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Ultimate Guide on How to Clean Pee Out of a Mattress

mother and child cleaning a mattress

I never thought I would ask “ how to clean pee out of a mattress” in this lifetime. But there I was desperately seeking answers in an online parenting forum. You see when we were weaning my kids off diapers, they’d sometimes have these “accidents”. Our room would be filled with pee smell for days and our once pristine mattress would have these unsightly yellowish marks.  

I’m grateful for the advice that I received. It turns out, I was not the only parent who went through this cleaning challenge. So, I’d like to pay it forward and share with you the tricks on how to remedy a stinking mattress. 

Why is Pee Smell Hard to Remove? 

Regretfully, every drop of urine gets absorbed by your mattress, and the reason it’s so difficult to get rid of is perplexing.

First, liquid seeps deeply into the foam fibers that act like sponges, absorbing liquid faster than you can say, “Oops.” This usually happens when your child has a nighttime accident or when your pet decides the bed is their litter box. Additionally, this liquid has bacteria and ammonia that stick to surfaces.

You might think, “Can’t I just sprinkle some baking soda and forget about it?” Sure, that might help mask the smell temporarily, but to truly say goodbye to pee odor, you’ve got to do the following tips.

Removing Fresh Pee From Your Mattress

woman cleaning her mattress

Here’s what you need to do to handle this sticky situation like a pro:

Act fast: Get moving pronto! The sooner you tackle that fresh pee, the easier it’ll be to deal with. Pee can really dig its heels in if you give it the chance.

Blot, blot, blot: Reach for a clean towel or some paper towels and gently blot the wet spot. No vigorous rubbing, though—that just spreads the mess. Press down firmly to soak up as much liquid as you can.

Neutralize the odor: Mix up equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Give the affected area a light spritz with this solution. Vinegar’s like a superhero against pee odor and bacteria—it’s exactly what you need right now.

Let it sit: Give the vinegar solution a chance to work its magic. Let it chill on the mattress for about 5-10 minutes. That should be enough time to break down those pesky pee molecules.

Blot again: After the vinegar’s had its say, grab another fresh towel and give the area another gentle blotting. We want to mop up any leftover liquid and vinegar residue.

Use baking soda: Time to bust out the baking soda! Sprinkle a good amount over the damp spot. Baking soda’s a natural odor eater—it’ll suck up any lingering smells like a champ.

Let it dry: If you can swing it, leave that baking soda on duty for several hours, or even overnight. This gives it plenty of time to work its mojo and suck up any remaining moisture and odor.

Vacuum it up: Once the baking soda’s had its fill, bring in the vacuum cleaner with its upholstery attachment. Give the mattress a thorough vacuuming to suck up any leftover baking soda and leave your mattress smelling fresh and clean.

Cleaning Dried Up Pee from a Mattress

Here are some real-life tips to tackle those pee stains that are sitting on your mattress longer than they should.

Hit it with some moisture: Even though dried pee might seem like a lost cause, a bit of moisture can really make a difference. Use a clean cloth moistened with hot water to gently dampen the pee spot. This softens it up and makes it easier to tackle.

Bring in the vinegar: White vinegar is seriously going to be your best bud in this situation. Make a cleaning liquid from equal parts vinegar and water and place it in a spray bottle. Give that stubborn spot a good spritz and let it soak for a few minutes.

Work it, baby: Armed with a clean cloth, start gently blotting the area. Persevere, dear parents, until you’ve removed as much stain as humanly possible.

Deodorize with baking soda: Sprinkle a good amount of this versatile powder over the dried pee and let it sit for a few hours. It would be best to leave it overnight to ensure you’ll have a fresh-smelling bed the next day. 

Bring out the Vacuum: Give the mattress a thorough once-over with a vacuum cleaner.

Protecting Your Mattress from Pee

How to clean pee out of a mattress infographic

The following practical hacks can protect your mattress from pee accidents. At the same time, they help maintain a supportive and nurturing environment for your family. After all, a little extra effort now can save you a lot of hassle down the road.

Use a waterproof mattress protector: Buy one that’s comfortable, breathable, and easy to wash.

Layer up: If your kid is currently potty training, consider adding more protection. Throw a waterproof sheet or disposable bed pad on top of your mattress protector to be on the safer side.

Take charge: Encourage your kids to use the bathroom before sleeping and ensure that they ease up on the bedtime drinks.

Stay vigilant: Act swiftly in case urine finds its way onto your mattress. It would be nice to have a clean-up kit near your bed so you’ll waste no time.

Be patient: Dealing with pee accidents can really test your patience – especially when there’s a mountain of laundry waiting for you. But remember, it’s part of raising tiny humans. So, breathe in, breathe out, reassure your little one, and know hundreds of parents are in the same boat as you.

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How to clean pee out of a mattress

Handling Pee Accidents Better

Now that we know how to deal with the dreaded fresh pee and dried-up spots, we can stop panicking and handle “accidents” better. Yes, it can be frustrating but the best solutions are within our grasp.

No two parenting journeys are the same – that’s why I want to hear from you! Whether you’ve got a tried-and-true method for banishing pee odors or a hilarious pee-related mishap to share, we want to hear it all. Let’s keep supporting each other, one pee stain at a time.

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