Why Does My Mattress Get Yellow Stains?

Why Does My Mattress Get Yellow Stains?

Having yellow marks or yellow stains on your mattress seems completely normal, especially if you have had your mattress for a long time. Technically, some parts of mattresses turn yellow because of their old age. However, in reality, it's not always the case. This is because even unsightly yellow stains on mattresses can be caused by unhygienic factors that may have bad results for your health if not prevented.

The question "Why is my mattress yellow?" has been stressing you for quite some time now, but don't worry because we are about to discuss the factors that cause yellow stains and how to prevent them.


What Causes Yellow Stains on Mattresses?

What Causes Yellow Stains on Mattresses

Natural oxidation is the real reason you have yellow stains on mattresses. When the mattress gets older, it loses its support over time; it will start sagging, and wear and tear will become more visible. One noticeable change to your mattress is the yellowing or discolouration over time. Natural oxidation can contribute to this discolouration because oxidation is a chemical process where substances react with oxygen.

When certain materials in a mattress come into contact with oxygen in the air, they can undergo oxidative reactions, which may result in colour changes, typically towards a yellow or brown hue. This process can be more pronounced if the mattress materials contain organic compounds or substances that are prone to oxidation.

Additionally, natural oxidation can affect various components of a mattress, including:

  1. Foam layers are used in mattresses, especially polyurethane foams that can oxidise over time.
  2. The fabrics and coverings used on a mattress can be susceptible to oxidation, leading to changes in the colour of the mattress's surface.
  3. Latex mattresses made from natural latex can turn yellow or brown over time.
  4. Innerspring coils that may rust over time can also cause yellow stains and weaken the mattress's structural integrity.


    What are the Other Common Culprits Behind Yellow Stains?

    Yellow Stains on Mattress

    We cannot point the blame to natural oxidation alone because here are the other factors that causes yellow stains on your mattress:


    Sweat and Body Oils

    When you sleep, your body naturally perspires to regulate its temperature. This sweat, along with the oils produced by your skin, can be absorbed by the mattress. Over time, these substances can accumulate and lead to yellow stains.



    Bedwetting or pet accidents can introduce urine into your mattress. Urine contains urea, a compound that can break down and release ammonia that can react with the proteins and other compounds in the mattress fabric, leading to yellow stains. Once you spot urine stains on your mattress, act quickly because the longer urine remains in the mattress, the more likely it is to cause permanent discolouration and odour.


    Dust Mites

    Dust mites are tiny arachnids that thrive indoors, particularly in bedding and mattresses. They feed on dead skin cells and natural body oils shed by humans and pets that may contain proteins and enzymes that can react with the mattress fabric and cause yellow stains or discolouration.


    Food or Drink Spills

    Accidental spills or spilling food or beverages on the bed can lead to staining if not promptly and thoroughly cleaned. Many foods and drinks contain pigments or substances that can discolour the mattress fabric when they come into contact with it.


    How to Prevent Yellow Stains on Mattresses

    How to Prevent Yellow Stains on Mattresses

    To maintain the beauty and colour of your mattress despite its old age, here are the preventive measures that you can take to protect your mattress from yellow stains.


    Use a Mattress Protector

    Invest in a waterproof or water-resistant mattress protector because these covers create a barrier between your body and the mattress, preventing fluids from seeping through and staining the mattress.


    Wash Your Bedding Regularly

    Wash your pillowcases and sheets regularly to help prevent the buildup of sweat stains, oils, and other substances that can lead to stains.


    Shower Before Bed

    Taking a shower before going to bed can help reduce the amount of sweat and body oils that come into contact with your mattress. Taking a shower before bed is a simple but effective way to keep your mattress cleaner.


    Use Breathable Bedding Materials

    Opt for bedding made from breathable, natural materials like cotton, linen, or bamboo because these materials can help wick away moisture and reduce the likelihood of stains on your mattress.


    Rotate and Flip Your Mattress

    Regularly rotate and flip your mattress to even out wear and tear, as this can help prevent the accumulation of stains in specific areas. However, before doing so, check the manufacturer's care instructions to see if your mattress can rotate and flip.


    Keep Pets Off the Bed

    Do not let pets sleep on your mattress, and consider keeping them off the bed to prevent yellow stains caused by accidents and pet-related stains on a mattress.


    Regularly Clean Your Mattress

    Your mattress is not 100% safe from yellow stains or stain-free even with preventive measures because, over time, your mattress may still accumulate some stains. To avoid this, follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions and consider spot cleaning with a gentle, mattress-safe cleaner if necessary.



    How to Remove Yellow Stains from a Mattress

    How to Remove Yellow Stains from a Mattress

    If you have stubborn yellow stains on your mattress, consider the following steps in removing yellow stains to have a good night's sleep.


    Materials You'll Need

    • White vinegar
    • Baking soda
    • Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution)
    • Liquid dish soap
    • An empty spray bottle
    • A clean cloth or sponge
    • A vacuum cleaner


    DIY Solution to Help Remove Yellow Stains

    DIY Solution to Help Remove Yellow Stains
    1. Remove all bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, and mattress protectors.
    2. If the stain is fresh, start by blotting the area with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much liquid as possible. If the stain is dry, skip this step.
    3. In an empty spray bottle, combine 1 cup of equal vinegar and water as a cleaning solution. If the stain is tough or ugly, add a few drops of liquid dish soap and shake the mixture well.
    4. Generously spray the area of the stained mattress with a vinegar and water solution and let it sit for 5–10 minutes.
    5. Gently blot the stain with a clean cloth or sponge to lift the stain. Do not rub, because rubbing may push the stain deeper into the mattress.
    6. Fill the spray bottle with clean water and spray the area to rinse off the vinegar solution. Blot again to remove excess moisture.
    7. Sprinkle baking soda over the stained area because baking soda will help absorb any remaining odour and moisture. Let it sit for several hours, even overnight, if possible.
    8. After the baking soda works its magic, vacuum the mattress thoroughly to remove the baking soda and any remaining residue.


    Stubborn Yellow Stains

    Stubborn Yellow Stains

    For particularly tough stains, you can create a hydrogen peroxide solution. Here are the steps to take:

    1. Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with one part water.
    2. Test the solution on an inconspicuous mattress area first to ensure it doesn't discolour the fabric.
    3. If it's safe to use, lightly blot the stain with the hydrogen peroxide solution, then rinse with water.
    4. Ensure the mattress is completely dry before replacing the bedding. You can speed up the drying process by placing the mattress in a well-ventilated area or using a fan.


      Urine Stains

      Urine Stains on Mattress
      1. Use a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to blot as much urine as possible. Press down gently or gently rub to soak up the liquid. Do not rub too much, which may push the urine deeper into the mattress.
      2. Vinegar is effective at neutralising urine odours and breaking down stains, so consider mixing a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar in an empty spray bottle.
      3. Lightly spray the vinegar and water solution onto the stained area. Be cautious not to saturate the mattress too much because excess moisture can damage it.
      4. Blot the area with a damp cloth to remove more urine and vinegar.
      5. Baking soda is excellent for absorbing odours and helping lift stains on your mattress, so sprinkle baking soda over the stained area.
      6. Let the mattress air dry for a few hours, or, ideally, in direct sunlight because UV rays can help remove remaining odours. However, make sure the mattress is completely dry before using it again.
      7. After the mattress has dried, vacuum the area to remove any remaining baking soda.



      When to Consider Buying a New Mattress

      When to Consider Buying a New Mattress

      Sleeping on a yellow-stained mattress is not safe. Keep in mind that those yellow stains are caused by different factors, such as oxidants, accident spills, and even urine that is not hygienic. If you insist on sleeping on a yellow-stained mattress, you may develop unwanted health issues over time where you can have allergic reactions and trigger allergies and asthma. If that happens, medication is way more expensive than preventive measures to avoid yellow stains on mattresses, and even more expensive than investing in a new mattress.

      When should you consider buying a new mattress?

      1. If the yellow stain on your mattress does not come out despite thorough cleaning, these stains can be unsightly and may indicate deep-seated issues that cleaning cannot resolve.
      2. If the yellow stains are accompanied by a persistent unpleasant odour or concerns about hygiene, it may be a sign that the mattress is no longer suitable for use.
      3. If you observe mould or mildew on your mattress, it can pose health risks, and replacing the mattress may be the best solution.

      If all of these signs start to show on your mattress, then it's advisable to invest in a new mattress to ensure a healthier and more comfortable sleeping experience.


      So, as you embark on the journey of finding the perfect mattress, remember that the path to better sleep begins with a fresh start—a new mattress free of those pesky yellow stains, ready to cradle you into a restful night's slumber that will give you more rejuvenated mornings ahead.

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