Miss Jennifer said, “I have a memory foam mattress that I have had an accident on and so had my 4 year old daughter. Can you please help me how to clean this as basic as possible? x”
Cleaning urine from a memory foam mattress is similar to cleaning it out of a regular bed mattress. When urine or any other fluid is spilled onto memory foam or upholstery, it can soak deep into the fibers, leaving a stain and a stench. Follow the steps below to clean away the urine and any smell that it may be causing.
Removing the Stain
You Will Need:
- Paper towels
- A diaper
- Pet enzyme cleaner or
- A homemade solution:
- 1 quart hydrogen peroxide
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 tablespoon liquid dishwashing soap
- A vacuum
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- For fresh stains, blot the area with paper towels to remove as much urine as possible. Firmly press the paper towels into the area to help soak up any urine that has seeped into the foam.¹ Alternatively, you can lay a Pampers diaper over the area and lay a few books over the diaper, leaving that in place for an hour to soak up the moisture. The diaper works well because it contains super-absorbent flakes.²
- For older stains, blot the stain with a damp paper towel or cloth to remove as much urine residue as possible.¹
- To use a pet enzyme cleaner, look for one in the pet aisle of most supermarkets. Some good choices are Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer, Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover or Kids ‘N’ Pets Stain and Odor Remover.¹ Follow the instructions on the label of your selected cleaner. The usual directions will be to pour it onto the stain and let it soak deep into the foam. The rule of thumb is to use a little more enzyme cleaner than there was urine so that it will soak in equally as deep as the urine did.¹
- To use a homemade solution, mix peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing liquid using the measurements listed above. Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle, then spray the urine stained area. You will need to spray more for urine that has soaked into the foam, less for surface stains. Try to only use as much moisture as necessary. Press down on the foam on the wet spot to distribute the liquid better into the foam for a more thorough cleaning.
- Let the mattress dry. For memory foam, this may take several hours or even several days. Pointing a fan onto the area can help to speed drying time, however, the enzyme cleaner needs time to work, so wait a while before using the fan.
- Vacuum the area to remove any residue from the cleaner.
- This process can be repeated as many times as needed. A repeat of the process is most likely to be needed in areas that have dry climates because the cleaner doesn’t have enough time to work. If you live in a dry climate, covering the area with plastic wrap can help to hold in the moisture for longer.¹
- If any smell remains once the area has dried, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the area and let it sit for several hours or overnight before vacuuming it up.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Do not clean the area with any chemical before using the enzyme cleaner as it will make the enzyme cleaner less effective.³
- If you need to use the mattress before the enzyme cleaner has fully dried, put a folded bath towel over the spot, then put the mattress pad and sheets over the towel.
- Peroxide may cause some discoloration of the foam, so if using the homemade solution and a discoloration would bother you, test the solution on a small hidden area first.
- A plastic mattress cover can prevent the urine from soaking into the mattress, requiring less clean-up when accidents happen.⁴
- If you don’t have a plastic mattress cover, several cut-open trash bags can work, or a plastic painter’s drop cloth which is available for a couple dollars at most supermarkets and hardware stores.
- If bed-wetting is a consistent problem, try using a bed-wetting alarm.⁴
- Pet Clean-Up Made Easy by Don Aslett
- Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic by Joey Green
- Don Aslett’s Stainbuster’s Bible by Don Aslett
- 1,801 Home Remedies by Reader’s Digest
Thank you for the recommendations on removing urine and the smell from memory foam. I was wondering if this works on cat urine as well, and after several attempts with your inexpensive and practical ways (brilliant I might add), do you suggest pure lemon juice poured over the area and then put out into the hot sunshine or even just sunshine would help work to further remove any scent, particularly so the cat doesn’t continue to remark the territory? Thank you. ????
If you are thinking of using the lemon juice as a cat deterrant (they dislike the smell), then just misting the surface of the foam would be better. You can do a thick mist if preferred, but I would stay away from a full pour.
The pet enzyme cleaner is a liquid, but it is a special type of liquid – filled with millions (billions possibly) of tiny bacteria that eat up all the organic matter (including the liquid that they’re in), then die. So it usually dries much faster than another liquid would. This is especially important for memory foam because the foam can be very difficult to dry once wet, allowing for the possibility of mold/mildew to take hold.
If you are thinking of using the lemon juice as more of a deodorizer, I would recommend using white vinegar instead. Put an equal amount of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle; that is a great natural deodorizer. However, the smell of vinegar will disappear as soon as it has dried, so it will not act as a deterrant.
Sunshine, however, is a great idea! It is good method for deodorizing and freshening many items. Be sure to leave the pillow out for at least 30-60 minutes to get the full effect. This is more of a surface deodorizer as well though.
Check the label of your enzyme cleaner; some are specifically made for odor removal.
There are cat deterrant sprays you can buy at most pet stores, but read the label and ingredients list carefully if it is for a pillow that will be on your bed or near your face/breathing area.