Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
We’re reader-supported. When you click on our chosen products, we may receive a commission. Learn more.
Cozy dog lying on bed quilt

The essentials

  • It’s best to clean up the mess as soon as it happens — While it’s a good idea to remove the stain as soon as possible, don’t fret if you miss the moment.
  • You can use basic cleaning supplies — No need to buy fancy stain removers. A mixture of vinegar and laundry detergent will usually suffice.
  • Baking soda is the best way to get rid of odors —Simple and cheap, a little sodium bicarbonate goes a long way.

Your bedding can go in the washing machine, but what do you do when your dog or cat pees on your mattress?

Before you mentally commit to hours of elbow grease or hundreds of dollars spent on professional cleaning services, you should know that it’s not too tough or costly to rid your mattress of cat or dog urine by yourself.

You probably have most or all of the ingredients in your house already. The way you should approach the cleaning depends on whether the stain is still wet or dried. Either way, plan to sleep on your couch or elsewhere for at least a night.

6 steps for getting fresh urine out of your mattress

Whether your pet has soiled a futon mattress, memory foam, or spring mattress, the process is the same. You want to absorb the excess liquid yet without pressing the stain further into the mattress. Acting swiftly can cut down on the elbow grease, but thankfully most stains still come out later.

1. Gather supplies

The most effective way to clean urine from a mattress is simple and inexpensive. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Cold water
  • A spray bottle
  • A vacuum

2. Remove the bedding

Go ahead and toss the sheets in the wash. If possible, try to wash them with bleach.

3. Cover the stain in baking soda

Your first goal is to soak up as much of the pee as possible. Instead of blotting paper towels into the stain, which could push urine deeper into your mattress, you need to sprinkle baking soda over the affected area.

The baking soda will draw the liquid up without you applying any pressure. You’ll see the baking soda darken as it absorbs the urine.

4. Vacuum baking soda

Once the baking soda has changed color, you can vacuum it up and repeat the process until the baking soda does not change in color. That means there’s no more liquid to absorb.

5. Apply a homemade cleaning solution to the stain

In your spray bottle, mix 1 cup of vinegar with 2 cups of cold water and 2 to 3 tablespoons of laundry detergent. If you don’t have vinegar on hand, you can also create a solution using 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and a few drops of liquid detergent.

However, this is the easiest formula:

1 cup vinegar + 2 cups water & 2-3 teaspoons detergent = cleaning solution

Spray this mixture over the stain until it is completely soaked. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. Now, you can use a paper towel or cloth to blot away any excess liquid.

6. Repeat steps 3 and 4

After your vinegar solution has sat for at least 15 minutes, cover the stained area with baking soda again. This time, let the area sit undisturbed for 8 to 10 hours. When the time comes, vacuum the dried baking soda up again.

The urine should be gone at this point, but some stains are tough. If you can still see the stain or smell the urine odor, repeat the entire process until it’s completely gone.

5 steps for removing a dry urine stain

Pet urine is the easiest to clean when it’s fresh, but what if you don’t notice the stain until you swap the sheets? It’s still possible to remove the stain, but you should prepare for a longer stay on the couch.

1. Gather supplies

Since the urine is already dry, baking soda might not help absorb the stain. However, you’ll still need the supplies for the same cleaning solution mentioned above (2 parts cold water, 1 part vinegar, and a tablespoon or so of detergent).

Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and spritz to soak the entire stain. Be generous!

2. Cover the stain with plastic wrap

You’re going to leave the solution to work its magic for a while, so you need to prevent it from evaporating. Covering the stain in plastic wrap will allow the solution to work on breaking down the stain for longer.

3. Wait 24-48 hours

Plan to sleep somewhere else for at least one night, but preferably two. In the meantime, keep your door shut to keep curious pets away.

4. Let the area dry

Remove the plastic wrap and let the mattress air dry. It will probably take at least 8 hours to fully dry on its own.

5. Assess and repeat if necessary

If the stain is still visible or smelly, try not to get frustrated. Dry stains and even fresh cat urine can be tricky to tackle, sometimes requiring several rounds of cleaning to get all of the pee out.

How to prevent further accidents 

After going through the process of cleaning a stained mattress, you’ll probably be eager to make sure you never have to do it again. Unfortunately, after it happens once, your dog or cat may be more likely to return to the same spot even after it’s been cleaned to claim their territory once again.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent the incident from recurring:

  • Keep your pet out of the area unsupervised. The best way to stop your pet from peeing on your bed is to not let them anywhere near it. Shutting your door or putting up a baby gate can do the trick, but it’s best to have another layer of defense, too.
  • Use a mattress protector. Mattress protectors go under the fitted sheet, limiting urine stains — as well as dust, dander, and other substances — to the bedding above them, which can simply be thrown in the wash in the case of an accident.
  • Spritz your bed with a store-bought pet-repellent spray. You can buy safe pet-repellent sprays that will make your bed smell unappealing to your pet without bothering your own sense of smell. Just check with your veterinarian that the solution is safe first.
  • Make a homemade essential oils spray. If you prefer an all-natural or DIY approach, you can make a pet repellent with water, vinegar, and your favorite essential oil. In a spray bottle, mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with 1 and a half cups of cold water and 20 drops of essential oil to create your spray. Citrus essential oils are a good idea because they’re naturally unappealing to dogs and cats (and toxic if ingested so make sure you store them in a place pets can’t access).
  • Use an enzymatic urine odor eliminator. Animals sometimes urinate in inappropriate places to mark their territory. Spraying an odor eliminator like this one on your mattress reduces the chance they’ll return to do the same deed.

Finding a puddle of dog or cat pee on your bed at the end of a stressful day may feel like the climactic moment in a drama film. However, the good news is that urine usually comes out with quick and diligent cleaning. In the meantime, you and your pet may have to spend the night somewhere else.

Once the mattress is clean, you might want to employ preventative measures such as enzymatic stain odor eliminators or essential oil sprays to deter your pet from sprinkling in the sheets.

Frequently asked questions

Does dog pee come out of a mattress?

While dried urine stains are a beast to remove, most dog pee comes out of a mattress with patience and basic household cleaning supplies like vinegar. You’ll have to let the cleaning solution sit for 24-48 hours, though, and may have to repeat the process if the stain lingers.

Can a urine-soaked mattress be cleaned?

Yes, a urine-soaked mattress may be cleaned, but it’s best to act quickly. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and blot the area with paper towels to absorb pee, being careful not to scrub the urine to avoid pushing the liquid further down into the mattress fibers. Follow up with a homemade vinegar spray and sprinkle more baking soda over the site of the stain. After letting the baking soda sit for at least 8-10 hours, vacuum it up and repeat if necessary.

Does urine ruin memory foam?

Yes, urine can ruin memory foam if the liquid penetrates deep into the fibers. This is because the excess moisture may lead to bacteria and mold growth. Clean up the urine as soon as you find it to reduce the chances of the mattress spoiling.

What is the danger of urine in a mattress?

In addition to acrid stench, urine holds ammonia fumes and increases the risk of mold growth from moisture. You should always clean urine out of a mattress as soon as possible. If it stubbornly remains, repeat the process and apply enzymatic cleaners to try to thoroughly remove the smell.

How do you get deep cat urine out of a mattress?

Sleeping on a bed saturated with cat urine puts you at risk for mold exposure and difficulty breathing due to the ammonia. Repeat the cleaning processes for dry urine and use enzymatic cleaners to give your mattress its best chance. Most stains lift with vigorous cleaning, but it may be time for a new mattress if you find old or super stubborn stains.