How to Remove Yellow Stains on Mattress

Waking up to a yellow-stained mattress can be a frustrating and unsightly sight. These discoloured patches are common, especially on older mattresses, and can be caused by a variety of factors like sweat, urine, and body oils. While it may seem daunting to tackle these stubborn stains, there are effective methods you can use to restore your mattress to its former glory.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the causes of yellow mattress stains and share step-by-step instructions on how to remove them using a range of easy-to-find household ingredients. Whether you’re dealing with small spots or large discoloured areas, we’ve got you covered. By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to say goodbye to those pesky yellow stains and keep your mattress looking fresh and clean.

Remove Yellow Stains on Mattress

What Causes Yellow Stains on Mattresses?

There are several common culprits behind those unsightly yellow mattress stains:

  1. Sweat: As we sleep, our bodies naturally release sweat, which can seep into the mattress and leave behind discoloured patches over time. This is especially common in hot climates or for those who tend to sleep hot.
  2. Urine: Accidental bedwetting or incontinence can lead to urine stains on the mattress. These stains may start clear but can darken and yellow as they oxidize.
  3. Body oils and lotions: The oils and lotions we use on our skin can transfer to the mattress, resulting in yellow discolouration. This is more likely to happen if you don’t use mattress protectors or wash your bedding regularly.
  4. Spills and stains: Any liquid spills or food stains that aren’t cleaned up properly can also lead to yellow mattress stains over time.
  5. Dust and dirt: Over time, dust and dirt can build up on the surface of the mattress, causing it to take on a yellow or dingy appearance.

It’s important to note that yellow stains don’t necessarily indicate a hygiene issue. They’re a common problem that most mattress owners will face at some point. The good news is that with the right approach, you can effectively remove these stains and keep your mattress looking its best.

How to Remove Yellow Stains from Mattress

Now that we’ve explored the common causes of yellow mattress stains, let’s dive into the various methods you can use to remove them. Depending on the severity and nature of the stain, some techniques may be more effective than others. Be sure to test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the mattress first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.

1. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide make a powerful combination for tackling stubborn yellow stains. Here’s how to use them:

Materials Needed:

  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution)
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloth or sponge

Instructions:
a. Start by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda over the yellow stain. Use your hands to gently work the baking soda into the affected area.
b. In a spray bottle, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Lightly mist the baking soda-covered stain with the solution.
c. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to an hour, allowing the baking soda and peroxide to work their magic.
d. Using a clean cloth or sponge, blot and gently rub the stain to lift the discolouration. Avoid scrubbing too vigorously, as this can damage the mattress fabric.
e. Once the stain has been lifted, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away any remaining baking soda or peroxide residue.
f. Allow the mattress to air dry completely before making the bed.

The baking soda will help to absorb and lift the stain, while the hydrogen peroxide will bleach and disinfect the affected area. This method works particularly well for sweat and urine stains.

2. Dish Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide

If you don’t have baking soda on hand, you can also use a combination of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide to remove yellow mattress stains.

Materials Needed:

  • Mild dish soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution)
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloth or sponge

Instructions:
a. Mix equal parts dish soap and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle.
b. Lightly mist the yellow stain with the solution, making sure to cover the entire affected area.
c. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to an hour, allowing it to penetrate and break down the stain.
d. Using a clean cloth or sponge, blot and gently rub the stain to lift the discolouration.
e. Once the stain has been removed, use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining soap or peroxide residue.
f. Allow the mattress to air dry completely before making the bed.

The dish soap will help to emulsify and lift the stain, while the hydrogen peroxide will work to bleach and disinfect the area.

3. Enzyme Cleaner

Enzyme cleaners are a great option for tackling tough, set-in-yellow mattress stains. These specialized cleaners contain natural enzymes that break down organic compounds, making them effective at removing stains caused by bodily fluids, food, and more.

Materials Needed:

Instructions:
a. Vacuum the mattress surface to remove any loose dirt or debris.
b. Generously spray the enzyme cleaner onto the yellow stain, making sure to fully saturate the affected area.
c. Allow the cleaner to sit for the recommended time, usually 15-30 minutes.
d. Using a clean cloth or sponge, gently blot and rub the stain to lift the discolouration.
e. If the stain persists, repeat the process until the desired level of cleanliness is achieved.
f. Once the stain has been removed, use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining cleaner residue.
g. Allow the mattress to air dry completely before making the bed.

Enzyme cleaners are particularly effective at breaking down organic stains, making them a great choice for tackling yellow stains caused by sweat, urine, or bodily oils. The Puracy Natural Enzyme Cleaner is a popular and highly-rated option that uses plant-based enzymes to tackle tough stains.

4. White Vinegar

White vinegar is a versatile and affordable cleaning agent that can be used to remove yellow mattress stains. Its acidity helps to break down and lift stubborn discolouration.

Materials Needed:

  • White vinegar
  • Clean spray bottle
  • Clean cloth or sponge

Instructions:
a. Fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar.
b. Generously mist the yellow stain with the vinegar, making sure to fully saturate the affected area.
c. Let the vinegar sit for 5-10 minutes, allowing it to work on the stain.
d. Using a clean cloth or sponge, blot and gently rub the stain to lift the discolouration.
e. If the stain persists, repeat the process until it has been removed.
f. Once the stain has been lifted, use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining vinegar residue.
g. Allow the mattress to air dry completely before making the bed.

White vinegar is a safe, natural cleaning agent that won’t damage your mattress. It’s especially effective on urine and sweat stains.

5. Lemon Juice

Similar to white vinegar, the acidity in lemon juice can be an effective stain remover for yellow mattress discolouration.

Materials Needed:

  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Clean spray bottle
  • Clean cloth or sponge

Instructions:
a. Squeeze the juice of one or two lemons into a clean spray bottle.
b. Lightly mist the yellow stain with the lemon juice, making sure to fully cover the affected area.
c. Let the lemon juice sit for 10-15 minutes, allowing it to work on the stain.
d. Using a clean cloth or sponge, blot and gently rub the stain to lift the discolouration.
e. If the stain persists, repeat the process until it has been removed.
f. Once the stain has been lifted, use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining lemon juice residue.
g. Allow the mattress to air dry completely before making the bed.

Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent that can help to brighten and whiten discoloured areas on your mattress. It’s a gentle, yet effective option for removing yellow stains.

6. Steam Cleaning

For more stubborn or widespread yellow stains, steam cleaning your mattress can be a highly effective solution.

Materials Needed:

Instructions:
a. Thoroughly vacuum the mattress surface to remove any loose dirt or debris.
b. Fill your steam cleaner with the appropriate cleaning solution, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
c. Slowly and methodically steam clean the entire mattress surface, focusing on any yellow stained areas.
d. Use clean towels or rags to blot and absorb any excess moisture as you go.
e. Allow the mattress to air dry completely before making the bed.

Steam cleaning not only removes stains but also helps to sanitize and deodorize your mattress. The high heat and pressurized steam can penetrate deep into the mattress fibres, lifting and eliminating even the toughest yellow discolouration. The Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner is a popular and powerful steam cleaner that can be a great investment for deep-cleaning your mattress.

Preventative Measures

While removing existing yellow mattress stains is important, it’s also crucial to take steps to prevent future stains from occurring. Here are some tips:

  1. Use a mattress protector: Investing in a high-quality, waterproof mattress protector (such as the Linenspa Waterproof Mattress Protector) can create a barrier between your mattress and any potential spills or stains.
  2. Wash bedding regularly: Make it a habit to wash your sheets, pillowcases, and mattress pads at least once a week. This will help to remove any accumulated sweat, oils, or other substances that could lead to yellow stains.
  3. Air out your mattress: Exposing your mattress to sunlight and fresh air regularly can help to eliminate odours and prevent the buildup of moisture that can contribute to staining.
  4. Avoid eating and drinking in bed: Keeping food and beverages off your mattress will minimize the risk of spills and stains.
  5. Use a mattress topper or pad: Adding an extra layer of protection between you and the mattress (such as the LINENSPA 2-inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper) can help absorb sweat and oils, reducing the likelihood of yellow stains forming.

By incorporating these preventative measures into your mattress care routine, you can extend the life of your mattress and keep it looking fresh and clean for years to come.

Conclusion

Removing yellow stains from your mattress doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right cleaning methods and a little elbow grease, you can effectively tackle even the toughest discolouration. From baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to enzyme cleaners and steam cleaning, there are a variety of effective techniques at your disposal.

Remember to always test any cleaning solutions on a small, inconspicuous area of the mattress first, and be gentle when scrubbing to avoid damaging the fabric. Additionally, taking preventative measures like using a mattress protector and washing your bedding regularly can help to avoid future yellow stains.

By following the tips and techniques outlined in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well on your way to restoring your mattress to its former glory and enjoying a clean, stain-free sleeping surface for years to come.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.