Updated January 3, 2020

How to Get Pee Out of a Mattress

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How do you clean a mattress with dog or child pee on it? Find out how to get rid of the smell of urine, deep clean and deodorize a mattress.

What You Need to Know About Pee on a Mattress

The sooner you start sopping up the mess, the less it will seep into the mattress. If you have one, a wet/dry vacuum can clean urine effectively. A towel or sponge will also do the trick—you'll just spend more time blotting the area.

If you don't notice the accident right away, you still have options to remove the stain. These include:

  • White vinegar
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dish soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Enzymatic cleaner (optional)

What gets rid of the smell of urine?
Even after cleaning the stain, the smell of ammonia from the urine can linger. But white vinegar can neutralize that odor.

This is especially helpful with pee stains from the family pet. Dogs and cats may return to the same area to urinate if they detect the smell. One downside, however: white vinegar has a strong smell itself. This is where you might want to consider an enzymatic cleaner. We'll explain why they're the ideal choice for cleaning pet urine further down in the article.

Homemade Solutions for Cleaning Pee

You can make either of these solutions with cleaning products you may have lying around the house and a spray bottle:

  • 1 cup of warm water, plus a few tablespoons of laundry detergent

  • 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap

To better cover the urine smell, you might also consider adding a few drops of an essential oil to the mixture. When you're ready, mix the solution in a spray bottle and spray the affected area. Now you're ready to remove the pee. Keep reading to learn how.

How to Get Fresh Pee Out of a Mattress

If you are lucky enough to catch the pee stain when it's still wet, the stain (and smell) hasn't quite set yet. Start by gently blotting the area with paper towels or cloth towels - DON'T scrub or you risk spreading the stain.

Then follow these steps:

  1. Soak the area
    Cover the stain with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and warm water. If the vinegar smell is too strong, use one of the two spray bottle mixtures discussed above (hydrogen peroxide/dish soap or laundry detergent/water).

  2. Continue blotting
    This reduces the risk of mold growth due to a wet mattress.

  3. Sprinkle baking soda over the mattress
    Spread a thin layer of baking soda over the mattress stain. Let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum the mattress with a wet/dry vacuum.

  4. Repeat as necessary.

How to clean urine out of memory foam
You'll follow the same process as with other types of mattresses, starting with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and warm water. But there is one difference.

Apply strong pressure to soak up the pee that may have seeped into the foam. With other types of mattresses, you gently blot the liquid to avoid pushing it deeper into the mattress. Memory foam mattresses tend to soak up liquids like a sponge, so the goal is to absorb as much of the pee as possible.

How to Get Dried Pee Out of a Mattress

You may be able to get a dried pee stain out of the mattress. But it'll take a lot more work.

Since the stain is old, you'll likely need to repeat the following process several times.

  1. Spray a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water
    If you can't stand the smell of vinegar, use one of the cleaning solutions described above.

  2. Let it soak
    Ideally, you should let the vinegar or cleaning solution sit for at least 20 minutes. For older stains, you may want to go even longer for maximum penetration of the area.

    Take care not to oversoak the area. But apply enough solution to cover the stain.

  3. Blot the area heavily
    This is when the hard work starts. Since the stain may be set into the mattress already, you will have to use a good amount of pressure as you blot, using cloth or paper towels.

  4. Repeat the steps as necessary

  5. Sprinkle baking soda
    Let the baking soda sit for a few hours, and then vacuum the mattress. This should remove any lingering urine smell.

Allow Plenty of Drying Time
Avoid soaking the bed with cleaning solutions. Too much moisture can cause mold growth, especially if you don't give the mattress plenty of time to dry.

If you do soak the mattress, try putting it out in the open (in sunlight, if possible). Don't sleep on the mattress until it is completely dry.

What About Pet Pee?

Pet pee can be a little more difficult to remove from a mattress. Use the same steps but consider buying an enzymatic cleaner.

Non-toxic enzymatic cleaners break down the uric acid particles in your pet's urine. This removes the smell completely and decreases the chance that they'll pee again in the same spot.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does the smell of urine really last forever?
    Believe it or not, urine smell can linger for as long as you have the mattress. That's why it's important to catch the stain as early as possible to remove the odor.

  2. Will urine stains ever fully come out of a mattress?
    Depending on how diligent you are while you clean urine, you'll likely be able to lift most, if not all, of the urine stains from your mattress. This might require multiple cleanings, however. It also depends on the age of both the urine stains and your mattress.

  3. Will a mattress pad protect against urine stains?
    Not all mattress pads protect against bed wetting. You need a waterproof mattress pad, which is usually thicker and made of waterproof material.

    This won't safeguard your mattress 100% from pee stains, but it gives your mattress a better chance of staying clean. If you end up needing to replace the mattress, you can save yourself some money and hassle by buying one online. Read more about one of the most popular online mattresses in our Saatva mattress reviews.

  4. Why should you blot the urine stain rather than rub it?
    Rubbing in a urine stain is the worst thing you can do. The harder you scrub, the more pee that you push into the fibers of the mattress. This will make it more difficult to remove the stain, and worse yet, the smell in the mattress. Blotting firmly with cloth or paper towels ensures that you soak up the pee rather than push it further down.

Bottom Line

On the list of fun chores, getting pee out of a mattress probably ranks pretty low. But it's a skill you'll probably need at some point.

Remember, the faster you act, the less work you must do. Quick and careful cleanup can prolong the life of your mattress.

Write to Kim P at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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