How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress that has Pee Stains, Sweat, and Odor
Let’s face it: Accidents happen, and many can occur in the middle of the night on your memory foam mattress. Whether you’re dealing with pee stains caused by a pet or child, or attempting to get rid of the sweat and lingering odor you left behind on a hot summer night, you’re still stuck with a dirty mattress and a predicament.
Traditional mattresses are designed differently from memory foam. This soft, form fitting material is known as polyurethane foam, which is more likely to absorb dead skin cells, dust mites, and of course, sweat and other bodily fluids.
You might be thinking that there’s no way to revive your memory foam mattress after an accident, but don’t worry. There’s no need to throw away this expensive piece of furniture.
There are plenty of simple and effective ways to clean your mattress and bring it back to its best state, as if you just picked it up from the mattress store. You could always use a mattress cleaner solution or take it to a professional who specializes in cleaning furniture and upholstery, but that could be a costly investment.
With these tips, you won’t have to worry about going over your budget and you’ll only need a few common household items to get the job done.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean a mattress, based on the issue you’re dealing with:
How to clean fresh moisture
If you’re working with fresh cat pee or dog pee after catching a pet wandering around your bed or one of your young or eldery family members had an accident in bed last night, you still have time to revive your mattress. The sooner you tackle the sweat or pee stains and get to work on cleaning your bedding arrangement, the better your chances of turning the mattress back to a place where you can achieve a comfortable, odorless slumber. Here’s a checklist to consider as you navigate a fresh moisture spot on your mattress in an effort to avoid a dried stain:
- Clean your bedding
One of the most important tips in regard to cleaning fresh moisture from your mattress is to remove all of the bedding that has been subject to the liquid. Place your top sheet, fitted sheet, blankets and perhaps even pillow cases right into the washing machine — or, if you’re dealing with bedding that’s more delicate, get them to the dry cleaners as quickly as possible. You may be concerned about your mattress accumulating a stain or odor, but leaving your bedding to dry could amount to an issue as well.
- Gather your supplies
Now that you’re ready to tackle the moisture in question, it’s time to create a solution that’s going to work against the sweat, beverage or pee stains. White vinegar, baking soda, water and a spray bottle are all the ingredients you need to create a solution to get your memory foam mattress back to top shape. You should also have a vacuum, as well as towels on standby to help with tidying up the space after performing the actual removal.
- Blot away the excess moisture
Before spraying the bed with the cleaning solution, grab a towel and blot away the excess moisture. This is an effective way to soak up as much of the liquid that you can before adding more moisture to the bed. It’s important to remember to blot, not rub, the mattress when performing this step of the cleaning process. Rubbing or scrubbing your mattress can actually make things far worse; pressing the liquid further into the memory foam mattress can cause more damage than you initially started with.
- Spray the stain with your homemade solution
Believe it or not, a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water can be a simple solution used to remove stains. Combine the two ingredients together and spray the area of your memory foam mattress that needs the attention. In some cases, this solution may not fully remove the stain, which is when you can consider a commercial cleaner instead. Cold water and hydrogen peroxide can also be an option in this case. You may find yourself testing out all of your options until you find the best one, so be prepared to experiment on a test area of the stain.
After spraying your solution, blot the area again to your best ability. You don’t have to blot until it dries completely, as the next step will minimize the manual labor needed to dry the spot.
- Cover the area with baking soda and let it sit
Once you’ve found the best possible stain removing liquid mixture, it’s time to let the baking soda go to work. Spread a thin layer of baking soda over the surface of the mattress to ensure you cover the entirety of the stain area. Baking soda will not only absorb the moisture, but will also neutralize any lingering smells left behind by the liquid, sweat or pee stains.
Once the area is covered, leave the baking soda to work its magic for a few hours. If you want to help speed up the process, place the mattress in the area of your room that gets sunlight exposure and open the window to let the breeze in.
- Remove the excess baking soda with a vacuum
After leaving the baking soda for hours, you can clean up the leftover debris with a vacuum. At this point, the surface may seem like it’s ready for a set of fresh sheets, but we recommend waiting a few additional hours to ensure your mattress is fully dry.
- Repeat the process if necessary
Even if you caught the pee stain early, it may be in your best interest to turn your mattress over and give the other side the same amount of attention. This ensures you’ve given your entire mattress a thorough cleanse if the liquid has soaked to the other side. For peace of mind, repeat steps 1 through 6 and let your mattress drive overnight for the best results.
How to clean old stains
Unfortunately, old, dried-on stains may be a bit more difficult to attack than fresh sweat or fresh pee stains because they cannot be blotted away without adding more liquid. But this doesn’t mean they’re impossible to remove — using the following tips as guidance to eliminate or reduce the boldness of stains on your mattress:
- Gather your supplies
For this task, you may need to turn to a solution that will pulverize an old stain. In this case, you can use a mild laundry detergent to get the job done. You’ll also need water, a spray bottle and a towel.
- Create your solution and spray it on the stain
To develop the best cleaning solution for dried pee stains, sweat spots or other damaging liquid that’s dried on your memory foam mattress over time, mix two parts water with one part laundry detergent. Shake the ingredients in a spray bottle until the two become one.
Spray the area in need of attention, and then use the towel to scrub the spot. Unlike a wet spot that needs to be blotted, a dried-on stain needs a more vigorous clean and scrubbing can help divide the particles.
At first sight, the stain may look diluted or fully removed. Regardless of its state after the first cleanse, we recommend repeating the entire process to ensure stain removal.
- Let the spot dry
Despite the look of the affected area after cleaning, you won’t get the full impact of the stain removal until you get your memory foam mattress back to it’s normal, dry state. To dry the area, you can repeat the baking soda trick to soak up the moisture. Remember, it’s in your best interest to let this solution sit for a couple hours to ensure it’s working.
If you’re out of baking soda or want to try a different method, place your mattress in direct sunlight or aim a fan at the wet area to get rid of the water.
- Repeat again if necessary
When all is said and done and your mattress finally dries out, you might find yourself staring right at the dreaded mattress stain, just more diluted this time around. If this is the case, don’t worry. You’re not doomed with a pee-stained mattress. Repeating the entire cleaning process can provide the extra attention a dried-on stain may need to be fully removed.
Remember: Your memory foam mattress is almost as absorbent as a kitchen sponge. Even though you’re utilizing liquids designed to clean your mattress, leaving them to dry on their own could lead to a soggy mattress that picks up a strange smell over time. Neglecting to dry the spot as quickly as possible could potentially defeat the effort put into cleaning your mattress altogether.
How to get rid of lingering odor
While stains can be annoying to deal with, sleeping on a mattress with a lingering smell may be considered even worse for some people. Odors most likely occur due to unwashed bedding, which often accumulates dead skin cells and sweat while you sleep. Even dust mites can coat your bedding when you’re not in the bed and lead to a distasteful smell over time. No matter what type of odor you’re dealing with, getting rid of it is key to sleeping successfully. Here are a few cleaning method options for getting rid of the stench for good:
- Use baking soda
Baking soda isn’t just for your stain removal process. If you’re just trying to get rid of a peculiar smell in your mattress, baking soda can do the trick as well. Do your best to sprinkle the chemical compound evenly across your mattress top, whether that be the surface in its entirety or a small area where the smell is coming from. If you have the time (and another mattress to sleep on for the night) you can leave the baking soda to do its job for up to 24 hours. However, if you’re limited on time, you may be able to get rid of the smell in as little as 30 minutes.
- Create a vinegar solution
Vinegar and water can really work wonders when it comes to naturally cleaning and deodorizing your memory foam mattress. You may be thrown off by the idea of using vinegar, as its scent is generally unpleasant. But vinegar neutralizes odors on its own, and the smell will not linger long after using it.
Mix equal parts of the two to create a solution you can spray a light mist directly onto your mattress. Instead of blotting the area here, we recommend letting your mattress air dry. If you want to repeat and deodorize the other side of your mattress, be sure to let the first side dry completely first to avoid the potential growth of mold.
- Try essential oils
If the idea of removing bad smells with vinegar feels off putting, you can always turn to something with a refreshing fragrance. Mix water, baking soda and 15 drops of your favorite essential oils to get rid of odors. This may not be a permanent fix, as essential oils are not a neutralizing solution. But this mixture can be used regularly to mask a musky smell.
Maintaining and protecting your memory foam mattress bed in the future
You only have to deal with a stubborn mattress stain or stench once to understand just how annoying it can be to remove the problem. Your best move forward is to take memory foam mattress protection and maintenance seriously to avoid another issue occurring in the future. Since accidents happen, it’s hard to predict exactly when these situations may occur, but safeguarding your mattress in advance can be a helping hand in lieu of dealing with another sticky (or smelly) situation.
Something as simple as vacuuming on a regular basis, as well as spot cleaning over time if small stains occur, can reduce the chance of a larger problem occurring in the future.
The best way to prevent new stains and smells from wreaking havoc on your mattress is to invest in a mattress protector, according to the Sleep Foundation. A waterproof option will ensure your mattress is safe from liquids that lead to potential stains and odors. Remember to clean this protector on a regular basis, just as you would your regular bedding, by following its specific cleaning requirements. You will likely find this on the mattress protector label.
Speaking of washing your bedding, it’s in your best interest to wash your pillowcases, sheets and blankets on a regular cadence of about once a week. This is another simple way to remove odors and reduce the risk of accumulating a stench over time. Your pillows should also be changed regularly — it’s recommended that you buy a new set of pillows at least every two years to ensure your pillows stay clean and are supportive for a good night’s sleep.
If you notice your pets are having sporadic accidents on your mattress on a recurring cadence, it may be in your best interest to keep them off of the bed and train them to sleep nearby on a mattress pad near you.
If you’re currently in the midst of training a toddler out of diapers and find that they have most of their accidents at night, Parents magazine recommends letting your child have his or her last drink one hour before bedtime, no later. Encouraging your child to use the restroom 30 minutes before bed, and again right before their head hits the pillow, can also be helpful in reducing their chances of peeing in the bed.
If all else fails, invest in better sleep
If you’ve done everything you can and still find yourself dealing with pee stains or an unavoidable smell, it may be time to buy a new mattress. There’s no sense in torturing yourself over a stench or stain you can’t get rid of — after all, your bed is supposed to be the place you can relax and retreat after a long day away from home. A new memory foam mattress can bring you back to a place of comfort and satisfaction, and ultimately help you get a better night’s rest with peace of mind.
Dynasty Mattress has a variety of memory foam mattresses to choose from, designed with dual high quality density gel foam layers to create the most comfortable experience you can get as you get ready for a good night’s sleep.
The 12” CoolBreeze Gel Memory Foam Mattress is our most popular option, designed with pure luxury and comfortability. It’s medium firm feel and cooling technology creates a sleeping experience like no other, and the price is hard to match for the quality provided.
Interested in learning more? Browse through our memory foam mattress options today.
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