This research is supported by you, our readers, through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn More
Supporting the clean look of your mattress helps prevent dust mites, mould, or germs from building up in your bed.
And of course, you want to remove stains in case of accidents happen as fast as possible to prevent liquids or bodily fluids from entering the deep layers of the bed.
Depending on these two situations, the things that you can do include vacuuming, spot cleaning with detergent or vinegar solution, and deodorizing with baking soda or baby powder.
Want to know more?
Feel free to scroll down to our detailed guide on how to remove stains from a mattress right below!
Step 1: Vacuuming
Vacuuming is the most basic cleaning method, and you can do this regularly just to prevent the dust from building up inside the mattress. It’s advisable to vacuum your mattress every three to six months or on a monthly basis if you let your pets sleep in your bed. Also, it’s preferable to use a HEPA-rated vacuum, as it appears to be the most powerful (1).
However, you can also use vacuuming to clean mattress stains caused by dry substances, such as dust, powder, or dry dirt.
We recommend choosing the small brush as it creates more powerful suction, or use the upholstery attachment that won’t damage the mattress cover.
Step 2: Spot Cleaning
Okay, dealing with dry dirt it’s pretty easy but how to remove stains from a mattress if they’re caused by something liquid?
Well, not much harder, actually. But you need to act fast to prevent the liquid from getting inside your mattress layers.
So, the most popular method of removing the stains from a mattress is spot cleaning the stained area. Depending on the nature of the stain, you can do this with the vinegar solution, the soap & peroxide solution, or the soda paste.
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
To make the vinegar solution, simply mix the white vinegar with the lukewarm water at 1:1 ratio and fill in the spray bottle. This solution works for cleaning fresh stains and non-oily stains, such as juice.
Here are the steps you need to take:
- strip off all the bedding and toss it in the washer;
- generously spray the stained area and some space around it;
- take the paper or fabric towel and blot the stain trying to soak in as much liquid as possible;
- repeat the spraying and blotting if needed;
- leave the area to dry completely.
Soap & Peroxide Solution
This solution allows for deeper cleaning and can deal with oily stains, such as puke or bodily fluids. To make it, mix the following:
- one cup of peroxide;
- 3 tbsp. of baking soda;
- few drops of dish soap, shower gel, or another mild cleaning detergent (2).
Stir well until the baking soda dissolves and pour into a spray bottle.
The cleaning technique is pretty much the same as with the vinegar solution: spray the stained area with a few centimetres around it, wait for a little and then blot it with the towel.
Peroxide breaks down and releases active oxygen that removes the dirt, SUDs in the soap break down the oils, and soda whitens and deodorizes the area. After you’ve done cleaning, let the area dry out.
Baking Soda Paste
If you haven’t got the peroxide at home, you can clean the stained area with the baking soda paste. All you need is the baking soda and water (plus a few drops of the dish soap if you want).
Mix the baking soda with the water and soap into a paste, apply to the stained area and let dry. While drying, the paste will soak up the staining agent, deodorize, and whiten the area. Then, just vacuum the mattress as usual and repeat the process if needed.
Step 3: Deodorizing
The next step after you get stains out of a mattress is to deal with residual odours. Here’s how to do it:
- Sprinkle your mattress with baking soda. Apply a generous amount of baking soda all over your mattress and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then, vacuum the mattress thoroughly.
- Apply the baby powder on your mattress. Same technique as with the baking soda: apply a thick layer, let it sit, and then vacuum. The Baby powder is made of talc, which is known to absorb odours, so it can easily make your bed smell fresh. Plus, you can dab a bit of powder onto your stained sheets to absorb the oils before throwing them in the washer (3).
Finally, if you can expose your mattress to the sunlight, you should absolutely do it. Sunlight is the natural killer of the dust mites and bacteria, and when paired with the fresh outdoor air, it can remove all the nasty odours pretty quickly.
Bonus: Tips for Removing Different Types of Stains
And the final part of this guide on removing stains from a mattress will be dedicated to certain types of stains, with which you might need an extra effort to remove them successfully.
Disclaimer: when you deal with these stains, it’s advisable to wear gloves.
If your kid had a bedwetting accident, don’t worry: if you act quickly, you can get rid of the stains and odour pretty easily.
The aforementioned combo of the peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap works pretty well, so make the mixture, spray the stained area and blot the liquid with a towel. If the stain persists, repeat the process. Then, let dry and deodorize the mattress to remove the residual odour.
You have higher chances to remove a blood stain while it isn’t completely dry, and there are two methods on how to do that:
- Peroxide. Basically, all you need to do is to pour peroxide on the stained area. Peroxide will break down the blood and make a foam that you need to remove with the paper towel. Peroxide works equally good for the fresh and dried blood stains and deals with the odour pretty well.
- Cold salted water. Mix a cup of cold water with 2 tablespoons of salt until it dissolves, and pour into a spray bottle. You can add some ice cubes or crushed ice to keep the water really cold. Spray on the stained area and blot it with the towel trying to soak in as much liquid as possible. This method works best for fresh stains.
First, you have to strip off the soiled bedding and throw it into the washing machine. Then scrape off the solid particles that may have gotten on the mattress surface. You can use a dustpan, paper plate, or just do it with your hand in gloves.
- Mix the vinegar solution. Take white vinegar and water at 1:1 ratio and generously sprinkle on the stained area.
- Blot the liquid with the rug. Use an old towel or a T-shirt that you can then dispose of. Also, choose fabrics that can soak in large amounts of liquid.
- Repeat the sprinkling and blotting until the stains disappear.
- Sprinkle the thick layer of baking soda above the stained area to soak the odour.
- Let the mattress completely dry.
Or, you can use the enzymatic cleanser. The enzymes can break protein and fats components in the stains and eliminate the odour. Popular choices among Australians are Enzyme Wizard, Di-San, and SARD Wonder Powder. Just apply your cleanser of choice on the stained area according to instructions.
Of course, a deeply pigmented Merlot might seem impossible to get off your mattress, but you can still succeed as long as you act quickly:
- Soak the wine from the mattress. You can use dry substances — salt (best option), baking soda, baby powder, and even your cat litter (silica crystals or pressed cellulose would do). Sprinkle your substance of choice above the area and let it soak in as much liquid as possible.
- Deal with the stain. Now, you need something that can break the wine pigment. This can be, for example, white vinegar and baking soda mixture, peroxide, milk, or the oxygen cleaner.
- Allow the mattress to dry. Don’t use the hairdryer, as heated air can work as a developing agent for some chemicals in the wine and make your stain permanent.
Coffee or Tea
The main pigmenting agents in coffee and tea are the tannins. They’re used in a lot of writing inks, and they are also present in — surprise! — red wine!
So, if your breakfast in bed has gone wrong, you can use the same methods as with the wine stains:
- applying a thick layer of salt on the stained area and let it do the job;
- using the vinegar and baking soda mixture: sprinkle the baking soda onto the stained area and then spray it with the white vinegar;
- using the peroxide, baking soda, and the dish soap mixture;
- using the oxy cleaner.
Also read: Best Cheap Mattresses in Australia
SummaryOf course, stains and spills on your mattress are an unpleasant experience, and you need to act fast to remove them, otherwise, the liquid will get into the deep layers of your bed and make the mould grow. The good thing is, now you know how to deal with the most common and difficult stains on your bed easily. However, remember that preventing stains from happening is the best method, so be sure to encase your mattress in a protector since day one. Have you dealt with any of the stains mentioned in this article? Share your experience below!
- Karen B. Gibbs. (2019, March 14). How to Clean a Mattress and How Often to Do it? Retrieved from https://www.today.com/series/how-often-should-you/how-clean-mattress-t17111
- Michelle Ullman (2020, April 20). How to Clean Your Mattress Naturally? Retrieved from https://www.thespruce.com/clean-your-mattress-the-natural-way-350742
- Nicole Sampedro (2014, July 21). 12 Problems That Can Be Solved With Baby Powder. Retrieved from https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a20519/new-uses-baby-powder/
Hours of Research
Sleep Experts Consulted