Updated November 18, 2019 4:50 PM PT

How to Get Pee Out of a Mattress

How do you clean a mattress with dog or child pee on it? We'll show you 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. A wet/dry vacuum that can soak the liquid up 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.

Homemade Solutions for Cleaning Pee

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

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

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

Whichever you choose, mix the solution in a spray bottle to 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 or cloth towels - DON'T scrub or you risk spreading the stain.

Then follow these steps:

  1. Clean the area
    Cover the stain with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and warm water. If the vinegar is too strong, use one of the two 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. Let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum the mattress.

  4. Repeat as necessary.

How to get pee out of memory foam
You'll follow the same process as with other types of mattresses, starting with a 50/50 mixture of white 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. 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, skip the blotting step and go straight to the cleaning.

  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 (water/laundry detergent or hydrogen peroxide/dish soap).

  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 remove 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.

  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 it until the mattress 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 crystals in your pet's urine, removing the smell and eliminating their need to mark their territory.

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 too.

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

    Even 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.

  3. 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 embed into the fibers of the mattress. This will make it more difficult to remove the stain, and worse yet, the smell in the mattress.

Bottom Line

On the list of fun parental 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.

More from CreditDonkey:

How to Buy a Mattress

Best Time to Buy a Mattress

Saatva Mattress Review

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    By Allison Martin - Tips for Sleep Statistics
    Mattress stores slash prices as much as 60% during the year. But buying online may still save you the most money. Read on to learn more, plus tips to help you shop.

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