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Bedroom | Stains and Fabric Care

Simple Steps to Conquering Mattress Stains

November 9, 2022

Your mattress is a lot dirtier than you think. In fact, let’s just call it what it is: nassssty! But you don’t have to live this way. You can keep your mattress clean (and stain-free) with some simple cleaning solutions and a little elbow grease.

Please note that some of these products are affiliate links. Consider these brands our friends with benefits. When you buy from these links, we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. We use this commission to pay our staff, produce content, and of course, buy our cleaning supplies. Pretty neat, huh?

Why You Need to Keep Your Mattress Clean

Your mattress is exposed to a lot of different elements, including any or all of the following: urine, vomit, feces, blood, food, drinks, sweat, and “other fluids.” Just because it’s covered by a sheet doesn’t mean the nastiness isn’t there. 

According to WebMD, the average adult sweats 26 gallons per year in bed. That’s disgusting! It means your mattress is a damp, warm home for bacteria, fungus, and other unwanted visitors. 

Lab tests from seven-year-old mattresses show that more than 16 million bacteria units fill every square inch of the average mattress. If you share your bed with your pets, it’s even worse. Animal hair, dander, and even fleas and ticks can make their home on your bed. 

The good news is that mattresses are sturdy and can be cleaned. With the proper cleaning and maintenance, there’s no reason you can’t get years of healthy use out of your bed. 

However, mattresses don’t stay clean on their own.

Which brings us to our first point. Use a mattress protector. (USA) (Canada) It will protect your mattress from not only stains, but also from build-up of dust, body oils and all the above that we already mentioned. Give your mattress extra years of life by protecting it. 

How to Clean Any Kind of Mattress Stain

Aside from general mattress cleaning and maintenance – which you can find in this blog post – you should also address stains right away. 

While we highly recommend reading up on your specific mattress type and following any manufacturer’s recommendations that you can find, here are some general tips that we find effective for specific stain types:

Pro tip: Always test the following stain recipes in an inconspicuous spot first, as some can have mild bleaching qualities. But hey, sometimes you gotta pick between a puke stain and a bleach stain, and I’d choose bleach every time.

  1. Urine Stains

Use the GoCleanCo protein stain recipe of 1 teaspoon Oxiclean® (Canada) (USA) OR powdered Tide® (Canada) (USA) with 1 tablespoon water. Dab the stain and let it dry. This should do the trick every time.

  1. Blood Stains

If it’s very fresh blood, blot as quickly as you can with cold water. Next, add hydrogen peroxide. (Canada) (USA)

If the stain has been there a while and/or is stubborn, make a paste with hydrogen peroxide, Blue Dawn® dish soap (Canada) (USA), and some baking soda. Spread it onto the stain and let it dry. Scrape the paste off the mattress and wipe with a clean rag. 

Note: Be careful with hydrogen peroxide as it has mild bleaching qualities. Always test a small spot before using it on large or conspicuous areas.

  1. Poop Stains

Maybe it was your kids, maybe not. If you’ve got poop on a mattress, start by removing it with a clean damp cloth. The next step is to spray it with the GoCleanCo protein stain recipe (1 teaspoon Oxiclean® OR powdered Tide® with 1 tablespoon water) and dab the stain until it’s gone. You may also want to put some baking soda (Canada) (USA) on the stain and let it sit for several hours to help remove the odor and any remaining moisture. 

  1. Puke Stains

Oh, the dreaded puke stain. Strip the bedding, toss the dirty sheets in the wash, and use the GoCleanCo protein stain recipe (1 teaspoon Oxiclean® OR powdered Tide® with 1 tablespoon water).

Spray the stains and blot with a clean cloth until the stain is gone. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and vacuum it up a couple of hours later. Let the mattress air dry with the windows open. Sunlight will help disinfect.

  1. Coffee Stains

If breakfast in bed suddenly turns into spilled coffee and a this-is-why-we-can’t-have-nice-things moment, have no fear! You can tackle this stain with a couple of household ingredients and save the day.

Start by blotting with cold water to remove as much of the stain as possible. Then make a paste with hydrogen peroxide, Blue Dawn dish soap (Canada) (USA), and some baking soda. Spread it onto the stain, then carefully blot it with a light-colored cloth to extract as much moisture as possible. Keep doing this until the stain is gone. Work from the outside edge of the stain inward to the middle. 

If the stain will not remove, spray it with some hydrogen peroxide and lay a clean, damp white cloth on top of the stain. Grab an iron and place it on the cloth (over the stain) for 20 to 30 seconds. (The steam from the iron should pull the stain out.) Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

  1. Red Wine Stains

Trying to have a romantic or relaxing evening in bed when someone spills the wine? Oh, yeah, and to make matters worse, it’s red wine! 

Blot the stain with a towel. Try to get as much of the liquid up as possible. Mix 1 tsp of powdered Tide® in 1 cup of warm water. Wet a cloth in the mixture and dab the stain. You can pour a small amount of the mixture on the stain and blot it with a cloth. It will lift immediately. No need to rinse.

For tough stains that have been set for several days, weeks, or months, spray liberally with water followed by hydrogen peroxide. 

Next, grab a damp white cloth and place it over the sprayed area. Place a hot iron on top of the cloth and let it sit stationary for 20 to 30 seconds. Continue this process until the stain lifts. (Note: All irons are different. Use caution and be careful not to burn or melt your mattress.)

Join the #GoCleanArmy

Stop sleeping on a nasty mattress and join 2.4M+ members of the #GoCleanArmy by following us on Instagram where we post daily updates, tips, and satisfying cleaning videos that make you say, “ohhhhh!” 

For more simple and bullsh*t-free advice on how to clean your entire home – from toilets to walls to ovens – grab a copy of The Cleaning Army Handbook

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