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How to Get Dog Pee Smells & Stains Out of a Mattress – 4 Easy Steps

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By Nicole Cosgrove

person removing dry stain in the mattress

The unimaginable has happened! Your dog has peed on your bed – your comfortable, cozy, safe zone. The important thing now is giving it a thorough cleaning and taking steps to ensure your pup won’t do it again. But what about the smell it left behind?

We’ll cover what to do depending on whether the “accident” is fresh or if it’s been sitting on your mattress for a while. These methods will not only help to eliminate the smell of the dog’s urine but should prevent your canine from peeing there again.

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How Do I Get Pee Smell Out of a Mattress?

What Not to Do

Before we get into what to do, we need to start with what not to do.

Do not use bleach! That might be your first instinct, but bleach contains ammonia, and since urine also smells like ammonia, your dog will be even more drawn to pee in the same spot. Also, avoid using any cleaning products that are ammonia-based for the same reason.

What to Do If It Just Happened

So, either you’ve just caught your dog in the act, or you can tell that this mess was recently left on your mattress. Some of the factors you need to consider are the size of the stain, just how fresh it is, and what kind of mattress you own.

If you own a foam mattress, you will need to act quickly to soak up as much urine as possible, as these kinds of mattresses tend to absorb liquids very rapidly. However, regardless of what type of mattress you own, you should act quickly in such a situation.

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The 4 Main Steps to Get Dog Pee Smell Out of a Mattress

1. Take The Dog Out Of The Room

Before you start cleaning, take your dog out of the room. While cleaning up his urine, your actions might tell your dog that peeing on your mattress means he has gained your attention. If this isn’t the first time he’s peed on your bed, and the steps outlined here aren’t working, you might also try to change the layout of your bedroom furniture.

2. Remove The Bedding

You should start by removing all of the bedding from the mattress and placing everything in your washing machine. It’s best to run the sheets through the wash cycle using cold water and add one cup of distilled white vinegar, which will help to eliminate any stains and scent from the bedding.

Image Credit By: Pexels, pixabay

3. Blot That Urine

Whatever you do, never rub the stain as you will literally rub it into your mattress! Dab at the stain in order to soak up the moisture. Do this until it seems as though there’s no extra liquid left to be absorbed.

4. Gather The Materials Needed

You’ll need:
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Dry rags or paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum (with an upholstery attachment would work best)

Steps Using Vinegar And Baking Soda

Vinegar is an excellent (and inexpensive) way to clean urine stains. The vinegar can neutralize the ammonia scent that comes from urine and shouldn’t fade or ruin your mattress. Plus, it’s a well-known disinfectant and all-around natural cleaner for your home.

  1. Start by pouring the vinegar into the spray bottle and then spray the stain until it is fully saturated (you can also dilute the vinegar with water if desired). Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Blot the vinegar with another dry rag or paper towels until most of the moisture has been removed.
  3. Sprinkle the baking soda over the urine stain until it has coated the area and let sit for a minimum of 8 hours. The longer, the better! The baking soda will clump up as it is soaking up the vinegar.
  4. Vacuum over the stain to remove the dried baking soda.

Reapply if you can still smell the urine, or try using the methods listed below using vinegar and baking soda.

Steps Using Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a well-known natural cleaner with the added benefit of being a scent that will act as a deterrent to your dog. Most dogs hate anything to do with citrus fruits, so lemon juice can act as both a cleaner and a repellent.

You’ll want to start with the first three steps found earlier (taking your dog out of the room, removing the bedding, and blotting the urine).

sliced lemons
Image Credit: Pixabay

You’ll need:
  • An empty spray bottle
  • About ½ cup of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • Dry rags or paper towels

Mix together the lemon juice, water, and baking soda in your spray bottle and liberally spray the area with the stain. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to 1 hour and remove with a rag or paper towel.

This method is actually more effective at removing the urine odor than it is at eliminating the stain. If you’re more concerned about the smell of the dog pee, then this is a good method to use.

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How to Clean Dry Dog Urine From Mattress

You’ve come home and have found that your dog peed on your mattress hours ago, so it’s all dried out. This calls for a different method for removing the stain. You’ll still want to remove your dog from the room and wash the bedding with vinegar and cold water, but you’ll need a few different ingredients to battle the scent and stain.

What you’ll need
  • Empty spray bottle
  • 1 – 1¼ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 dry and 1 damp rag
mixing vinegar and baking soda
Image Credit: TY Lim, Shutterstock

Steps Using Vinegar And Baking Soda to Clean Dry Urine

  1. Add the hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and baking soda to your spray bottle and swirl the mixture gently (if you shake it too vigorously, it might just explode out of the bottle when opened).
  2. Spray the stain quite thoroughly and let sit for about 1 hour. Once it’s dry, you can use the damp cloth to wipe off any dried baking soda and then blot the area with the dry rag to remove the excess solution.
  3. If the scent and the stain are still noticeable, you may need to use the same treatment several times until it’s gone. Repeat as many times as necessary.

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Purchase An Enzymatic Cleanser

Perhaps the above steps haven’t done the trick, and you can still smell the dog urine, or the stain is pretty noticeable. If you can smell the odor, you can be sure that your dog will also smell it and pee in the same spot again.

It might be worth investing in a cleaner that depends on enzymes to completely remove the urine scent. These products are specifically designed to target pet stains and odors and usually do a good job at disguising the scent, so your dog isn’t drawn to the same spot time and time again. They are also useful for covering up other rather stinky odors and stains caused by vomit, blood, and poop.

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Buy A Mattress Protector

It might be a good plan to start using a mattress protector in case your dog just can’t stay away from your mattress no matter what you’ve done to prevent it. There are many kinds of mattress protectors available on the market that do not contain vinyl and are quite efficient at protecting the mattress. Plus, many are machine washable and not crinkly sounding when you move.

person covering mattress with protector
Image Credit: nito, Shutterstock

Use a Deterrent

You can buy any number of pet deterrents available on the market. There are devices that use hissing sounds to scare your dog away or mats that emit a high beep when stepped on.

Certain scents are not appealing to dogs and that can be used as a way to make your mattress unappealing.

This includes:
  • Peppers: the spicier, the better. The dog’s nose is highly sensitive and does not react well to the spiciness of your average hot pepper.
  • Vinegar: vinegar is not only good at cleaning up their pee but will potentially keep your dog away from the mattress after you’ve cleaned it.
  • Citrus: as already discussed, anything citrus usually deters dogs.
  • Mint: many odors that are minty in nature are usually too strong for dogs. Peppermint, wintergreen, etc. Eucalyptus can work as well.

For obvious reasons, you won’t want to use spicy peppers on your bed to deter your dog, but the others should be okay. Keep in mind that many essential oils can be harmful to your dog, so only spray your mattress, and your dog will naturally stay away.

You can make your own DIY dog repellent spray that might just make your dog reluctant to go near your bed.

What you’ll need:
  • Empty spray bottle
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 5 cups of cold water
  • 20 drops of essential oil (citrus, eucalyptus, or mint will all work well)

Mix all of the ingredients together in your spray bottle and lightly spray your mattress and let air dry.

Act Quickly To Remove Dog Urine

Remember, the longer you don’t act to clean the stain, the harder it will be to eliminate the stain and the odor. Dog pee might take about 2 to 4 hours to dry, depending on the type of mattress and how much urine is on it. If you are dealing with an old stain, it will take more work and a longer time to fix the problem. But usually, with a lot of perseverance and elbow grease, you should be able to save your mattress.

dog in dog bed
Image credit: Gladskikh Tatiana, Shutterstock

New Mattress

If you’ve tried absolutely everything and you can still smell it or see the stain every time you make the bed, you might just have to bite the bullet and get yourself a new mattress. It is generally recommended to buy a new mattress every 6 to 8 years, so perhaps it’s time anyway?

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Conclusion: Dog Pee on Mattress

Hopefully, some of the advice we’ve provided will help you with your problem. If your dog keeps returning to your mattress even with these steps, you might want to talk to your veterinarian to rule out any health or anxiety issues your dog might be dealing with. In the end, we hope you have a clean and scent-free mattress (unless it’s scented with lemons, which would be quite nice), and a healthy and happy dog.

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Featured Image Credit: nadisja, Shutterstock

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