Cleaning Guides

How to remove sweat stains from a mattress

A good mattress is essential for getting a good night’s sleep, which actually explains the high prices of some options on the market. Unfortunately, common types of stains caused by spillages, blood, vomit, urine, and sweat can significantly damage your mattress, especially if not taken care of on time. 

When it comes to factors that damage mattresses, sweating is, without a doubt, the most common one. We all sweat, even when we’re asleep. At first, sweat stains are almost impossible to notice but will eventually form yellow marks that come hand-in-hand with an unbearable smell. But don’t rush to bin your mattress, as there are ways to clean those yellow sweat stains and get the unpleasant odour out.

So, if you:

  • have noticed discolouration and unpleasant smells coming from your mattress;
  • are looking for a DIY alternative to tackle the nasty problem;
  • are curious to know how to protect your mattress from future damage.

Well, then you have found the right how-to article! Keep on reading and learn some professional tips and tricks to win the battle against stubborn sweat stains. 

The supplies you’ll need

Before you jump in, you will need to grab a few tools. So, here is what you will need to tackle this particular cleaning task:

  • Baking soda 
  • Brush
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Unscented dish soap 
  • Spray bottle 
  • Whisk (yeah, the one you use for cooking)
  • Some white cloth
  • Rubber gloves

How to get sweat stains out of a mattress

Sweat stains differ quite a bit from all other forms of yellow spots. This is in the sense that you won’t be unable to clean them right there and then. Once you notice a musty odour coming from your mattress, however, you will have to roll up your sleeves and put a pair of cleaning gloves on. There are a number of ways you can clean sweat stains, even out of the oldest mattresses. Here are two of the best and most common methods that require only products that you probably already have at home:

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Baking soda

Baking soda is famous for its many cleaning properties, one of them being the ability to absorb moisture and remove unpleasant smells. 

This method requires only a vacuum cleaner, a brush, baking soda, water, and just 30 minutes of your time. The first thing you need to do is strip the bed down and vacuum the surface of your mattress using the appropriate furniture attachment. Then spray the stained area with water and cover it with baking soda. Don’t hesitate to sprinkle more if necessary.

Next, scrub the area thoroughly with the brush, whilst making sure you aren’t pressing against the mattress. If you do so, you will spread the dirt across and will make this process even more difficult for yourself. Leave everything to rest between 10 and 15 minutes, and finish by vacuuming the baking soda residue off the surface.

Finally, you should leave your mattress to air dry for a few hours. This last step is possibly the most important one because if covered wet, you will lock all of the excess moisture in your mattress, which can lead to mould formation.

If the sweat stain is somewhat fresh, you can expect this method to completely remove it. If this is not the end result, repeat the above steps again, or move on to the next cleaning method. 

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DIY cleaning solution

In case you are dealing with older or more deep-set sweat stains, you will have to up your game a little, and tackle the problem with the use of chemicals. This particular method is way more time-consuming, however, there is a bigger chance of success. 

First, it is essential that you repeat all steps that were included in the baking soda method. Whilst waiting for your mattress to dry, mix equal parts water, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap into a spraying bottle. Whisk the solution or shake the bottle well, until foamy.

Next, put rubber gloves on and spray the mixture onto the yellow stain, ensuring that the whole area is perfectly covered. Let the solution soak in and leave it to do its magic for approximately 30 minutes. After that, blot the spot with a dry cloth to absorb any moisture. 

Important: Make sure you only use uncoloured fabrics for the blotting part, as chemicals tend to break down fabric paint. This paint will then transfer and further damage your mattress.

Next, completely cover the stain with baking soda again, and leave it to sit overnight. Finally, vacuum the residual baking soda off the mattress and inspect the area. If needed, use a cloth dipped into hydrogen peroxide to remove the remaining signs of the sweat stain.

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How to get sweat smell out of a mattress

The above-mentioned methods are great for removing sweat stains. But even when you believe that all is done and dusted, you could still encounter sweat smells coming from your mattress.

What you need to do in this case is disinfect and freshen your mattress. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Ventilation – Getting your mattress outside to freshen up should always be your first action plan. On a sunny summer day, the warm temperatures can help freshen both the outside surfaces of your mattress and the inside material. You should ideally leave your mattress in the sun for five hours or more. 
  • White vinegar – Vinegar is a great natural alternative to chemicals when it comes to neutralising unpleasant sweat odour. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spray far and wide across your mattress. At first, the scent of vinegar will be quite overwhelming, however, once dried, the smell will completely disappear. Essential oils are a great option, in case you prefer a specific scent. Simply add a few drops to the spray bottle with vinegar. Keep in mind that you should leave the mix for a day or so before applying it to your mattress.

Surely, sleeping in a smelly bed is unpleasant! So, if you wish to escape having to deal with sweat stains and smells, make sure to regularly change your sheets with fresh ones, slightly lower the temperatures inside your bedroom, and keep all rooms ventilated and clean. 

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Can’t get the sweat stains out of your mattress? Book a professional! 

Cleaning stained mattresses is often extremely time-consuming and aggravating. So, if you’ve applied the above-mentioned suggestions, yet the sweat stains continue to stay there – give us a call and book a mattress cleaning expert. Make yourself a cuppa and let the professionals complete the job in no time – your mattress will look good as new once we are done with it.

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  • Sweat is the most common factor that leads to yellow stains on mattresses;
  • Baking soda can help with not just removing sweat stains, but can also freshen and neutralise your mattress;
  • In many cases, you can remove mattress stains just with the help of household items;
  • Something as simple as airing out your mattress every once in a while could make a massive difference.


Have you got any tried and tested home remedies for getting rid of mattress stains? Please share them with us!

Image source: Shutterstock / Olga Aniven

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