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How to Get Cat Urine Smell & Stains Out of a Mattress: 5 Potential Methods

Chelsie Frasier

By Chelsie Frasier

cat sitting near wet spot in bed

Kitty accidents are a frustrating part of pet ownership. A urine-soaked pillow or blanket can be thrown straight into the wash, but if your cat pees on the mattress, cleaning it is a bit trickier. Commercial enzyme-based cleaners are the best way to break down urine stains, whether fresh or dried, but they aren’t the only solution.

There are several different ways to get rid of smells and stains from a dirty mattress. Here are four methods to remove urine stains or smells from a mattress.

Before You Start

Before you clean a mattress using any of these methods, make sure to have any ingredients or tools you need for the job. If you are dealing with fresh urine, always start by blotting up any urine you can using a rag or paper towel. Don’t rub hard with the paper towel—you don’t want to push urine deeper into the mattress. Just absorb any extra urine before you start cleaning.

The 5 Best Ways to Get Cat Urine Smell & Stains Out of a Mattress

1. Use an Enzymatic Cleaner

Tools and Ingredients Needed:
  • Enzymatic cleaning solution
  • Paper towels

The easiest way to clean cat urine out of a mattress is to use an enzyme-based cleaner. These products use enzymatic formulas to break down smells and stains quickly, and they work well on mattresses.

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Simply spray on the cleaner and blot with the paper towels.


2. Shampoo and Rubbing Alcohol

Tools and Ingredients Needed:
  • Shampoo or dishwashing detergent
  • Sponge
  • Rubbing alcohol

Start by scrubbing down the mattress using shampoo or dishwashing detergent. Use a sponge to work the shampoo or detergent into the mattress. Scrub at any watermarks or stains. Let it set for a few minutes, and then soak the mattress with rubbing alcohol. As the alcohol dries, it should evaporate, taking any lingering smells with it.


3. Peroxide and Baking Soda

Tools and Ingredients Needed:
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Cleaning brush
  • Vacuum

Another method is to use a paste made of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to clean the mattress. The hydrogen peroxide will break down urine, while the baking soda will absorb moisture and odors. Rub the paste into the mattress—an old toothbrush or similar brush is helpful here. Let the mixture dry overnight, then use the vacuum to clean the mattress and remove the dirty baking soda. Repeat if needed.

Cleaning spray
Image Credit: polina_tankilevitch, Pexels

4. Baking Soda Only Method

Tools and Ingredients Needed:
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Vacuum

If the stain isn’t bad or you’ve previously cleaned the mattress but still deal with lingering smells, baking soda alone might do the trick. Use a small amount of water to wet the baking soda, then rub it into the mattress. Let it dry overnight, and then use a vacuum to clean up the dried baking soda.


5. Two-step method

Tools and Ingredients Needed:
  • Enzyme-based cleaner or 50% vinegar solution
  • Baking soda
  • Paper towels
  • Vacuum

This method works well for tough stains and lingering odors, but it has a few more steps. After blotting out any wet urine, spray down the stained mattress with an enzyme-based cleaner or a 50% vinegar solution. Although vinegar can help remove stains, the enzymes in a professional cleaner are best for tough odors. Spray liberally so that the stained area will be fully covered by the cleaner, and then allow it to soak for about five minutes. Blot any excess cleaner with the paper towel.

After using the cleaning solution, finish with baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda onto the mattress and rub it in gently. The baking soda will break down remaining urine, absorb smells and draw out moisture. Let it dry for a few hours or overnight, and then vacuum up the remaining baking soda.

cleaning mattress
Image Credit: Olga Aniven, Shutterstock

Why is my cat wetting the bed?

Cats are clean pets, so it’s rare for a cat to pee somewhere it shouldn’t, but it may take some effort to redirect. If a cat urinates in an area once, lingering odors might draw the cat back. Even if you can’t smell lingering urine, your cat might, so a more in-depth cleaning will be necessary the second time around.

If your cat is frequently urinating outside of his litter box, make sure your cat has sufficient access to clean, fresh litter. You may need to add a second litter box somewhere else in the house or clean yours more frequently.

Lack of bladder control may also be a sign of various health issues. If your cat suddenly begins having accidents, it could be a sign of one of many different disorders—from a loss of mobility to a kidney disease. You can bring your cat in for a check-up if you are worried your cat’s health is suffering.

See Also:

Last Thoughts

Mattress stains are tough to get rid of, but they aren’t the end of the world. Each of these methods is a possible starting point for cleaning a stained mattress, so you don’t have to throw it out. Thorough cleaning with the proper materials should break down the urine, absorb smells, and remove stains so that your mattress is as good as new. Good luck!

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Featured Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shutterstock

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