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How to Remove Urine Odor and Stains from a Mattress


Whether you’re cleaning up after your child, an incontinent adult, or your pet, you know how difficult it can be to get rid of urine stains and odors from a mattress. The reason that this type of stain is so difficult to remove is because of the uric acid crystals found in urine. Any type of urine from mammals, whether it is human or pet urine, contains uric acid crystals, which can only be removed by using an enzyme based cleaning product. Traditional products involving soap and strong chemicals aren’t able to work because they do not break down the uric acid crystals. The only permanent method of removing urine odor and stains is by using products specifically designed to bind with and destroy the uric acid. This is exactly how our enzyme based cleaners work.

Products must have the correct combination of enzymes and other ingredients to destroy the uric acid crystals and at the same time eliminate the bacteria surrounding the urine which causes the odor. The enzymes are applied to the stain in a liquid form and take the same path that the urine would have taken originally. We carry several effective urine removal products, and the product that you choose should depend on the age and the size of the stain that you have to remove. All of our products have a money-back guarantee, even removing stains as old as 20 years.

We carry two products that work great on mattresses.

Urine-Erase uses a two-step process. First, a dry enzyme powder is mixed fresh with water. This solution is poured onto the surface of the stain and allowed to sit for 8 hours. The second step is to pour the accompanying gentle peroxide solution over the stain. This solution changes the stain and odor into an evaporable gas of water and oxygen. Once the area has air dried, any remaining enzyme on the surface is vacuumed away and the area is clean and odor-free.

Another effective enzyme-based urine remover is OdorZyme. This product consists of a super strength plant-based surfactant, which digests the uric acid crystals at the source of the odor and stain. It does not simply cover or mask the smell, it actually attacks the uric acid crystals—the source of the odor. Its one step design makes it useful to immediately neutralize stains and treat small spots with the easy to use spray on applicator. It comes in both a spray-on trigger bottle and a large money-saving economy size. As with all enzyme based urine removal products, it is important to use the amount of product that is equal to the amount of urine that originally caused the stain. This is especially important when using a spray bottle because the tendency is to just wet the surface. If the urine has soaked into your mattress, the cleaner must also “soak” in. The spray-on trigger bottle is convenient for quick morning clean-ups, or small stains.

Specific Directions for Mattresses

ALWAYS check for colorfastness! As a general rule, enzyme cleaners will do no more harm to the surface of the mattress than water would. Remove all bedding before application.

For fresh urine deposits:

  • Do not use any other cleaners or chemicals.
  • Soak up as much urine as possible by blotting with paper towels or cloth.
  • Use a sufficient amount of stain remover to ensure that product soaks through the mattress as much as the urine would have originally soaked through.
  • Allow to air dry
  • After urine odor and stain are removed, remove residue by applying a small amount of water to the area and blotting it up with a paper towel. It is important to remove the residue or the area may attract dirt.

For old dried urine stains:

  • Be aware that long-term urine exposure can actually "burn" the dyes in the fabric of the mattress. Such damage is not common, but even the most complete urine removal cannot reverse it.
  • Do not use any other cleaners or chemicals!
  • The enzyme cleaner must contact all of the urine soaked material completely to remove the odor and stain.
  • Ensure that product soaks through the mattress as much as the urine would have originally soaked through.
  • For particularly old or difficult stains, saturate the area and cover with plastic wrap for 24 to 48 hours, allowing the product to stay moist and work for a longer period.
  • Note that as the first application of product goes to work, the urine odor may intensify at first. This is normal with old or heavy urine deposits, and indicates that the urine is being broken loose and is rising to the surface. The plastic will also help to draw the urine to the surface.
  • Allow to air dry.
  • If the stain is still visible after dry, repeat application for the next few days, if necessary, until stain is no longer visible (This may take 3-4 applications.) and odor is gone.
  • After urine odor and stain are removed, remove residue by applying a small amount of water to the area and blotting up with paper towel. It is important to remove residue or the area may attract dirt.

When possible, open windows and/or place a fan in the room to accelerate the drying process. You will need to allow sufficient time for the mattress to dry, so make other sleeping arrangements during the cleaning process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I treat my mattress, how long will it be before I can sleep on it again?

A: This depends on the type of cleaner you choose and the size of the urine spot. Large spots may require that you not use the mattress for one night. Drying of the enzyme cleaner can be hastened by using a fan and low humidity environment.

Q: How do I know how much of the product I need?

A: A good rule of thumb is to use a volume of the liquid based enzyme solution that is equal to the amount of urine that created the stain. Mattresses require enough product to follow the same path as the urine, while floors and flat surfaces require less cleaner. All enzyme based cleaners work better if a sufficient quantity is used. If the cleaner does not extend beyond the edges of the stain, some uric acid crystals may remain.

Q: Someone gave me their used mattress. While I appreciate their generosity, it looks and smells terrible. What cleaner would you recommend? I don’t have enough money for a new mattress right now.

A: Urine-Erase is effective at removing old, set in stains, so it would be a good choice. The larger gallon size container would be a good place to start. Remember that the enzyme packet does not dissolve in the mixture that you initially pour on the stain. You will normally see particles sitting on surface of your mattress and may smell a stronger urine smell when first pouring the product on. This is very normal as the enzyme binds with the uric acid. After you have completed the second step and allowed the mattress to dry, simply vacuum the surface of the mattress to remove any residual enzyme powder.

Q: After I clean my mattress, how do I prevent ongoing incontinence from continuing to ruin it?

A: After thoroughly cleaning the areas with an enzyme based cleaner, protect your bed and pillowcases with comfortable waterproof mattress covers. The newest protective bedding products are lightweight, easily washed and very comfortable to sleep on. They come in breathable, zippered or fitted styles and prevent any moisture from ruining your mattress. An added advantage is they also protect you from dust mites and other allergens. Many of our customers also use the washable waterproof overlays, which come in a variety of sizes, to protect their furniture, floors, and beds. A few dollars spent for waterproof bedding saves your mattress and your time, and will decrease the frequency of buying new beds.