There are many joys of parenting. One of those joys is not having to remove pee stains from a mattress, a mattress that had a waterproof mattress protector on it.
One of my daughters, unfortunately, has an issue with wetting the bed at night. While she’s been potty trained for over a year, and doesn’t wet her bed every night, it’s still regularly happening. Unfortunately, this has led to urine stains on her mattress. Multiple urine stains that smell.
The waterproof mattress protectors we placed under our daughter’s sheets, failed. I think the heat from the dryer or their less than top-of-the-line materials, left them anything but waterproof.
Hate cleaning but love a clean house? Pick up this printable Spring Cleaning Bundle and you'll be able to clean it all without feeling overwhelmed!
Since our twins don’t have assigned beds, not only did I have to clean a mattress that has urine on it once, but twice.
This stank (literally) because they were new mattresses.
I really wanted to remove the stain and the smell, as quickly and easily as possible, because I couldn’t afford to replace them. And because I love efficiency.
Thanks to an internet search I found this awesome post from the Inspired Housewife, which had a cheap, easy, and effective way to get urine stains out of a mattress.
I decided to try it out for myself on my daughters’ very urinated on mattresses, with old pee stains, and their nice musty pee smell. I wanted to see if it really would work and how well or not it did.
I did the following urine stain removing method and then promptly bought this new waterproof mattress cover so I would never have to do it again.
You can watch the Youtube video below for the instructions. But be sure to check out the FAQ section at the end for more tips and advice on how to do it, like recommended spray bottles, and more:
Table of contents
The Pee Stained Mattresses Before Cleaning:
First, I want to show you just how bad my kids’ pee stained mattresses were:
Yuck! Definitely not what I want my kids’ mattresses to look like and to be sleeping on! Plus, the smell was not so hot.
*If you want a print-friendly version of the following tutorial, CLICK HERE or enter your name and email in the boxes below:*
How to Get a Pee Stain out of a Mattress
I used the following tutorial on a regular spring mattress and it worked great. Hundreds of others have also used it with the same great results.
Pee Stain Removal Cleaning Solution
To remove a pee stain from a mattress you need:
- Empty spray bottle
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking Soda
- Liquid dishwashing soap.
- Drop of Lavender Essential Oil (optional)
- Handheld vacuum or canister vacuum
How to Get Urine Out of a Mattress When Dry
DISCLAIMER: Please spot test a small area before doing your entire mattress. I am not responsible for any lasting damage that may occur from you doing this or any voiding or warranties.
Some mattresses, like memory foam or pillow-top mattresses, may not do well with this treatment. It will depend on what your mattress is made out of and how you are supposed to clean it. Use at your own risk.
Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
How to Remove Urine from a Mattress
- Mix Your Urine Removing Solution
Take the empty spray bottle (these ones are supposed to not clog – if it does, see my FAQ at the bottom) and pour in 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda (add with a funnel) and a drop of liquid hand dishwashing soap. You can also add in a drop of lavender or other essential oil to help neutralize the smell. Plus, lavender oil is said to help induce sleep.
Spin everything around a little bit, but don’t shake it up too much or it may bubble up way too much. Now your urine removing formula is ready to go!
- Spray solution onto pee-stained mattress
- Soak Mattress
Spray (or pour) urine remover solution onto your mattress, getting it nice and saturated, especially on yellow pee stains.
Make sure to use the mixture right away for best results as the peroxide starts to break down in light.
Make more solution and saturate as needed for large mattresses. Don’t forget to get sides of the mattress too.
- Let dry.
Turn on a fan, stick in the sun, if possible (making sure it is protected with a sheet or tarp), or otherwise let it dry. Within a few minutes of application, you should start to see the stains magically begin to disappear. It should take about an hour to totally dry.
- Vacuum off baking soda residue.
Once completely dry, and to get rid of the gritty baking soda residue on top of the mattress, and then vacuum the mattress with a high-quality vacuum (I love my Kirby vacuum for cleaning mattresses – I use it as part of my regular mattress care).
*If you want a print-friendly version of this cleaning tutorial, sign up below and I’ll send it and some more awesome cleaning tutorials right to your inbox*:
The end results are amazing! There is a slight yellow residue, but vastly improved.
I have heard from so many people that this tutorial really worked for them and has been such a blessing to them! If you don’t believe me, read all the comments on this post! I get even more comments about how well it works via email and on Pinterest.
The Mattress After Removing the Stains:
Here are the results!:
FAQ When Trying to Get Pee Out of a Mattress
Traditional spring, pillow top, and hybrid beds should all respond well to this method of removing urine from mattresses, but ALWAYS TEST A SMALL SPOT FIRST.
I have had a handful of people who said it didn’t work on their mattress, mostly those with foam or memory foam mattresses.
While I used this on a white mattress, many have used this same method on colored mattresses and mattresses with prints. You will want to spot test it for color-fastness, but thankfully, you cover up mattresses with sheets and never see it.
If you have problems with clogging, try the following:
1. Use less baking soda, mix it in the peroxide really well first, then pour it into the spray bottle.
2. Pour the solution directly onto the bed and scrub it gently in with a cloth or carpet brush.
3. Mix the solution in a bowl, then saturated with a rag and blot it onto the mattress, making sure every time you blot, you use a clean area of the rag so you’re not putting urine back on the mattress.
4. Get a better spray bottle.
A 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide is high enough. You can use higher if you want.
It will usually take 2 hours or more to completely dry.
If you want to speed up the drying time, blot your mattress with some clean rags, turn on a fan or two.
I would consider doing another round of the treatment above, spraying with vinegar and letting air dry, or someone recommended spraying with rubbing alcohol or straight cheap vodka.
If the stain is not lifting after multiple treatments, I would buy a new bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Peroxide loses its potency over time, especially if exposed to sunlight or the lid is left open too long, etc. Make sure your baking soda isn’t too old, too.
You could also be trying to treat a stain that isn’t urine. I cannot guarantee this solution works on all mattress stains (like oil and dirt and sweat) though some have said it worked on other stains on the mattress as well.
Many have asked if it will work on other fabric furniture, and I have never personally tried it. But, like always, you can experiment yourself in a small area. I don’t know how it works on leather or other couch materials however, and peroxide can change the color of your fabrics.
Chances are good that this will work on your carpet! Carpets and rugs are also easy to vacuum so win there! Just test a spot if you are worried about color-fastness.
One commenter asked this, tried it herself, and said YES! Worked like a charm.
Definitely not the end of the world if you don’t. You can use a dry towel and brush the baking soda residue to the floor and then sweep it up. Or pick up a simple stick vacuum or handheld vacuum for pretty inexpensive.
I recommend waterproof mattress protectors. I also highly recommend ones that are also dust mite barriers for better health.
For a really good terry cloth topped, waterproof mattress protector, for not much money, SafeRest makes one of the highest ratest ones on Amazon!
For a 100% waterproof mattress protector that also protects against dust mites and allergens, with a soft top, Ultra Plus makes one of the highest rated ones on Amazon and it’s still very affordable!
If you are cleaning toddler beds, you can also look into the 100% washable crib mattress from Newton Baby (we have it and love it BTW).
People have commented that they had pee stains on their mattresses that had been there for YEARS and they were magically removed with this formula. Give it a shot and it may surprise you that this can remove old pee stains with ease.
Be sure to Follow my Cleaning Board on Pinterest for even more cleaning tips and ideas!
And check out my more of my amazing How to Clean tutorials!:
- How to Remove Baby Poop Stains from Clothes
- How to Remove Poop Stains from Carpets (and the Smell)
- How to Remove Drink Stains from a Carpet (with just 1 ingredient!)
- How to Remove Dried Blood Stains
- How to Clean a Mattress
- How to Clean a Curling Iron
- 50+ Deep Cleaning Tips and Tricks for Every Room in Your House
- Spring Cleaning Checklists and Printables
- How to Remove Crayon Marks from Walls (11+ Ways)
- How to Clean Stove Drip Pans (4 Ways)
- How to Use Bar Keepers Friend on Stainless Steel Pans
- How to Clean Copper Bottom Pots
What have you done to remove a pee stain from a mattress?
Susan Smith says
Well, my dog is out of the doghouse–sort of! Your “recipe” worked unbelievably fast!! Since I have a pillow top mattress, I called the store where I purchased it to make sure it would be okay. She said she felt it would not be harmful, but she also gave me a good tip which I’m passing on. She said not to spray the mattress but use old rags, wet them and BLOT THE STAINED AREA. Every time you blot, use a clean area of the rag so you’re not putting urine back on the mattress. I did that and also used dry rags to blot and help dry the area. Since I didn’t soak it, the drying time was just about two hours. I turned on the ceiling fan over the bed to help with drying time. Thanks so much for your great recipe.
My daughter wet her mattress yesterday so badly I thought it trash. It had a waterproof protector on it, too that failed. Googled if there was any way to clean a soiled mattress and found your method. I used it just now and actually watched the stains disappear as I stood there for a couple minutes. I really can’t believe it. I’m very relieved. Thanks very much. Going to check out your other posts as well.
Judy Decker says
I used your directions and it worked great!’ So happy cuz mattress is fairly new. Will tell anyone who has that problem what to use. My mattress looks new nand I’m so happy!! Thank u so much
D. Hillis says
I realize this is an old article but this saved my mattress. My littlest was sleeping in my bad and had an accident. Our mattress protector failed to keep the pee off the mattress. I looked led this up and it was amazing!! Thank you!
Worked just as well on pillow top mattress. I have a mattress cover, a down pillow top on that and another mattress cover over that. Unfortunately my grandson pees like an old man. I told my daughter they would have to move out if the stain didn’t come out so you concoction saved them?. I used cedarwood essential oils instead of lavender and the mattress and room smell great.
Thanks for sharing!
To everyone still having problems getting the smell out, try spraying a high percentage rubbing alcohol, or straight cheap vodka, on it! I had a couch that smaller terribly of wet dog, and saturated the surface with rubbing alcohol. Worked great!
Best Folding Wagon says
As a mom to two boys, one who didn’t potty train until after age 4, I could have used this trick back then. It was a crazy time of urine on mattresses, having to get new ones all of the time as you could never get them clean or smell out. I am certain this will be helpful for parents who had to deal with the same thing!
This is a old post, but as I was putting the mixture I my mattress it like renewed the pee smell. So gross. But it already seems to be working… it seemed to help quite a bit witha blood stain (my son) fairly quickly. Fingers crossed. I have to do another one on my son’s mattress.
Crystal Johnson says
This worked on my pillow top mattress. My only issue is that the bottle “exploded” and shot the solution out everywhere. Next time I’ll make sure I use the entire bottle ?
Nancy Ojeda says
We have old (like several months old) spots where our puppies have gone pee on the carpet. We have used a steam cleaner. The stains are gone, but the smell is still there in some spots. Any advice on how to get rid of the smell?
Febreeze. But if you’re looking for something homemade I can send you a recipe.
Can i use baking powder instead of soda?
Katelyn Fagan says
I am not sure… they are different.
Worked like a charm .. i only had a quarter cup of the peroxide and a few spoonfulls of powder and i added hand soap and sprayed it .. i watched it disappear literally the second i would spray .. thank you so much this literally saved my life
I lhad tried everything- just baking soda, carpet stain remover, vinegar and nothing worked. But your concoction worked!! I was AMAZED!! I honestly couldn’t believe it. THANK YOU!
Katelyn Fagan says
Yeah!! You are SO welcome!!
Does this also remove the smell?
HOW TO EASILY REMOVE OLD PEE STAIN AND SMELL FROM A MATTRESS
I’m shocked as to how magically this worked! A massive, dark, leftover stain from a previous vinegar cleaning totally disappeared right before emy eyes with a little rubbing & sponge blotting. I’m amazed, thank you so much Internet!
Katelyn Fagan says
You are so welcome!
This method is simply awesome! I tried it and it worked in very first attempt. One can follow this approach blindly
what should i do if i don’t have a vacuum? i know it sounds strange, but i have no carpet in my apartment so i only use a broom .. but NEED to do this to my daughters crib mattress ASAp! do you think u could dust the residue off or what do you suggest? hope you reply asap! thanks
I would buy a small vacuum just to use on the mattresses once a month. You wouldn’t believe how much dust and dust mites are in your mattresses. Or when you change sheets, just run the vacuum over your matress before replaced new sheets.
Dirt Devil makes a 20 dollar stick vacuum I absolutely love. I use it on my wood and tile floors as well as rugs.
I bought a foam mattress topper for our camper and it has a weird smell to it. I can not return it so I am wondering if there is anything I can do to get rid of it.
Thanks! for your help
I have tried this as well as the vinegar cleaning process and neither worked as far as smells for the memory foam mattress. It did remove SOME stains but nothing worth all the work I out into it. It’s really hardly noticable. So I’d say this method and vinigar method is a no go for memory foam unfortunately.
Carol P says
This works amazingly well. It started raining while our moving truck was being loaded, so by the time they got the door rolled down, some rain puddled inside and ran to the other end of the truck where one of our mattresses was loaded. One of the moving blankets got soaked and sucked a bunch of moisture onto the mattress. It left an ugly, smelly stain. This solution did a great job getting almost all of the stain out. I had to use a cloth, the spray bottle would not spray at all. I’m going to let it dry and go back over it one more time. Thanks for the recipe!
Sticky Tape was used to hold down a mattress protector sheet. The protector sheet was removed after a year, but the sticky tape left strips of (glue ?) marks. Can these marks be removed?
Jessica Sánchez says
Omg I love this solution!!!!! Works wonders and spells good too. It took the mildewy smell out from my room. This a must do when you have this problem!
Spin Doctor says
I used the formula on my pillow top. Had some old stains from previous formulas that I did not mix properly, too. I had a real good sprayer that had never been used. It had a screw on nozzle so I could adjust the spray zone.
I took the filter cap off of the straw line that touched the bottom of the bottle. I sued small amounts of the formula. Divided into fourths. It took two of those to saturate the areas, or about half of the actual formula listed. I used Dawn dishwashing liquid for my “soap” and it can be odd smelling when drying. I had used white Ivory plain dishwashing soap ( but not properly). But having the one drop so dishwashing liquid is a must. So, if you can use some kind of fragrance, it is just as good in the formula as out of it. I used Bath and Body Works “Cotton Breeze” and that smelled great.
Followed the directions and waited four (4) hours this time. Vacuumed the powder off then ran a hair dryer over it for about 10 minutes and put the ceiling fan on for an hour.
I missed a couple of areas. I could tell because it worked! Cleaned, disinfected, and white with ever so slight haze. Way better than what it was.
Katelyn Fagan says
I am so glad it worked for you!! You are so welcome!
Jenna S says
Will this work on my hybrid cushion firm mattress?
Katelyn Fagan says
Probably! I would just test the corner or something first.
Wow! I wish I had taken a time lapse video! I sprayed the mattress and walked away to help the kids with something and a few minutes later when I came back I could barely see where the original stains were! Thank you!!
Yes Or no wheel says
This is a great tip! I’ve been trying to remove old pee stains and smells from a mattress for months and haven’t had any luck. This will definitely work!
Carolyn Thomas says
Amazing!!! This cleaning solution is MAGIC.. right in front of my eyes! I have been sick over my urine stained new mattress!