2 Effective Ways To Clean Urine Out of a Foam Mattress

Accidents happen, and a urine-stained mattress can smell terrible and leave an unsightly stain. Fortunately, there are simple methods that you can use to clean a urine-stained foam mattress and have it looking and smelling fresh again. 

You can effectively clean urine out of a foam mattress using distilled white vinegar and baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing liquid. Commercial cleaners may also do the trick, but they may contain harsh ingredients that aren’t child or pet friendly.

This article will break down the processes of cleaning urine out of a foam mattress using white vinegar and baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing liquid. I will also share some tips to help you protect your foam mattress from future urine stains.

Method 1 to Clean Urine Out of a Foam Mattress: Vinegar and Baking Soda

Distilled white vinegar is an effective organic and environmentally-friendly cleaning agent. It works on urine stains by breaking down the uric acid, which facilitates cleaning.

When using this cleaning method, using distilled white vinegar (and not spirit vinegar) is best. Consider buying Member’s Mark Distilled White Vinegar from Amazon. This product has only  5% acidity, making it gentle on fabrics and suitable for other home uses such as cooking. 

The other materials you need when using this method are:

  • Paper towels (the more absorbent, the better)
  • Disposable gloves (PVC gloves are fine too)
  • Clean spray bottle
  • Vacuum cleaner

Pour the vinegar straight into the spray bottle without diluting it. Diluting the vinegar will make it less effective at breaking down urine stains. 

Before cleaning, wear gloves to protect your skin from the bacteria in the urine and the acidic vinegar.

Follow these steps to clean your mattress effectively:

1. Remove All Bedding 

First, remove any bedding on the soaked mattress and throw them in the washing machine on a hot cycle (good thing you’re wearing those gloves, right?). Before putting them in the washing machine, it would be a good idea to spray any urine stains with a water and vinegar mixture (ratio 2:1).

Resist the temptation to leave anything on the mattress because even if there are no visible urine stains, they may still be contaminated. 

2. Blot Out Excess Liquid From the Mattress

Use the paper towels to soak up excess moisture from the soaked mattress. To do this, gently dab the paper towels on the mattress, being careful not to rub the mattress. 

Rubbing too aggressively will drive the urine further into the foam mattress, making it much harder to remove.

3. Spray Vinegar Onto the Stained Areas

Spray a generous amount of vinegar onto the affected areas to break down the urine, and to make it easier to clean. Foam doesn’t take too well to liquids, so avoid saturating the mattress with vinegar. You may also want to spray the area around the soiled areas to be safe. 

Blot out excess vinegar from the surface of the mattress to prevent saturation, then leave it to sit for about 30 minutes. 

4. Apply a Generous Layer of Baking Soda to the Mattress

Spread a generous amount of baking soda onto the wet areas so that it can soak up all that liquid in the mattress. Baking soda will also eliminate the pungent odors that would otherwise make the mattress impossible to use.

Leave the baking soda for up to 8 hours to allow it enough time to soak up all the liquid.

5. Vacuum The Mattress, Then Air Dry

Now you can clean up the baking soda using a vacuum cleaner (using the hose attachment is the most convenient way). 

If it is summer or you live in a dry and sunny area, take the mattress outside to air dry in the sun for as long as possible. Alternatively, you could place it in a well-ventilated room to dry.

If the odor or stains are persistent, repeat the above steps. Otherwise, you can use the method below.

Method 2: Hydrogen Peroxide and Dishwashing Liquid to Clean Urine Out of a Foam Mattress

Using hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing liquid is another excellent method of removing urine from a mattress. 

Hydrogen peroxide is an anti-bacterial, oxidizing cleaner. It is more potent than distilled vinegar and ideal for urine stains that have already dried out.

Here’s what you need for this method:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide (at least 3% concentration)
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Baking soda
  • Disposable gloves
  • Bath towel
  • Paper towels
  • Clean spray bottle
  • Vacuum cleaner

Hydrogen peroxide is a skin irritant, so you must wear gloves when handling it.

To make the cleaning solution, mix 8 ounces (237 milliliters) of hydrogen peroxide with 3 to 4 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and three tablespoons of baking soda in the spray bottle. Swirl to combine, then follow these steps:

1. Remove and Wash All Bedding

As in the first procedure, begin by removing all the bedding and cleaning them in the washing machine on a hot cycle. 

For more effective cleaning, consider spraying any soiled areas on the bedding with a 1-part vinegar and 2-part water solution before running them in a washing machine cycle.

Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, so using it on bedding will leave ugly bleach marks.

2. Blot Out Excess Liquid From the Mattress

Dry off any excess liquid from the mattress by gently dabbing paper towels on the soiled areas. Avoid rubbing at the urine stains, as this can push the stains further into the mattress.

You can skip this step if the urine stains have already dried.

3. Spray the Cleaning Solution Onto the Soiled Areas

Spray a generous amount of the cleaning solution onto the affected areas until they are well covered, but avoid saturating the mattress, as this can damage it. Allow it to soak for about an hour or until dry. 

You should see a layer of baking soda forming on the surface of the mattress as the mattress dries.

Use a damp towel to remove the baking soda from the mattress’s surface. 

4. Vacuum Up the Residue

With a vacuum cleaner (using the hose attachment), remove the baking soda residue from the mattress. Do a thorough job when vacuuming to eliminate any particles or residue which may still be present in the mattress fibers.

At this point, you should inspect the mattress for any remaining stains. If you find any, repeat the process until all the odors and stains are eliminated.

Protecting Your Foam Mattress From Urine Damage

There should be no shame if someone accidentally wets the bed. However, regular exposure to liquids and frequent cleaning will wear out your foam mattress much faster.

Therefore, it makes economic sense to use protective measures to make your mattress last longer.

These vital tips can help you to protect your mattress from urine stains:

  • Use a waterproof mattress cover. This cover will prevent urine, sweat, and other bodily fluids from damaging your mattress. I suggest going for a well-rated product such as Saferest Mattress Protector (available on Amazon.com), which is available in several sizes and has a noiseless and breathable surface.
  • Waterproof mattress pads. Not only will waterproof mattress pads enhance comfort, but they will also keep your mattress from absorbing any liquids. You can look into the Green Lifestyle Washable Underpads (available on Amazon.com), which are washing machine friendly, highly- absorbent, and suitable for twin, king, and queen-sized beds.
  • Clean the mattress as soon as possible after bedwetting. You are better off cleaning up urine as quickly as possible. Dried-out urine stains are harder to clean, and delaying cleaning can damage the mattress fibers in the long term.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning urine out of a foam mattress can be done using distilled white vinegar or a cleaning solution of hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing liquid, and baking soda. These two methods are ideal because they involve the use of eco-friendly ingredients.

Necessary safety precautions you must take when cleaning a urine-stained mattress include wearing suitable gloves and working in a well-ventilated room. Air drying the mattress after cleaning also helps to eliminate lingering odors.

Joe Carrow

Reno addict, keen gardener, and baker. I  started blogging in 2012 and have been hooked ever since!

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