What Causes Mattress Stains: Solve 5 Common Issues

If you want to know what causes mattress stains, we’ll discuss the five common issues. We’ve also included how you can remove mattress stains using the safest methods for your bed. And best of all, they use common household items!

Are you also seeing yellowish discoloration on the mattress? Find out what causes yellow stains on a bed here. 


What Are The Causes Of Mattress Stains?


Sweat and oils

The most common cause of mattress stains is accumulated sweat and oils from our skin and hair. We spend one-third of our life in bed, so it should also be expected to collect our natural body fluids. Oils and sweat from the body are also what cause the yellow stains in the bed.  

How to remove sweat and oil stains on the mattress

  1. Mix baking soda and dish soap until you create suds
  2. Collect the suds with a sponge and rub the yellow stains
  3. Wipe off the treated areas and allow the mattress to air-dry
  4. If there is an odor, you can get sweat smell out of bed with vinegar

Body excretions

Mattress stains also happen from body excretions. For example, it might be urine or even fecal matter of humans or pets. It would be best to treat these stains and messes as soon as possible because they can also lead to bacterial growth on the mattress. 

How to remove urine stains on the mattress

  1. Mix hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and baking soda until there are no lumps
  2. Spray the cleaning solution on the urine stains and let them soak for an hour
  3. Sprinkle baking soda on the treated spots and vacuum them off the following day

How to remove poop stains on the mattress

  1. Remove as much fecal matter on the bed as possible
  2. Cover the mattress stains with an enzyme cleaner and blot them off after several minutes
  3. Dab vinegar in the treated areas and check this guide on how to clean a soiled mattress for more tips


Besides pee and feces, puke can also leave stains on the bed. You can treat it the same way you’ll clean off other body excretions and then check how to get the vomit smell out of bed. It’s best that you also place the dirty mattress cover in the washing machine after removing the vomit.  

How to remove puke stains on the mattress

  1. Dilute vinegar with water and spray the vomit stains on the mattress
  2. Blot the affected areas until they transfer onto the cloth
  3. Sprinkle baking soda over the stained spots and vacuum it off after an hour


Blood can be one of the trickiest stains to remove, especially when it dried off. However, you can still get blood stains out of the mattress with enzymatic cleaners. In addition, even everyday household items can clean off blood stains in the bed if the stains are relatively new. 

How to remove blood stains on the mattress

  1. Pour hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and target the blood stains on the bed
  2. Blot off the treated areas and clean the mattress as usual
  3. You can also use lemon juice followed by laundry detergent to treat the residual discoloration from blood


Even water can stain the mattress. For example, if the bed did not dry thoroughly or you used hard water for cleaning, they can create discolorations on the mattress. Fortunately, it’s easy to remove water stains on the bed, similar to getting water stains off the fabric sofa

How to remove water stains on the mattress

  1. Scrub detergent onto the water stains in the mattress with a damp cloth
  2. Vacuum off the remaining powdered soap on the bed
  3. Allow the treated spots to air-dry

Why Do Mattresses Get Brown Stains?

Your mattress might develop brown stains as it reaches its expected lifespan. Remember that the inner materials will start disintegrating as the years’ pass. It would be best also to consider spills and messes on the bed that caused the brown spots.

If brown spots suddenly appear or slowly develop on the mattress, rust might also be to blame. Some beds have metal hardware in their inner structure. If you failed to dry the mattress correctly, the residual moisture has caused the metals inside to rust.  


What Do Bed Bug Stains Look Like On A Mattress?

Watch out for rust red to black stains on the mattress because they can indicate bed bugs. Bed bug excrement can even be different shades of brown splotches all over the bed. You may want to learn how to fumigate a mattress to eliminate bed bugs before the infestation worsens. 

And if you’re interested in how effective are bed bug mattress covers, read our in-depth article about them. 


How Do I Keep My Mattress From Staining?

You can keep your mattress from staining by using a mattress protector. These covers will keep any spills and mess from seeping deeper into the bed, making stain removal easier. Furthermore, make it a habit to dab off any excess liquid as soon as they occur.



We hope you learned a lot from this article! To recap what causes mattress stains, they include body fluids, body excretions, vomit, blood, and water. Even some stains indicate bed bugs. 

Let us know which of our solutions have you tried when cleaning your bed below. If you need more specific solutions, search our knowledge base. 

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