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Care Tips

How To Get Pee Out of a Mattress: Smells and All [6 Easy Steps]

    Last Updated
    December 6, 2023
    min read

    To get pee out of a mattress, you need to act quickly and begin cleaning right away. Using vinegar and baking soda easily cleans even the most stubborn accidents.

    With a little patience and some diligent effort, you can easily remove urine from your mattress. Knowing how to get it out of a mattress is the very first step, so you’re in the right place.

    We’ve all been there. Whether it’s a child or a beloved pet, wetting the bed is quite common. 

    Rest assured, your new mattress stain won’t be there forever. Follow these steps and your mattress will be as good as new:

    1. Gather your supplies
    2. Remove and wash your bedding
    3. Blot fresh urine
    4. Spray area with vinegar solution
    5. Sprinkle area with baking soda
    6. Vacuum the dried baking soda

    Read along for more details about how to get urine out of a mattress. 

    The secret to avoid having to clean your mattress at all? Using a mattress protector can prevent fluids or other messes from reaching your mattress, and Purple has the gold standard option that’s waterproof and crinkle-proof.

    Purple Mattress Protector

    Protect your bed from kids, pets, food, and whatever else life throws at it with five-sided dual defense.

    Step 1. Gather Your Supplies

    The first step is gathering your supplies. Luckily, everything you need is likely already on hand. 

    The most important thing to do is clean your mattress right away, while it’s still wet. While a dried stain can still be cleaned, it’s much easier to get a pee stain out of a mattress when it’s damp. Messes that are left to soak are at a higher risk for lingering odors and even mold and mildew. 

    Here’s everything you need, plus some optional supplies:

    • Paper towels
    • Spray bottle
    • Distilled white vinegar
    • Water
    • Baking soda
    • Vacuum
    • Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
    • Essential oils (optional)
    • Blow-dryer (optional)
    Graphic listing supplies needed for cleaning pee mattress.

    Step 2. Remove and Wash Your Bedding

    After you’ve gathered your supplies, remove and wash all bedding, right down to your mattress protector. If the stain is extensive or already soaked in, you may want to use a pre-wash solution on your bedding before putting it in the wash. 

    Pro tip: We recommend hydrogen peroxide as a spot cleaner as it’s a great deodorizer. However, it can cause discoloration that may damage bedding or memory foam. We advise against using bleach or other ammonia-based chemical cleaning solutions, as they can damage the fabric and aren’t good for your health. 

    Step 3. Blot Fresh Urine

    Blot, don’t rub. Blot, don’t rub. Blot, don’t rub. 

    We said it three times because that’s how important it is. 

    When cleaning up any sort of mess on a mattress, it’s important to blot it with a paper towel to properly soak up the moisture, rather than rubbing it in. This is especially true with urine, as rubbing it will spread it further, making an even bigger mess and potential stain. 

    Step 4. Spray Area With a Vinegar Solution

    Using a spray bottle filled with either undiluted white vinegar or your preferred enzyme cleaner, saturate the entirety of the stain. Let it set for at least 15 minutes. Then, use a paper towel to blot the area again, soaking up excess moisture. 

    Vinegar is a great cleaning solution because the acid in vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant and stain remover. If the smell of vinegar is too harsh for you, consider adding essential oils to cut the acidic scent. However, be mindful if you have furry friends in your home that not all essential oils are pet-safe, such as eucalyptus and peppermint.

    Graphic with an illustration of a spray bottle with a cleaning solution recipe.

    Step 5. Sprinkle Area With Baking Soda

    Next, sprinkle the area with baking soda. Use a generous amount, as this step helps to both absorb the moisture and deodorize. Let it sit for at least eight hours, but ideally overnight. You may also choose to add essential oils to the baking soda to help with the odor. 

    Step 6. Vacuum the Dried Baking Soda

    After the baking soda has been sitting for at least eight hours, the next step is to vacuum your mattress to remove the baking soda. At this point, your mattress should be fully deodorized and the urine removed, but it may still be slightly damp.

    Allow the mattress to dry for as long as it takes before putting your bedding back on. If you can, set your mattress in the sun to dry — this will not only be faster but the sun is also considered a natural disinfectant, with its UV rays killing bacteria and viruses. 

    You can also use a blow dryer on its lowest setting. Using a circular motion, hold the blow-dryer about 4 inches away from the mattress and go over the stain for several minutes until it’s dry. If you don’t have a blow-dryer, a fan on its highest setting will work as well. 

    How To Get Urine Out of a Mattress When Dry

    If you’re reading this because you just searched “pee stain on mattress” but the stain isn’t fresh, we can help with that, too. The steps are the same, except you don’t need to spend the time initially blotting the excess moisture out and can go straight to spraying it with your vinegar or enzyme solution. 

    Be sure to excessively saturate the stain with moisture and let it sit for a bit longer to soak. After at least 30 minutes, you can add the baking soda to sit and then vacuum it up and let it dry. 

    How To Get Pee Smell Out of a Mattress

    For extra difficult stains, the smell may linger in your mattress even after cleaning and drying properly. Vinegar and baking soda both have odor-neutralizing properties, so if the scent is still lingering, repeat the process again. 

    The important thing to remember is to not use any harsh cleaning products, particularly those that contain ammonia. Ammonia’s odor is similar to urine, so will likely amplify the scent. Not only that, but the harsh chemicals in many cleaners are not safe to breathe in nor are they good for your skin, so you don’t want them where you or your loved ones sleep. 

    Graphic with step-by-step directions for getting pee smell out of mattress.

    What to Do If You Can’t Get Pee Out of a Mattress

    If you’ve tried all of the above tips — and even repeated them several times — but your mattress is still stained and has an odor, it may be time for a replacement. Purple’s patented GelFlex® Grid is the latest sleep technology that promises proven deeper sleep with cooler, instantly adaptive comfort that relieves pressure where you want while maintaining support where you need it. Purple also offers a 100-day sleep trial, ensuring you find the best mattress for you. 

    How To Get Pee Out of a Pillow

    Cleaning pillows can be a bit simpler, as many pillows can be tossed directly into the wash. However, not all pillows are machine-washable, such as memory foam and latex pillows. The process for getting pee out of a pillow will be different depending on the type of pillow you have. The manufacturer tag should indicate if a pillow is machine-washable. 

    How To Get Urine Out of Memory Foam Pillows

    Some pillows are machine-washable, some require gentle handwashing, and others, like memory foam pillows, shouldn’t be saturated with water. 

    With that being said, a pee-stained memory foam pillow isn’t a lost cause. Apply the same method detailed above:

    1. Soak up excess moisture with a paper towel or a dry cloth rag
    2. Spray the affected area with your vinegar or enzymatic cleaner and let sit for 15 minutes
    3. Blot the area until dry
    4. Sprinkle baking soda and leave overnight
    5. Vacuum the debris
    6. Leave the pillow out in the sun to dry, or dry with a fan or blow-dryer

    How To Get Urine Out of Machine-Washable Pillows

    Pillows such as down or microfiber are machine-washable. The manufacturer guidelines will outline what type of washing machines, products, and wash and dryer settings can be used. 

    Similar to bedding, you may choose to pretreat pillows before putting them in the wash, but make sure you use a product that will not bleach or damage the material. Pillows should be washed two at a time to keep your washing machine balanced, using a low spin setting to prevent the pillows from losing their shape. 

    Graphic illustrating laundry symbols and what they mean.

    Why Are Pee Stains So Difficult To Clean?

    Knowing how to get pee out of a mattress isn’t hard, but it can be time-consuming. Much of the time, these sorts of accidents happen when you’d like to be lying in a clean bed fast asleep. 

    Not only can cleaning pee out of a mattress take time, but urine spreads quickly and tends to leave an odor. That means that it’s particularly tricky to get out of fabrics, especially with something like a mattress that you can’t just throw in the wash. 

    Protect Your Mattress Against Bed Wetting

    The best answer for how to get pee out of a mattress is for your bed to be protected against messes to begin with. The Purple Mattress Protector® is stain and water-resistant and machine-washable, so all you would need to do is toss it in the laundry right away with the rest of your bedding and you’d be able to go back to sleep.  


    Yes, a mattress that was peed on is not ruined and can be saved. By using vinegar and baking soda (and a little patience) and doing it as soon as you spot the mess, your mattress will be fine. 

    Baking soda helps draw moisture out of a spill and has deodorizing properties. Using it on a pee-stained mattress can help clean up both fresh and less-than-fresh messes.

    Both vinegar and baking soda help to neutralize the urine odor on a mattress. You can also use enzyme cleaners, which are particularly helpful for pet urine.

    An enzyme cleaner is a great option for how to get pee out of a mattress without using vinegar and baking soda. Be sure to use one that is suitable for your mattress and doesn’t contain ammonia.

    Yes, a wet mattress will dry out. It just takes quite a bit of time and patience. It can take up to eight hours or longer for a damp mattress to dry completely. Try using a blow dryer on the lowest setting or a fan to speed up the process.

    If you’ve used proper cleaning methods, the smell should disappear before the mattress is dried, so only as long as it takes you to clean it. We recommend at least eight hours with baking soda on the spot, which helps absorb excess moisture and odors.

    About the authors

    April Seifert

    April has nearly a decade of writing experience, with 3+ years specializing in sleep content. Her work has been covered by sites like BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur, and Money Under 30. She has an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Communication Studies. As a self-proclaimed expert in all things cozy, she sleeps better at night, knowing her writing helps others sleep in comfort, too.

    Kristen Olson-Turner
    Senior Director of Merchandising, Mattress and Bases

    Kristen Olson-Turner is the Senior Director of mattresses, where she has spent 10+ years understanding customer needs and integrating solutions into Purple products for better sleep and comfort.