How Do You Get Urine Out of A Child's Mattress

Published on Jun 1, 2022

how to get pee out of a mattress

Anyone with kids knows the drill.

You’re either woken up by cries in the middle of the night or you discover the mess first thing in the morning.

So, what’s the best way to treat a urine accident and how can you prevent them from happening in the future?


So, Why Does Urine Smell?

urine smell diagram
A diagram illustrating how bacteria and uric salts combine to cause pongy urine smell.

Aside from the fact it’s unhealthy sleeping on a mattress laden with bacteria, urine can emit a terrible odour.

When urine dries it leaves bacteria and uric salts behind. The bacteria grows when there is moisture present (this is why we smell the urine most on humid or wet days) and emits an "off-gas" which is the smell that you may be familiar with.


How To Remove Urine from Your Child’s Mattress

As tempting as it can be to want to ignore the mess until morning when there’s an accident in the middle of the night, you need to act quickly for the best chance of removing most of the stain.

cleaning urine on mattress


How to Get Fresh Urine Out of Mattress

What You'll Need

  • towels (preferably uncoloured)

  • white vinegar

  • warm water

  • enzymatic cleaner (as needed)



  1. Blot the area as much as possible with a dry, preferably uncoloured towel.

  2. Mix 1:2 of white vinegar and warm water and pour onto the affected area to help break down the uric salts and odour causing bacteria.

  3. Dry with an absorbent towel on the stain while pushing on it to add pressure.

  4. Open up a window or fan to ensure the area has dried properly. If you’re using a cleaning product on the stain, make sure it is an enzymatic cleaner, which uses enzymes to break down the uric salts and odour-causing bacteria.


How to Remove Old Urine Stains and Smell from A Mattress

What You'll Need

  • towels (preferably uncoloured)

  • sponge
  • baking soda

  • white vinegar

  • warm water



  1. Generously sprinkle baking soda onto the stain. Let it sit for 20 minutes before vacuuming up.

  2. Mix 1:2 of white vinegar and warm water and pour onto the affected area to help break down the uric salts and bacteria.

  3. Use folded up large white towels to soak the water up, adding pressure as you go. You may need to do this a few times to effectively soak up what you need to.

  4. Sponge with warm water and thoroughly dry the area. You may need to open a window or use a fan to ensure it has dried properly.


How to Prevent Bed Wetting

Bedwetting is a common occurrence for small children, in fact, research from the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne indicates that around 30% of 4-year-olds wet the bed.

The link above has some great tips on what causes bedwetting, how to treat it and when you may need to see a doctor.

toddler that wet its bed

  • Even if your child isn’t wearing nappies anymore during the day, night-time nappies are designed for better comfort and absorbency to contain any accidents.

  • If accidents are only occasional, bed mats such as Drynites can be stuck onto the mattress (under the fitted sheet) and provide assurance that your mattress is safe. Your child won’t even notice it’s there and when an accident happens, the wet sheets and PJs go into the wash, peel off the mat and pop it in the bin – mattress saved!
  • For something you want to re-use, there are many waterproof mattress protectors available on the market.


What if there has been multiple accidents?

Urine is a surfactant which means it breaks down surface tension. Because urine breaks down the surface tension in the fabric (and padding) the urine is likely to penetrate deep into the mattress after multiple accidents.

Once the urine penetrates the padding, the treatments above are unlikely to treat all of the uric salts, so the odour is likely to return.

professional mattress cleaning

To treat it, a professional mattress cleaning technician from a company like Electrodry needs to inject a solution into the mattress to dissolve the uric salts. Tough stains like these need professional expertise, solutions and equipment to effectively treat the urine stain and the smell it leaves behind.

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