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What Causes Yellow Stains on Mattresses and How to Clean Them

What Causes Yellow Stains on Mattresses and How to Clean Them

by

Aoife O.
 | 
Dec 29, 2021

No matter how hard you try to keep your or your child’s mattress clean, life happens. Spills, accidents, and night sweats are bound to happen every now and then, and they may leave an unsightly stain. But don’t panic—there are simple ways to treat discoloration and clean yellow stains out of any mattress.


What Causes Yellow Stains on Mattresses?

If you have a spill, accident, or notice your mattress beginning to yellow, don’t be embarrassed! While avoidable with a simple mattress protector, yellow stains are extremely common on unprotected beds. In most cases, they result from sweat, urine, and mattress aging.


How to Remove Yellow Stains on Mattresses

When it comes to removing yellow stains from your mattress, you have two options: using the usual chemical-based cleaners or taking a more natural approach. Results aren’t guaranteed with either method, but following these tips and tricks is your best bet for making your mattress look brand new.


Dealing with a urine stain? Due to the volume of liquid and odor, these stains can be particularly difficult to treat. For instructions on how to clean urine from a mattress, skip ahead to the vinegar and baking soda method.


The Natural Way to Remove Stains

Step 1: Gather Materials

First things first, you’ll need to track down a few tools and the ingredients to make a DIY mattress cleaner. For this method, you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • A bowl
  • Clean cloths
  • Vacuum

Step 2: Strip Sheets and Vacuum

To prepare your mattress for spot cleaning, remove all bedding and vacuum any crumbs, hair, or other particles from the bed’s surface.

Step 3: Mix the Solution

Next, you’ll need to combine the ingredients to make your DIY cleaning solution. In the bowl, mix baking soda, salt, and water. You don’t need exact measurements; simply add and mix ingredients until the solution has the consistency of a paste.

Step 4: Dab the Solution on the Stain

Once you have the solution prepared, apply it to the stain. Using a clean cloth, gently dab the paste into the yellow area.


*Remember, never pour water directly on the mattress. It may seem like it will help, but excess liquid trapped in a mattress creates the damp environment that bacteria love.

Step 5: Let It Sit

Let the natural solution do its magic by letting it sit undisturbed for 30 minutes.

Step 6: Wipe Away Excess

After 30 minutes, take a damp cloth and wipe away any remaining paste.


Using Household Cleaning Supplies to Remove Mattress Stains

If you need to tackle an older stain or the natural solution doesn’t do the trick, you may need something a bit stronger. Luckily, you can also make this DIY solution with everyday household items.

Step 1: Gather Materials

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Bowl
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Clean cloths
  • Vacuum

Step 2: Strip Sheets and Vacuum

As with any other mattress cleaning method, start by removing all bedding and vacuuming any debris.

Step 3: Mix the Solution

In a bowl, mix roughly 1 cup hydrogen peroxide with 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Mix until the baking soda dissolves, then add a few drops of dish soap. Mix again, and pour the solution into an empty spray bottle.

Step 4: Apply Solution

Spray the mixture directly on the stain. You do not need to rub it in with a cloth or sponge.

Step 5: Let It Set

That’s it! Let the spray set into the mattress; within about 15 minutes, the stain (and any odor) should fade and disappear. If you see any baking soda or clumps left behind, wipe them away with a clean cloth.


How to Clean Urine Out of a Mattress

As previously mentioned, urine stains can prove particularly stubborn. We recommend trying this baking soda and vinegar method, but plan ahead, as you’ll need to let the baking soda sit for at least 8 hours.

Step 1: Gather Materials

To remove urine stains from your mattress, you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Clean cloths
  • Vacuum

Step 2: Strip Sheets and Vacuum

Before making the cleaning solution, prepare the bed by removing the bedding and vacuuming the mattress surface.

Step 3: Make the Solution and Spray

Pour equal parts vinegar and water into the empty spray bottle and generously spray the stain. As you go, blot out excess liquid with a clean cloth. Give the solution about 10 minutes to seep in before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Sprinkle Baking Soda

After letting the solution sit, sprinkle baking soda over the entire stain.

Step 5: Let the Baking Soda Lift the Stain

Let the baking soda sit undisturbed for at least 8 hours.

Step 6: Vacuum

When you return after 8 hours, you should find the stain dramatically reduced, if not gone entirely. All that’s left to do is vacuum up the loose baking soda and remake the bed.


Mattress Care and Stain Prevention

While a single mattress stain won’t ruin your mattress, frequent spills and general wear and tear will take a toll. If you don’t protect your bed or treat stains immediately and effectively, mold and bacteria will grow in the moist environment of your mattress. These microbes not only cause allergies and odors, but they degrade your mattress.


Aside from cleaning your sheets regularly, using a mattress protector is the best way to keep your mattress clean, dry, and free from mites, mold, and other allergens.


We recommend a waterproof mattress protector made with a breathable, moisture-wicking material. The GlacioTex™ Cooling Mattress Protector is thin, locks out liquids, and keeps cool through all four seasons. You can also opt for a mattress topper that adds a layer of comfort and protection.

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