The Best Way to Clean Mattress Stains

Since time is spent sleeping or relaxing on your mattress on a daily basis, it's likely there will be stains to remove from time to time. Whether the stains on your mattress are food or drink stains, blood stains or stains from a child or pet's accident, you can remove them using supplies from home. Stains on mattresses have a tendency to spread out into the absorbent upper layer of the mattress. For the easiest stain removal, tend to stains on your mattress as soon as possible, while the stains are still lingering at the surface.

Food, Drink & Blood Stains

A clean, fresh mattress is enjoyable to sleep on.
  1. Absorb any liquid from the stain by saturating it with baking soda. The baking soda will soak up the liquid while neutralizing any related odor. When the baking soda becomes saturated with the stain liquid, brush it off into a garbage bag and apply more baking soda.

  2. Remove the baking soda when it's no longer wicking up the stain liquid. Make a stain-removing cleansing solution with 1 tbsp. mild hand dish washing liquid and 1 cup cool water in a spray bottle. Shake the spray bottle to mix the soapy solution.

  3. Spray directly at the site of the stain on your mattress with a spray bottle.
  4. Spray the dish detergent solution on the site of the food, drink or blood stain on your mattress, using enough to thoroughly wet the stain. Allow it to sit for five minutes. Blot the cleansing liquid and stain with a clean cloth, turning to a clean portion of the cloth as needed.

  5. Repeatedly spray the area with your soapy solution and blot it up until there's no further transfer of food, drink or blood stain to the clean cloth.

  6. Tackle any remaining blood stain on your mattress by covering it with an application of meat tenderizer. Let the meat tenderizer absorb and remove the blood stain for 10 minutes, then brush off into your garbage bag. Allow your mattress to air dry.

Urine, Pet Stains & Cigarette Odor

  1. Scoop up any stain substance with a plastic spoon. Toss the spoon and stain substance in a garbage bag.

  2. Sprinkle baking soda onto the site of the urine, pet stain or cigarette odor. The baking soda will absorb any liquid as well as any related odor. Allow the baking soda to sit on the site of the stain for several hours, changing to fresh baking soda as it absorbs the liquid or smell.

  3. Remove cleansing agents and dirt particles from your mattress with your vacuum.
  4. Vacuum the baking soda from your mattress. Give your mattress the sniff test to see if any odor lingers.

  5. Spray undiluted white vinegar on the site of any lingering urine or pet stains. Soak the stained area completely, then blot up the vinegar with a clean cloth.

  6. Apply more baking soda to the site of the urine or pet stain on your mattress. Allow the baking soda to sit overnight to absorb the moisture and stain-related odor. Remove the baking soda, the next morning, with your vacuum.


  • A mattress that absorbs too much liquid can end up with mold or mildew. Open windows to aid drying or turn on a fan and point it toward the mattress.

About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.