June 26, 2024 6 min read

The phrase “accidents happen” is a fact of life, but taking quick action is the best way to save your mattress and bed sheets when an accident occurs. No matter how the accident happened, knowing how to effectively remove urine from mattress and bed sheets is the key to protecting your investment. When you know how to get rid of stains and neutralize urine odor, you can save your beloved bedding and keep using it worry-free. In this guide, we’ll cover topics like the immediate steps you should take, cleaning tips and solutions to use, and preventative measures you can take in the future to help you clean urine from mattress and bed sheets fast.

Immediate Steps

If you’re a victim of a human- or pet-caused accident, it’s important to take immediate steps to clean pee and protect your mattress, bed sheets, or both. Here are the first steps to take when you need to clean urine from bed sheets or your mattress.

Act Quickly

To clean pee from mattress and bed sheets, start by blotting the stained area with paper towels or a clean, dry cloth to help absorb as much liquid as possible. When you blot the spot, do so gently and avoid rubbing it which will only spread the stain and the moisture further. Blotting is always the best first step you should take to act quickly whenever you’re dealing with human pee, cat pee, or dog pee on mattress.

Remove and Rinse Bed Sheets

After you’ve blotted the urine stains with a paper towel or cloth, take your bed sheets off the bed and rinse them under cold, running water. Continue rinsing your sheets until the water runs completely clear. We’ll discuss more details about washing bed sheets later on in the guide.

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Cleaning Urine from the Mattress

Navy Blue Linen bed Sheets Light Grey Linen bed Sheets

Now that your sheets are off the bed, it’s time to work on cleaning human urine from mattress (this cleaning method also applies to pet urine, too).

Prepare Cleaning Solution

There are two cleaning solution options you can use if you need to remove urine smell from mattress. One involves making a DIY mixture of vinegar and water, and the other involves using pre-made store-bought enzymatic cleaners.

  • Option 1 – Vinegar Solution: Although urine smells vinegary, vinegar can also neutralize urine smell. Simply mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, shake well, then gently spray the mixture directly onto the urine stain (or stains). Vinegar also has some naturally mild disinfecting properties, but it’s important to note that it should never be mixed with bleach.
  • Option 2 – Enzyme Cleaner: Another option to help eliminate pee smell from mattress is to use a commercial enzyme based cleaner specially formulated to tackle urine stains.

Apply the Solution

Once you decide which cleaning solution to use, spray your choice of stain remover generously on the pee stains on your mattress. Allow the solution to sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes to break down the urine. This step makes removing urine from a mattress permanently easier. Never use ammonia to neutralize urine smell because it will usually make the problem worse.

Blot the Area

Now it’s time to blot the area using clean towels or paper towels. Blotting up the cleaning solution helps you prepare for the next step. Press the cloth or paper towel firmly on the areas to help absorb the excess liquid from your cleaning solution without spreading it further.

Apply a Baking Soda Treatment

Another popular, effective way to remove pee from mattress is to sprinkle baking soda on it. Baking soda is a natural mineral with a pH level that neutralizes uric acid quite well. Sprinkle a generous amount of the baking soda onto the treated area which will help to neutralize any remaining urine odors and any excess moisture. If possible, let the baking soda sit on the mattress for at least 8 hours or overnight if you can.

Vacuum the Mattress Thoroughly

Once the baking soda has been sitting for a period of time, vacuum it up using your vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment. Double-check to ensure that all of the baking soda is completely removed to prevent excess residue from sitting on your mattress.

Repeat the Process if Necessary

If you’re dealing with extra-tough and persistent urine odor, lingering odors, or tough stains, repeat the cleaning process above again. For extra-tough measures, spraying alcohol on bed sheets can help to sanitize the fabric and prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Remember that removing any remaining moisture from your mattress helps to prevent the spread of bacteria, mold, and mildew, too.

If you need a heavier cleaning solution to help you deal with a urine accident, you can try this homemade remedy: create a mixture of 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and 2 to 4 drops of liquid detergent or dish soap. Apply the mixture generously to stubborn stains or old pee stains, and let it soak into the mattress until it dries. Once it’s dry, it should leave a layer of baking soda behind that you can vacuum up to help remove tough pet stains or human urine. These steps can also be repeated if necessary.

Linen bed sheets

Cleaning Urine from Bed Sheets

Now that you know more about how to remove urine stains from your mattress, here’s how to whiten sheets and clean urine from bed sheets to restore them to their original, clean condition.

Pre-Treat the Stain First

To clean urine from your sheets, start pre-treating the stain by applying a special pre-treatment stain remover or enzymatic cleaner. You can also use the same water and vinegar mixture we mentioned above and apply that directly to the stain. Allow the treatment to sit on your sheets for about 10 to 15 minutes. An enzyme cleaner can also be used to remove blood from sheets.

Machine Wash Your Sheets

Machine wash your sheets on the cold-water wash cycle and use a heavy-duty laundry detergent. Avoid using hot or warm water. We also recommend that you add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle, which will help to remove the unpleasant urine smell from the fabric.

Dry the Sheets

Once you’ve washed the sheets, allow them to air dry if possible. Putting them in the dryer and using heat can potentially cause any remaining pee smell or leftover stains to be permanently set into the sheets. If you must use your dryer, make sure you use the lowest heat setting possible.

Preventative Measures

Whether it’s a coil spring, hybrid, or memory foam mattress, there are some preventative measures you can take to protect your mattress and bedding from both human and pet urine.

Use a Mattress Protector

To prevent stains from human and pet accidents from affecting your mattress, use a waterproof mattress protector that covers the entire surface of your mattress. You can also use a waterproof mattress pad that’s easier to remove and clean as needed. Always choose the cover or pad based on your mattress size to ensure a proper fit.

Practice Regular Cleaning

Wash your bed sheets regularly to keep them fresh and to remove unpleasant smells. Ideally, you should wash your sheets and pillowcases every one to two weeks. You should also air out the mattress every so often to help maintain freshness. Putting your mattress outside in direct sunlight is an effective and eco-friendly disinfectant. Vacuum your mattress every month or so, and spot-clean any stains as needed to keep everything nice and fresh.

Keep Enzyme Cleaners on Hand

Keep plenty of enzyme cleaners on hand so you can treat fresh stains immediately and eliminate odors from your mattress and bed sheets. Another easy way to help you remove stronger urine odor is to make a mixture of a few drops of your favorite essential oil with some white vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. Spray the mixture directly onto your mattress and bedding to keep it smelling fresh without the need for toxic chemicals that can harm your health. Not only do these cleaners do a great job of removing mattress stains, but they also help to prevent future incidents with dog pee since the enzymes make the area unpleasant for pets to return to.

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Final Thoughts on how to get urine out of mattress and bed sheets

Urine accidents can happen to anyone, and they can have a profound impact on the cleanliness of your mattress and bed sheets. Fortunately, taking quick action to deal with fresh urine and following the right cleaning methods for removing urine stains will make it easier to remove urine from mattress and bed sheets effectively. Take a few preventative measures like adding a waterproof mattress cover or pad to your mattress, practicing regular cleaning routines, and keeping plenty of cleaners on standby to help you deal with the problem as quickly as possible.