s a child or an adult wetting the bed, cleaning the mattress can be a pain. There are plastic protectors available for chronic accidents, but if you don’t have one, you will need to know how to remove urine from a mattress

Never fear, here we’ll cover several methods for removing the stain and odor in a urine-soiled mattress. 

Note: Remove all the sheets, bed covers, and other bedding accessories that have urine on them. Wash them with hot water and a mild detergent to remove the stain and stench. 

Method 1: Natural Ingredients

Vinegar

Using this method, you can get rid of urine stains, sanitize your bed, and remove the bad odor it leaves with few natural ingredients. They are easy to find at your local store and mostly available at home, making these techniques quite cost-effective as well. 

Ingredients

  • Paper Towels
  • Spray Bottle
  • Toothbrush
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Baking Soda
  • Distilled White Vinegar

Step 1: Blot Away Excess Urine

If there is any excess urine on the mattress, soak it up using a paper towel. Don’t scrub it as you may push the mess deeper into the mattress.

Step 2: Spray Vinegar on the Affected Area

Fill a bottle with vinegar and spray the area until it is entirely drenched. For dry or super tough stains, use a toothbrush to rub in the vinegar with a rag. Open the windows in the room and switch on the fan, let the vinegar sit for 5-10 minutes.

Vinegar

Step 3: Soak Up the Vinegar

Take some paper towels to soak up the excess vinegar so that the mattress fill doesn’t stay wet. Otherwise, trapped moisture can promote the growth of mold and mildew. 

Step 4: Sprinkle Baking Soda

Take baking soda and sprinkle it generously on the stain. Let it sit for a few hours until the baking soda clumps up. It will soak up the odor, stain, and vinegar to leave you with a clean, nice-smelling mattress.

Point to Remember: The longer the soda stays on the stain, the cleaner it will get.

Step 5: Vacuum the Mattress

After a few hours, use a vacuum to remove all the dried clumps for a clean, refreshing mattress. This will also pull off all the dirt and gunk gathered in your mattress.

Note: Repeat steps two to five until you get a clean, untainted, and smell-free sleep area.

FAQs

1. How long will the urine smell linger?

If not cleaned properly, the urine odors can last forever. However, the above-mentioned technique gives you the best chance of eliminating the odor completely.

2. When can I sleep on my mattress again?

You should not use your mattress for one night to allow it to air out fully.

3. What if I don’t have vinegar?

You can use vodka or rubbing alcohol instead, as both of them can effectively sanitize and deodorize stained and stinky fabrics.

4. How can I get rid of vinegar’s smell?

You can add a few drops of essential oils such as lemon or lavender to the bottle to help subside the smell of vinegar.

Method 2: Peroxide and Dish Soap

Hydrogen Peroxide, Dish Soap

If it is an adult’s urine you are cleaning, then you may need a more concentrated concoction.  These steps are easy-to-follow and effective in treating pee stains and smell but are more time-consuming. We suggest first spot-cleaning a small area to ensure it won’t harm your mattress.

Ingredients

  • Paper Towels
  • Spray Bottle
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Baking Soda 
  • Dish Detergent
  • Bowl

Step 1: Soak Up Excess Urine

Use paper towels to absorb excess urine. You can even sprinkle baking soda to dry up the soiled area. Once baking soda changes its color, vacuum it, and treat the stain.

Point to Remember: Don’t rub or press the affected area as it will push the stain deeper into the mattress. Secondly, use a light-colored towel for absorption, otherwise, it might cause discoloration. 

Step 2: Prepare Your Cleaning Concoction. 

Mix ten ounces of hydrogen peroxide with three tablespoon baking soda and a few drops of dish detergent. Transfer the mixture into the spray bottle.

Point to Remember: Don’t prepare the solution directly into the spray bottle as it will foam and could leave stains on your mattress. 

Step 3: Spray It on the Affected Area

Completely cover the urine-stained area with the prepared solution. Let it sit for a few hours. Open the windows and switch on the fan for proper ventilation. The stain and odor should be gone by the time the concoction dries up.

Step 4: Vacuum Clean the Surface

As soon as the concoction dries up, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the residue. By now, your mattress must be cleaned and smelling nice.

Note: Repeat the procedure if necessary to make your mattress stain and odor-free.

FAQs

1. How does hydrogen peroxide work?

It destroys odor-causing bacteria and bleaches out the stain marks without discoloring the fabric.

2. Are there any alternatives to hydrogen peroxide?

You can use enzyme-based solutions in place of hydrogen peroxide.

3. Does this concoction disinfect the mattress?

Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar both have antibacterial properties, which means they will disinfect the mattress somewhat. You may still want to spray it with a disinfecting spray to kill any remaining germs.

How to Remove Pet Urine Stains and Odor

Enzyme Cleaner

Pet urine is different from ours since cats and dogs drink less water, making their urine more concentrated and smelly. The higher uric acid levels make it difficult to remove pet urine stains and odors.

Pet urine crystallizes when it dries, and it becomes insoluble in water. Therefore, traditional household cleaning products don’t work well on pet urine. Only specific enzyme-based cleaning solutions can dissolve and break these crystals into carbon dioxide and ammonia that instantly evaporates. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to getting rid of your pet’s urine with readily available and affordable ingredients. 

Ingredients 

  • Special Enzyme Cleaners
  • Paper Towels
  • Baking Soda 
  • Vacuum

Step 1: Drench the Stain

Dissolve dry enzyme powder in some water and transfer it into a spray bottle. You can also use a liquid enzyme cleaner that is typically available in pet stores.

Step 2: Let It Sit

Once you have sprayed the solution onto the soiled area, leave it for a few minutes. Read the instructions on the enzyme packaging to ensure thorough cleaning. Open windows and switch on the fan for adequate ventilation. 

Step 3: Blot the Stain

Someone blotting vinegar with paper towel

Blot any excess wetness with a paper towel to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. 

Step 4: Sprinkle with Baking Soda

Cover up the affected area with baking soda to remove the pungent smell. Let it sit for 18 hours or more for best results.

Step 5:  Vacuum Up the Baking Soda

Once the baking soda has done its job and is clumpy, vacuum-clean it to remove the residue. Air out the mattress before making the bed.

Tips for Future Prevention and Protection

a child feeling bad about wetting bed

There are numerous causes of bedwetting, such as stress, a small bladder, and fatigue. Luckily, the problem can typically be overcome through lifestyle changes, training, and/or medical treatment. Here are a few tips to prevent bedwetting accidents on your mattress.

1. Use Mattress Protectors

The best way to protect your mattress against spots and stains is to use a waterproof mattress protector. Usually, they have vinyl backing and zippered sides, which makes it easy to clean and maintain. It’s a low-cost investment that will help keep your mattress untainted and fresh without any scrubbing. 

2. Reduce Liquid Intake in the Evening

It’s vital to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. But if there is a bedwetter in your household, they should cut down liquid intake an hour before bed. This ensures the bladder isn’t full during the night, thus lessening the chances of bedwetting.

3. Cut Out Caffeine

Caffeine is said to increase urine production, so if the person wetting the bed tends to drink it, this could be the culprit. It is recommended to reduce the intake of coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks within three hours of bedtime. 

woman with coffee in bed

4. Send Them to the Toilet Before Going to Bed

The person who is wetting the bed should go to the bathroom before bed so that the bladder is completely empty. At night, use bedside lamps so that your child or an elderly can easily reach the bathroom if needed.

5. Use Absorbent Pants

Absorbent pants or underwear can be helpful for children and adults who are having trouble staying dry through the night.  This can also make them independent and confident.

6. Reward Dry Nights

If your child is wetting the bed, behavioral reinforcements can be quite useful. Make a chart and put stickers on it for each night your child stays dry. Once they earn a certain number of stickers, you can reward them with a treat.

child sleeping peacefully in bed

7. Opt for Bedwetting Alarms

If your child is still wetting the bed after months of training, consider using a bedwetting alarm. It's a special alarm that detects the onset of urine so you can wake your child up before they wet the bed. Over time, it trains the children to use the toilet on their own when they sense their bladder is full. 

8. Provide a Bedside Commode

Use a bedside commode or toilet pan if the affected person is elderly or sick. These can give bedridden individuals immediate access to empty their bladder. This can also help if old age has limited their mobility making it difficult for them to reach the toilet on time.

9. Seek Medical Attention

If your child is over the age of 5 but still causes bedwetting accidents, then speak to a doctor. It could indicate various underlying medical conditions such as ADHD, constipation, stress, or anxiety. If your child shows any of the following symptoms, discuss it with your general practitioner.

  • They suddenly started bedwetting
  • They find it difficult and painful to urinate
  • There is blood in the urine
  • They snore at night
  • If the child displays s anxious tendencies

It is quite common to get urine stains on your bed, especially when you have kids or pets. The above-mentioned remedies ensure you quickly and easily get rid of urine stain and smell, even if it is dried.


However, even though these remedies are effective, you may need to replace a heavily soiled mattress. When you do, consider choosing a mattress that is cost-effective and made of materials that are easy to clean

Dustin Morgan

Dustin Morgan


Dustin is the lead content creator at SleePare. With a degree in Computer Science and extensive experience reviewing mattresses, curating comparisons and advising on "best of" guides, he's truly a mattress technology expert.

Dustin has perfected this method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he's not only able to discern the overall value of a specific bed, but to assign its value to different types of sleepers.

Along with creating honest and straightforward mattress features, Dustin enjoys creating pieces aimed at helping people get their best sleep ever.

When he's not creating helpful content, Dustin enjoys jogging, fishing, hunting and playing video games in and around his Virginia home.