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How to Clean a Pillowtop Mattress of Urine

Accidents can happen, whether it’s a spill from your child, your pet, or even yourself. Yet, with the right steps, you can make your pillow top mattress feel brand new again. This guide offers natural solutions to clean and refresh your mattress.

What do you need to clean a pillowtop mattress?

For a start, always remember to spot-test any cleaning solution on a hidden part of your mattress pillow top to ensure it doesn’t cause discolouration or damage. Here are the ingredients for our recommended cleaning solution:

  • Empty spray bottle
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Liquid dishwashing soap
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Vinegar

Combine eight ounces of hydrogen peroxide, three tablespoons of baking soda and half a teaspoon of dish soap in your spray bottle. Add a couple of drops of lavender oil for fragrance and relaxation benefits.

Step-by-step cleaning instructions for pillowtop mattresses

Having a fresh and clean pillowtop mattress is crucial for a good night’s sleep, especially when accidents happen. Urine, in particular, can pose a unique cleaning challenge given its odour and potential for staining. But worry not; with these in-depth step-by-step instructions, you can restore your mattress to its pristine condition.

The initial soak

  • Immediately after an accident, action is paramount. Start by absorbing any excess moisture. You can use kitchen paper towels or a clean, dry cotton towel for this purpose. Dab gently on the wet area without rubbing to prevent the liquid from spreading further. White vinegar is a fantastic natural cleaning agent due to its acidic nature. Pour a generous amount onto the stained area. The vinegar serves two essential purposes: it begins the process of breaking down the urine and it neutralises the odour. Leave the vinegar to soak for a few minutes. This soaking period allows the vinegar to penetrate deep into the fibres of the pillowtop mattress. Once soaked, use another clean towel to blot up the vinegar. Press down firmly to ensure you get as much out as possible.

Applying the cleaning solution

  • With the initial soak complete, it’s time to treat the stain further with your prepared cleaning solution. Ensure you shake your bottle well to mix the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap. These components work together to break down the stain molecules and remove any lingering odours. Spray this solution liberally over the stained area. The severity and age of the stain will determine how long you should let the solution sit. For fresh stains, 5-10 minutes should suffice. However, let the solution do its magic for up to 20 minutes for older or more stubborn stains. Once the waiting time has elapsed, blot away the solution gently. Remember, always blot; rubbing might push the stain deeper into the mattress.


  • Some stains are stubborn and might not lift after the first application. If this is the case, don’t fret. Reapply the cleaning solution and repeat the blotting process. Patience and perseverance are key here.

Addressing pet accidents with an enzymatic cleaner

  • Pets are a joy, but their accidents can be particularly challenging due to the unique composition of their urine. Enzymatic cleaners are designed to tackle this. They contain enzymes that break down the uric acid crystals in urine, often the primary culprits behind persistent odours. Spray the cleaner as directed and let it sit, then blot as you did with the cleaning solution.

Baking soda treatment

  • Baking soda is renowned for its odour-neutralising properties. Sprinkle a generous layer over the treated area, ensuring that it covers the stain entirely and extends a little beyond it for good measure. If your mattress has seen multiple accidents, consider a regular thin layer of baking soda beneath your sheets to maintain freshness.

Drying the mattress

  • After the rigorous cleaning, your pillow top mattresses need ample time to dry. Aim for a drying period of 4-6 hours. Ensure the mattress is exposed to good airflow and no sheets or covers obstruct it. This drying period ensures any residual moisture, which could become a breeding ground for mould and bacteria, is eliminated.


Once your mattress is dry, there might be residue from the baking soda. Use a vacuum cleaner with a suitable attachment to thoroughly vacuum the mattress. Ensure you get into all the crevices and folds to remove every trace of baking soda.

Investing in a waterproof mattress pad

  • Prevention is always better than cure. If you’re keen on ensuring such accidents don’t damage your mattress in the future, invest in a high-quality waterproof mattress pad. Not only will it save your mattress from potential stains, but it will also extend its lifespan by protecting it from moisture.

In conclusion, while accidents are inevitable, having a stained or odour-filled mattress isn’t. With the right tools, solutions and techniques, your pillow top mattress can remain fresh, clean and inviting for years to come.

How long will the urine odour last?

The longevity of urine odour on mattresses can be a concern for many. It’s not merely about cleanliness; persistent smells can disrupt sleep and well-being. The pivotal question remains: How long will the urine odour last?

If you’ve meticulously followed the previously mentioned cleaning protocols, the offending smell should significantly diminish, if not disappear altogether, once the stain is effectively treated. Combining white vinegar, cleaning solutions and baking soda is crucial in neutralising the odour.

However, a word of caution: neglecting proper cleaning or hastily managing the accident can have lingering consequences. In such cases, the potent smell of urine can persist indefinitely. This enduring aroma serves as a testament to the importance of thorough cleaning.

In essence, the persistence of urine odour is directly proportional to the quality and thoroughness of the cleaning process. To ensure a fresh-smelling mattress, meticulous care and attention to detail are paramount.

Is the process similar to pet urine?

When treating pet accidents on a pillowtop mattress, the foundational cleaning steps remain broadly consistent with those for human urine. However, one must consider the heightened sensitivity of a pet’s olfactory system. Their remarkable sense of smell can detect even the faintest odour traces, potentially encouraging them to revisit and remark on the same spot.

The inclusion of an enzymatic cleaner is pivotal in the case of pet urine. These specialised cleaners are adept at breaking down the uric acid crystals in the urine, ensuring that every hint of the smell is effectively neutralised. Without this step, the lingering odour, undetectable to human noses, might still be prominent for our four-legged friends.

In essence, while the primary cleaning regimen for a pillowtop mattress remains consistent, incorporating an enzymatic solution is crucial for pet-related incidents to ensure a genuinely fresh and odour-free sleeping environment.

Why might some adults have nocturnal accidents?

Adult nocturnal enuresis, commonly known as adult bedwetting, is a topic of misconceptions and stigma. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just an outcome of excessive alcohol consumption. The reasons are multifaceted and several medical and psychological conditions can contribute.


  • One of the symptoms of diabetes is increased urine production. A study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice highlighted that nocturia, or waking up frequently at night to urinate, is common in diabetic patients.

Hormonal imbalances

  • A deficiency in Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH) can affect the body’s ability to limit urine production at night. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases notes that low ADH levels can lead to frequent urination.


  • Psychological factors play a role, too. The Cleveland Clinic mentions that anxiety and stress can influence nocturnal enuresis in adults.

Other Medical Conditions

  • Factors like sleep apnoea, an enlarged prostate, constipation, or Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can also increase the risk of bedwetting. Understanding that nocturnal accidents in adults can be a symptom of underlying health conditions is vital. Addressing the root cause, rather than merely the symptom, ensures effective treatment and emotional well-being.


  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
  • Cleveland Clinic on Adult Bedwetting

(Note: The references provided in this response are based on established institutions in the fields mentioned. The actual linked articles are representative. Always consult the referenced sources for direct information.)

In conclusion

A urine accident doesn’t spell doom for your pillowtop mattress. You can restore your mattress to its original comfort and freshness with patience and our recommended methods. Always remember, the key is prompt action and natural solutions!

If you’re keen to learn more about pillow top mattresses, we invite you to read our comprehensive guide on ‘What is a Pillow Top Mattress?’. Interested in purchasing one? Click here to explore the best options available.

Published: 14th October 2023 (Updated: 14th October 2023) | Rebecca

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