How to get stains out of a mattress

Updated February 21, 2017

Stain removal is a daunting process, but mattresses are especially challenging because you are limited in the types and amounts of cleaning solutions you can use. Additionally, stains can set themselves deep within to the fibres of the upholstery. To effectively remove difficult stains from a mattress, you need to employ the least invasive method possible, and gradually apply harsher treatments only as needed.

Squeeze a dab of mild dish washing detergent onto a soft cloth and use your fingers to work the detergent into the cloth. Dab your mattress stain repeatedly without rubbing too aggressively. This works wonders for newer stains, but may prove ineffective against older, set-in stains. If this method fails to remove your stain, proceed to the next step.

Pour 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide into a clean, empty spray bottle. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent, and removes even the most difficult set-in stains, including urine and blood.

Spray the hydrogen peroxide onto your stain, using a gentle mist. Don't saturate your mattress, as it is highly susceptible to mildew and therefore requires as little moisture as possible. After applying the hydrogen peroxide, allow it to set for approximately 15 minutes.

Dab your cloth quickly and repeatedly over the stain until it disappears. Do not rub the stain, but apply as much pressure as possible using rapid motions. Spray additional hydrogen peroxide over your cloth if it dries during the cleaning process.

Sprinkle dry borax over your stain if hydrogen peroxide alone fails to remove it. Use your cloth to rub the borax into the stain and continue to scrub until the stain disappears completely.

Sprinkle baking soda over your mattress to eliminate any odours associated with your stain. This is especially important for pet urine and mildew stains. Allow about 15 to 30 minutes for the baking soda to absorb the minerals, and then remove the powder by vacuuming or brushing.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish-washing detergent
  • Soft cloth
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3 per cent)
  • Spray bottle
  • Dry borax
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner
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