Skip to Content

Why Did My Mattress Pad/Topper Turn Yellow?

Many people have a common problem with mattress pads and toppers becoming discolored. The most frequent complaint is that they turn yellow.

Yellowing of a mattress topper or pad often occurs due to sweat and body oils being absorbed over time. To remedy this, regularly clean your topper using mild detergent and cool water, following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, then air dry it to prevent mold and mildew buildup.

Why Did My Mattress Pad/Topper Turn Yellow?

Chemical reactions from cleaning agents or spills can cause yellow stains on mattress toppers. Using harsh detergents or bleach can result in discoloration. It’s essential to always use mild, recommended cleaners for your specific topper material. If chemical discoloration has already occurred, consider using a fabric-safe stain remover, and always test a small, inconspicuous area first.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the common reasons that mattresses turn yellow. We’ll also talk about methods of removing yellow stains. 

Why My Mattress Turns Yellow (What Makes It Yellow)

Why My Mattress Turns Yellow (What Makes It Yellow)

The most common reason that mattresses turn yellow is from age. Over time, mattresses start to take on a yellowish tone as the material begins to oxidize.

Although a yellow-tinted mattress is unsightly and can disrupt your color scheme, it is not toxic or harmful. Nor is it a sign that your bed will lose its shape and comfort. It is purely cosmetic.

There is no way to prevent your mattress from turning yellow over time, but you can slow the process down. Use a washable plastic mattress cover that is large enough to protect the entire bed, including the corners and sides. And keep your mattress out of sunlight. 

Some yellow stains might be from improper cleaning. Substances like oil, urine, mold, or sweat can cause localized yellow spots on your mattress. 

  • Sweat stains are invisible in the beginning. The longer sweat stays in your mattress, the darker the colors become. They often also have a foul smell.
  • Urine stains can turn yellow and smell strongly of ammonia. You have to clean your mattress properly to remove the stain.
  • Oil stains come from when you eat in bed and drop food on your mattress. Left untreated, oil spots can turn yellow and become permanent.
  • Mold can start to grow on your mattress due to poor cleaning and hygiene. When you have mold on your bed, you’ll see a single yellow spot of growth.

Other sources of yellow stains in mattresses include:

  • Drool
  • Dead skin cells
  • Dust and mites
  • Pet dander
  • Hair and skin oil

How to Clean My Yellowish Mattress

How to Clean My Yellowish Mattress

If your mattress is close to or at the ten-year mark, the yellow stains on your bed are natural aging and cannot come clean. But regular cleanings of your mattress can prolong the yellowing process. Your mattress should be professionally cleaned once a year. 

In between professional cleanings, there are ways you can clean your mattress to keep it sanitized and healthy. 


One of the easiest ways to clean your mattress is to use a vacuum with a soft upholstery hose attachment. Vacuuming your mattress removes any dirt, dust, and dead skin cells that end up in your bed. 

If you don’t clean this debris from your mattress, the tiny particles can work into the surface, creating stains and possible odors. 

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is another useful way to sanitize and clean your mattress. This method can kill dust mites and bed bugs and help remove stains. 

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on November 5, 2020.

Steam cleaners heat moisture, which breaks down particle buildup without the use of chemicals. It can break down stains, odors, and contaminants beneath the surface for a deeper clean. 

However, you have to use caution when steam cleaning a mattress, as the fabric is not meant to absorb moisture. If you saturate the surface too much, the bed’s inside can trap water, which can grow mold.

Stain Removers

While you may not reverse a mattress that yellows with age, you can attempt to remove yellow stains. There are multiple methods you can try to clean stains.

Stain Spray and Pen

To treat deep-set stains on your mattress, you can apply a cleaner like OxiClean MaxForce directly to the stain, starting outside the rim and working towards the center. Rub in circular motions.

You can also use a Tide To Go stain removal pen for pinpoint stain treatment, which lets you draw directly over the stain. It works instantly and does not need rinsing.

Powdered OxiClean

You can also use Oxiclean Versatile Stain Remover directly on your mattress. 

  1. Mix the powder with hot water until it’s completely dissolved.
  2. Wet a sponge and dip into the solution.
  3. Gently apply the sponge to your stain. 
  4. Then use a dry towel to remove any wetness.
  5. Rinse with clean water and dry again. For quicker drying, you can use a hairdryer on a medium setting. 


Vinegar is an excellent disinfectant that can clean and deodorize mattress staining. To clean your mattress using vinegar, you need white vinegar and a spray bottle.

  1. Fill the bottle with the vinegar.
  2. Spray all visible stains with the bottle. Use a light coating for small colors. Apply a heavy layer over major stains, especially urine. The stains should be fully saturated.
  3. Add baking soda to the damp spots and let it dry overnight. The baking soda will soak up the excess moisture and help the areas dry.
  4. The next day, you can vacuum the baking soda particles. 

Baking Soda

To attack foul odors trapped on the surface of your mattress, you can use a natural mixture of baking soda. 

Sprinkle baking soda over the top of the mattress and let it sit for thirty minutes to an hour. Then vacuum the surface to remove all the loose particles.  

Types of Stains

Different stain types will require other cleaning solutions. Here are some of the most common stain types and how to treat them. 

Fresh Stains

The best way to remove stains is to treat them when they’re fresh. For wet stains, you can use a solution of cool water mixed with dishwashing liquid.

  1. Mix the solution until you have suds.
  2. Use a damp, clean rag to scoop up some of these suds without water.
  3. Apply the lather to the stain and rub it in a circular motion. 
  4. Alternate between rubbing and blotting the stain until it has faded in color.
  5. Spray the remaining stain with hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for five minutes. 
  6. Blot with a dry cloth and repeat as needed. Allow the mattress to dry before covering. 

Odor and Blood Stains

The best way to remove odor stains is to use vinegar or baking soda. These natural cleaners can break down trapped odors without putting you at risk of harsh chemicals. 

To treat blood stains on your mattress:

  1. Create a mixture of baking soda, dishwashing liquid, and hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is one of the best chemicals to remove blood stains.
  2. Apply the mixture to the bloodstain as soon as possible. The longer the stain sits, the harder it will be to get out. 
  3. After spraying the stain, blot the wet spot with a dry rag. Continue to spray and blot until the stain lifts.
  4. Then allow your mattress to dry, either by air, a blow dryer, or a fan. 

Urine Stains

To clean urine stains, it’s best to tackle them while wet.

  1. Blot as much of the damp liquid as you can with a dry rag or paper towel. 
  2. Create a mixture with three tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Then add in 3% of hydrogen peroxide. Mix the solution until the baking soda dissolves. Then pour the mixture into a spray bottle. 
  3. Spray the urine stain using the solution and let it soak into the area.
  4. Let it dry completely, which can take a few hours. To speed up the drying process, you can use a hairdryer or a fan. 

Vomit Stains

To treat vomit stains, you will need to treat the area with a mixture of white vinegar and water. 

  1. Add the concoction to a bottle with a spray nozzle and apply it to the stains. 
  2. Dab the spot with a clean dry towel and repeat until the stain fades.
  3. Then cover the wet area with baking soda and let it dry.
  4. Vacuum the baking soda from the mattress and let it dry thoroughly. 

How Do You Clean Yellow Mattress Topper?

How Do You Clean Yellow Mattress Topper?

A mattress topper is the best way to protect your mattress from premature damage and common stains, but toppers can also make your bed more comfortable.

There are different types of toppers, including memory foam, feathers, wool, polyester blend, and latex. Knowing the materials of your topper will determine how to clean it. 

Memory Foam Toppers

Memory foam toppers are polyurethane, which provides comfort and support. But you can’t submerge these in water so you can’t wash them in a washing machine. 

These toppers have to be cleaned by hand. The best way to clean a memory foam topper is to vacuum the surface.

  1. You have to remove the topper from your mattress before cleaning and lay it on a hard, flat surface.
  2. After vacuuming with an upholstery attachment, check the surface for stains.
  3. Treat any noticeable spots using the methods we’ve described above. 
  4. Your final step is to spray the surface using a gentle fabric detergent and warm water in a two to one ratio. Do not saturate the surface.
  5. Flip the topper over and also spray the back. 
  6. Ensure the topper is dry before you vacuum the surface and place the topper back on your mattress. It can take up to 24 hours to dry thoroughly.

Wool Toppers

Wool toppers are usually encapsulated, which means they’re fully enclosed, so the interior is protected. Due to this technique, wool toppers can generally be machine-washed.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on November 5, 2020.

Use cold water and a gentle cycle. You can also wash your topper by hand. You will need a mild detergent or soap for cleaning.

Air dry your wool topper, which can take a half to a whole day. If you’re not comfortable washing your topper yourself, you can take it to a dry cleaner.

Mattress Protector

Mattress protectors keep your mattress dry and free of stains. You can get protectors made of fabric and find waterproof protectors to prevent your bed from getting sweat and urine stains.

You can clean these protectors with a spray solution of detergent and water. Treat stains with baking soda or a vinegar solution. Do not put in the washing machine and never try to wring out a wet protector.

How Do You Get Sweat Stains Out of a Mattress Pad?

How Do You Get Sweat Stains Out of a Mattress Pad?

Sweat stains are one of the most common causes of a yellowing mattress pad.

Vinegar is the best solution to try to remove sweat stains. To do this:

  1. Apply a layer of vinegar to the sweat stains of your mattress pad.
  2. After soaking, you can put your mattress pad into a washing machine with mild detergent and a stain fighter like OxyClean.
  3. You can dry the pad on tumble low dry or air dry outside.

If your mattress pad is a memory foam or down, you cannot put your mattress pad into a washing machine. You have to hand wash it only.   

Borax is another cleaning solution you can use to remove sweat stains from a mattress pad. To do this:

  1. Wet the stained area.
  2. Then sprinkle Borax onto the stain.
  3. Run the powder into the surface and let it dry — vacuum to clean any dry particles. 

Final Thoughts

Mattress pads and toppers turn yellow due to stains from sweat, urine, oils, and other sources. They can also turn yellow as part of the natural aging process. There are ways you can clean your mattress toppers and pads to reduce yellow stains. Also, there are steps you can take to protect your mattress. 

Related Articles

Can You/Should Use Queen Mattress on a Full or Double Bed/Frame

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on November 5, 2020.

Can I Use a Shampooer on My Mattress?