How to Get Urine Out of Mattress?

So, someone's peed on the bed — uh-oh! Don’t worry, it happens to everyone – and you won’t need to throw out your mattress.

How to clean a mattress that has been peed on is an all too common question.

Did you know that in children roughly 20% have bedwetting issues up to age 5, with 10% still suffering from this unfortunate habit by age 7? Even late teens can suffer, with 1–3% still wetting the bed.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and whether it’s from a human, dog, or cat urine, we’re here to help you get it out of your mattress.

In this article we’ll cover:

  • How to get fresh urine out of your mattress
  • How to get urine out of a mattress when dry
  • What else you can do

Let’s get started!

How to Get Urine Out of Your Mattress

What You Need

  • Baking soda
  • Clean towels
  • Cold water
  • Laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Vacuum


Step 1: Make Vinegar Solution, Gather Supplies

Get to it right away! 

Urine turns to a high alkaline once it dries, which makes it harder to remove. Additionally, the bacteria will have had time to breed, and so the smell will be stronger later. 

To start, mix one part white vinegar to two parts water in the spray bottle. Then, add 2 teaspoons of baking soda.

Step 2: Remove Bedding

So as not to spread the mess, carefully take all bedding straight to the washing machine and set to a cold wash. 

If the smell still lingers, add a cup of white vinegar to the machine and put it on for another wash. 

Step 3: Gently Blot (Don't Scrub!) 

Scrubbing will just spread the urine around and force it deeper into the mattress. Try and gently blot up as much of the surface urine as possible with a towel. 

Again, take the towel straight to the washing machine. 

Step 4: Apply a Vinegar Spray Solution to the Stain

Now spray the urine stain thoroughly with the vinegar and baking soda mixture. You want enough so that it soaks into the mattress. 

This bacteria-killing solution will sink into the mattress and make sure that there’s no lingering smell. 

Step 5: Allow the Vinegar Solution to Soak

Give it between 15–30 minutes to soak and do its magic. Again, get a towel and gently blot up as much excess liquid as you can. 

Step 6: Sprinkle Baking Soda Over the Area

Use as much as you need to cover the stain with a layer of baking soda. Be liberal with it so you ensure you don’t miss any sections.

Leave the baking soda for about eight hours. 

Make sure to restrict access to the mattress from kids or pets — you really don’t want someone spreading urine-soaked baking soda around your house!

Step 7: Remove the Dry Baking Soda with a Vacuum Cleaner

Check to make sure the powder is completely dry, or else you’ll end up either damaging your vacuum or getting a bunch of sticky urine-soaked baking soda stuck to its insides. 

If that happens, you’ll just have to clean your vacuum before it starts to stink. 

Remove the head of the vacuum so it’s just on the hose attachment, and suck up all the baking soda. The bristles in a vacuum head attachment can get baking soda stuck to them. 

If there’s still a lingering odour, just repeat steps three through six again!

How to Get Urine Out of a Mattress When Dry

If the stain has already dried, don’t worry! It’s still possible to save the mattress. 

Here are two different methods: one using the white vinegar solution from before, and another using a hydrogen peroxide-based solution. 

The hydrogen peroxide method uses harsher, more powerful chemicals, so you’ll only need it on a really bad stain. 

Vinegar Solution Method

1. You will need plastic wrap and a vinegar solution. 

The vinegar solution recipe is as follows: 

  • Mix one part white vinegar to two parts water in the spray bottle
  • Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • Spray the stain until it’s completely soaked

Cover the stain in a layer of plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will stop the solution from evaporating. 

Give the solution at least 24 hours to work its magic. 

2. Remove the wrap, and, if possible, take the mattress outside to air dry. Otherwise, just try and leave it in a room with an open window or good ventilation. 

Give it at least 12 hours to ensure the mattress is completely dry. 

3. Repeat steps one through three until you're confident the stain and smell of urine is gone. 

If the stain is deep this should take a few tries, if it’s shallow once or twice will be enough. 

4. Once you’re confident that the stain is gone, just add some water to soak up the vinegar solution residue. 

Blot clean with a towel and allow the now clean mattress to dry. 

Hydrogen Peroxide Method

1. You will to make a hydrogen peroxide solution in a spray bottle. 

To make a hydrogen peroxide solution, add together:

  • A cup of hydrogen peroxide
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • A few drops of liquid laundry detergent (or powder/flakes, mixed together with a little water).

2. Spray the mattress with the solution until the stain and the area immediately around it are soaked. 

3. Leave the solution to dry. A baking soda layer should form on top of the mattress. Once this layer is nice and dry, vacuum it up!

4. If the smell persists, just repeat steps two and three again.

Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are pretty strong stuff, so you shouldn’t need more than one or two repetitions. 

Other Methods and Solutions to Get Urine Out of Mattresses

Above are the two most common solutions to get urine out of mattresses. 

However, if you are dealing with animal urine or just a particularly resistant child’s urine stain, then you will need an enzyme cleaner. 

If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals, then you can give essential oils a try. 

Enzyme Cleaner

Enzyme Cleaner cleans everything in urine, which is especially important with cat urine or large stains which might still smell a little bit after being cleaned with hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar. 

To clean using enzyme cleaner, simply:

1. Blot up as much urine as possible

Apply the enzyme cleaner spray until the mattress is soaked

You want the cleaner to soak down at least as far as the urine has, so be liberal with the application

2. Leave it to sit for at least 15 minutes

3. Blot up as much of the cleaner as possible

4. Leave to air dry

Essential Oil (for Urine Smells)

Knowing how to get urine smell out of mattress is essential if you want to prolong the life of your mattress.

There are plenty of oils that work on urine. You just need to use oils with antibacterial properties. 

Simply follow the same steps as those for enzyme cleaners while using an essential oil solution.

Tea tree oil is probably the most popular antibacterial oil for cleaning. It needs to be diluted depending on what kind of material you’re cleaning, but about 20 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of water or white vinegar should be sufficient for mattresses. 

Key Takeaways

Urine in a mattress is a common problem for anyone with pets or small children. Thankfully, it’s is easily removable.

Regardless of which cleaning method you’re using, the key takeaways are:

  • Soak all affected areas

You’ll want to make sure that the solution reaches deep enough so that there is no untreated urine in the centre of the mattress emitting smells. 

  • Use stronger chemicals on old or smelly stains

If the stain is old or smells particularly bad, you should use the strongest chemicals – either hydrogen peroxide or enzyme cleaner. 

  • Act quickly

Act as quickly as possible and only ever blot with towels — don’t scrub.

Good luck!

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