How to get pee out of a mattress — 5 steps to refresh your bed

Bring your bed back to its brilliant best with our expert guide

Close up of corner of clean white mattress - for article on how to get pee out of a mattress
(Image credit: Kinga Krzeminska/Getty Images)

Knowing how to get pee out of a mattress is key if you live with children or pets who are accident prone. 

Our cleaning experts will guide you through the five simple steps to removing urine from a mattress so you can sleep in fresh-scented peace, including their homemade solutions and product recommendations for successful cleaning.

Knowing the best ways to remove urine stains will ensure you're armed and ready to return your bed to its brilliant best if an accident happens.

How to get pee out of a mattress like a pro

Just like getting pee smell out of a couch, any accidents on your mattress can be addressed with swift action and careful use of the right products. 

Where our industry pros have suggested the best cleaning products, we've sourced high-quality, affordable items from trusted retailers. 

All prices were correct at time of publication. 

Step 1: Blot the stain

Clean white mattress with scrunched white duvet on top in front of window

(Image credit: Basak Gurbuz Derman/Getty Images)

The first and most crucial step in addressing urine on a mattress is to act quickly. Urine can seep deep into the mattress fibers, making it harder to remove and potentially leading to lingering odors and stains. 

Shaun Veran, chief operating officer at OURA, says, "Urine is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi because it's packed with water, salts, urea, and other organic compounds. 

"When urine soaks into a mattress, it creates a damp environment that invites these microbes to grow, leading to nasty smells and potential health issues. Because of this, it's incredibly important to clean and disinfect the mattress quickly and thoroughly to stop these unwanted guests from taking over."

Begin by blotting up as much of the urine as possible with a clean, dry cloth or paper towels. Acting quickly is essential because the faster you respond, the less time the urine has to soak into the mattress. 

Shaun adds, "Press down firmly but avoid rubbing, as this can push the urine deeper into the mattress. Blotting helps to remove as much liquid as possible before it soaks in further, reducing the moisture that can support bacterial growth."

These Scott Paper Towels from Walmart are highly absorbent and ideal for attacking fresh urine stains should an accident occur. Alternatively, use clean, dry microfiber towels, such as the 15-pack of colorful ones from Walmart, which are known for their excellent absorbancy.

Step 2: Apply a cleaning solution

Cute Ragdoll kitten in the bedroom, tucked in between the sheets and the mattress. The little blue eyed cat is looking at the camera with a mischievous look upon its face.

(Image credit: Angela Kotsell/Getty Images)

Once you've blotted up as much urine as possible, the next step is to clean the area with a solution. 

Karina Toner, operations manager at Spekless Cleaning, says, "Mix up a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and give the stained area a good spritz. The vinegar's acidity helps break down the urine and eliminate odors.

"Let it sit for around 10 minutes to really penetrate the stain and work its magic, then grab some fresh paper towels or a clean cloth and blot the area again. This time, you should start to see the stain lifting."

There are so many household jobs you can do with vinegar. This Good & Gather White Distilled Vinegar from Target comes with thousands of great reviews and — at 128 fl oz — will last you a long time and budget-friendly.

The Better Homes & Gardens Glass Spray Bottle from Walmart looks great and holds 16 fl oz, making it ideal for housing your homemade vinegar-based cleaning solution for use indoors and out (vinegar is great for keeping pests out of your home, too).

Step 3: Sprinkle baking soda

Person using a vacuum on a mattress in front of a window in daytime

(Image credit: Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images)

After applying the vinegar solution and blotting, sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda, which is great for cleaning and removing odors, over the entire affected area. 

Karina says, "Now for the best bit — when it comes to neutralizing those pesky odors, baking soda is your bestie! Seriously, this stuff works wonders. It's a natural deodorizer and helps absorb moisture, making it perfect for tackling pee stains.

"Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the stain. You can be pretty liberal here — we want to ensure all the smells are fully absorbed. Leave the baking soda to work its magic for a few hours, or even overnight if possible. The longer it sits, the better it'll absorb any remaining moisture and odors."

After the baking soda has had time to work, vacuum it up using a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment. Vacuuming removes the baking soda and any absorbed urine and odors with it, leaving the mattress cleaner and fresher.

The Black+Decker dustbuster Handheld Vacuum from Amazon comes with more than 20,000 five-star reviews and is a budget steal.

4. Use an enzymatic cleaner

Black cat resting on mattress

(Image credit: Westend61/Getty Images)

For particularly stubborn animal urine stains or strong odors, an enzymatic cleaner can be very effective. Enzymatic cleaners are specially formulated to break down the proteins found in urine, effectively eliminating both stains and smells. 

Shaun recommends Rocco & Roxie Enzymatic Cleaner from Target, which boasts great reviews and is specially formulated to tackle pet urine.

He says, "Enzymatic cleaners break down urine proteins, effectively removing stains and odors at the molecular level. Spray generously and allow to sit to give the enzyme enough time to break down the compounds. Blot the area well to remove any excess moisture."

Will Cotter, chief operating officer at HappyCleans, also likes Rocco & Roxie, as well as Bubba’s Super Strength Enzyme Cleaner from Amazon, which offers a full refund if it can't banish your stain. 

He says, "These are great products that will most likely do the trick, but another method that works pretty well is mixing one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water and a few drops of dish soap. 

"Get a spray bottle, put the mixture in there, then generously spray it on the stain. Let it sit, then grab a clean cloth and blot that stain away. Just don’t soak your mattress too much, you don’t want to make it all soggy."

Karina recommends Nature's Miracle Stain and Odor Remover from Amazon. She says, "This enzymatic cleaner is specifically formulated to break down urine stains and odors effectively. It's safe to use on mattresses and other surfaces."

Another popular choice is Bissell 2X Pet Stain and Odor Remover from Target. Karina adds, "Their pet stain and odor remover is a reliable choice for removing tough stains like urine from mattresses, and carpets too."

Step 5: Allow to dry

Clean mattress drying in day time in front of windows with thin white curtains

(Image credit: Evrymmnt/Getty Images)

The final step is to ensure the mattress dries thoroughly. This is crucial to prevent mold and mildew from developing inside the mattress when you clean it.

If possible, move the mattress to a well-ventilated area or place it outside in the sun. Sunlight helps to naturally deodorize and dry the mattress more quickly, as well as having a bleaching effect on stains. 

You can also use  your best fan to increase air circulation around the mattress, positioning a fan near the wet area and letting it run for several hours. If the weather is humid, consider using a dehumidifier in the room to speed up the drying process. 

The NineSky Dehumidifier for Home, 85 OZ Water Tank, available on Amazon, is labelled as its bestseller and comes in four finishes. Customers bought it more than 6000 times last month and on average, rate it 4.3/5 stars.

Make sure the mattress is completely dry before putting any bedding back on it. This can take up to 24 hours, depending on the extent of the cleaning and the environmental conditions.

Meet our experts

Profile photo of Shaun Veran, COO of OURA
Shaun Veran

Shaun Veran is the Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of OURA, which harnesses cutting-edge scientific advancements to design products that enhance cleanliness and safety for tens of thousands of customers. With a decade of experience in biotechnology and microbial research, Shaun has become a leading expert in microbial growth and innovative strategies to inhibit them. 

Profile photo of Karina Toner, operations manager at Spekless Cleaning
Karina Toner

Karina is an Operations Manager at Spekless Cleaning, a prominent cleaning company based in Arlington, VA. With over a decade of hands-on experience in the cleaning industry, she's honed her expertise in providing top-notch cleaning solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of clients effectively, and sustainably.

Will Cotter, COO of HappyCleans, standing in sunshine in front of San Francisco Bridge.
Will Cotter

Will Cotter is Chief Operating Officer at the fast-growing professional home cleaning service HappyCleans. Its list of territories includes Oklahoma, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Louisville, Jacksonville, Columbus, Detroit, and Cleveland.

So there you have it — how to get pee out of a mattress. By following these five simple steps, you can effectively remove urine from your mattress, eliminating stains, odors and keeping your mattress clean and fresh.

Next, check out how to get cat pee out of carpet.

Andy van Terheyden
Freelance Writer

I'm a senior writer with an English degree and NCJ qualification, plus years of experience writing news, lifestyle and consumer articles for the national and international press. I'm also a copywriter, working on a breadth of consumer and corporate projects, and a private education consultant. I live in the quiet of the countryside and spend my weekends mooching around homeware shops, completing DIY tasks to breathe life into my small, newly-built home.