Unsightly stains on your mattress? Here's some effective ways to remove them quickly

by Mark Bennett

June 01, 2024


Sweat and other body fluids that get onto our mattresses inevitably leave stains. And sometimes, these stains give off unpleasant odors. These unhygienic conditions can even ruin the quality of your sleep over time. Obviously, you will need to deal with this situation and clean your mattress to return it to pristine condition - we detail below how you can go about doing this:

Detergents and stain removers to clean the mattress

Yellow stains on a mattress


In a pinch, you can use regular laundry detergent on stains on the mattress. Obviously, they cannot be used "neat" on the stains, as you will not be able to rinse them off properly.

Take a spray bottle and fill it with water, then adding a teaspoon of the laundry detergent. Choose a detergent that is oxiginated, works low temperatures, and is specifically for whitening and sanitizing garments. Mix well and spray this on the stains.

To remove excess spray, you will need to dab the areas sprayed with a damp cloth. This should be treated as an "emergency remedy" only and is most effectively used on light, fresh stains.

An alternative is to use spray-on stain removers. Again, use ones which are oxyginated and without any bleach (which could damage your mattress). Spray a small of the stain remover on the stain and then use a towel or microfibre cloth to dab the stain. Do not rub or scrub the stain, as this will cause the product penetrate too deeply (and you won't be able to extract it easily, if at all).

There are also sprays available which are specifically formulated to clean mattresses, and these should be used according to the manufacturer's instructions.

An extra tip: if you happen to have a vacuum cleaner that can suck up liquids (aka "wet-vacs"), you could use this appliance as a final step after topically removing the stain to extract as much dirt and detergent residue from the mattress.


Alternative solutions using commonly-found ingredients


A great cleaning ally you probably already have in the kitchen to treat stains on your mattress is white vinegar (especially an alcohol-based vinegar). You can use vinegar in one of two ways:

  • Mix two parts vinegar and one part of water in a spray bottle, or;
  • Mix water and vinegar in equal parts in a spray bottle, and then add a small amount of laundry detergent.

Spray the chosen mixture on the stains, and allow it act for 5-10 minutes. Thereafer, dab the entire area to remove the stains. The vinegar - amongst other things - will also neutralize unpleasant odors.

On blood stains, you can use hydrogen peroxide. It is best to transfer the hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle first and then spray on the blood stains. Leave this to act for 15-20 minutes and then dab to remove. If necessary, repeat the operation several times. Hydrogen peroxide is also the ideal product for sanitizing mattresses.

Which mattress-cleaning methods do you use?