After bringing home a new mattress, we do everything we can to keep it clean and stain-free. However, things happen, and sometimes stubborn stains threaten to damage our mattress despite our best efforts. Blood stains are often one of the toughest to remove. Plus, they can cause the spread of harmful bacteria in your mattress, potentially impacting your sleep quality.
Removing tough stains from your mattress can feel like a daunting task. However, with some patience and a few household materials, you can get your mattress looking new in no time. Our step-by-step guide can help you remove blood stains and keep your bed clean and germ-free.
Treat the Stain
As soon as you notice the blood stain, blot the affected area with a cold, damp cloth to remove any excess blood. Try to use a white rag if possible—this prevents any colored dye from leaching on to your bed.
If your mattress has a removable cover, remove the cover first. Then, blot on the stain on both the cover and the mattress material beneath.
Blotting the stain with cold water right away is the best way to ensure the stain doesn’t become permanent. When blotting the mattress directly, do not use too much water. Excess water can soak into the bed and lead to mold and mildew—this is especially true for latex foam and memory foam mattresses. Also, don’t rub the material—this can damage the delicate fabric and push the stain deeper into the bed.
Next, blot the stain with a clean, dry rag until no blood comes off on the cloth.
Clean the Stain
Once the stain has been treated, and no excess blood is present, you are ready to clean the affected area.
There are several stain removers on the market, and many are designed to break down the proteins in blood. They often include oxygenated bleach and natural enzyme cleaners.
In addition to store-bought solutions, you can make a cleaner with household materials. The following mixtures can be used to clean blood stains from your mattress safely. We’ll go over how to clean with these mixtures in the next section.
- Soap and water: Add half a cup of mild dish soap or laundry detergent to 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Mix these two ingredients until they form a foamy substance.
- Baking soda and water: Mix one part baking soda with two parts water until it forms a paste.
- White vinegar and water: Mix a half a cup of vinegar with a half a gallon of warm water.
- Cornstarch, salt, and hydrogen peroxide: Add half a cup of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of table salt and a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide. Combine this mixture until it forms a paste. (Please note: Hydrogen peroxide can damage foam mattresses sand should only be used on innerspring mattresses.)
- Meat tenderizer powder and water: Mix 2 teaspoon of water with 1 tablespoon of unseasoned meat tenderizer to create a paste.
- Ammonia and cold water: Combine 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 1 cup of cold water.
Cleaning the Area
When using a paste cleaner, apply the solution to the stained area using your fingertips. If you’re using a liquid cleaner, use a clean, damp cloth. Gently massage the cleaner into the stain until the area is completely covered.
Since vinegar and ammonia solutions have a high water content, soak a clean cloth in the cleaner first, and then apply it to the stain. You can also pour the mixture in a clean spray bottle and lightly spray the stain. However, be sure the bed doesn’t get too wet.
Once the area is saturated with cleaner, let the solution soak for about 30 minutes. Soaking the stain gives the cleaner time to break down the proteins in the blood so the stain can be removed.
After soaking the stain, use a damp cloth or a clean, unused toothbrush to scrub the stain. As you do so, you should see the stain slowly lighten and disappear. Once you are satisfied with the stain’s appearance, use a clean cloth to remove any excess cleaner or blood. Do this by blotting the material until all the cleaner is gone.
If you have a washable mattress cover, launder it in the washing machine after removing the excess cleaner. Be sure to check the care label for washing instructions; if your cover has no care tag, you can use warm water and a gentle washing cycle.
Drying the Area
Most washable mattress covers can be dried either on a low heat setting or hung to dry. If your bed doesn’t have a removable cover, you can dry the wet area with a clean, dry towel. Do this by laying the towel over the wet spot and pressing down into the mattress to absorb moisture.
Be sure to open windows in the room to keep air circulating and promote faster drying. You can also use a fan or a wet/dry vacuum to remove excess water from the bed.
How to Prevent Mattress Stains
Use a Waterproof Mattress Protector
A mattress protector is a great way to ensure your bed stays clean and in good condition for many years. Our Amerisleep Waterproof Mattress Protector ensures spills and accidents don’t soak through to your mattress and cause permanent damage.
This cover is incredibly soft and durable. It is made with a lightweight cotton-jersey blend to promote air circulation, so the mattress’s surface stays cool and inviting. The Amerisleep Mattress Protector is also certified by OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 to be free of harmful chemicals and toxic flame retardants.
Purchase a Mattress With a Removable and Washable Cover
If stains are a concern for you, consider a mattress with a removable and machine washable cover. A removable cover makes maintaining a clean mattress more convenient. Being able to remove germs and dander from the bed’s surface can be a big help for those with allergies and other sensitivities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does salt remove blood stains?
Yes, salt has dehydrating properties that work to lift blood from fabric. However, salt is most effective at blood stain removal when mixed with cornstarch and hydrogen peroxide. You can also mix salt and water to create a thick paste you can apply directly to the stain. Remember, though, this mixture only works on innerspring beds since hydrogen peroxide can damage foam.
Can you steam clean a mattress?
Yes, steam cleaners and wet/dry vacuums are a great way to keep your mattress clean. Steam effectively removes sweat, urine, and even blood from most upholstery. We recommend using a steamer with no cleaner solutions. Cleaners contain toxins that may become trapped in the mattress. Instead, select a steamer that uses only hot water to produce steam.
Is it possible to remove a blood stain from sheets without taking them off the mattress?
It is possible to remove a blood stain from a sheet without taking it off the bed. However, the material beneath the sheet can become soiled when doing so. In some cases, the stain may even transfer to the mattress or cover underneath.
To prevent this, remove the sheets from the mattress before treating the stain.
How do you deep clean your mattress?
To deep clean your mattress, you can use a steam cleaner or a wet/dry vacuum. If you do not have one of these appliances, you can use a vacuum with an upholstery hose attachment. If you notice any lingering odors, you can sprinkle your mattress with baking soda and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, vacuum up the excess power.
It is also a good idea to regularly inspect your mattress for stains. Old, dried stains can be harder to remove and may cause bacteria to build up.
Does vinegar remove urine odor?
Yes, vinegar neutralizes the strong ammonia smell in urine. However, we don’t recommend pouring vinegar or a vinegar and water solution directly on the mattress. Water can soak into the bed and cause mold and bacteria to form.
Instead, mix half a cup of vinegar and a half-gallon of water in a spray bottle and lightly spray the affected area. Let the mixture soak for about 30 minutes and then dry it by blotting.
Your mattress should be a clean and safe sleep surface for many years. The best way to ensure this is to use a waterproof protector and regularly clean your mattress with a vacuum or steam cleaner. If your mattress does develop a difficult stain, all is not lost. Follow the steps outlined above to remove the stain and any harmful bacteria.