Dealing with an accident? Here’s how to get the smell of urine out of your mattress and bedding.
How to clean urine from your mattress and bedding
When it comes to cleaning urine off of your mattress, a good rule of thumb is to act as quickly as you can to neutralize the stain whenever possible. If the accident is allowed to set, it may penetrate deeper into the mattress and make it harder to remove.
Cleaning products for removing urine from a mattress
Some effective cleaning products that can help neutralize urine include:
Distilled white vinegar
Ironic though it may sound, vinegar is one of the most effective homemade solutions for tough urine stains and odors. Ammonia, one of the components in urine that gives it its distinct odor, is a basic solution (high pH), while vinegar is acidic. So applying vinegar can ultimately neutralize the ammonia and help remove both stains and odor!
Baking soda is incredibly useful for absorbing any odors you may have in your home from fridge smells to litter boxes, and urine smells are no exception!
Enzyme-based cleaning products
Enzymatic cleansers contain enzymes, which are types of proteins that cause chemical reactions. Those reactions can then attack the compounds that cause stains and odors. You can find enzyme-cleaning products that specifically attack urine odors, like those used for pet accidents.
Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful bleaching product that is generally safe to use for most laundry, and it works really well for fighting off especially stubborn stains on your mattress and bedding.
Steps for cleaning and deodorizing your bed after an accident
Throw all bedding into the wash.
As soon as you catch the accident, strip your sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, and any other bedding you may have and throw it in the wash with a strong laundry detergent. Wash at the warmest temperature that your bedding can stand to help break down the urine and odors. Then, make sure that the odors and stains are gone before putting your laundry through the drying cycle, since the heat from your dryer may cause the stains to set in if not addressed during washing.
Blot as much of the liquid as you can.
Meanwhile, use paper towels or a microfiber towel to blot as much of the liquid off of your mattress as you can. Make sure not to rub it in, as that may make the problem worse.
Use a cleaning solution.
You’ll need to apply a solution to neutralize both the smell and the stains. Luckily, the urine smell can often be neutralized with ingredients that you already have at home. Simply mix distilled vinegar and water and spray the mixture on the stain, then use a brush or a towel to scrub the area. Alternatively, you can also use an enzymatic cleaner (like those meant for pet accidents) or a laundry detergent mixed with water. After thoroughly scrubbing the area, blot dry.
Use baking soda for the odor.
Baking soda is one of the best ways to neutralize odors in your house, and this is especially true for acidic smells like urine since it can neutralize their pH. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the stained area, then allow it to absorb any remaining liquid and odor (this may take a couple of hours depending on the severity of the accident), then vacuum. You may need to repeat the process if necessary until the odor is completely absorbed.
For more difficult odors and stains
Sometimes, the urine odor may be more difficult to get out of your mattress, especially if the accident was not caught right away and was allowed to set. If this is the case and the accident has already been given time to seep deeper into your mattress or set into the bedding, you may need to take some extra steps to fully clean the area.
Soak your urine-stained bedding in a mixture of warm water and baking soda prior to running them through your washing machine to allow them to neutralize the odors. If the urine has already stained the fabric, you can also try using a mixture of white distilled vinegar and warm water to break down the stain some more. Then, run your laundry through your washing machine at the highest heat it can stand (make sure to check the washing instructions on the laundry tag).
If the accident has already set into your mattress, you can still remove it -- but you may need some heavier-duty products. Some options:
- Scrub the stain with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and laundry detergent to attack both the stain and the odor. Allow the mixture to penetrate the stain, then blot dry.
- Apply an enzymatic cleaner to the spot, which actively works to neutralize the ammonia odors through chemical reactions
- For a real deep clean, use a steam cleaneron the stain and any surrounding areas, then allow it to dry thoroughly before re-dressing the bed.
Dealing with pet urine
If you’re dealing with a pet accident, the odors may be stronger and more concentrated than human urine. If this is the case, you may need specialty products to fully eliminate those odors. Look for enzymatic cleaners that are specifically meant to target pet odors, and act quickly to neutralize the odor to prevent your pet from marking the same spot again.
Preventing stains and odors in the future
While accidents can happen, you can at least prevent them from affecting your hard-to-clean mattress by investing in protective bedding. Wrapping your mattress in a waterproof mattress protector can prevent any spills or accidents from seeping in. You might also consider using a waterproof mattress pad on top both for extra comfort and to add another removable layer that can be thrown into the washing machine if necessary.
Getting the pee smell out of your mattress can seem like an enormous undertaking, but the good news is that the job can often be done effectively with just a handful of cleaning products that you already have in your home! For the best results, act as quickly as you can to neutralize those odors and clean the mess so that you can go back to a squeaky-clean bed.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto: https://www.pexels.com/photo/dog-on-bed-together-with-a-kid-4545609/