How to Remove Stains From a Mattress – Useful Tips and Tricks

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 04/25/2023

If you want to know how to remove stains from your mattress, we’re here to help!

Accidents always happen, but keeping your sleeping environment clean is essential. A dirty mattress can even affect your sleep. 

So what do you do when you spill some coffee on your mattress? Or what if you just noticed an old, dry stain? 

Get your cleaning supplies ready, because we’re diving in!  

How to Clean Mattress Stains – Tips and Tricks

Mattresses can get stained by all types of things, but most are removable. You might need to put in some elbow grease, though. 

The number one rule when you clean mattress stains is this – do it immediately. 

Don’t wait for later, because as most stains get older and drier, the harder it’ll be to clean a mattress

Let’s look at some examples. Here’s a step-by-step guide for what to do when your mattress gets dirty. 

Cleaning Supplies

Before we get to a more hands-on approach with various examples on how to treat stains, you must prepare your cleaning supplies. 

Different chemicals and products work against different stains and materials, but here are some things you should always have on hand. 

  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Laundry detergent
  • Meat tenderizer 
  • Vacuum 
  • Brush
  • Undyed rags
  • Spray bottle 
  • Hot water and cold water

Lastly, a good old stain remover could help, but not with all stains.


Blood stains must be removed immediately because they’ll get tougher to eliminate as time passes. Also, it would be best if you avoided heat because it can set the blood stain permanently.

That’s why it’s crucial to use cold water and not warm water for this step. Hot water will worsen the stain.

Absorb as much of the fluid from the mattress stain as possible with a rag or paper towels, and then get to applying the solution. 

Regarding this step, you have a couple of solutions you can use to remove blood stains. 

  • Make a 50/50 mix of cold water and white vinegar;
  • Spray the stain with hydrogen peroxide;
  • Make a paste from meat tenderizer and cold water; 
  • Put a few drops of laundry detergent on the stain. 

All of these solutions should be left to work their magic for a little while if you want to remove blood stains, after which you should start blotting the stain with a dry, undyed, and clean towel.

Lastly, blood stains can be hard to eliminate and can leave dark circles. If this happens, try using more hydrogen peroxide for stain removal. 


Accidents happen, but it’s essential to act fast if you want to remove urine stains from your mattress. 

Urine stains usually happen overnight, so if this is the first thing you see in the morning, get the bedding off immediately. Then absorb as much liquid from the urine stain as possible. 

Next, apply the cleaning solution. You also have a couple of different options here. 

  • Make a mixture of one cup of hydrogen peroxide, three tablespoons of baking soda, and liquid dish soap in a spray bottle, lightly spray it on the stain, and let it sit for an hour;
  • Make a mixture of 50% white vinegar and 50% water, spray it on the stain, and let it work for about 10 minutes; 

The first solution works better for dry urine stains, while the latter is best for fresh ones. 

Lastly, urine stains, like other bodily fluids, tend to leave an odor on a mattress, but baking soda can help. Just sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for a few hours. After that, vacuum it up! This can also help treat pet urine stains.


Sweating during sleep is normal, but unless your mattress is protected with a waterproof mattress protector, the body oils will stain it over time. 

New sweat stains might not seem like much, but old ones tend to turn mattress materials yellow. However, some mattresses, like memory foam mattresses, tend to run yellow as they get older.

For new, wet stains, use a dry towel to absorb as much liquid as possible first! After that, you can sprinkle baking soda directly on the stain. 

After a few minutes, you can rub it in and see if it manages to remove sweat stains. This powder is also suitable for absorbing smells. 

And if that doesn’t remove sweat stains from a mattress, it’s time to get the big guns. You’ll need the same homemade cleaning solution for both of these. 

Get a spray bottle and make a mixture of equal parts hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap, and water. Your next step is to spray this mixture directly onto the mattress stain. 

Let it sit for about 20 minutes, then you can start to blot dry the excess moisture. Repeat this if the stain isn’t completely gone. 

And finally, sprinkle some more baking soda to soak up the smell of the bodily fluids, and leave it on for at least a couple of hours before you vacuum it. 


To combat vomit stains, you first need to remove all the sheets and put them aside for washing. 

Next, absorb as much of the vomit as possible from the mattress with a cloth or paper towels. This is an important step, so don’t skip it!

Now it’s time to apply the cleaning solution. A 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar is the best mixture for vomit stain removal.

Mix the solution in an empty spray bottle, then spray it on the affected area. Get a clean, dry cloth and start blotting the stain until it disappears. 

Vomit stains are another one of those that can leave a nasty smell behind, but don’t worry. Baking soda is here to the rescue. 

Just sprinkle some of it on the stain and let it work for a few hours. This should eliminate the smell, and then you can vacuum it up. 

Food and Drinks

Eating and drinking in bed isn’t the best idea! But let’s admit it – we all did it at some point. 

And sometimes food and drink stains happen. And they’re usually coffee or wine stains. But you need to act fast if you want to clean mattress stains!

As always, strip the mattress of all bedding first. Next, absorb as much of the liquid as possible and get rid of any chunks or dry parts. 

Mix a simple cleaning solution of one part white vinegar and ten parts water, and put it in a spray bottle. 

Once you spray it on the stain, rub it in just a little bit. You can use an old toothbrush for this step. This should help work out the stain. 

Let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then you can blot it with a damp cloth or sponge. After that, use a dry towel to absorb the excess liquid once again. 

And if you notice any leftover smells, sprinkle some baking soda on the spot and let it work its magic for a couple of hours. 


Ink stains on a mattress are rarer, but they still happen. Your first step is always to absorb as much of the offending liquid as possible, and so it is with ink. 

If the stains are older, get straight to cleaning. Put a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth and slowly scrub the mattress stain. Make sure to rotate your cloth occasionally so you don’t just transfer the ink everywhere. 

You can remove any alcohol residue with a wet cloth dipped in warm water, but absorb that excess liquid afterward and let it air dry. 

Mystery Stains

Don’t know what the stains are from at all? It happens. But this can help. 

Dilute the liquid dish soap with water, dab it on the mattress stain, and leave it alone for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, you can blot it with a clean cloth until the stain is gone, then let it air dry. 

If that isn’t working, try using the 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water, mixed in a spray bottle, the same way. Sprinkle some baking soda on it afterward. 

And if that isn’t working either, get some hydrogen peroxide and blot the stain with a sponge in a circular motion. You can also try spot cleaning with a stain remover.

Old Stains

We’ll be honest here. Sometimes it’s hard to clean mattress stains when they’re too old.

You can try a couple of things for these tough stains, but in the end, you’ll either have to give up or call the professionals to do it for you. And even then, it isn’t guaranteed that they’ll be able to completely get rid of all mattress stains.

You could also use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment if you have one. The upholstery attachment could help you really get into the stain.

Before you get to some hard-core solutions, like ammonia or an enzyme cleaner, make sure to check your mattress for reactions to these chemicals!

Extra Cleaning Tips

And that’s not all! We also have some extra tips and tricks you need to use to remove those mattress stains!

  • Absorb – your first step should always be to absorb as much of the stain as possible with a dry towel or vacuum any bits and pieces for dry messes. Don’t rub too hard!
  • Don’t use dyed rags – dyed rags could bleed color on your mattress, especially when you get to blotting.  
  • Test cleaning products – put a small amount of the product on a small patch of your mattress to ensure everything works well.
  • Blotting – Don’t rub too hard when trying to remove the stain. Also, start from the outside, working towards the center. 
  • Hydrogen peroxide – If any dark rings are left after removing the stain, spray 3% hydrogen peroxide on them and let them sit for 10 minutes. Once you blot it, the dark rings should be gone. 
  • Let your mattress air dry – you might feel tempted to get your hairdryer out to speed up the process, but this can affect the stain and make it permanent. Be patient, and always let your mattress dry completely.

How to Make Your Mattress Smell Like New

Unfortunately, some mattress stains come with unpleasant smells that you can’t get rid of with regular stain removal, and you’ll definitely want these removed—pet urine stains are one example.

Luckily, there are ways to eliminate these smells and deodorize your mattress!

One of the most common ones involves a household item you can easily find. You probably already have it. 

It’s baking soda. 

Once you’re done cleaning the stains and letting the affected area air dry completely, you can sprinkle some baking soda on it. After a couple of hours, the powder will absorb the smell, and then you can vacuum it. 

If you’re into essential oils, add a few drops to the baking soda. For example, lavender and chamomile essential oils can help with sleep. 

You don’t have to use baking soda only when you want to get rid of odors from stains. It would be best if you also used it whenever you cleaned your mattress, which should be every couple of months, to keep it smelling fresh. 

Just sprinkle baking soda on your mattress, leave it on for a couple of hours, and then vacuum up the excess. Your mattress will smell as good as new!  

You can leave the baking soda on the mattress for longer than a couple of hours, or you don’t have to use it at all. Sometimes it’s enough to open your window the next time you change your bedding and let the mattress air out naturally. 

How to Prevent Mattress Stains

Getting stains out of your mattress and making it smell as good as new is a lot of work. And that’s precisely why you need ways to help you prevent it or at least make the whole process easier. 

Here are some tips we have for you. 

  • Use a mattress protector – the number one solution for avoiding mattress stains is to invest in waterproof mattress protectors. It completely encases the mattress, and its job is to protect it from stains, dead skin cells, and even dust mites. Although, these don’t provide comfort. 
  • Use mattress covers – a mattress cover or a mattress pad don’t cover the whole mattress, but they still get the job done.
  • Use a mattress topper – they’re mainly used to make a mattress more comfortable for the sleeper, but mattress toppers can also help prevent stains. If you spill coffee on your bed, it must go through the mattress topper first. That being said, they should still be cleaned. 
  • Don’t eat or drink in bed  – last but not least, just don’t eat or drink in bed. It might seem cool and comfortable, but there’s no need to destroy your mattress if you can avoid it. Or at least get that mattress protector before you do it. 

Get a New Mattress

Is your mattress past saving? Is it time to get a new one? 

It might be. Here are some signs that it’s time to get a new mattress, stains or no stains. 

  • Wear and Tear – if a mattress gets too saggy, lumpy, and noisy, you should get a new one. These could also be signs that your mattress can’t support you anymore, further impacting your sleep. 
  • Quality of rest – if you start waking up tired and in pain, can’t seem to fall asleep or even get enough sleep, and you find yourself sleeping way better on other mattresses… It’s time to get a new mattress. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Clean Your Mattress?

When it comes to this, you should clean your mattress about twice a year. This involves washing the sheets and covers, vacuuming, and deodorizing your mattress. 

But when it comes to stains, you should handle them as soon as possible. Let’s say you clean your mattress and notice a stain you don’t remember making. There are ways to deal with lingering stains too, but they’re a bit tougher to get rid of.

What Are the Yellow Stains on My Mattress?

If you notice significant yellow stains on your mattress, they’re likely from sweat or body oils. This is a normal thing that happens to many mattresses, but you can minimize it. 

Just use a mattress protector and wash your sheets and bedding regularly. 

Also, keep in mind that some mattress materials get yellow with age. Your bed is getting old! 

How Do I Get a Deep Stain Out of a Mattress?

Deep stains are a bit trickier, but the process is the same. 

If you’re getting rid of the stain immediately, you should first use a towel to absorb as much of a wet stain as possible, or use a brush or a vacuum cleaner to clean up dry bits. 

Next, get a cleaning solution fit for the stain type and apply it. Once you blot the area, leave your mattress to air dry. 

The problem with deep stains is that they can smell, but there’s a solution for this as well. Just use some baking soda!  

Final Thoughts

That would be all! This article will help you get those pesky stains off your mattress, and you’ll sleep on a bed that’s as good as new. 

Remember the first rule – clean stains immediately, and don’t wait for them to dry. That will make them harder to remove. 

It’s time to put in some work. Good luck! 

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.