Comfier Sleep by Alex Irving 5 minutes

Don’t stress about the spills | Here’s how to clean a mattress

How to clean a mattress

We’ve all been there. You wake up and you’ve bled through onto your sheets. Or you’re covered in the wee that’s escaped your toddler’s pull up. You pull back the bedding to discover it has seeped into your mattress. Oh the horror. 

Believe it or not though, this is okay. Most stains, even the old ones, can be removed with products found in the kitchen cupboard.

It’s time to pull on your rubber gloves, grab your cleaning supplies and take action. Here’s how to clean a mattress.

How to get stains out of a mattress

When spills, dribbles or leaks happen, the most important thing is to blot the stains with a clean cloth as quickly as you can. Rubbing them will only push them further into the mattress which just makes your job all the harder (and who needs that at 6am right?!).

Most mattress stains will need this solution at a bare minimum, delivered in specific ways depending on the situation.

Magic (we wish) Mattress Cleaning Solution

🧽 1 part white vinegar

🧽 + 2 parts water 

🧽 + a squeeze of mild dishwashing liquid

Pop it in a spray bottle and you’re good to go.

So, with that sorted, let’s talk through the specific mattress stains because different fluids require different treatment (who knew?!).

How to clean wee out of a mattress

Many parents and pet owners deal with wee in the bed on a regular basis. Here’s what to do when you’re dealing with a loo-related mishap.

🧽 Blot up as much of the wee as you can using a clean towel or cloth.

🧽 Spray on the vinegar solution and let it sit for 15 minutes. Blot again.

🧽 Sprinkle bicarb soda (aka baking soda) generously over the area and let it sit for 8 hours. When the time is up, vacuum away the residue.

🧽 Stand back and admire your clean mattress!

How to remove sweat stains from a bed

Sweat stains really know how to leave a mark and, by golly, after the fever-rich viruses we’ve all had in the past few years, we’re making an educated guess that lots of the mattresses out there have them. If you’re ready for a fix, here’s what to do with your blotchy mattress art.

🧽 For light stains, spray on the vinegar solution. The mark should be gone once dry.

🧽 For tougher stains, spray on 3% hydrogen peroxide as an after treatment (you’d never guess it, but you can pick this up from your everyday supermarket – it’s in the medical section, near the Calamine Lotion). Let it air dry.

🧽 For really pesky spots, mix together one cup of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of bicarb and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Rub it in gently. Once dry, vacuum away the excess.

🧽 Stand back, admire your handy work and be glad you can now shove that fever dream to the deepest reaches of your memory.

Two hands on a stained mattress with the person wondering how to clean the mattress
Sweat and urine stains don’t look great, but they’re easy to clean from your mattress so you can bring it back to life again.

How to clean old urine stains on a mattress

Old urine stains might be old news, but it’s never too late to give your beloved bed a new life. Here’s what to do to get your mattress back to being an old beaut.

🧽 Spray on the vinegar solution until the area is damp (but not sopping wet). Blot with a clean towel or cloth. Cover the stain with cling wrap – that means wrapping your bed like a sandwich – and leave for a day or two.

🧽 Remove the cling wrap and allow it to air dry. You can clean up any residue by blotting with a wet towel.  

🧽 For stubborn stains, spray with 3% hydrogen peroxide, blot with a damp cloth and sprinkle with bicarb. Once dry, vacuum away the excess.

🧽 Congratulate yourself on revitalising your mattress!

How to get blood out of mattress

When you’re on your period or accidentally used the garden fork with your thongs on again (read: definitely NOT recommended), you never quite know what you’ll get in the mornings when you pull back the sheets. Blood of any kind can look quite drastic, so here’s what to do with those dark red spills.

🧽 Grab some cool water (not hot – that will just set the stain into the fabric) and a clean cloth, then dab the blood with the wet cloth.

🧽 Make a paste with bicarb and cold water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes before dabbing it with a new clean, damp cloth.

🧽 For tougher spots, spray on 3% hydrogen peroxide as an after treatment and let that sit for 10 minutes. Dab away the residue with (yet another!) damp cloth.

Other tips

🧽 Don’t let your mattress sit damp. Try to dry stain treatments as quickly as possible. Otherwise you may end up with a musty and mouldy mattress.

🧽 For a quick clean, cover your mattress in baking soda and let it sit for 4 hours. After vacuuming away the residue, it’ll go back to feeling fresh.

🧽 If the weather is humid, remove your bedding, crank up the fan or heater and give your mattress an airing. 

🧽 After removing any stain, make sure the spot dries completely before remaking the bed. Turn on the heater, drag the bed into the sun or turn on the fan to help.

Female using a vacuum to get stains out of a mattress.
Thankfully you don’t need a professional cleaner to get stains out of your mattress. You just need a little elbow grease.

Protect your mattress

While some stains are easier to remove than others, the best thing you can do for your mattress is ensure it doesn’t get stained in the first place.

Use a good quality mattress protector, and wash your sheets regularly. Twice a year, show your mattress some love by deodorising it with bicarb soda and giving it a good vacuum. 

If you take care of your mattress, you’ll get a lot of life out of it. But if you really wanna bed down with it for the long haul, here’s what you’ll need to do to make a mattress last.

What next?

Okay, so you’ve stripped your bed, cleaned your heart out and your mattress is now bone dry. But… the stain still won’t budge. In that case, it might just be time to get a new mattress.

Not that we’re biased or anything, but may we suggest a Koala mattress? Here’s what you need to know about buying a mattress online and then, importantly, how to get rid of your old mattress (so it doesn’t just end up in landfill). 

 After all this cleaning, you definitely deserve a rest. Grab yourself a cuppa, find a cosy nook and browse our range of Koala mattresses (and don’t forget the mattress protector!) to snag your next keeper.

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