How To Get Urine Smell Out Of Mattress

How To Get Urine Smell Out Of Mattress

How do you get pee out of a mattress? 

It’s a question you wish you didn’t have to google. But you can’t really stop your child or pet from wetting the bed, can you? Fortunately, there are hacks you can try to get rid of urine as soon as it lands–or maybe the next morning.

Fresh or not, urine smell or stain should be removed from your mattress. It isn’t hygienic and makes for an unsightly sleeping space. You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for ways to deal with these issues asap.

Before you continue reading this guide, we just want you to know that these methods have been done by others. And with satisfying results! So pay attention to the materials/ingredients and instructions for a greater chance at success.

How to Clean A Urine-Soaked Mattress

Cleaning a urine-soaked mattress is the first step toward getting rid of the stinky smell that comes with the territory. You can do this in a snap by using things found in your house. The following method will work on fresh or next-morning stains.

Time to allot: 8 hours

What you need:

  • Paper towels
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Cornstarch
  • Vacuum
  • Dishwashing liquid


  • Hydrogen peroxide

What to do:

  1. Remove the covers as soon as you can. If the incident happened on your bed or your kid’s in the middle of the night, wait for the next morning to start cleaning. If the night is young, begin with Step 2. In any case, you may need to relocate any affected sleeper/s during the night.
  2. Dab paper towels on the spots soaked in pee.
  3. Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar and ¼ cup warm water to create a solution. Apply it on the urine-stained area and let sit for a few hours. Afterward, soak up the excess liquid with paper towels. You can also use hydrogen peroxide instead of vinegar.
  4. Next, mix cornstarch and water together. Stir until the mixture thickens. Then, leave the mixture on the part soaked in pee. Vacuum up the debris once the mixture is dry.
  5. Make another solution, this time using 1/4 cup white vinegar and ½ cup dishwashing liquid. Apply it on your target area, let it sit for a few hours, and then pat dry with paper towels. Then, sprinkle cornstarch on the spots.
  6. Vacuum up once the areas are dry.

How to Get Urine Smell Out of A Mattress

Okay, so you’ve cleaned up the pee. Or you’ve missed some spots or steps before. Or you are dealing with fresh stains. But one thing is true in any of these situations: the bed smells like a public urinal (or it’s getting there). 

In this case, you need to try a multi-strategy solution to make sure the odor goes away for good. For fresh stains, you can also do this instead of the method shared above.

Time to allot: At least 12 hours

What you need:

  • White vinegar 
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Tea tree oil
  • Borax
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Old towels
  • Sheets of newspaper
  • Books
  • Fresh towel
  • Kitchen chairs
  • Vacuum

What to do:

  1. Pour two-parts vinegar and one-part water into your spray bottle. Then drop two full caps (as in the bottle cover) of tea tree oil. Shake until the formula settles.
  2. For the powder, mix equal parts Borax and bicarbonate of soda.
  3. Remember to remove the sheets as soon as you can. Spray an ample dose of your solution onto the wet area of the mattress. Place at least two old towels above the spot, then layer with sheets of newspaper, and then pile up books on top. The weight of the books should be enough to cause the fibers of the towels to absorb as much moisture as they can.
  4. After a few hours, take the mattress out to dry in the sun. You will need additional materials to complete the next few steps.
  5. Lay the mattress on the ground of your patio or garden–anywhere that is flat and safe from animals or insects and away from dirt. Then, place the fresh towel on the mattress, covering the affected part. Step on the towel to squeeze out the remaining moisture. You can let the kids help in this step.
  6. Once there is no more moisture for the towel to absorb, bring out 4 kitchen chairs or similarly designed chairs. Let each corner of the mattress be supported by the chairs so that you have a mattress that is horizontal but not lying on the ground. This is to allow air to flow across all sides.
  7. It’s time to use your powder formula. Sprinkle it generously on the mattress. Leave for around a couple of hours or for as long as it takes for the mixture to dry.
  8. Once dry, vacuum up the remaining powder. Then, spray your first solution (vinegar-tea tree oil combo) and then sprinkle the powder onto the mattress. Let these sit for another 2 or more hours.
  9. When the second application of the spray and powder is dry, vacuum up the debris.
  10. Perform a thorough smell test. If your bed smells clean, you can proceed with Step 11. If you catch a whiff of wee, go back to Step 8 and Step 9.
  11. Now prop up the bed so that each of its 2 corners is on the seat of a chair and the other 2 corners are up in the air. Your mattress should be leaning on the back support of at least 2 chairs. Let it dry completely under the sun.

If it’s possible, bring it back inside when the sun has gone down. And if your child can sleep elsewhere, just prop the mattress up at a corner, spray and sprinkle just like in Step 8. Vacuum up in the morning and take it out again in the sun.

Now, what if it’s raining or cloudy outside? Don’t fret. There is something else you can do. For the alternative method, follow steps 5 through 9. But instead of air and sunlight, you will need different sources.

What you need:

  • Portable heater
  • Portable fan

Set up both heater and fan in front of the mattress, which should be propped up on your kitchen chairs as in Step 6. Sprinkle the powder, wait a few hours to dry, and then vacuum up. So follow the steps indicated earlier until there is no longer urine smell and the bed is fully dry.

When the sun is up again, take the mattress out for final drying and disinfection.

A Word on Mattress Cleaning

Mattress Cleaning

Mattresses are not created equal. There are several types of them to start with. You have innerspring, memory foam, latex foam, hybrid, and air mattresses, among others. In this case, you can assume that cleaning a hybrid can be different from cleaning a latex foam. The differences can be minimal or subtle, though. To err with caution, always read the manufacturer’s care instructions before doing something drastic.

Here are 5 basic things to remember about how to get urine smell out of a mattress based on its type:

1. Do not use harsh chemicals.

While this is applicable to any mattress type in general, it specifically benefits the hybrid. Covers and foam layers can be damaged by bleach and ammonia, or solutions that contain either. If you should use solutions, go for non-toxic, natural enzyme cleaners. This will preserve the materials in the bed, especially natural and organic ones.

2. Do not put latex foam mattresses under direct sunlight.

The open cell structure of latex may break down when placed under direct sunlight. It is recommended that you dry it indoors after cleaning. You can try the method presented above for rainy or cloudy days. Also, arrange your bed so that it isn’t standing right next to windows where sunlight streams in.

3. Clean it in an open, wide space.

For practical reasons, you should clean your mattress in a space where you can move it freely–rotate it, flip it, lay it flat, tilt it, etc. Cleaning it outside will enable you to work on every nook and cranny. Proper disinfection and drying will prevent the buildup of mold and mildew.

4. Clean it regularly.

Don’t wait until people or your pet has wet the bed before you clean it up. Schedule deep cleaning every 3 months. This should involve rotating or flipping the mattress if necessary. This practice lets you deal with current and potential issues on a regular basis. In turn, you can remove agents and causes of early deterioration.

5. Call the professionals.

When you don’t have the time, professional cleaners can help you remedy urine stains and odor quickly. They have the experience and tools to produce an excellent result. You should look for one that can be trusted, preferably with a reliable and proven track record. One downside to this option is that some professional cleaning services can charge high fees.

Read more about how to clean a mattress properly in this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the odor last forever?

Unfortunately, yes. If you do not clean the urine stain immediately and properly, the stinky odor will not go away on its own. This is why it’s important to do the steps as indicated. Be diligent about it, so you or your child won’t have to live with the smell indefinitely.

How to clean dog pee off the mattress?

The good news is that you can do any of the approaches above for pet urine. Cat parents, the next sentences will also be applicable to your question: how to clean cat urine from a mattress?

One thing to keep in mind is that you have to be more thorough than ever. The smell of pee can signal pets that it’s okay to take a leak in that spot. So if they catch a tiny whiff of urine on your mattress, they might return there to pee. Of course, good potty training goes hand-in-hand with diligent mattress cleaning in this case.

Good to know: Why does my dog pee on my bed?

Go ahead and try the methods shared here. But remove any trace of odor by applying an enzymatic cleaner onto the affected area.

When will my child outgrow wetting the bed?

Between 5 and 10 years old is a good estimate, according to some experts. A decade seems a test of your patience, but knowing and facing reality should help you craft a game plan. Also, you can decide when to buy your kid a new mattress and what type with this kind of information.

If you are wary about cleaning up the mattress over and over, try a waterproof mattress protector. This accessory will protect your child’s mattress from getting soaked in pee. It will be easier for you to wash it–together with sheets and covers–as well.  

Why do some adults pee the bed?

Peeing in your sleep may be a thing of the past. But sometimes, accidents happen in our adult life. Those who passed out after a night of drinking can accidentally wet the bed while snoozing. Yet, some causes are medical in nature. People with diabetes can produce more urine, which can lead to a peeing incident.

A hormonal imbalance where you lack the antidiuretic hormone or ADH can also cause miscommunication within your body. That is, your bladder isn’t signaled to slow down during bedtime. Bedwetting in adulthood can also be caused by sleep apnea, a urinary tract infection (UTI), an enlarged prostate, constipation, or stress.

Are urine stains and smell going to make my family sick?

The smell, for one, can affect indoor air quality. The sharp odor of pee can be irritating for your nose and lungs. It can lead to incessant coughing and asthma (or worsening of asthma symptoms). It can weaken a young child’s immune system. And for instance, dog urine contains ammonia, which can cause headaches. 

Stains that are left unattended aren’t the worst part of urine residue. It is actually the moisture that has seeped through the layers of your mattress. This can attract mold and mildew, which are nothing but bad news. If you missed a tiny bedwetting incident and noticed it only now, just do the best you can in removing the stain and smell right away.


There are few but different reasons why you went googling “how do you get pee out of a mattress?” The common ones are a child or a pet wet the bed. But these nighttime incidents can also occur in adults. When it is your first time to deal with this situation, the steps can feel overwhelming.

We cannot stress enough the importance of diligently cleaning and drying your mattress at this point. The steps are easy enough, but the procedures take time. However, they ensure that your bed is completely free of urine stains and smells. And this has health, mental, and physical benefits to all people–and even pets–involved.

So, fold up your sleeves and gear up for the task. There is no reason to delay pee removal for one more second.

More on mattress care and protection, as well as sleep education, can be found on