How to Clean and Completely Remove the Most Common Types of Bed Stains

Dealing with stains can be annoying and frustrating, especially when they happen on the bed. If enough of the stain-causing substance is spilled on the bed, it can very quickly seep onto the mattress itself, leaving you with a much more difficult cleaning job to deal with. So, without further ado…

Quickly Isolate the Stain

Take off those dirty beddings, ASAP! Immediately remove any and all affected beddings but don’t roll them all up into a ball of laundry; that will just cause it to spread more throughout the material. Instead, do your best to prevent the stained area or areas from making contact with anything else that can be stained, including carpeted floors.

Stains are like contagious diseases: they can spread pretty easily, and the best way to deal with them is through prevention. But if you’re way past prevention, there are ways to remove almost all types of stains. You just have to act quickly. The longer you wait, the more a stain is likely to set and be harder to fully remove.

The first part of any stain-removal method is to suck up and remove as much of the stain as possible without spreading it further. Use an absorbent pad or any clean, lightly colored (to prevent color-transfer) cloth to remove what you can. If possible, place a clean absorbent pad under the stained area to control the spreading of moisture. After that, you can begin stain-specific treatment.

Remove Protein and Starch Stains Using Enzyme Product, Ammonia, and Vinegar

This common stain category includes vomit, bodily discharge, mucous, mouthwash, aftershave, meat, egg white, blood, and other pure protein/starch sources.

Put enzyme product on another absorbent pad and place it on the stain. Enzymes can be found in commercially available stain cleaning products and pet waste removers; they’re specifically formulated to dissolve proteins and starches. Let the enzyme product work on the stain by leaving it there for 30 minutes.

After that, flush it with water. If the stain is fresh, it’s really important not to use hot water as that can cook the stain and allow it to set; use lukewarm water for treatment instead.

Then, flush the stained area with ammonia solution (1 tablespoon of ammonia and ½ cup of water). Use unscented and uncolored ammonia so as not to cause more stains. After that, flush it with pure water and make sure that no ammonia is left behind. You can use clean absorbent pads to blot on and around the area both to remove parts of the stain as well as control the spreading of moisture on the material.

Flush the area with vinegar solution (3/4 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 cup of water). After that, thoroughly flush the area with water, making sure that no vinegar is left.

Keep repeating these steps until the stain has been completely removed. In the case of blood, which can be more stubborn than others, you’ll need to take the extra step of applying a combination of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 drop of ammonia on the stained area. Completely flush the area with water after treatment.

Remove Tannin and Glucose Stains Using Alcohol, Detergent, Vinegar, Enzyme Product, and Bleach.

Tannin and glucose is another common stain category. This includes wine, beer, black coffee, fruit juices and preserves, vegetables, corn syrup, tomato juice, maple syrup, and other stuff that go rather well with a weekend afternoon in bed.

Apply water to the stain with an absorbent pad. Cover the stain with a clean absorbent pad that’s moistened with a combination of water and detergent, plus a couple drops of white vinegar. If the stained material is tough, use a brush or metal spoon to tamp on the area in order to loosen it further. Flush it with water.

You can now start lifting the stain using an absorbent pad that’s moistened with alcohol. Once that first pad has lifted enough of the stain, replace it with another alcohol-moistened pad. Keep doing this until no more of the stain can be lifted by the alcohol pads.

Cover the stained area with an absorbent pad that’s moistened with enzyme product; allow this pad to remain on the stain for 30 minutes. Flush it with water.

Use a medicine dropper to very precisely apply chlorine bleach on the remaining parts of the stain. Be very careful not to overdo it. After exactly 2 minutes, completely remove the bleach by flushing it with water, then vinegar solution, and then pure water again. Any remaining chlorine bleach can cause permanent bleach stains, so use the vinegar to completely remove it. Meanwhile, any remaining vinegar can cause yellowing, so use water to completely flush it out.

Remove Water-Soluble Body Waste Using Detergent, Ammonia, Vinegar, Alcohol, and Bleach

Water-soluble body waste refers to urine and sweat. However, this stain category also includes stuff like deodorant, antiperspirant, candy (not chocolates), red dye, red watercolor, and red ink. Why? Because these stains can also be removed using the same treatment method below.

Apply water to the stain with an absorbent pad. Moisten another absorbent pad with detergent solution along with a few drops of ammonia; press this pad on the stain every 5 minutes for 2 to 3 times. Flush it with water.

Moisten another absorbent pad with detergent solution but this time, with a couple drops of vinegar instead of ammonia; press this pad on the stain every 5 minutes for 2 to 3 times. Flush it with water.

Cover the stain with an absorbent pad moistened with alcohol, and allow this pad to stay there for as long as it’s sucking up or lifting the stain. You can tamp the stained area with a metal spoon or a brush if the fabric and the stain prove to be rather tough. Flush completely with water.

Time to use chlorine bleach again. Remember: always use a medicine dropper so you can be in full control of the amount of bleach that you’re using (just a couple drops will do). Remove the bleach after exactly 2 minutes by flushing with water. After that, flush with vinegar to remove all chlorine, and then remove all vinegar with a final flush with water.

These are just 3 of the most common types of stains that tend to occur in the bedroom. Strictly speaking, there are actually 10 categories of stains, each with its own characteristics and specific method of treatment. If the stain you’re dealing with is not included in the ones described above, they’re likely part of the other 7 less-common stain types.

Invest in a Waterproof Mattress Protector and Other Ways to Prevent Stains

Now that you know how to handle stains, here are a couple things you can do to prevent them in the future. A waterproof mattress protector can keep the mattress itself from ever getting stained.

This is important because mattresses and moisture don’t go well together. Moisture tends to settle and then serve as a breeding ground for mold, and stain removal sometimes entails a lot of moisture. If any spills or stains occur on the bed, it’s better if they’re not allowed to reach the mattress.

You can also just avoid bringing food and drinks to bed. Reserve those breakfasts-in-bed for really special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries, or when it’s the only way for your spouse to forgive you for something you did.

As much as possible, keep stain-causing substances away from your bed. Remember: the best way to deal with stains is to prevent them from happening in the first place.