how to clean dog pee from a mattress?

How to Clean Dog Pee from a Mattress?

It’s inevitable that your small pup will have an accident at least once on your mattress. Pet parents who do not let their fur babies sleep in their bed won’t encounter this issue, but it doesn’t stop the accident from happening on your couch or carpet.

Understanding how to clean dog pee from a mattress can be more beneficial than you think as the same knowledge can be applied to other furniture as well. Don’t throw away your mattress because of urine or pee smell, because we have the solution for you! Read on to find out a few ways to clean your dog’s urine from your mattress.

How to Clean Dog Urine From Mattress?

cleaning a dog pee in the mattress
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Sometimes you won’t even realize your dog has eliminated himself on your bed until it’s too late and the pee stains have dried and the urine smell is seemingly permanent. Don’t douse the spot with perfume or deodorizing spray, because it could make matters worse. Instead, follow these tips below.

Purchase enzymatic cleaner

An enzymatic cleaner will be your best friend, especially during potty training. It’s not just a regular cleaner and is much more effective than just soap and water. What sets an enzymatic solution apart from your regular household cleaning solution is it’s safer for your pet and breaks down the stains at a molecular level.

This will thoroughly remove urine stains and even poop stains from the very core. It’s so effective that your dog, who has a very powerful sense of smell, will no longer be able to detect the scent and eliminate it in the same spot again.

Use a deterrent

A deterrent can come in many forms, but the type that is most likely to discourage your dog from coming close to or getting on your bed to eliminate is citronella, bitter apple, or distilled white vinegar. You can readily purchase citronella or bitter apple sprays on the market. If you choose to use a vinegar solution, just add about 2 tablespoons to a spray bottle with cold water.

Spray the perimeter of your bed with the deterrent spray, or even the bed frame if it can handle moisture, to keep your dog away.

Buy a mattress protector

The easiest way to deal with pee stains and urine odor is to buy a mattress protector. Mattress protectors are a thick covering that goes on your mattress and below your bedsheet. It has a waterproof layer that is strong enough to repel urine, menstruation, spills, and other liquids. It is completely machine washable and it will save your mattress from pet urine damage.

You will still need to wash the mattress protector and your bedsheet, but it’s a lot easier than having to clean your mattress.

Remember to quickly remove dog urine

We understand that sometimes accidents happen without your knowledge, but it is more effective to clean fresh dog pee stains rather than ones that have been set and dried. Don’t worry, because in most cases, your mattress will still be salvageable.

How to Get Pee Stain and Smell Out of a Mattress?

how to get pee stain and smell out of a mattress

What about that unpleasant smell of ammonia? Even if you manage to clean the urine, no one wants to go to sleep with that pungent odor invading their noses. To tackle the urine odor, get the following ready:

  • baking soda
  • A spray bottle
  • Paper towels, rags or old towels
  • Cold water
  • Detergent
  • White vinegar

Removing fresh urine

Spray bottle and tissue
Step 1: Remove bedding

Don’t let pet urine set! Strip your bed of everything the urine could have possibly touched and toss everything into the washing machine on a tough cycle. If the pee is very fresh and hasn’t completely soaked in, quickly grab some tissue or paper towels to soak the surface.

If the sheets still come out with a subtle hint of eau de urine, then add a cup of white vinegar solution to the next cycle and run it one more time.

Step 2: Blot the stained mattress

Do not scrub! You have to gently blot the mattress with the towels, rags, or paper towels you have prepared. If you scrub it, you will actually cause the opposite to happen – the mattress will soak up more urine, which will also seep in deeper.

Step 3: Spray the cleaning solution on the urine stain

Make the vinegar solution by combining the vinegar, water, and detergent. The formula is 2 cups of cold water, 1 cup of white vinegar, and 2-3 tablespoons of laundry detergent. Now, go to town on the pet stains with the spray bottle. Don’t be shy, go in and soak everything through completely.

Step 4: Let the solution sit

Wait for the vinegar solution to do its magic, which will take around 15 minutes at the very least. When you’re satisfied, soak up the liquid as best as you can with clean towels or rags.

Step 5: Cover the area with baking soda

To help the spot dry faster, sprinkle baking soda on the surface. The baking soda will somewhat neutralize the smell as well. You will have to be patient and let this sit for 8 to 10 hours, which means you will have to figure out alternative sleeping arrangements.

Step 6: Vacuum the baking soda

When the time is up, use your vacuum to suck up all the residual baking soda and you’re good to go. But before you do this, we would suggest double-checking to make sure everything is dry (unless your vacuum can handle wet or moist items).

Removing urine stains

removing urine stains using paper towels
Photo by Joice Rivas from Pexels

What if you’ve just discovered the stain hours later? Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world and nothing a little white vinegar in a spray bottle can’t fix. Get the following items ready:

  • Spray bottle
  • Laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Cold water
  • Paper towels, old rags or towels
  • Plastic wrap
Step 1: Soak the stain with cleaning solution

This first step is much like what you do to get fresh urine out of the mattress. Soak the area liberally with the same 2 cups of cold water, 1 cup of white vinegar, and 2-3 tablespoons of laundry detergent formula.

Step 2: Wrap the affected area with plastic wrap

Cover the stain with plastic wrap without attempting to clean the stains. Leave it for 24 to 48 hours. We get that cleaning the mattress is a lot of work and you may have to sleep uncomfortably somewhere else for a day or two, but it is what it takes to save your bed.

Step 3: Remove plastic wrap and wait for mattress to dry

When the time is up, remove the plastic wrap and wait for your mattress to air dry. Do not attempt to speed up the process by applying heat, but you can enlist the help of a small fan set to low.

Step 4: Repeat until urine stain is removed

Another very unfortunate piece of news is that running through steps 1 to 3 may not be enough to get dog pee or cat pee stains out, so you might have to repeat the above steps a few times.

Step 5: Spot clean residual vinegar with water

Once you are satisfied with the results, you can go ahead and spot clean the area to get rid of any residual vinegar.

Removing urine smell

removing urine stains smells
Image by 22594 from Pixabay

Now let’s get down to the smell. Just because your mattress looks free of urine stains, it doesn’t mean the pee smell disappears along with it. To handle the pungent odor, prepare the following:

  • Baking soda
  • A vacuum

Step 1: Sprinkle the spot with baking soda

Sprinkle baking soda directly on your mattress. To make sure you really get rid of the stench, we’d suggest sprinkling the baking soda on the entire bed. Just a light layer will do, but don’t hesitate to concentrate more on the affected area.

Step 2: Wait for it

It’s a waiting game and will take anywhere around 5 to 10 hours.

Step 3: Vacuum the mess

Once your mattress has passed the nose test, vacuum up the baking powder and you’re done! You can repeat the process if necessary.

Preventing Your Pet From Soiling Your Mattress

preventing your pet from soiling your mattress
Photo by vadim kaipov on Unsplash

Is it really just an accident? Rule out medical conditions

There is no argument that having to clean urine stains is a pain. You have to make it clear to your dog that your bed is not his potty, but was it really an accident? There is a possibility that your dog could be eliminated on your bed and in the wrong places due to a medical condition.

A way to test this is to make sure your dog is potty trained. Whether your pooch is or isn’t potty trained, you should still get him to pee before bed and cut off his water supply at least 2 hours before bedtime. If the urination is still happening, then we would strongly suggest booking a vet visit.

Potty training

Then there is the most obvious solution if you have ruled out the possibility of medical conditions – potty training. Maybe your dog just isn’t potty trained yet or your male dog is marking his territory. Crate training your dog is essential to the potty training process.

Your dog knows where he can or cannot go to pee or poop will also help him understand that the bed is off-limits. Of course, you can also avoid letting your dog sleep in the bed with you and close all of the bedroom doors if you can’t keep an eye on him. A lot of the territorial marking behavior will be addressed as well once you get your dog neutered.

Thorough cleaning

Dogs have a habit of potting in the same spot. The smell of his previous accident will attract him to go to the same place, which is why it’s so important to address the stain quickly and to clean it exhaustively. Even if you can’t smell it after a few rounds of baking soda and vinegar, your dog’s sensitive nose can still pick up lingering smells.

The best solution is to use enzymatic cleaners, as we mentioned above. Try to avoid any cleaners with ammonia, as it tends to make the urine smell worse.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for dog pee to dry on a mattress?

For dog pee to completely dry it will take at least 2 hours. During that time, the pee stain and smell will be easier to remove. The length of time also depends on the amount of urine and how deep it soaks into the mattress.

Can I clean dog pee out of a mattress without vinegar?

Yes! You can clean dog pee out of a mattress without vinegar by opting for hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda, a bit of laundry detergent, and water. You can use the alternative formula the same way you would the vinegar solution. The only difference is there may be dried baking soda left on the stain when the solution dries.

What neutralizes the smell of urine?

White vinegar and baking soda are the best ingredients to neutralize the smell of urine. In fact, they are both often used in homemade cleaners for their scent-neutralizing properties. Baking soda can also get rid of unpleasant smells in your fridge.


The best way to clean a urine-soaked mattress is to use mattress protectors. Mattress protectors stop the mess from ever reaching the mattress, which simplifies the cleanup for you big time. Aside from that, a mattress protector can also protect what’s underneath from all sorts of liquid spills, human dander, dust, dirt, dead skin, and other similar particles. A fresh mattress will deter the growth and gestation of bed bugs and other itchy things as well.

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