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The Ultimate Guide to Removing Stains from Your Mattress

May 26, 2023

woman in white dress shirt and black pants sitting on bed | The Ultimate Guide to Removing Stains from Your Mattress | Featured

Mattress stains are a slippery slope. They don’t just dirty your bed; they can shorten the lifespan of your mattress faster than you can remove that coffee stain.

The best mattress stain removers include baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. And most importantly, timing. The best time to clean a stain is as soon as it happens. It doesn’t give the stain enough time to settle, making it easier to wipe away. Wiping up a spill immediately also prevents liquids from seeping deeper into your bedding and onto your mattress.

RELATED: How Does a Virosafe Mattress Protector Work?

How to Clean Mattress Stains

a woman fixing her bed | clean mattress

How to Oil-Based Food Mattress Stains

What You’ll Need
  • tissue or clean rag
  • baking soda
  • mild dish soap
  • warm water
  • vacuum cleaner (with an upholstery attachment)
Step-by-Step Instructions
  1. Gently dab and blot the liquid immediately after the spill. Be careful not to press the liquid into the fabric. Rubbing the fabric may also spread the spill and cause a larger stain.
  2. To absorb the oil, sprinkle baking soda over the spill generously. Leave it to absorb. After 20 minutes, remove the baking soda using a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment.
  3. This time, use corn starch to absorb any excess oil. Let it sit overnight (or a couple of hours) to absorb any oil the baking soda wasn’t able to mop up and lift the remaining residue.
  4. Dish soap can zap any remaining oil and stains on your mattress. Combine a few drops of mild dish soap in a bowl of warm water. Using a clean rag, dab some dish soap mixture onto your stained mattress. Once the stain is gone, rinse your mattress using a clean, damp rag.
  5. Allow your bed to dry completely.

Experts recommend letting some sunlight in and giving your mattress a sun bath. It’ll help eliminate smells, disinfect your bed, and dry out any moisture from the clean-up process.

How to Clean a Vomit or Urine-Stained Mattress

Cleaning New Stains

What You’ll Need
  • tissue
  • clean rag
  • baking soda
  • homemade enzyme cleaner: vinegar + warm water
  • spray bottle
  • vacuum cleaner (with an upholstery attachment)
Step-by-Step Instructions
  1. Use a tissue to absorb as much urine as you can. Avoid pressing or rubbing the stain.
  2. In a spray bottle, combine equal parts warm water and vinegar. Lightly spray your enzyme cleaner over the stain. Blot the stain using a clean rag.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer, the better!
  4. Remove the baking soda using your vacuum cleaner.

Cleaning Old Stains

What You’ll Need
  • baking soda
  • homemade stain remover: hydrogen peroxide + mild dish soap + warm water
  • clean rag
  • spray bottle
  • vacuum cleaner (with an upholstery attachment)
Step-by-Step Instructions
  1. Create a cleaning solution  with:
    • 8 oz. hydrogen peroxide
    • 3 drops mild dish soap
    • 3 tbsps baking soda
  2. Spray the solution over the stain, making sure to cover every soiled spot. As the solution dries, you should notice the paste harden.
  3. Once the solution has dried completely, use a vacuum to remove the powdery residue.

How to Get Rid of Sweat Stains from a Mattress

What You’ll Need
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • warm water
  • spray bottle
  • clean rag
Step-by-Step Instructions
  1. Combine a vinegar solution with equal parts warm water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the cleaning solution onto the mattress. Using a clean rag, blot the stain.
  3. Create a baking soda paste by mixing baking soda and warm water. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes—the longer, the better!
  4. Once the baking soda paste has dried, remove it with a vacuum cleaner.
  5. Let your mattress breathe and dry down completely before you wrap it in fresh sheets.

How to Remove Blood Stains from a Mattress

What You’ll Need
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • baking soda
  • cold water
  • clean rag
Step-by-Step Instructions
  1. For fresh stains, dab away as much blood as you can. Soak a clean rag in cold water and wring out excess water. In some cases, this is enough to clean up the stain. Using warm water will make the blood settle much faster and more deeply. Stick to cold water when cleaning up blood stains!
  2. Create a paste using equal parts hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Add just enough cold water to create a paste.
  3. Apply the solution to the stain and scrub it in lightly. Wipe off the paste with a clean rag damp with cold water. Repeat this step if there is still a stain.
  4. Allow your mattress to dry completely for a couple of hours in a well-ventilated area.

Best Mattress Stain Removers

woman evening the bedclothes on the bed | cleaning

Baking Soda

Baking soda acts as a deodorizer and scrub that helps lift stains. It also helps absorb moisture, keeping your mattress fresh and clean.


Vinegar is another versatile cleaning agent, working hard to neutralize foul odors and eliminate stains.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Commonly found in hospitals and first aid kits, hydrogen peroxide is also useful in lifting organic stains, like blood, urine, or sweat. When using hydrogen peroxide on stains, you’ll see it start to bubble as it physically lifts stains off of your mattress.

Mild Dish Soap

Dish soap is as effective in cleaning food and beverage stains on your mattress as it is on your plates.

RELATED: 7 Smart Reasons Why A Mattress Protector Should Be Non-negotiable On Your Bedroom

Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

composition of detergents on table | cleaning

When dealing with pesky and persistent stains, we recommend going for the organic route first. Baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or a combination of these are very effective at zapping both stains and odors.

We understand the temptation to grab harsher chemicals like bleach or strong solvents, but it’s important to know that using these might damage your mattress in the process.

If you want to keep a stock of stain remover handy, you can buy an enzyme-based laundry detergent.

What if My Mattress Still Stinks?

white bed linen | clean mattress

If your mattress is stain-free but is still smelly, generously sprinkle baking soda over your mattress. Leave it for several hours or overnight to fully absorb the odor. To clean up, use a vacuum.

Are Mattress Stains Permanent?

woman drinking from a mug while sitting on the bed | stain mattress

Yes—if you leave them untreated. You can remove (or reduce) mattress stains using baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or a store-bought enzyme-based detergent. However, some stains, like those caused by oxidation, are permanent.

Is It Safe to Sleep on a Stained Mattress?

asleep woman wearing eye mask | clean mattress

Yes—if the discoloration is only due to oxidation or because you’ve accidentally spilled some chemicals on a treated mattress topper. No—if it’s because you missed out on cleaning up an old spill. Double no—if it’s accompanied by a foul smell. Stains give way to mold and mildew, and it’s a lot harder to clean than a stain.

Cleaning and Protecting Your Mattress from Stains

photo of a lamp near the bed | clean mattress

Quick action and good household cleaning agents can remove stains and odors from your bed linens before they can settle. Unfortunately, you can’t toss your mattress in the tub along with your bedding. And mattress manufacturers only recommend spot cleaning at most. Luckily, cleaning mattress stains are simpler than you think.

Hydrogen peroxide is great at lifting old and pesky stains. Vinegar is great at eliminating stains and odors. And baking soda is highly effective in removing stains, absorbing moisture, and eliminating odors.

Depending on the severity of the stain, you may need to repeat the process a couple of times. So to avoid the tedious task, we recommend covering your mattress with a waterproof mattress protector.

An excellent protector can shield your mattress from dust mites, bed bugs, and bacteria in addition to coffee or pee stains. Mattress protectors make clean-up easier and help prolong the life of your mattress. Toss them into the wash along with your soiled beddings, and you might get away with only sprinkling your mattress with baking soda and a quick run with your vacuum cleaner.

Is your bed free of mattress stains? Do you have your own stain-blasting recipe? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.