Finding yourself having to figure out how to get urine out of a mattress is never a fun position to be in, whether it was your child or puppy who hasn’t quite gotten the hang of potty training yet. Your blankets and sheets you throw them in the washer right away, but unlike your linens, mattresses can’t just be thrown into the washing machine. Luckily, when faced with how to get pee out of a mattress, most of the items you’ll need are common household solutions and equipment, so no late-night store runs. These materials will even remove the smell of urine from your mattress and leave your household smelling much better.

How To Get Urine Smell Out Of A Mattress

Below you’ll find our step-by-step guide on how to get pee out of a mattress, properly sanitize it, and remove any smells or stains left behind. The ingredients we recommend are normal household items that may already be a staple in your pantry, so no need to run to the store in the middle of the night.

clean urine mattress supplies

Step 1: Remove Sheets & Bedding — Fast

remove urine mattress step 1

As soon as you notice the urine stain, remove everything off of your mattress, including sheets, blankets, or comforters, and throw them in the washing machine ASAP (double-check that your comforter is machine washable). The sooner, the better. If the urine is really set, though, we suggest you check out our simple guide on removing yellow stains from your bedding.

Step 2: Blot The Urine Area On Your Bed

remove urine mattress step 2

Blot away all the extra liquid on the mattress with your towel or paper towel. Pro tip: don’t rub, dab! That way, you don’t push the stain deeper into the fibers of your mattress.

Step 3: Spray Down Your Mattress

remove urine mattress step 3

Spray down the urine-stained area with a generous layer of vinegar. We recommend you use straight vinegar without any dilution if there is a strong urine odor because it’s the best way to tackle the stubborn smell. Otherwise, you’ll be okay with using a diluted vinegar mixture that’s 50% vinegar and 50% water.

Use a spray bottle to prevent over saturating your mattress with liquid, because you risk damaging the bed’s foam, and you want it to dry in a timely manner. Let the vinegar penetrate the fibers of your mattress, and leave it for 10-20 minutes to really ensure you remove that nasty urine smell. After you’ve let it sit, soak up the vinegar with your paper towels or cloth (not the ones you originally used to clean up the extra pee, ew).

Step 4: Sprinkle Baking Soda Over The Area

remove urine mattress step 4

This will help to soak up any lingering odors and should get rid of the vinegar smell as well. We recommend leaving the baking soda for a full workday, like 8 hours or more. You can even leave it overnight if you want to be extra careful. Don’t worry about not being able to sleep on it, though — you can just throw a pair of clean sheets over the mattress and get back to cleaning in the morning.

Step 5: Vacuum Up The Baking Soda

remove urine mattress step 5

After eight hours or so (even longer if you can), vacuum up all the baking soda from your mattress. Use the attachment piece that should have come with your vacuum to make the process a bit easier, or you can even use a handheld mini vacuum. Make sure to go over the surface multiple times — this isn’t a one-and-done type deal. If you rush through this step you may not get all the baking soda out of your mattress. And voila! The urine accident should be all but forgotten (until the next time).

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Here is a full-size version of the infographic for how to get urine out of a mattress.

How To Get Dry Pee Out Of A Mattress 

Step 1. When it comes to urine that’s already dried on a mattress, you’ll have to use hydrogen peroxide to clean it up. If you want to dilute the solution a bit, you can use two parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide, but it is unnecessary. 

Step 2. Next, you’ll want to spray the affected area with hydrogen peroxide solution. Be thorough when you do this, so you don’t miss any spots.

Step 3. Then, using a paper or cloth towel, blot and dab the area you sprayed with the hydrogen peroxide. Again, be thorough in this process.

Step 4. Last is the easy part. Let the solution air dry on your mattress. As for how to get pee smell out of a mattress? Spray the area with a fragrance you like, and you’ll find both the odor and stain to be gone.

A second method you can use to get dry pee out of a mattress is to use borax. Unfortunately, it too is toxic, so you’ll need to take safety precautions when handling it.                            

Step 1. Before administering the borax, wet the stained area with a damp cloth to moisten the area first. You’ll want to be thorough with this step.

Step 2. Put on a pair of gloves and sprinkle borax over the area you dampened with your towel. Take a new, dry cloth and spread it over in the mattress. By doing this, you’ll turn the borax into a thin paste.

Step 3. Let the paste you’ve created on the mattress air dry. Do not use a dryer on it, as that will significantly increase the chances of you accidentally inhaling the borax.

Step 4. Once the borax has dried, use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the remaining residue on your mattress. If there’s still any remaining borax material left on the mattress, use a brush to clear the rest of it off.

How To Get Urine Out Of A Memory Foam Mattress?

Step 1: Remove sheets and bedding and set them aside to wash.

Step 2: Using gloves, blot the affected area on the mattress by using generous stacks of paper towels and firm pressure. Remove as much moisture as possible, swapping out the paper towels as soon as they become saturated. Don’t rub as this will make the stain worse.

Step 3: Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and lightly coat the urine-stained area. Let sit for one hour and then blot dry with the same technique used in Step Two.

Step 4: Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of half water and half color-safe laundry detergent. Repeat the same process as in Step Three.

Step 5: Cover the treated area with a generous layer of baking soda and let it sit for up to a full day. Vacuum it up when dry.

How To Get Urine Out Of A Futon Mattress?

Step 1: Blot as much moisture as you can out of the futon mattress, acting as quickly as possible.

Step 2: Fill a spray bottle with either white vinegar or rubbing alcohol to cover the affected area, then blot it dry. Repeat if necessary.

Step 3: Use a damp rag to remove any trace of the vinegar or rubbing alcohol.

Step 4: Cover the area with baking soda, letting it sit for several hours until dry. Use a vacuum to remove the baking soda once it has absorbed all of the moisture.

How To Get Dog And Cat Pee Out Of A Mattress

If one of your furry friends had something to do with the wet spot on your mattress, you’d want to know how to get dog pee out of mattresses, as the odor can be a little smellier than that of human urine. That’s because pet urine is more concentrated and contains significant amounts of alkaline and acidic substances. In this case, there are slightly different steps you should follow to make sure the pee, and its smell, are gone for good.

What You’ll Need To Clean Up Pet/Animal Urine:

  • Baking soda
  • 8 oz hydrogen peroxide
  • Vacuum
  • Liquid detergent (a few drops)
  • Optional: essential oils, lemon water
  • Optional: rubber gloves, a blow dryer or standing fan

Step 1: Throw Your Linens In The Wash

Like human urine, you’ll want to wash your blankets and sheets right away to prevent the urine from staining or ruining your linens.

Step 2: Sprinkle baking soda, Vacuum, Repeat

Unlike cleaning humane urine from a mattress, you should first spread baking soda over the urine spot when dealing with pee from your pet. Why? The goal is to absorb all of the urine out of the bed first. You should notice the baking soda begin to darken in color, and when that happens, vacuum up the baking soda. From here, you’ll want to repeat this process until the baking soda stays white in color.

Step 3: Spray Down The Spot

Combine a mixture containing 8 oz of hydrogen peroxide, three tbs of more baking soda, and a few drops of liquid detergent in a spray bottle. You can also add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil or lemon water to leave a more pleasant smell on your mattress.

Spray down the spot with your mixture, and coat your mattress with a generous layer without completely soaking it. Also, you should make sure it’s all even.

Step 4: Vacuum The Residue

Vacuum up the excess residue after the sprayed-down spot has completely dried, and your mattress should look (and smell) like it’s back to normal.

You can also follow these same steps if you’re trying to clean up urine that has already dried from when you were out of town or asleep during the night. It’ll work on both dried animal urine and dried human urine.

Future Prevention

If it was your child’s bedwetting or your loved one who left the urine, there are steps you can take to prevent another big clean-up in the future. You can purchase a protective covering that’s actually quiet, comfortable, and will keep your mattress fresh and clean. You can also get a sealed protector for things like pillows and duvets. As an added bonus, sealed coverings will protect you from dust mites and other unwelcome allergens.

You can also consider getting a waterproof mattress protector. Not only will they protect your mattress from your child’s or animal’s pee mishaps, but they’ll also extend the life of your mattress overall and protect your warranty. There are some popular protectors that won’t break the bank on Amazon.

If it was your animal that peed on your mattress, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. Dogs especially have a strong sense of smell and may instinctively return to that spot to claim their territory (a.k.a. continue peeing).

Make sure the odor is completely gone, and bring in some extra reinforcements with commercial dog repellents or a DIY remedy like cayenne pepper. Spray the repellent/ spread small bits of cayenne pepper to keep your dog from peeing on the spot again. Don’t worry, the cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt your pup/animal. It contains a certain molecule that slightly bothers their skin without hurting them. Kind of like an uncomfortable sweater your grandma knitted for you.

If the culprit was your too-drunk-to-function buddy, then the biggest advice we have for them is to take it easy and slow down.

Important Things To Remember

Whether you’re cleaning urine left by your cat or from your 4-year-old who had an accident, there are a few key things you should keep in mind.

Act Fast

The longer urine sits (especially your animal’s urine, which is much stronger than yours), the better chance it has to leave a nasty stain or lingering smell. That means, if you notice the urine right away, don’t put it off because you don’t feel like dealing with it. Get to cleaning right away.

If the stain happened while you were out of town and the stain sat a few days, you’ll just have to put in a bit of extra TLC and time when you’re cleaning your mattress.

Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

Your run-of-the-mill store brand carpet cleaner is not a good alternative to clean urine out of a mattress. Many cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to humans and animals, and you don’t want that inside the mattress you sleep on every night. The strong odor from these harsh chemicals like bleach or disinfectants can also be a little too overpowering for your pet.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s a beloved pet or your child bedwetting, finding yourself having to clean pee from mattresses can be a frustrating situation. Luckily, there are plenty of methods and approaches you can take to get both the stain and odor out of your mattress. Should you ever find yourself in that scenario, act quickly and try to avoid using harsh chemicals for the sake of your health as well as for the sake of preserving your mattress. Luckily, most of the time, the only supplies you’ll need on hand are common household items like baking soda, detergent, a vacuum, and vinegar.

What is the danger of urine in a mattress?Leaving traces of urine in a mattress can cause many problems. For one, animals that have urinated on a mattress may repeat the behavior if the smell remains. Long-term exposure to the chemicals found in urine, especially pet urine, can also be harmful to health.
How to get urine smell out of bedding?To clean urine from mattress pads, sheets, and comforters, you should put the bedding in the washing machine and run it on a cold cycle as quickly as possible. Use vinegar instead of laundry detergent to help get the urine out of the fabric.
What’s the difference between cleaning fresh urine and dry urine from a mattress?Fresh urine is much easier to clean from a mattress than dry urine. In fact, you may find that attempting to remove urine stains once they have dried is nearly impossible most of the time.