How to clean stains from your mattress

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Written by: Emma Sleep

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Even though we spend a third of our lives in our beds, you probably wouldn’t think about cleaning it until you spilt something on it. Whether you have actually messed something on your bed and created a bad mattress stain or you just want to keep your mattress in good condition, we've created a guide on how to remove stains from your mattress and keep it spic and span.


Let’s face it, your Emma Original Mattress is an investment and is probably one of the longest-lasting items in your home, so it makes sense to look after it. It's most likely you have found this page because there is already an unsightly stain on your Emma mattress and you desperately want to remove it.


The good news is that you can easily remove stains and get your much loved Emma mattress looking new again. Follow the fantastic tips below to deep clean your mattress and get rid of odours, dust mites and stains. Whether it's blood, bedwetting, vomit or a wine spill we’ve got it covered in our easy to use our Emma Sleep stain removal guide.


Also take note that these stain removal tips will work just as well on other Emma Sleep accessories

  - such as the Emma Original Pillow and Emma Premium Microfibre Pillow


Why you should use a mattress protector




No matter how often you change your bed linen, it is still recommended that you clean your mattress roughly every 6 months and use a mattress protector. Even if you think your mattress is clean there is microscopic dirt that cannot be seen by the naked eye.


According to The Sleep Council: The average adult loses 285ml of fluid each night. An average bed contains 10,000 dust mites that produce more than two million droppings, which can aggravate allergies. And humans shed around 454g of dead skin over the course of a year, much of which ends up nestled in your bed.


It's no wonder The Sleep Council says that a dirty mattress can contain worrying levels of staphylococcus, enterococcus, norovirus and even MRSA.


So now you can see the benefits of using a mattress protector and giving your mattress a good clean every now and then, making sure you remove stains.


Emma Sleep has the greatest selection of mattress protectors and mattress covers that will keep your bed fresh and clean. Visit the Emma Sleep site to order a high quality mattress protector today.



How often should you clean a mattress?



There's no exact rule for how often a mattress needs to be cleaned. It all depends on the mattress and the person sleeping on it and if anyone in your home suffers from allergies. Most households never clean their mattress. If you suffer from allergies, you should clean your mattress whenever the symptoms of a runny nose, itchy throat and dry eyes start to worsen.



How to remove mattress stains from your Emma mattress


There is no one way to clean specific stains on your mattress, whether you own an Emma Original Mattress, Emma Hybrid or Emma Premium, you have to try different techniques for different types of stains. For instance, urine will stain differently from wine.


Before you spot clean, remember to dab up as much of the liquid as possible. Wiping or scrubbing could spread your stain. Use a cloth or sponge rather than paper towels which can disintegrate. Take special care not to get your mattress too wet.


Vacuum your stain to remove the dust and dirt, making it easier for you to clean it properly. When a bad stain happens, put your sheets on a cool wash, because hot water will set any stains that you haven’t successfully removed.



For a general clean follow these easy steps:


  • Strip the bed and wash your bed linen in the washing machine.
  • Check for new stains on the mattress. If you find any, apply the technique in this article that best suits the stain.
  • Gently vacuum on the surface of the mattress. For this, you should use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner, making sure the attachment is clean before you begin.
  • It's a good idea to vacuum under the bed to remove dust at the same time, especially if you suffer from allergies.
  • Rotate your mattress from head to toe if it's one-sided. If it's two-sided, flip it and make sure you vacuum both sides of the mattress.
  • Air your mattress for a few hours to let the fabric breathe. Open the bedroom window to let fresh air circulate around the room and pass through the fabric in your mattress.



How to remove bed-wetting stains


Now to get to the nitty-gritty, bedwetting is the most common type of mattress stain, children all go through the potty training phase and until they get it right you may have to deal with much-dreaded bed-wetting stains.



Apply the following technique:


  • To combat urine stains simply strip the bed, blot the mattress dry as much as possible.
  • Create a cleaning solution by mixing together 1 cup of 3-per cent hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and just a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap. Stir until the baking soda dissolves.
  • Soak the Mattress by pouring the mixture into a spray bottle, and then spray the entire stained area of the mattress, letting the solution soak into the mark.
  • Let the mattress dry and leave the solution to air dry for at least an hour. If you want to speed things up, set a blowing fan near the mattress, or use your blow dryer on the cool setting.
  • Vacuum it up 8 to 10 hours later, repeat if you still have a bit of stain remaining, the smell should definitely disappear.



How to remove blood stains


We have all experienced awful blood stains. It’s one of the trickiest stains to remove as you have to clean it as fast as possible before it sets in. The absolute rule of blood stain removal is to use cold water. Hot water basically cooks the proteins in blood and bonds the haemoglobin to the fabric and sets the stain in forever. Cold water is the best option and will be much more effective at blood stain removal.


Firstly, remove everything from your bed and get those sheets into the laundry. Once the mattress is clear of your bedding, you can get to work.



Apply the following technique:


  • Make a cleaning solution by filling a spray bottle with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Or alternatively, you can try pure lemon juice.
  • Spray the bloodstain, and then blot with a clean towel. Repeat spraying and blotting the stain until it is gone.
  • Let the mattress air dry, or use your hairdryer to speed up the process, on a cool heat, not too hot.



How to remove vomit stains




We’ve all faced the vomit nightmare, woken up in the middle of the night feeling sick but haven't had the time to get up and accidentally vomited in our bed. Whether it was the flu or one or too many drinks, we all face the conundrum of how to get vomit stains out of our mattress. From children to pets it is bound to happen. There are two techniques you can use.



Apply the following technique:


  • Remove the vomit. Take a paper plate or bowl to scoop the vomit off the bed. Put it in a plastic bag and immediately throw it away outside.
  • You can alternatively use a dustpan and flush it down the toilet. You may want to wear gloves while you do this and wash your hands thoroughly after.
  • Wash the bedding. Take all the bedding off your bed and put it in the washing machine. This includes sheets, comforters, blankets, pillowcases, etc. This is because you want to make sure the smell is gone and that the rest of the bedding isn’t infected with sick germs.
  • Wash it at a high-temperature setting, which will help to kill off any germs. Clean up any remaining liquid. Grab a cloth or paper towel and dab the area. Don’t scrub, as this can actually spread the germs and remaining liquids around and rub them into the fibres of the mattress.
  • Now mix a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the soiled area of the mattress, and then blot with a clean towel. Continue spraying and blotting until the mark is gone.
  • Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda over the stained area, After an hour or two, vacuum away the baking soda and let the mattress air out.


This will help to clean, disinfect, and deodorise the stains and the smell. Don’t worry, the smell should disappear as the solution dries. Make sure you don’t use too much of the solution, or you risk damaging the foam in your mattress. Just spray enough of it to make the spot damp. Let it dry, and then repeat as needed until the stain disappears.



Don’t cry over spilt wine, just remove it




Who doesn’t like to have a nice glass of wine in bed when it’s cold outside? Whether it’s been a long day at work or you just want to Netflix and chill in bed, it’s always a pleasant way to wind down. But what happens when disaster strikes and you get some on your mattress?


A wine stain is usually very visible and unpleasant. While any type of stain on the mattress can be problematic, wine has a potent alcoholic smell. When trying to get wine stains out of a mattress, you need to act quickly. The longer the stain remains, the harder it will be to clean. You can prevent a lot of damage by simply blotting the wine away with a cloth, make sure you do that before you proceed.


There are two techniques for getting wine stains removed - the first is more natural and uses salt, the second uses hydrogen peroxide. If you decide to use the hydrogen peroxide technique make sure children and pets are not around.



The salt technique:


This is the simplest method, but it is effective. Salt does a great job removing wine stains.


  • Begin by absorbing as much of the wine as possible using your clean cloth or paper towels. Make sure not to rub, or you may set the stain further into the mattress.
  • Dab cold water onto the stain using a wet cloth. Blot away excess liquid.
  • Sprinkle salt all over the stain and wait three minutes.
  • Then dab the salt with cold water and rub it into the stain gently. Blot dry using paper towels or fresh cloth.
  • Repeat the above steps until both the stain and the smell of wine are gone.



The Hydrogen peroxide technique:


This method is recommended for stubborn stains.


  • Blot the stain with paper towels, switching out as they become saturated. Do not scrub the stain, just gently rub.
  • Dab the stain with cold water several times.
  • Mix hydrogen peroxide and liquid dish soap (equal parts). Apply the mix to the stain and blot it in gently. Leave it to sit for five minutes.
  • Blot away using a clean cloth dipped in cold water.
  • Repeat as many times as needed and then let it air dry.



Other Mattress Stains




We've looked at the main mattress stains that one usually gets on a bed, however, there might be other substances that find their way to your bed, such as dirt, mud, or coffee stains. Kids and pets are the usual culprits and can get all sorts of stains on mattresses. So here are some other tips on how to clean up those unwanted stains.



Pet stains from your dog or cat


According to a survey carried out in 2020, nearly 75% of people let their dog or cat sleep in their beds. If you are one of the 75% who let your pet sleep on your bed, then I’m sure you have come across urine and other dirty pet stains on your bed.


There are several ways you can do it. The main problem with how to get pet urine out of a mattress and delaying the process is that if the pet urine is not thoroughly washed out, the dog or cat will probably urinate on that same place again due to the lingering smell. There are many things to keep in mind when dealing with pet urine.



What to avoid when it comes to pet stains


Firstly, always try to clean the urine area on the mattress when the pet isn’t in the room. Otherwise, it might give them the idea that peeing all over the house attracts your attention and they will do it again.


Avoid Chemical products. Many owners make the mistake of picking up the first cleaning product they come across to clean the spot, don't do this. Not all cleaning products are pet-friendly, and many of them also have an overpowering smell that might confuse your pet.


So even if there's no danger of a cleaning product poisoning your pet, the pet can confuse the smells of cleaning supplies like bleach and many disinfectants with the scent of their urine, which will encourage them to do it again.


The problem is that some people approach how to get pet urine out of a mattress the same way as they would approach any other kind of stain. In order to effectively clean pet urine, you have to understand how it reacts to other chemicals so that you can avoid those that have a negative impact.


It is also recommended that you don’t use regular detergent to remove traces of pet urine, as the odour will disappear, but a sticky residue will remain and accumulate dirt and dust.


You should also be careful if you decide on using a sanitiser for masking the smell. Sanitisers are often toxic or contain chemicals that could end up poisoning your pet, so be very careful when choosing one and check if it's pet-safe or pet-friendly. You can also use natural products that will be safe.


Now that you know what to avoid, here are a few tips on how to get pet stains out of a mattress. Again there are two techniques that you can use.



The Vinegar and baking soda technique:


After you locate all the spots of pet urine on the mattress, the first step is to immediately dry the area using paper towels or sponges – try dabbing instead of rubbing to avoid spreading the pet urine. Make sure to apply a lot of pressure to soak up as much as possible.


One of the most effective home solutions for getting pet pee out of the mattress is the mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Seeing how pet urine contains alkaline and acidic substances, it is necessary to use the combination of these two natural acidic substances to remove the odour.


  • Dissolve the baking soda and white vinegar and put the mixture into a spray bottle.
  • Directly spray the mattress area your pet has peed on.
  • After applying the mixture, let the area dry and repeat the process several times a day until the smell has disappeared.



The Hydrogen Peroxide and Soap technique:


  • In addition, you can also try mixing hydrogen peroxide and some regular soap when battling the smell of pet urine.
  • Just mix a teaspoon of soap in a cup of hydrogen peroxide and stir until the ingredients are perfectly mixed. Then, using a damp cloth, apply this mixture directly onto the pet pee stain on the mattress and allow the area to dry.
  • Like with the previous method, you should repeat the process multiple times until you get desirable results.



Sweat stains


Did you know that the average person sheds layers of dead skin and releases up to a litre of sweat every night? All that sweat has to go somewhere, and it ends up on your sheets and mattress. While sweat isn't as big a deal as blood, urine and vomit, it can lead to mould, mildew and a yellow stain developing on your mattress if you leave it untreated.


Sweat stains can occur night after night and lead to unsightly yellow stains, without a mattress protector stains will remain on the mattress until cleaned.



Apply the following technique:


  • Mix some baking soda and some water and stir together to make a paste.
  • Then apply the paste directly to the stain, let it sit for 30 minutes, then begin to wipe with a damp cloth. Wipe as much off as possible.
  • Let the treated area dry and then vacuum the entire mattress.



Using Natural products


If you're not a fan of using hazardous chemicals around your house or you have pets then you can also clean a mattress with natural products and simple ingredients. Natural products can usually be found at home, so need to go out and buy expensive products. Try the below ingredients to freshen and clean your mattress, remove stains, and leave your sleeping space beautifully scented and ready for dream time.



Some natural products that you can use are:


  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Lavender essential oil (a few drops)


To naturally combat odours, it is recommended to sprinkle baking soda and lavender oil on your bed, leave it for an hour and then vacuum the mattress. It will work as a stain remover and odour lifter.


Place a mixture of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray onto your mattress this can also lift bad odour out of the mattress and work as a natural mattress stain remover.



How to combat smells and keep your mattress fresh


Whether or not you’ve stained your mattress, you don’t want it to smell. Baking soda is a cheap and natural deodoriser. Sprinkle baking soda evenly over your mattress, by hand or using your sieve, and leave it to settle, you’ll notice a difference after an hour, but some people recommend putting a clean sheet over it and leaving the baking soda on the mattress for 5 to 7 days, before vacuuming it up.


And that’s not all, because you can experiment with sleep-inducing essential oils like chamomile, sandalwood or lavender – just add a few drops to your baking soda and sprinkle on the bed. Vacuum after an hour and enjoy the beautiful fresh smell it will bring to your bedroom.


Of course, your mattress will smell better if you simply air it out. You can do this by pulling your sheets back and leaving them to air out for the day. Or leaving your bedroom window open and letting in some fresh air. If you really want to give it a fresh feeling - open all your windows and place it near a window so that it can get some sun on it. This will kill all the unseen dust mites and put the bounce back into your bed.