What Causes Yellow Stains on Mattresses?

People tend to sweat and release natural body oils while sleeping, leaving unsightly yellow stains on their mattresses that can become unsightly if left for too long without being cleaned thoroughly. They can also produce bad odours.

Mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda and apply this solution directly to the stain. Scatter generous amounts of baking soda onto the area in which you have applied this solution and allow it to react for approximately fifteen minutes.


Since we spend about one quarter of our lives sleeping, mattresses accumulate sweat, skin flakes, oil and other residue. Over time these substances can discolour the mattress, as well as provide a breeding ground for mildew, mould and other harmful contaminants which could make us sick.

Although it’s difficult to prevent mattress deterioration with age, you can still do your part to ensure it remains clean and fresh. If your mattress begins to yellow over time, try cleaning it using mild liquid detergent or dishwashing soap; this should remove yellow spots and restore its original hue.

If the stain persists, try an enzyme-based cleaner or vinegar solution to clean it away. If it remains stubborn over time, consider renting a steam carpet cleaner with upholstery attachment for best results.

Urine left on mattresses by children or adults can leave yellow stains that are difficult to remove, due to bacteria in urine causing unpleasant odors and even leading to mold and mildew growth. Left unattended on a mattress it can irritate nose, lungs and throat of anyone sleeping there, seeping through to stain sheets as well.

An effective solution for yellow mattress stains is mixing vinegar and water in a spray bottle and applying it directly to the affected areas of the mattress. This should lift any stains while leaving your bed smelling fresh! Alternatively, try sprinkling baking soda over it; allow to set for 12 hours before vacuuming up.

If you have been neglectful in washing your mattress, yellow stains may be difficult to eradicate. In such a case, professional mattress cleaners should be hired to ensure all yellow spots have been eliminated from its surface.

Food and drink spills

People living in humid areas, consuming oily foods or having children and pets are susceptible to food and drink spills that leave yellow stains on their mattress. If these spills are left unattended for too long, the liquid may penetrate deep into the fabric causing permanent staining as it penetrates deeper than expected and worsening odors over time.

Sweat and natural body oils can also cause yellow stains on mattresses, although initially these might not be noticeable. Over time they build up over time to become visible stains which lead to mould and mildew growth as excess moisture creates the ideal environment for bacteria growth that produces unpleasant odors. To prevent this happening regularly washing sheets is key as well as using a mattress protector.

Urine from humans or pets can leave yellow stains on mattresses if the stain is not treated quickly, often resulting in yellow-tinged yellowing of mattresses. Urine stains are notoriously difficult to get rid of due to their smelly nature; but with some hard work you can get the stain removed. Start by blotting with a clean dry cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible before mixing equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spraying this solution over affected area; after which sprinkle baking soda (as needed) over saturated area before spraying further until all remaining solution has reacted over 15 minutes blotting and wiping any remaining baking soda/vinegareces with damp cloth for better cleaning up any remaining baking soda/vinegareacetain combination remains.

If the smell or stain persists, try applying baking soda again. Spread a generous layer over your mattress and allow it to sit overnight; when you awake, the odor should have dissipated, with faded or disappeared stains appearing over time. Repeat as necessary until all traces and odor have been eliminated from your mattress.

Dirt and debris

Dirt and debris, whether from spills, sweat or body oils, can leave yellow stains on your mattress that can be difficult to completely eliminate without deep cleaning. Testing any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous part of the mattress prior to using it and, if sensitive areas occur when testing said solution. For added caution when cleaning both mattress and pad pads separately remember to always take an EPA-compliant cleaner as a first option before returning sheets onto them and cleaning again afterwards.

Urine can be an especially problematic source of yellow mattress stains for parents and those caring for young children, and should be addressed quickly before it seeps deeper into the mattress and leaves an offensive musty smell behind. To minimize future problems it’s wise to treat urine stains quickly in order to keep mattresses free from yellow stains caused by urine leakage and avoid musty and unpleasant odours that result from urine seepage into mattresses.

To remove urine stains from a mattress, the first step should be blotting with a dry cloth to soak up any excess moisture. Next, create a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Pour this solution into an empty spray bottle, spray generously across the stained area, blot with dry cloth again after spraying, repeat until stain is almost gone and repeat process as necessary.

While sweat and body oil are natural byproducts of life, they can leave unsightly stains on mattresses if left to build up over time. Over time this build-up could even breed bacteria or bed mites to flourish!

Sweat and body oil stains can be eliminated using a natural cleaning solution that’s good for both the environment and you. To make such a solution, mix 1/4 cup of water with two tablespoons of baking soda and one teaspoon of salt, adding drops at a time until you form a paste-like substance that you apply directly onto the mattress stain by massaging in a circular motion for 30 minutes before wiping with a damp cloth.

An effective and straightforward method for eliminating yellow stains from mattresses is using white vinegar. Simply combine equal parts water and white vinegar in an empty spray bottle before spraying directly over the stain with equal parts squirted directly onto it. After applying this solution, blot with a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture before leaving to dry naturally on its own.


Chemicals present in detergents, shampoos, toothpastes and other household products can be hard on mattresses and leave unsightly yellow stains that cannot be removed with vacuuming alone. A mattress protector and not bringing food or drinks into bed are both ways of helping avoid accidents in this regard.

Human and pet urine can leave unpleasant yellow stains on a mattress if left uncleaned for too long, not only discolouring but also creating an offensive musty odour that’s hard to eradicate. When urine stains appear on your mattress it should be quickly cleaned up by blotting and immediately washing bed sheets and mattress cover if possible.

Sweat and body oils can also lead to yellow stains on mattresses, although this form of contamination is generally easier to clear away than urine or blood stains. Still, it should be addressed as soon as possible for optimal mattress care.

Mold and mildew may appear on mattresses as small yellow marks due to inadequate ventilation or overly humid areas in the room. While mould and mildew can be hard to eliminate from mattresses, their presence should be seen more as a serious health risk than simply an inconvenience for cleaning services.

Another factor affecting mattress color is oxidation. This natural process occurs to all mattresses over time and can be accelerated by moisture or sunlight exposure. Protecting and washing a mattress protector regularly will slow this process and prolong its lifespan and ensure optimal condition of your mattress.

Age can also contribute to yellowed mattresses. Foam mattresses eventually decay, losing shape and changing colors over time. While this process cannot be stopped entirely, its speed may be decreased by placing your mattress away from direct sunlight and using a mattress protector.