How to Remove Water Stains on a Mattress

Written by corey m. mackenzie
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How to Remove Water Stains on a Mattress
Water stains on a mattress typically leave a dark ring. (interior #9 image by turkinson from

Spills and water leaks are among the many occurrences that cause water stains on a mattress. Minerals from water combined with any dirt on the mattress will leave unattractive stains that are unlikely to fade. A common substance, found in most grocery stores or even right in your cupboard, will help remove these stains, as well as other stains that may be on your mattress.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rubber gloves
  • White vinegar
  • Sponge
  • Upholstery brush
  • Towel
  • Fan

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  1. 1

    Put on rubber gloves. Pour white vinegar on a clean kitchen sponge.

  2. 2

    Apply the soaked sponge to the stained area. Scrub the area with an upholstery brush, to get the vinegar fully into the stain. The vinegar odour will be strong but will fade over the course of a few hours.

  3. 3

    Allow the vinegar to sit on the stains for 5 minutes. Blot the area with a towel, then let it air-dry.

  4. 4

    Reapply the vinegar if there are any water stains remaining. Dry it well afterward with a clean towel. Turn on a fan in the room and direct it at the mattress to speed the drying.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don’t have an upholstery brush on hand, you can use any nylon-bristled brush to scrub the area.
  • If the vinegar odour bothers you, finish by wiping the area with a bleach-free washing powder and water mixture to dilute the vinegar.
  • Vinegar removes water stains from fabrics as well as hard surfaces. It also removes urine stains and neutralises urine odour.
  • Do not use vinegar in conjunction with a cleaner containing bleach. According to, doing so creates a toxic gas.

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