How to Clean a Mattress Soaked with Urine

Home and Garden

Having a mattress soaked with urine can be an unpleasant and challenging situation. Whether it’s due to a bedwetting accident, a pet marking its territory, or any other unfortunate incident, it’s essential to clean and sanitize the mattress properly to eliminate stains, odors, and potential health risks. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of effectively cleaning a mattress that has been soaked with urine.

Gather the Necessary Supplies

Before you begin the cleaning process, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary supplies. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Old towels or paper towels
  • Enzyme-based cleaner or vinegar solution
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment
  • Waterproof mattress protector (optional)


Before you dive into the actual cleaning process, it’s important to take some preparatory steps to ensure a more effective and successful outcome:

1. Act Quickly

The sooner you address the urine-soaked mattress, the better. Acting quickly helps prevent the urine from seeping deeper into the mattress and causing more significant damage.

2. Remove Bedding

Start by removing all bedding, including sheets, blankets, and mattress covers. Set these aside to be washed separately.

3. Blot Excess Urine

Using old towels or paper towels, gently blot the mattress to absorb any excess urine. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as it can spread the urine further and push it deeper into the mattress.

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Cleaning Process

1. Apply an Enzyme-based Cleaner or Vinegar Solution

An enzyme-based cleaner or vinegar solution is highly effective in breaking down the urine molecules and eliminating stains and odors. Follow the instructions on the product label for the appropriate amount to use.

Enzyme-based Cleaner:

Apply the enzyme-based cleaner directly to the urine-affected areas of the mattress. Ensure you cover the entire affected area thoroughly. Allow the cleaner to sit for the recommended time, typically around 10-15 minutes, to allow it to break down the urine compounds.

Vinegar Solution:

If you don’t have an enzyme-based cleaner, you can create a vinegar solution by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and generously spray it onto the urine stains. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before moving on to the next step.

2. Blot the Stains

Using clean towels or paper towels, blot the treated urine stains to absorb the cleaner or vinegar solution along with the dissolved urine compounds. Repeat this process several times until the towels come away relatively dry, indicating that most of the moisture has been absorbed.

3. Neutralize Odors with Baking Soda

Baking soda is an excellent natural deodorizer that can help neutralize any remaining urine odor. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the entire affected area, ensuring you cover all the stains. Let it sit for several hours, or ideally overnight, to allow it to absorb and neutralize any lingering odors.

4. Vacuum the Baking Soda

Using a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment, thoroughly vacuum the mattress to remove the baking soda along with any remaining particles and odor molecules. Be sure to go over the entire mattress, paying extra attention to the treated areas.

Preventative Measures

Once you have successfully cleaned the urine-soaked mattress, it’s wise to take some preventative measures to minimize the chances of future accidents:

1. Use a Waterproof Mattress Protector

A waterproof mattress protector acts as a barrier between your mattress and any potential spills or accidents. It helps protect your mattress from absorbing liquids and prevents stains and odors from seeping in.

2. Establish Bathroom Routines

If bedwetting is a recurring issue, establishing bathroom routines can help minimize accidents. Encourage regular bathroom visits before bedtime and limit fluid intake a few hours before sleep.

3. Train Pets Properly

If the urine-soaked mattress is a result of pet accidents, proper training and supervision are essential. Consistently reinforce appropriate bathroom habits and consider crate training or confining pets to specific areas of the house when unsupervised.

FAQs about Cleaning a Mattress Soaked with Urine

1. Can I use bleach to clean a urine-soaked mattress?

No, it is not recommended to use bleach on a urine-soaked mattress. Bleach can damage the mattress fabric and create harmful fumes. Stick to enzyme-based cleaners or vinegar solutions for effective and safe cleaning.

2. Can I machine wash a mattress protector?

Most mattress protectors are machine washable. However, it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s instructions before washing. Some protectors may require specific care or gentle cycles.

3. How often should I clean my mattress?

It’s recommended to clean your mattress at least twice a year. Regular cleaning helps maintain hygiene, prolongs mattress lifespan, and prevents the buildup of allergens.

4. Can I use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process?

Using a hairdryer on a urine-soaked mattress is not recommended. It can cause the urine to set further into the mattress and potentially damage the fabric. Allow the mattress to air-dry naturally or use fans to expedite the process.

5. Should I flip or rotate the mattress after cleaning?

Flipping or rotating the mattress can help distribute wear and tear evenly. However, it’s not necessary to do it immediately after cleaning. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for mattress maintenance.

6. Can I use essential oils to mask urine odors?

While essential oils may have a pleasant scent, they should not be used to mask urine odors on a mattress. The best approach is to eliminate the source of the odor through proper cleaning and deodorizing techniques.

7. How long does it take for a mattress to dry completely?

The drying time for a mattress can vary depending on various factors such as humidity, ventilation, and mattress thickness. On average, it can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for a mattress to dry completely.

8. Can I use a steam cleaner on a urine-soaked mattress?

Using a steam cleaner on a urine-soaked mattress is generally not recommended. The excessive moisture and heat from the steam can potentially damage the mattress and promote the growth of mold and mildew.

9. What should I do if the urine smell persists after cleaning?

If the urine smell persists after cleaning, you may need to repeat the cleaning process or consider using a specialized odor-neutralizing product. Persistent urine odors may indicate that the urine has penetrated deeper into the mattress layers.

10. Is it necessary to hire professional mattress cleaners?

In most cases, you can effectively clean a urine-soaked mattress on your own using the steps outlined in this article. However, if the urine stain is particularly stubborn or covers a large area, you may consider hiring professional mattress cleaners for more specialized treatment.


Cleaning a mattress soaked with urine requires prompt action and thorough cleaning techniques. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively remove stains, eliminate odors, and restore the cleanliness and freshness of your mattress. Remember to act quickly, use suitable cleaning solutions, and take preventative measures to minimize future incidents. With proper care and maintenance, your mattress can continue to provide a comfortable and hygienic sleeping environment for years to come.

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