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How to Remove Stains From a Mattress

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

Are you getting tired of cleaning up your child’s “midnight oopsie” from one-too-many sips of juice at dinner? What about the dreadful “coffee in bed” gone wrong mornings? We know, we know! Mattress stains are nobody’s best friends. That is why The Mattress Warehouse has laid out all the helpful hacks on how to remove stains from a mattress. We’ll talk about all the most common mattress stains and how to get rid of them. So if you want to learn more about how to clean your mattress, keep reading.

How to remove stains from a mattress?

Spending about a third of our lives in bed, all kinds of mattress stains are expected. They could result from eating in bed or bed-wetting, vomiting, bleeding, and the list goes on. This is why specialists deem it necessary to give your mattress a thorough clean at least twice a year.

Recognising that certain stains require specific reagents to get them out of your mattress effectively is essential. For instance, our bodies naturally release sweat while we sleep. Likewise, you may get blood on your mattress from a nosebleed or the like. So despite frequent bed sheet changes (and unless you have a mattress protector), fluid stains may build up on your mattress over time.  But you can relax because we’re here to show you how to remove stains from mattresses in a couple of easy steps.

But the thing is, when it comes to how to clean mattress stains, the chemical composition of sweat and blood is quite different. Sweat is mostly water with some salts and minor metabolites in the mix. Whereas blood contains proteins and more complex chemical components. These two liquids break down differently and so they should be treated differently. What works well for one stain might not work so well for another.

Don’t fret, we’ll show you how to remove all these different types of stains from a mattress using common household supplies that are probably in your kitchen or bathroom, like:

  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Paper towels
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Steam cleaner
  • Dishwashing liquid

Act quickly to remove stains from a mattress

Timing is critical! Taking immediate action when a spill occurs is the most effective way of dealing with mattress stains. This will prevent prolonged bad odours and staining. Also, if you act very quickly you are likely to use fewer reagents on the mattress, thus preserving fabric quality.

So what should you do when a spillage occurs?

  • Step1: You will need to remove all bedding, specifically the linen that has been directly affected, and get them washed. If it is a blood stain, wash the linen at a low temperature (you’ll find out why in a bit).
  • Step 2: Dab the affected area with a sponge. Do not wipe the area, as that will force the liquid into the mattress.
  • Step 3: Depending on the type of stain(see recipes below), spray the appropriate mix of reagents and water on the affected area. Dab off excess liquid, again taking care not to rub the liquid into the mattress.
  • Step 4: Dust some baking soda on the mattress. Leave the powder for a minimum of 10 minutes (preferably 8 hours if you can) to absorb the liquids and unpleasant odour.
  • Step 5: Vacuum the baking soda off the mattress and if the stain persists, repeat the process.

Let’s get more specific.

Most common types of mattress stains

  • Sweat – With spring upon us and summer on its tail, nighttime sweats are becoming a problem again. You can also build up a sweat if you cuddle up in too many blankets during the winter. Check your mattress for brownish-yellow sweat stains around the shoulder/neck area.
  • Urine –  If you have children you’ll know how easy it is for a child to wet the bed. Or maybe you have a pet that can’t control its bladder. Either way, urine stains are quite common on mattresses. 
  • Coffee/tea – Admittedly, waking up to a piping hot cup of coffee/tea in bed is one of the most heart-melting moments. But what happens when your sleep-fogged brain makes you spill the cup’s content on the bed? Yikes!
  • Blood – The sporadic nose bleed, unconsciously scratching insect bites, bleeding wounds and more can all be the cause of blood on your mattress. 

Do not despair! These accidents happen to the best of us. We have the answers on how to remove these common mattress stains.

Stains on a white cloth

Brownish mattress stains can be common on old mattresses that haven’t been cared for

1. How to remove blood stains from a mattress?

Angry red blobs of blood on your mattress can be disconcerting. It is best that you attend to blood stains quickly. Most of the ingredients you need can be found in your home.

Here’s how:

  • Make a solution consisting of half parts white vinegar and half parts cold water. It is important that you use cold water because blood contains proteins highly reactive with warm water. Using warm/hot water will lead to the spreading and permanence of the stain. 
  • Spray the solution (or hydrogen peroxide) onto the blood stains generously and leave it to saturate the stain for about half an hour.
  • Use either a paper towel or a cold damp cloth to gently dab at the excess fluid.

Alternatively, you can make a paste:

  • Mix one teaspoon of meat tenderiser and two teaspoons of cold water. 
  • Smear this paste on the blood stain and leave it there for half an hour before either vacuuming the dried paste or gently dabbing it with a cold damp cloth. The blood proteins are disintegrated by meat tenderiser, effectively removing the blood stains from the mattress.

2. How to get urine stains out of a mattress?

The best way to remove unflattering and smelly urine stains depends on how fresh the stain is. If the urine stain is wet, here’s how to take care of it:

  • Spray the same mixture of vinegar-water solution as stated above. 
  • Then dust baking soda and a few drops of essential oil over it (lavender or valerian work wonders). Leave it to dry for a minimum of 8 hours.
  • Once the area is dry, you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dried material. Let the mattress air dry before making the bed.

For the dry, yellow stains you need to use something stronger. 

  • Make a mixture of 8 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons baking soda and about 3 drops of dishwashing liquid. 
  • Liberally spray the solution onto the stain and leave it to dry before vacuuming the excess material from the mattress.
  • If the stain persists, redo.

3. How to get sweat stains out of a mattress?

Sweat stains are treated similarly to urine stains as it also produces yellow stains once dry. This is how to get rid of them:

  • Make a solution consisting of equivalent portions of hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing liquid, and water. You may add about 1⁄3 of baking soda to your solution if the smell is too foul. 
  • Generously spray this solution onto the stain and let it rest for 20 minutes. 
  • Then gently dab the moist area with a sponge or cloth. You may have to repeat the process should you be removing dried yellow sweat stains. 
  • Make sure the mattress air dries for a couple of hours (ideally 24 hours) for optimum results.

4. How to get oil stains out of a mattress?

You want to tackle oil stains as soon as the accident occurs. This is to prevent the oil from infiltrating the fibre strands making up the mattress material.

  • Gently dab paper towels on the oil stain and leave them there until all the excess grease is absorbed. 
  • Then you will dust a liberal amount of baking soda (cornstarch is a good alternative) on the stain and let it rest for an hour. The baking soda further saturates the oil. 
  • Vacuum the powder off the mattress before adding three drops of washing liquid and gently scrubbing the stained area. 
  • Follow this with a gentle dab of the soap with a damp cloth. Let the mattress dry for about an hour.

5. How to get coffee or tea stains out of a mattress?

Coffee or tea stains are much easier to remove on mattresses than blood or old sweat stains. This is due to the solubility of the fluids. You do, however, want to attend to these stains as soon as possible.

  • Dab the stained area with a cloth, to remove all excess fluids. Then, dab the stain with a cold damp cloth to further extract the fluids from the area. 
  • Should there still be any visible staining, add a drop or two of dishwashing liquid to the stain. 
  • Gently dab the damp cloth on the stained area until the stain is completely removed. Then let the mattress dry for a couple of hours.

Coffee stains can be easily removed if you act quickly after the spill occurred

Frequently Asked Questions: How to Clean a Mattress

1. What causes the yellow stains on a mattress?

The yellow stains are a combination of mould and mildew, which festers in the stains on the mattress. The moisture from oils, urine and sweat, allows for mould to grow and thrive on the mattress.

2. Do stains void a mattress warranty?

Yes, stains on a mattress void the mattress warranty. The fluids staining the mattress infiltrate the mattress strands and foam resulting in faster rates of deterioration. To avoid losing out on your mattress warranty, consider getting a waterproof mattress protector

3. How to remove mattress odour?

A generous sprinkling of baking soda on a mattress keeps horrible smells away! This is because the acidic molecules released by the mattress mould (causing a bad odour) react with the basic soda. Thus, a neutral environment is created in the mattress. Similarly, vinegar is also good for removing bad odours from mattresses. Vinegar is an acetic acid that kills the mould residing on mattress stains. Mould and other bacteria cannot survive in an acidic environment.

Mattresses for Sale at The Mattress Warehouse

No need to give up on the romantic coffee/tea in bed or despise the potty-training stages. You now know all you need to know on how to remove stains from a mattress. But if you need to replace your mattress due to bad and old staining, head over to our online store to see what mattress best fits your needs and budget. Remember to get a mattress protector with your purchase to be eligible for our 100-night trial period and to keep your mattress warranty intact. 

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