How to Clean a Wet Bed?

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. [Read our full health disclaimer]

Updated on February 16, 2023

Accidents can happen quite often, and your mattress isn’t excluded from this. You might have spilled water, soda, or coffee on your mattress, or your child or your furry friends might’ve urinated on it, or maybe there’s been a flood.

No matter how your mattress got wet, the moisture is going to weaken the integrity of the mattress materials. Now the question: how to clean wet bed?

Ultimately, the most important thing in saving your mattress from liquid damage is how fast you react.

So, the first step is to let your mattress dry as soon as you can. That way you have the best chance of preventing mildew and mold from forming inside your mattress.

As we all know mattresses are quite an expensive investment, so we expect it to last at least five to seven years before we even begin considering buying a new one. But don’t worry we have good news: cleaning wet bed is far easier than you may think. Take out your cleaning products and follow these simple steps.

How to Clean Up a Wet Bed?

You can clean your wet bed quite easily; you just need to follow a few steps. Here are the ones that you need to follow in order to get a clean and fresh mattress.

Clean Your Bed Sheets

white textile

First, you need to dab all the excess fluid from the bedsheets. You can use a clean dry cloth, a rag, paper towels, or dry towels. Gently blot the bedsheets to remove as much of the fluid as possible. Remember, never rub the stain since the fluid can seep deeper into your sheets and mattress and would damage them even more.

After soaking the surface, wash your bed sheets in a washing machine with a laundry detergent, as you usually do. If your bed sheet still smells bad and the stains remain, wash them again, but this time use some white vinegar along with the laundry detergent as well. Washing your bed sheets with warm water will help get rid of any dust mites.

The final thing you have to do is to dry your bedsheets. However, if you can still feel the smell, put your sheets in a dryer on a gentle cycle setting.

Clean Your Wet Mattress

The first step when cleaning your wet mattress is largely the same as with the sheets. Remove as much of the excess liquid as possible using a clean rag or towel. Dab the fluid until there is no (or only a little) fluid left on the mattress’s surface. Again, never rub the mattress to soak up the excess fluid as you’ll damage your mattress even more.

After you’ve done dabbing, sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of baking soda on the affected area of your mattress. Leave it on the mattress for several minutes, and let the baking soda do its magic; it will absorb the remaining fluid from the mattress and can help remove the smell. After several minutes, use a dry vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda from the surface of the mattress.

Now it’s time for the stain remover. You can use an enzyme cleaner, hydrogen peroxide, or just white vinegar to remove the stain and the smell from your mattress. Just spray the stain remover that you have chosen and leave it for several minutes on the mattress. It’s crucial to make sure that you cover all the affected areas. Do the blotting again, cover the entire mattress with baking soda again and have your mattress air dry for at least 24 hours.

After the mattress has dried, remove the baking soda from the mattress surface using a dry vacuum cleaner.

So, by now one side of your mattress is cleaned up, however, you have to clean the other side as well. Flip the mattress and repeat the steps that we previously mentioned on this side as well, so both sides of your mattress will be clean, fresh, and spotless.

white bed pillow on bed

The last thing you’ll need to do is to put your mattress in a room with good ventilation or outside on your terrace or yard.

When your mattress is completely dry, disinfect it. For this, you can use a mixture of equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol. Put the mixture in a spray bottle so you can apply the mixture evenly over the entire mattress. Make sure you spray in between the seams and underneath the rivets, too.

Protect Your Bed

When it comes to cleaning a wet bed, regardless of the spill or accident, that’s about it. But, prevention is always better than dealing with the issue. There are three ways to protect your bed and save yourself the trouble:

  • Try using a waterproof mattress pad. This way you’ll prevent fluids from being absorbed into your mattress. You can find these waterproof mattress protectors in any hardware store or online;
  • Try using a washable mattress cover. You can use washable covers that are made from breathable materials. This protector will cover the surface of your mattress and when you can just launder it in the washing machine;
  • Try using washable bedding. Use only bedding that can be easily washed and maintained such as bedding made from cotton; it’s easily washed and doesn’t stain.

Drying a Mattress Using a Hairdryer

If the spill is minor, cleaning it up and drying your mattress will obviously be easier. Start with dabbing up as much excess fluid as you can using clean cloths, paper towels, or dry towels.

Now it’s time for a stain remover. You can use a cleansing solution: one part dish soap and two parts of hydrogen peroxide. Put the mixture directly on the stain and use a toothbrush to work the cleaning solution into the mattress. Leave to soak for a few minutes and wipe using a clean towel.

When the stain is removed, take your hair dryer and dry your mattress. Aim your hairdryer toward the wet area. Dry your mattress by holding your blow dryer several inches above the mattress for approximately 20 minutes. When the affected area is cooled down, check if it’s dry. In case it’s still wet, continue drying your mattress for another 15 minutes.

How To Get Pee Out Of Memory Foam Mattress?

Cleaning up a memory foam mattress is almost the same as cleaning up regular mattresses. When you spill liquid on your memory foam mattress, it will stain, so always use a stain remover before you dry your mattress.

white and gray floral textile

First, you need to suck up as much excess liquid as possible using a vacuum cleaner or use a clean cloth to soak it up. Afterward, use any of the stain removers that we’ve mentioned before. Now, it’s time to use a fan and open a window while you leave the cleaning solution to sit for approximately an hour or so to dry. If the stain and the unpleasant odor are still here, repeat the cleaning procedure again.

There is another method for drying your memory foam mattress: bring it outside and put the mattress directly in sunlight. Make a platform for better airflow to accelerate the process of drying your mattress. And remember: don’t put your mattress on your bed until it’s completely dried.

How to Clean Urine From a Mattress?

Sometimes your little ones can have bed accidents, known as bedwetting. However, don’t worry – below you’ll find everything you need to clean bed-wetting incidents from your mattress:

  • White vinegar;
  • Dish soup;
  • Cold water;
  • Spray bottle;
  • Plastic wrap;
  • Clean towels.

You know what you need, so now follow these steps and the pee stain will be gone:

  • Make a vinegar solution from two parts of cold water, one part vinegar, and some dish soap. Put this cleaning solution in a spray bottle and cover the affected area of the mattress. Make sure that you’ve applied enough of the cleaning solution so the mattress is soaked down to the original pee stain;
  • Cover the affected area of the mattress using plastic wrap and leave it that way for a day or two. This way the cleaning solution won’t evaporate, allowing the cleaning solution to do its magic on the urine stain for a longer period of time;
  • Remove the plastic wrap and leave your mattress for a day (or maybe even more) to air dry.
  • If the urine stain isn’t gone, repeat the previous three steps again until the pee stain is gone;
  • Once the urine stain is cleaned up, spot clean the mattress using clean warm water and dab using clean towels to dry.

Often, after you’ve cleaned up the urine stain from the mattress, you can still sense the pee smell. We have cleaning tips for this as well. You only need baking soda and a dry vacuum cleaner. Sprinkle the baking soda over the affected area and let the baking soda sit overnight. The next day, just clean the mattress with a dry vacuum cleaner.


Concluding Thoughts

By properly cleaning your mattress, you’ll no doubt extend its lifespan, and at the same time, you’ll be treated with a good night’s sleep on a clean, fresh mattress. However, it’s recommendable to invest in a new mattress every eight years or so.

If your mattress is sagging, it’s time for a brand new mattress because your old mattress will no longer provide you with adequate support. Thus, you can clean up your mattress, but sometimes it’s better (and practical) to invest in a new one.

Article Sources

  1. Kellog, K., Silva, M. (2020, March 20). How to Clean a Mattress in 9 Simple Steps.
  2. Ullman, M. (2022, July 6). How to Clean Your Mattress Naturally.
  3. Chen, L. (2022, May 3). How to clean pee out of a mattress, according to an expert.
  4. Meadows, A. (2023, January 31). How to Get Urine Smell and Stains Out of a Mattress.
  5. Liman, S. (2023, January 21). How to Remove Urine Stains and Smell From a Mattress.
Bree Taylor - Lead Editor

Lead Editor

Bree is an interior designer with a passion for helping people improve their sleep quality.

She specializes in creating comfortable and functional bedroom spaces that promote a good night’s rest.

When she’s not testing mattresses or helping people get the best rest possible, Bree loves to travel and explore new cultures.

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