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How to Remove Sweat Stains from a Mattress

Sweat stains on mattresses are an unsightly and embarrassing problem that many people face. Not only do these stains look unappealing, but they can also lead to odours and promote bacterial growth if left untreated. Thankfully, with the right techniques and products, you can effectively remove sweat stains from your mattress.

What Causes Sweat Stains on Mattresses

Sweat stains on mattresses occur due to moisture and salt from perspiration soaking into the fabric. Factors that can contribute to increased sweating at night include:

  • Warm environments or sleeping with too many blankets
  • Hormonal changes
  • Illnesses that cause fever or night sweats
  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Menopause
  • Obesity

The salt and urea content in sweat causes yellowish discoloration on mattress fabrics over time. Bacteria and dust mites are also attracted to the moisture, which allows odours to develop.

How to Remove New Sweat Stains

If you notice a new sweat stain, it’s important to treat it right away before it sets into the mattress fabric. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Supplies Needed

  • White vinegar
  • Distilled water
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloths
  • Laundry detergent (non-bleach)
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner


  • Strip the bed and remove all bedding, including the mattress protector if you use one. Wash the bedding with laundry detergent.
  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle. Liberally spray the sweat stain, completely saturating the area. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Blot the excess moisture with a clean, dry cloth. Avoid rubbing, which can further push the stain into the mattress.
  • In a bowl, make a thick paste using baking soda and a small amount of water. Spread the paste over the sweat stain.
  • Let the baking soda paste dry completely, which typically takes 6–8 hours. Overnight is best.
  • Once dry, use the vacuum cleaner to thoroughly remove all baking soda residue.
  • Repeat steps 2–6 as needed until the stain and odour have lifted. It may take several treatments.
  • Allow the mattress to completely air dry before replacing sheets and bedding.

Removing Old, Set-In Sweat Stains

Over time, sweat stains can become stubborn and challenging to remove from a mattress. For old stains:

Supplies Needed

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dish soap
  • Table salt
  • Toothbrush or scrub brush
  • Clean cloths
  • Laundry detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner


  • Create a cleaning paste by mixing 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap, and 1 tablespoon table salt.
  • Using a toothbrush, scrub the paste thoroughly into the sweat stain. Allow it to sit for 10–15 minutes.
  • Blot the area with a clean, dry cloth, then rinse with cold water and blot again.
  • Make a solution of laundry detergent and warm water in a bowl. Use a sponge to gently scrub the stain, then rinse with cold water.
  • Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the stain while the area is still damp. Allow it to fully dry overnight.
  • Vacuum up the baking soda in the morning. Check if the stain has lifted and repeat the process if needed.

Preventing Future Sweat Stains

While sweat stains can be removed from mattresses, prevention is the best solution. Here are some tips:

  • Use a waterproof mattress protector to create a barrier against moisture.
  • Wash sheets at least weekly, and consider using moisture-wicking bedding.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the mattress before adding sheets to absorb odours.
  • Maintain an appropriately cool bedroom temperature at night.
  • See your doctor if you experience excessive night sweats with no explanation.

With some elbow grease and the right products, you can successfully banish embarrassing sweat stains from your mattress. Be sure to treat them as soon as possible after noticing them, and take steps to prevent sweat buildup in the future.

How to Clean Other Common Mattress Stains

Along with sweat, mattresses can become stained from a variety of accidents and spills that happen in the bedroom. Here is how to tackle some other pesky mattress stains you may encounter.

Blood Stains

Blood stains need to be addressed quickly with cold water before they set into the fabric. Always wear protective gloves when cleaning blood spills.

Supplies Needed:

  • Cold water
  • Hydrogen peroxide, 3%
  • White vinegar
  • Table salt
  • Clean cloths
  • Protective gloves
  • Enzyme-based stain remover (optional)


  • Blot excess blood immediately with a damp cloth. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing.
  • Rinse the area with cold water and blot dry.
  • Make a solution of 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and 1 part white vinegar. Liberally spray or pour it onto the blood stain.
  • For tougher stains, make a paste with salt and cold water. Gently rub it into the stain and let it sit for 5–10 minutes before rinsing.
  • Use an enzyme-based cleaner if the stain persists after other methods. Check the mattress tag before using it.
  • Allow the mattress to fully air dry in sunlight before remaking the bed, as sunlight also helps remove stains.

Food and Drink Spills

Accidental food and drink spills like wine, coffee, juice, etc. can sink into mattress fabrics quickly. Attend to them immediately by:


  • Blotting as much liquid as possible with a cloth. Avoid scrubbing.
  • Lightly sprinkle baking soda or cornflour on the spill while it is still wet. Let sit for 1-2 hours.
  • Vacuum up the baking soda or cornflour once it is dry.
  • If a stain persists, use an upholstery cleaner safe for mattresses, following the product instructions.

Urine Stains

Cat, dog, or human urine stains on a mattress require an effective cleanser to remove bacteria and neutralise odours.

Supplies Needed:

  • Enzyme-based pet stain cleaner
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide, 3%
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Laundry detergent
  • Clean cloths
  • Vacuum


  • Blot excess urine gently with a cloth. Avoid rubbing it deeper into the mattress.
  • Liberally spray vinegar over the stain to help neutralise odours. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • In a spray bottle, mix together 1 part hydrogen peroxide, 1 part liquid dish soap, and 2 parts cold water. Shake gently and spray over the stain.
  • Allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour before blotting with clean cloths until dry.
  • Sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda over the stain while it is still slightly damp to help absorb odours.
  • Let the baking soda sit overnight, then vacuum it up.
  • Use an enzyme cleaner made for pet stains if the odour persists after other methods. Check your mattress tag first.

How to Keep Your Mattress Stain-Free

While even the best mattress cleaning methods can’t prevent accidents, there are steps you can take to protect your mattress from stains:

Tips to Keep Your Mattress Cleaner:

  • Use a waterproof mattress protector to shield your mattress from spills and moisture.
  • Wash sheets, including mattress pads and protectors, weekly in hot water.
  • Vacuum your mattress monthly using the brush attachment.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on your mattress before adding sheets to absorb odours.
  • Rotate your mattress regularly to evenly distribute wear.
  • Address stains as soon as possible after they occur.
  • Consider replacing your mattress every 5-7 years or when staining or odour issues persist after cleaning.

Keeping your bed clean and hygienic promotes better sleep. By tackling mattress stains promptly using these effective techniques, you can keep your mattress looking and smelling fresh.

Harry Virk

Harry Virk is the director of CleaningPro Auckland. He has years of experience in the cleaning industry and his company is expert at providing exceptional cleaning services in Auckland. He has a passion for helping people and making sure that their homes are clean, tidy, and ready for visitors.

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