What Causes Yellow Stains on Mattresses?

Lenard Nagy
Apr 4, 2024

Have you ever wondered how to get rid of an unpleasant yellow spot on your mattress when you wake up? With a few straightforward steps, you can erase these marks and restore your mattress to its original state. These effective methods not only clean the surface but also prolong the life of your mattress, ensuring that you continue to enjoy restful, uninterrupted sleep.

So, what are these life-saving tips? Let’s explore the proven solutions that will make your mattress look as good as new!

What Are the 6 Common Causes of Yellow Stains?

Let's look into the six common causes of yellow stains on mattresses, a concern for many seeking to maintain a clean sleeping environment. From sweat and body oils piling up over time to accidental spills and the natural process of oxidation, these factors play a significant role in the appearance of yellow marks. 

A typical cause is sweat  

Everyone sweats during sleep, leading to moisture and body oil gathering on the mattress. Over time, this mixture can result in noticeable yellow stains. Preventing these stains involves regular sheet changes and possibly using a mattress protector.

Child and pets can cause staining

Life's little accidents, such as drink spills or a child's or pet's mishap, can leave behind yellow stains. These incidents are not only visually unappealing but can also introduce unpleasant odours and the potential for mould growth if left unaddressed. Prompt cleanup is essential.

Vomiting can cause staining  

Both human and pet vomit can cause staining if not cleaned up quickly. The acidity and components of vomit contribute to the yellow staining, along with the challenge of removing associated odours. Immediate action and thorough cleaning are crucial.

Rust can cause staining  

Metal parts within the mattress, like springs, can rust when exposed to moisture, leading to distinctive yellow or orange stains with a slight metallic odour. This type of stain is more common in older or traditional spring mattresses.

Water spills can cause staining  

Even simple water spills can result in light yellow or beige stains if the mattress is not allowed to dry properly. These might seem harmless, but they can cause mould and mildew. Ensuring spills are dried quickly can prevent these stains.

Knowing the common causes of yellow stains on your mattress is the first step towards maintaining a clean and healthy sleeping environment. A proactive approach to prevention and maintenance can significantly extend the life and comfort of your mattress.

Are There Any Prevention Strategies?

With a few simple steps, you can greatly reduce the risk of yellow stains and ensure your mattress stays fresh and clean for longer.

Use a mattress protector

A mattress protector is a must-have for anyone looking to keep their mattress in top condition. These protectors act as a barrier against spills, sweat, and other fluids that could cause staining. They're easy to use and can be washed regularly, making them an excellent first line of defence.

Regularly change your sheets

Dirt, sweat, and oils from your body can accumulate on your bedding and seep into your mattress, leading to stains. Changing your sheets weekly helps minimise this risk and keeps your sleeping environment clean.

Keep food and drinks away

It's tempting to enjoy a snack or a drink in bed, but accidents happen, and these can lead to stains. Avoid eating or drinking in bed to prevent spills that could soak into your mattress.

Address spills immediately

If a spill does happen, act fast! The quicker you clean up a spill, the less chance it has to seep into your mattress and cause a stain. Use a dry cloth to blot up as much liquid as possible, then clean the area according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Ventilate your bedroom

Good air circulation in your bedroom can help prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to mould and mildew stains. Keeping your bedroom well-ventilated helps keep your mattress dry and stain-free.

By implementing these straightforward strategies, you can significantly reduce the risk of yellow stains on your mattress. A little prevention goes a long way in maintaining the cleanliness and longevity of your mattress, ensuring a healthier sleeping environment for you and your family.

Removing yellow stains from your mattress doesn't have to be a difficult task. With some simple yet effective methods, you can get your mattress looking fresh again.

What Are the Best Cleaning Solutions for Removing Yellow Stain from Mattresses?

There are several different methods to remove yellow stain from your mattresses. Each method has its own set of advantages and results, depending on the intensity and cause of the stain. So, let's check out each of the following methods:

DIY Solutions: 

A popular homemade cleaning mixture involves baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. This trio is quite effective for tackling yellow stains. Start by mixing a cup of hydrogen peroxide with three tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dish soap. Apply this solution directly to the stains, wait about 15 minutes, and then dab away. It's a gentle approach that works wonders.

Natural Stain Removal: 

For those preferring natural methods, creating a paste from baking soda, water, and a bit of salt offers a powerful solution. Apply this paste to the stain, let it sit for half an hour, and then wipe it off with a damp cloth. This method is especially good for lighter stains and can help in deodorising your mattress too.

Specialised Products: 

Sometimes, a specialised cleaner for the mattress itself might be necessary for stubborn stains. These products are designed to tackle tough stains effectively and are a convenient option for those looking for a quick fix.

Oxiclean and Bissel Spotclean: 

For a more thorough clean, especially for larger or more stubborn stains, using Oxiclean with a carpet and upholstery cleaning machine might be the way to go. This combination can deeply clean the mattress, removing stains and odours without leaving it overly wet.

By choosing the right method based on the type and severity of the stain, you can keep your mattress clean and extend its lifespan. Remember, a clean mattress contributes to a healthier sleeping environment and better sleep quality.

When is the Right Time to Replace Your Mattress?

While keeping your mattress clean is important, there comes a time when no amount of cleaning can save an old, worn-out mattress. Knowing when to replace your mattress, rather than trying to remove yellow stains, is crucial for ensuring a good night's sleep and maintaining your health.

Consider the age of your mattress

Firstly, consider the age of your mattress. Most mattresses have a lifespan of 7 to 10 years. Over time, the structure and materials break down, leading to sagging and low support. If your mattress is approaching or has surpassed this age range, it's time to start looking for a new one.

Waking up with aches and pains

Additionally, if you're waking up with aches and pains, your mattress may no longer be providing the support your body needs. Persistent discomfort is a sign that your mattress has lost its ability to properly support your body during sleep.

An old mattress can also make allergies and asthma worse. Dust mites, mould, and mildew can accumulate in mattresses over time, especially if they have moisture issues from stains or spills. If you notice an increase in allergic reactions or respiratory problems, it could be due to your mattress.

Mattress has significant visible damage

Lastly, if your mattress has significant visible damage—like tears, holes, or severe stains that you can't remove—it's time for a new one. Not only are these issues unsightly, but they can also affect the overall hygiene and comfort of your sleep environment.


We have covered why yellow stains might show up on your mattress, including from sweat, spills, and even just using it over time. Additionally, there are ways to clean up these stains using stuff you might already have at home, and if these methods won't give the desired results or are too old, damaged, or uncomfortable, it might be the right time to get a new mattress.

If you find these tips helpful but need help with the professional cleaning of your mattress and maintaining it in great shape, Perfect Clean is here to help. We can give you the best advise and an expert cleaning service for any mattress problem. Reach out to us, and let's keep your sleeping space fresh and clean!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common causes of yellow stains on a mattress?

Yellow stains on mattresses can come from various sources, such as sweat, body oils, urine, and even food preservatives.

Can pets contribute to yellow stains on mattresses?

Yes, pets sleeping on beds can increase the risk of urine accidents, which are a significant cause of yellow stains. Almost half of people allow pets in their beds, heightening this risk​​.

How can I remove yellow stains caused by urine?

For urine stains, using an enzyme-based cleaner or a homemade solution of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap is effective. It's important to dab the stain rather than rub it to prevent it from spreading​​.

Is it possible to clean yellow stains with natural solutions?

Yes, natural cleaning methods, such as using a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and water, can be effective for yellow stains. These solutions are eco-friendly and less harsh on the mattress fabric​​.

What specialised products are recommended for yellow stain removal?

Permanent Stain Remover and Resolve Multi-Fabric Cleaner are highly recommended for their effectiveness and ease of use in removing tough yellow stains​​.

How often should I clean or replace my mattress to avoid yellow stains?

Regular cleaning and using protective measures like mattress covers can prevent stains. However, mattresses typically need replacement every 7 to 10 years due to wear and tear or persistent staining issues​​​​.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.