How to Get Urine Stains & Smells Out of Your Memory Foam Mattress

Last Updated on September 14, 2020

by Marc Werner, Founder - Ghostbed

Let’s face it: accidents happen. If you have children or pets, at some point you’ll need to deal with urine on your memory foam mattress.

Fortunately, preventative measures as well as quick action when it happens can help you preserve your mattress and get back to sound sleeping sooner.

No need to worry if you don't find the stain until it’s dry, either. In this article, we’ll review the techniques to get pee and other stains out of your mattress at all stages.

I. Step 1: Assess the Damage

II. Step 2: Choose Your Method

A. Method A: Vinegar and Baking Soda

B. Method B: Peroxide and Dish Soap

C. Method C: Enzyme Cleaner

III. Step 3: Repeat as Needed

IV. A Word on Cat and Dog Urine

V. Using a Mattress Protector

Step 1: Assess the Damage

First things first: assess the situation. Are you dealing with fresh urine, or does it look like the stain has been there a while? Is it a lot of urine, or just a little? Is there a mild odor, or do you need to address a more pungent smell? Understanding what you’re working with will help you approach your cleanup method.

Also, what type of mattress do you have? Foam mattresses tend to absorb liquid faster than other types, so working quickly to soak up moisture is key. You also might need to repeat the cleaning process a few times.

Cleaning Fresh Urine On Your Mattress

Have you caught the stain soon after it happened? As gross as it may be, luck is in your favor—typically the fresher the stain, the easier your cleanup will be. But it’s important to act fast, before the urine has a chance to soak in.

Remove all of the bedding and get that into the washing machine—stat. (Check out our article on how to wash bed sheets for more tips.) Then, use a rag or paper towel to blot out as much of the excess moisture as you can. Be careful not to rub it, as this can set the urine even deeper into the mattress. Opening windows or turning on a fan will also help to increase airflow throughout the room.

To clean, start with method A below, and move to method B or C if you need to.

Cleaning Dry Urine On Your Mattress

If you notice a dried urine stain on your mattress, don’t worry. You may need a stronger solution, but cleaning dried pee from your mattress can still work.

For this scenario, jump straight to method B.

II: Step 2: Choose Your Method

Depending on the freshness of the urine and the severity of the stain, choose from one of the 3 methods below.

Method A: Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda are both powerhouse natural cleaners that help neutralize the ammonia smell of urine. Vinegar also helps break down the uric acid found in urine, making it easier to remove. This method is best for if you are cleaning a fresh urine stain on your mattress.

What you'll need:

  • Dry rag or paper towels
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Baking soda (as needed)
  • Vacuum with upholstery attachment

The Steps:

  • 1. Pour full-strength vinegar into your spray bottle and spray enough to thoroughly saturate the stains. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 2. Press rags or paper towels on top of the stains to blot out excess vinegar.
  • 3. Sprinkle baking soda over the stains, making sure it spreads out. Let sit for several hours, or a full day if you can! You should see the baking soda clumping up as it soaks in the vinegar at this point.
  • 4. Use a vacuum to remove the dried baking soda.

Method B: Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda and Dish Soap

If you’re dealing with dried urine on your mattress, you may need a stronger cleaning solution, like the one below. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizer, which removes bacteria and helps neutralize odors, particularly the salts found in urine.

Note: hydrogen peroxide may bleach some fabrics, so make sure you’ve removed all bedding from the area before getting to work!

What you'll need:

  • Empty spray bottle
  • 8-10 ounces hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 damp rag and 1 dry rag

The Steps:

  • 1. Combine hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap in your spray bottle. Swirl to combine (don’t shake).
  • 2. Spray to cover the stains thoroughly. Let sit for about an hour.
  • 3. Use a damp cloth to gently rinse the area, and then blot with the dry cloth to thoroughly remove the solution.

Method C: Vinegar and Baking Soda

If the smell or stain isn’t budging, it may be time to pull out the big guns. Reach for an enzymatic cleaner, such as OxiClean, for this scenario. Enzymatic cleaners contain powerful ingredients that break down stains. For urine, look for cleaners with protease enzymes, specifically.

What you'll need:

  • Enzymatic cleaner
  • Dry rag or paper towels
  • Baking soda (as needed)
  • Vacuum with upholstery attachment

The Steps:

  • 1. Spray cleaner to thoroughly saturate stains. If you’re using a dry powder cleaner, mix with water to create a paste. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • 2. Blot with a dry rag or paper towels.
  • 3. Sprinkle with baking soda to cover the area again. Let sit for several hours, or a full day if you can.
  • 4. Use a vacuum to remove the residual baking soda.

Step 3: Repeat

Remember that any of these methods can be repeated several times to ensure that the urine (as well as the smell!) is thoroughly removed. If one method isn’t working, try another.

If nothing seems to be working, it might be time to replace your mattress. Memory foam mattresses last about 7 to 8 years max, so if it’s been longer than that, you may want to think about upgrading.

A Word on Cat and Dog Urine

Dealing with dog or cat pee on your mattress? Pet urine (especially cat urine) is known for smelling a little stronger than human urine; this is because of the amount of urea in it, the main element in urine that decomposes into ammonia.

You may need to repeat the cleaning process several times to get the smell out. Or, you can go straight to method C. Many enzymatic cleaners specifically target pet urine.

Using a Mattress Protector

Another “trick” to remove urine stains from your mattress is to avoid them in the first place! A high-quality, waterproof mattress cover will protect your mattress from stains, as well as from bed bugs, dust mites and other allergens. Check out the GhostProtector (linked below), which features a soft and breathable knit top, so you can avoid the crinkly and crunchy sound of traditional plastic mattress protectors.


Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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After undergoing three neck surgeries, Marc knew what it was like to live and sleep in constant pain. In 2001, after searching fruitlessly for a comfortable pillow and mattress that supported his neck and back ... Learn More

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