How to Get Pee Smell Out of Mattress?

Written by Chinmay Shankar

Last Updated June 13, 2024

Urine stains and urine smell can be overwhelming for any homemaker. Here's how you can eliminate lingering odors and pee stains. Read on.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pee stains and smell can be too much for homemakers, but there are ways to get rid of them through some simple do-it-yourself techniques.
  • If you learn to act on fresh urine on the mattress, you might not need to call professionals.
  • Even if the urine has dried or has formed a really tough stain, it is possible to remove the same with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and a good dry cloth or a brush.
  • You don't need to use stronger chemicals on pet pee stains. A solution mentioned in this blog post, along with enzyme cleaner, would help you remove the stain.
  • Don't let the urine go deep into your mattress. Always keep a mattress protector on your bed and a dry napkin or towel handy. Act immediately, and you can save your mattress.

latex mattress

Don't we all like to stay in our cozy beds all day and night? Kids and pets are no different than adults when it comes to that. The only difference between them and you is you care about your bedroom decor and newly bought mattress. And for every caring person, mere thoughts of mattress stains can be horrifying.

how to get pee smell out of mattress

Sure, you can put a mattress protector, but unlike us, babies and pets constantly shift on the bed. So you might have to cover your entire mattress surface. But even then, it won't guarantee that a urine accident won't happen.

And a word about pets. They mark their territories. You know what we mean, right? You wouldn't want them to love your bed as their pee area.

a cat lying on a mattress

Pet pee is more concentrated, smelly, and darker than human urine. If you have a cat or a dog, you know it already. But before we tackle the menace of pet urine, we will go to the problem of human urine on your bed.

How do I get rid of the human urine smell?

Human urine usually contains more water and traces of waste products compared to a pet's pee. Even a baby's urine has excess liquid, so what you get on the mattress is a problem of excess moisture. But the lingering smell is actually an old pee smell.

We get a pee smell or urine odor when the urine has long evaporated, and the remaining residue has got trapped in our mattress. The scent we are inhaling is ammonia with traces of uric acid. Here, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide-based solutions can help you. Try to work on a urine stain and smell when it is still fresh.

Any pee stain should not get ignored. Excess moisture gets into the fabrics of your mattress and invites dust mites. So how do you find such spots for urine from a mattress? First, look for a stained area, and do a light sniff test. Did you get urine scent? Yes, that's the spot.

tired mother having headache with baby peeing on mattress

Can you save a mattress that was peed on?

Yes, you can, but only if you act fast. It is possible to get rid of urine before it dries.

First, strip the bedsheet, mattress cover, and mattress pad from your mattress and check how deep the urine has gone into the fibers.

If the urine stains are only on the upper surface of your sheets and protectors, you can throw them in a washing machine. Add a cup of white vinegar and run it for a few minutes.

All of it has to be done before the fibers of your bed decor capture urine stains. If you feel you are smelling urine odors, a few drops of essential oils in your washing machine mix will help. Run the machine twice, and it will probably go away.

Come back and check for urine stains on your mattress now. Sometimes it doesn't leave a stain because when a baby pee, it is mostly water with traces of waste products. However, if the babies are infected or constipated, their pee can form a urine stain.

Sometimes rubbing alcohol on the stained area can get urine smell out too. But you have to be careful with that cause it can harm fabric like rayon or any treated material.

Will the urine smell ever go away?

It is possible to eliminate urine smell and stain issues and simultaneously save your mattress. First, you need to gather supplies and run some errands.

Let's get into it now. Pee smell haters, unite!

How to get rid of fresh urine stains?

Okay, no need to panic. If it's wet and fresh, you can still act on it and eliminate the smell and the stain.

You need a stack of paper towels. Get distilled white vinegar. Don't worry; distilled white vinegar is eco-friendly and easy on fabrics. It has high acidic content, so it reacts vigorously with the ammonia of urine. Mix your favorite essential oil if you dislike the vinegar smell. Keep it aside, as we are not going to use it right away. Instead, grab some baking soda, a spray bottle, and a vacuum cleaner.

Here's how to handle fresh urine stains:


  • Blot urine stain with paper towels. Let the paper towel soak the urine. Don't dab, rub or wipe. It can push urine deep into your mattress.


  • Put some baking soda and see if it darkens. If the thin layer of baking soda you sprinkled is getting darker, it simply means it is absorbing the pee out of your mattress. So a thin layer would be okay.


  • Now for the smell part, remember that mix of distilled white vinegar and essential oil we mentioned before? Pour that mixture into a spray bottle. And when you are spraying it, take special care to soak it and not to drench the fabric or the mattress.


  • Leave it for 5-10 minutes. Repeat the process from steps 1 to 3. Now, if the stain is still there, pour a bit more generous layer of baking soda on it and leave it for 15-18 hours. Come back and vacuum the layer of baking soda.

Did the stains go? If the urine stain was fresh, you could remove it with the above process. But what about removing really tough urine stains?

natural and organic latex mattress topper

How to get rid of tough pet urine stains?

Stains can be stubborn. Usually, a fresh pee stain can still be removed, but dog pee or cat pee can be tough to remove. And compared to human pee stains, they have more fatty and amino acids in their urine. This makes their urine concentrated and smelly.

We will keep our usual cleaning solution - paper towels, baking soda, a spray kit, and a vacuum cleaner. We are going to add an enzyme cleaner to this team. Enzymatic cleaners are better at pet urine because they break proteins and amino acids within the pet pee. They are also pet-friendly. If there are stains, then we can use a color-friendly laundry detergent.

How to handle tough urine stains or stains made by your dog's or cat's pee?

  1. Dab it with paper towels. Yes, forget what we said in the above case. This is a different scenario. You need to ensure that the paper towels are soaking the urine properly. Again, don't put much pressure on it. A little push is fine.
  2. Sprinkle a mix of color-friendly laundry detergent and essential oil on it. You can add the enzymatic cleaner to this mix as well.
  3. Before you spray it, spot-test the cleaning solution on a non-visible area or the corner of the bed. If it is color-friendly, it should not remove the mattress's color.
  4. Dab, dab, and dab with paper towels. Let the paper towels absorb the moisture.
  5. Put a light coat of baking soda and leave it for 8 hours.
  6. Come back to vacuum it.


We hope the stains went away along with the smell. Usually, to remove pet pee smells, you need to use stronger chemicals. But we suggest that you use enzyme cleaners along with color-friendly laundry detergent. Don't use bleach or any such toxic chemicals. Even when using a detergent solution, look for labels that say pet-friendly.

Now you might be wondering - What if my dog returns and pees on the mattress again? Should I go and do over the whole process one more time? In that case, you can prepare a pet repellent to keep your dogs or cats away from your expensive mattress. For that, you will have to prepare differently.

You need around 30 grams of white vinegar and some essential oils in one and a half cups of water with a bit of Cayenne pepper. Keep the pepper 1 part in 10 parts of water. Just a tiny amount would do. Don't worry; it's not toxic to your dogs. They hate it as it irritates their sensitive nose and mouth.

Or, if you can give proper potty training to your pets, nothing beats that. Take them for a walk, so you don't have to work on your mattress to remove urine stains.

But what is more demanding than a tough pet stain? You will know when you see it.

How to get rid of old stains or dry pee?

The number one rule to save your mattress from the pee smell and stain is not to let it dry or not to let it stay for a long time.

As stains dry completely, bacteria working on breaking ammonia go deeper into your mattress and develop mold growth inside. No vacuuming and regular cleaning will help here. What now? Sprinkle baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, or use a damp cloth?

You can send it to professional cleaners, but that would be too much for a little stain, right? Way out? Do it yourself.

To do it yourself, first, check out the spot. If it is an old stain, it might have faded. You can switch off the lights and use a black light to find such stains. When you see them, mark them with chalk.

Ready? Okay, let's gather supplies. You need the usual stain remover powerhouse, like baking soda. Get gloves, an old toothbrush (or an old but clean cloth), hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish detergent, a bowl, and a spray bottle.

a woman in glasses wearing gloves and holding a cleaning spray and a cloth to clean a mattress

Mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and a few drops of your regular liquid dishwasher in a bowl and make a solution. Pour this solution into a spray bottle.

Now, put a thin paste of baking soda (a thin coat would do) on the dry stains. You might have to scrub the stain out this time using an old toothbrush or a dry cloth. Put another coat of baking soda paste and repeat.


  1. Spray the hydrogen peroxide solution. You need to moisten the coat of baking soda to suck the urine out of your mattress. Make sure that you are not soaking your mattress with excessive spraying. Make sure you wear gloves and a mask as you do the chores.
  2. Let it air dry for 8-10 hours, then vacuum it.

You can create a vinegar solution if the pee is extremely dry and the stains are not coming out.

A vinegar solution is easy to make. Add 2 cups of cold water, a cup of white vinegar, and some laundry detergent into a bowl. Mix it well and pour it into a spray bottle. Your solution is ready!


Now, spray this solution over the affected area. And cover the area in plastic wraps for 1-2 days.

It will take more time to work on the urine stain. So once you open the wraps after 2 days, let your mattress air dry and spot clean with cold, fresh water. Seems like a drastic measure to remove urine stains? But it works!

natural and organic pillows


Old stains and smells often get mixed up with clean urine, uric acid, and ammonia. If the entire surface of your mattress is covered with old pee, then it can't be tackled by simple dried baking soda or liquid detergent. You need heavier cleaning solution here.

Many hotels and resorts use borax paste instead of dry baking soda. But these compounds are toxic and need professional expertise.


In summary, prevention is key! Implement strategies such as those outlined in this article to eliminate pee smell, pet stains, and urine from a mattress. Anyways, we highly recommend getting a mattress protector and keeping a dry towel handy in case an accident happens near your mattress.

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3. Full Size Bed Dimensions: Mattress Measurements in Inches, Cm, And Feet

4. 5 Signs That Shows Its Time For A New Mattress

5. How To Care For Your Latex Mattress Topper

Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.