Removing Stains from Mattresses

by Amy Gordon
(last updated November 9, 2015)

Mattresses often take a lot of strain unnoticed, and I don't just mean the weight of your body pressing down on it. Because we are so concerned with clean sheets and bedspreads, it often escapes our attention that the mattresses, too, need care and maintenance. Just because you can't see them doesn't mean that they are not getting stained. In fact, a lot of spills contain substances that will actually erode your mattress, thus reducing its lifespan, so removing stains from mattresses is imperative.

Fresh stains are more easily cleaned than old ones, as common sense dictates. A wise idea is to first attempt to remove the stain using plain water. If water alone is ineffective, dilute some mild detergent in water and whisk it to form suds. Apply ONLY the suds to the mattress, and not the soapy solution. If you think the stain has disappeared, wipe the area with a soft rag dampened with tepid water.

As a general rule, do not use more water on the mattress than is absolutely essential. For instance, upholstery shampoo is a product that a lot of people use for stubborn mattress stains. If you think a stain is tough to remove, do not waste time and effort with water and detergent—try the upholstery shampoo. Also, a mattress can be freshened very effectively by sprinkling baking soda on it and letting it stand overnight.

Remember, too many stains can invalidate a manufacturer's warranty, so when buying a mattress, you may inquire whether it comes with stain protection.

  • Blood. Some older bloodstains are impossible to remove. However, for relatively recent stains, a sprinkling of hydrogen peroxide is the generally accepted remedy. Dust the affected area with hydrogen peroxide and as it begins to fizz, constantly mop the stain with a soft dry cloth until no more residue comes off the mattress.
  • Urine. Remember, old urine stains can be a bear to remove, so act fast. As with bloodstains, hydrogen peroxide sometimes does the trick. However, some people report success with white vinegar, though it involves mopping up residual vinegar with a damp cloth, which may add too much moisture to the mattress. You can always use plastic mattress covers to protect your mattress from urine stains.
  • Vomit. The major problem with vomit stains is that they usually penetrate well beneath the surface of the mattress. It will be impossible to remove every last trace of vomit from your mattress, but you can clean the surface. Naturally, solid particles in the vomit need to be mopped up (or scraped off) first. Sprinkle the mattress with hydrogen peroxide to remove residual stains. The procedure is identical to bloodstain removal. Alternatively, you can once again try white vinegar.
  • Food and drink. Usually, the previously described technique using the mild detergent and water solution is adequate for most food and drink stains. However, it is best to air dry the mattress after this procedure.

Don't allow liquids to seep into the padding beneath a mattress. As we all know, moisture trapped in the layers can cause mold and mildew. Also, don't replace sheets and spreads on any mattress before it is completely dry. If your children or pets chronically wet the bed, do not ignore a mattress protector in the form of a mattress pad.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

MORE FROM AMY

Carpet Stain Removal

Carpets are a target for all kinds of stains. Liquids, solids, and gooey, sticky items can be removed with items you have ...

Discover More

Removing Stains from Fingernails

You can protect your nails with lemon juice. For natural relief from fungus stains, try Vicks Vapor Rub or grape seed ...

Discover More

Caring for Annuals

Annuals are fairly easy to care for. If you plant them properly at the right time, annuals will have no problems surviving ...

Discover More

Tough Tools for Tough Cleaning Jobs O-Cel-O sponges and Scotch Brite scrubbers are truly a fashion-meets-function success story. The highly absorbent and durable sponges in this handy six-pack make quick work of tough cleaning problems in any kitchen, bathroom, or garage. Check out Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges today!

More Cleaning Tips

Organizing Closets

Portable closets are a great way to not only keep your clothes great while you travel, but also help in organizing your ...

Discover More

Cleaning Out Your Closet

Closets are sometimes scary areas, and ones that need to be cleaned out regularly. If cleaning your closet freaks you out or ...

Discover More

Getting Your Mattress Clean

Mattresses get used quite a bit, and it's not surprising if they get a little dirty now and again. However, the day might ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.