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How To Remove Yellow Stains From A Mattress

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Your mattress will develop yellow spots gradually, and several reasons (age, body oil and sweat, vomit, urine, and many others) inform this. Some stains can be severe, awful-smelling, and even, in the worst cases, unhealthy for you. Learning how to remove yellow stains from a mattress is necessary.

In this article, I'll share insights on the common causes of yellow stains on a mattress, easy-to-follow step-by-step guides on how to remove yellow stains from a mattress –and how to prevent yellow stains from a mattress, and so much more.

Key Takeaways

  • You can remove yellow stains from a mattress using natural and chemical cleaner methods. The latter is ideal for older and set-in stains, while the former is excellent for fresher stains.
  • Since dealing with yellow stains on a mattress can be a challenge, especially with the older and set-in stains, I recommend preventive measures such as having a mattress protector, regularly washing pillowcases and sheets, avoiding drinking and eating on the mattress, and preventing your pet from sleeping on the mattress. Moreover, always clean vomit, urine (human and pet), body sweat and oils, and water stains immediately after you notice them on your mattress.

What Causes Yellow Stain On Mattress?

Learning what causes yellow stains on a mattress can help find effective ways to eliminate them.

Some of the common causes of yellow stains on a mattress include:

Oxidation

Decay characterizes old mattresses. Oxidation, caused by oxygen exposure to the mattress, is often the cause of the decay. With time, your aging mattress gets a yellowish tinge.

One thing I've realized with yellow stains emanating from oxidation is that they do not bring with them a smell and continue despite constant cleaning. I've also observed that, as a natural process, oxidation can happen to any mattress. From my experience it is widespread with memory foam mattresses.

I slow oxidation on my mattress by keeping it away from moisture and direct sunlight. UV rays accelerate oxidation, so I always position my bed appropriately and/or use blinds or curtains.

For those that prefer airing their mattress to eliminate dust mites, I recommend doing it in a shaded and warm area.

Another hack to slow oxidation which is the main culprit of yellow stains in a mattress is through regular rotation, which helps to distribute wear and pressure more evenly. I've noticed this will go miles to reduce one area being exposed to light and air compared to the rest.

Urine

Pet and even human urine cause smelly yellow stains on a mattress. 

Learning how to get pee out of a mattress immediately you have the pee in your mattress is very important. I usually clean fresh urine immediately after it gets to my mattress to prevent it from seeping deeper. I've realized that it's often a tall order to remove the odors and stains once dried.

If you don't clean your urine stains on time, they could lead to mites and molds, further damaging the mattress.

Body Oil and Sweat

Body oil and sweat are a natural body process. While they won't show on your mattress immediately, they will accumulate over time and form unpleasant stains. 

On top of that, I've noticed that the two create a favorable environment for bacteria growth, resulting in strange odors and staining regardless of whether it is a firm mattress, expensive or even cheap mattress.

Pro Tip: Removing smelly sweat can be challenging if you do not handle them with the urgency they deserve. I recommend washing and changing your bedding regularly to prevent them from forming.

Water Stains

Failure to clean spilled water in your mattress immediately will cause the formation of light yellow-beige stains. Although they aren't smelly, they'll eventually form mold and more yellow stains.

Vomit

You can vomit for an array of reasons (1). Like urine, vomit from pets and humans might result in smelly yellow stains if you don't clean them up quickly.

Pro Tip: Whenever I have vomit in my mattress, I clear it away as thoroughly as possible before I dab the area to get rid of excess moisture. After that, I disinfect the area with some rubbing alcohol, then use essential oil for the nasty odors.

How To Remove Yellow Stains From A Mattress – Step By Step Guide

I can categorize the two ways to remove yellow stains from a mattress as natural and chemical cleaner methods. The natural method is ideal for fresher yellow stains, while the latter is perfect for older, set-in yellow stains.

In this section, I'll provide a step-by-step guide to both methods.

Natural Method

Items Needed:

  1.   Salt
  2.   Baking soda
  3.   A bowl
  4.   Vacuum
  5.   Clean cloths
  6.   Lavender essential oil

Instructions

Step 1: Strip your mattress

Strip your mattress of all bedding.

Step 2: Vacuum

Vacuum anything loose from the mattress.

Step 3: Make a solution

Mix water, salt, and one cup of baking soda to paste. I like adding several drops of lavender essential oil for a sweet scent. You should use precise measurements of various ingredients to get your desired consistency.

Making the paste is optional. If you aren't into it, you can sprinkle the baking soda directly on the mattress and more generous on the stained area.

Step 4: Apply the paste

Pick your paste and apply it generously on the stain. Make sure you cover the entire stained area, including the edges if affected.

Step 5: Allow the paste to sit

Allow your paste to sit for roughly 30 minutes or until fully dry. Learning how to dry a mattress is one lesson that I recommend every mattress owner know.

Step 6: Wipe the stain and paste solution

Use a damp cloth to wipe the stain and remove the paste solution.

Step 7: Vacuum the mattress

Vacuum your entire mattress to remove the remaining baking soda.

Chemical Method

Items Needed:

  1. Dish soap
  2. Baking soda
  3. Clean cloth
  4. Large bucket or bowl
  5. Gloves
  6. Vacuum
  7. Empty spray bottle
  8. Hydrogen peroxide

Instructions



Step 1: Strip your mattress

Strip your mattress of all bedding and vacuum anything loose from the mattress.

Step 2: Make a solution

Mix some squash of dish soap and baking soda in a big bucket or bowl. Make sure you stir the solution vigorously until you see some bubbles.

Step 3: Apply the bubbles to the stain

Scoop the bubbles and apply them to the yellow stain directly.

Step 4: Rub the stain

With your damp cloth, rub the stain gently with the bubbles. Thoroughly cover the whole stained area.

Step 5: Wipe the bubble mixture

Use a damp cloth to wipe the bubble mixture.

Step 6: Spray hydrogen peroxide on the stained surface

Then, pick the hydrogen peroxide into the empty spray bottle and spray it on the stained surface.

Step 7: Rub the stain

Rub the stain in a circular motion using a damp cloth.

Step 8: Wipe any remaining solution

Use a dry cloth to wipe up the remaining liquid and hydrogen peroxide.

Step 9: Vacuum

Vacuum your bed base and entire mattress to eliminate any debris.

Repeat the process if necessary.

Vacuuming the mattress
Vacuuming the mattress

Other Methods

Some of the other methods I'd recommend for removing yellow stains on a mattress include:

Baking Soda, Water, And Vinegar

Step 1: Make a solution

Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle.

Step 2: Saturate the stains

Saturate every affected area of the mattress with this solution.

Step 3: Sprinkle baking soda and let it sit

Sprinkle the necessary amount of baking soda over the patch. Let the reaction sit for roughly fifteen minutes.

Baking soda on a mattress
Baking soda on a mattress

Step 4: Wipe any residue left

After fifteen or so minutes, you'll notice the yellow stains on a mattress start to fade. Wipe the residue using a damp cloth afterward.

Step 5: Dry your mattress

Allow the mattress to dry naturally.

Baking soda and vinegar are base and acid, respectively. In the presence of water, they react to neutralize each other in a process called neutralization. During the chemical reaction, they form bubbles and lift stains from your mattress.

Baking Soda, Water, And Salt

Step 1: Strip the mattress

Strip your mattress of all bedding to ready it for cleaning.

Step 2: Vacuum

Vacuum up any loose debris or hair.

Step 3: Make a solution

Mix water, salt, and soda inside a bowl. At this point, I advise you not to worry about the exact measurements. I would only be concerned about the paste's consistency as I add the ingredients.

Step 4: Apply to the stained areas

Apply the paste to every stained area. Use a clean cloth to dab the paste onto the stains. Allow the paste to sit on the shaded areas for around 30 minutes.

Step 5: Wipe the paste away

After thirty minutes, wipe the paste away using a clean and wet cloth.

Vinegar, Water, And Bleach

Step 1: Make a solution

Fill a measuring container with 16 ounces of water (I recommend using warm water). Add some household bleach until it reaches the level of the first line of the container. Thoroughly mix the solution.

Step 2: Dab a clean cloth on your mattress

Soak a clean cloth in the mixture and wring it. Dab it on your mattress to get rid of the stains. Make sure you rinse the cloth each time before you dip it inside the solution again.

Step 3: Blot your mattress once more

Once you notice the stain is no more, blot your mattress again with a damp and clean rag.

Step 4: Spritz your mattress

Spritz the mattress with vinegar and allow it to sit for some minutes. The vinegar will react with the odor molecules emitted by the yellow stains on a mattress cleaning them efficiently.

Warm Water, Dish Soap And Baking Soda

Step 1: Make a solution

Mix one teaspoon of dish soap and two tablespoons of baking soda inside a bowl. Mix the mixture well in some warm water.

Step 2: Dab a clean cloth

Dip a clean cloth inside the mixture's bowl and dab it on the yellow-stained area.

Step 3: Blot your mattress to remove yellow stains

Allow it to sit for around 30 minutes. Dab again with a clean cloth dipped in clean water. Blot the affected area with a dry piece of cloth. 

I've realized that the mixture of dish soap and baking soda works brilliantly to eliminate stains. While dish soap is handy at lifting stains, baking soda works perfectly to neutralize them.

How To Prevent Yellow Stains From A Mattress

By putting in place prevention measures, you can avoid having to deal with stubborn yellow stains on a mattress in the first place.

Here are my recommended strategies to apply:

  1. Always wash your pillowcases and sheets regularly.
  2. Avoid drinking and/or eating on your mattress.
  3. Avoid allowing your furry friends to sleep on your mattress.
  4. Always clean every type of accidental spill immediately.

My Experience in How to Remove Yellow Stains On A Mattress

Over the years, I've developed a little ritual to remove yellow stains from my Emma mattress. It involves my trusty sidekicks: a bottle of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and a spray nozzle.

With my bottle of hydrogen peroxide, I affix the spray nozzle. This simple addition allows me to evenly distribute the peroxide over the stained area without excessive dripping.

I gently shake the bottle to ensure the hydrogen peroxide is well-mixed. After that, I mist the stain. The spray does a great job of covering the yellow-stained area with the peroxide breaking down the stubborn molecules effectively.

Next comes the damp towel. I've learned that moderation is key here – not too wet, but not too dry. With the towel in hand, I work the peroxide into the stain using circular motions.

I've learned that giving the peroxide time to work its magic is essential. I give it several minutes to sit. Afterwards, I gently scrub the stain again, this time with a little more focus.

It's almost like I'm coaxing the last bits of the yellow discoloration to surrender.

I enjoy the transformation as I dab at the area with a clean, damp cloth to finally enjoy my yellow-stain-free mattress.

FAQ

Why Do Mattresses Turn Yellow?

Mattresses turn yellow in a mattress because of oxidation, urine, body oils and sweat, water stains, and vomit. It is prudent to clean all these thoroughly and immediately notice them on your mattress.

Can I Sleep On A Mattress With Yellow Stains?

No, you can't sleep on a mattress with yellow stains. It isn't safe! Although the formation of yellow stains might appear naturally over time, if your mattress has patchy stains or starts to smell strange, it might affect your health. Mold and dust mites thriving on bacteria and sweat in your mattress could trigger asthma attacks, lung inflammation, and allergic reactions (2).

Is It Possible To Prevent Yellow Stains On A Mattress?

Yes, it is possible to prevent yellow stains on a mattress, whether on a firm, soft, cheap, or expensive mattress. You can prevent yellow stains on your mattress by having a mattress protector, regularly washing pillowcases and sheets, avoiding drinking and eating on the mattress, and preventing your pet from sleeping. Another hack is to clean urine, body oils and sweat, water stains, and vomit immediately after they happen on the mattress.

Conclusion 

If you're grappling with your mattress's unhygienic and unsightly yellow stains, it's high time you learn how to get rid of them. Any strategies I have highlighted in this article will efficiently give you impressive results.

I hope you've enjoyed and found value in my comprehensive guide on how to remove yellow stains from a mattress. Do you have different strategies on how to eliminate stubborn and unsightly stains? Please let us know in the comments section.

References

  1. Causes of Vomiting and How to Treat in Adults, Babies, and When Pregnant (Oct 30, 2019) Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/vomiting-causes-treatment
  2. Respiratory and Allergic Health Effects of Dampness, Mold, and Dampness-Related Agents: A Review of the Epidemiologic Evidence (June 2011) Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3114807/

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