Why Does My Mattress Have Brown Stains?-You Can Easily Get Rid Of It

Imagine removing the bed sheet and mattress pad for maintenance purposes and discovering that the underlying mattress has collected brown spots in various areas. And you might think ‘why does brown stains on mattress?

The stain mark is caused mostly due to rust. Mattresses are prone to accumulate humidity from the environment and human body, which comes in contact with the metal springs inside the mattress, causing moisture-induced rust marks. There could be other reasons such as body excretion, bedbugs, etc.

In this write-up, we will discuss the possible causes that exhibit brown stains. We will also try to provide useful solutions so that you can always keep your bedding clean. 

Why Does My Mattress Have Brown Stains – Sources of Stains

Why Does My Mattress Have Brown Stains

A clean mattress is all that we desire. Anything spilled on it or unwanted spots appearing on them can be a pain in the neck. With time and due to lack of care, a mattress can exhibit brown marks. The splotches can be unpleasant to the eye, but it’s important to know where they are coming from and how to treat them. 

Below are some common sources that can induce brown spots on a mattress. 

  • Rust

Let’s start with the most common brown stains on mattress, the rust mark. It is quite common amongst mattress users, and they tend to appear over time. With your mattress aging, the springs and coils inside will deteriorate and showcase color changes inside out. 

Rust build-up is formed due to excessive moisture accumulation in the inner parts. The source can be anything, such as environmental humidity, fluid spills, or bodily fluids. When the water comes in contact with the springs and metal frame, it will rust eventually. 

Rust cannot be formed without the presence of water. Whenever moisture comes into contact with metal, it produces electrolytes that boost up the rusting reaction. 

  • Bed Bugs

The infestation of bed bugs is another common scenario in houses. Believe it or not, the small creepy crawlies can be a menace to your bedding products. Their presence can promote brown spotting on the mattress, which can turn out to be a horrible sight. 

Rust marks are due to water and the metal’s reaction, but bed bug stains are different due to the involvement of blood. Bed bug infestation is a prime cause of brown marks. Let us explain.

Bed bugs tend to excrete feces containing blood, which tarnishes the mattress with light to dark brown spots. Even their reproduction (eggs) and death can result in stains, as they can get squashed by your body pressure and release the bloody remains on the surface. You can get rid of bed bugs by putting soap under the mattress.

  • Spilling Liquid

Fluid spills from your hand can damage the mattress to a certain extent. It is quite common to take your food and drinks on the bed and watch movies. Even kids are adamant about being fed on their cribs nowadays, so the chances of spilling different items are quite high. 

Toppling coffee, cola, fruit juices, and other fluid items can take a toll on the mattress. As they dry out, they will leave tough stains. Fumbling with solid food like curry, berries, etc., can hamper the color of the bedding. Even water (high levels of minerals) can exhibit discoloration on the mattress. 

Sounds horrendous, right? Don’t be perplexed because these stain marks are treatable. We will talk about different processes to counter brown marks in the latter stages of this article. 

  • Sweating

As you already know, that moisture can be vigorous enough to stain the bed. The moisture can be from your body fluids and not just environmental humidity. As you sweat, the salt water can seep into the bed and interact with the metal bits of the mattress. 

As human beings, we tend to release oil from our hair and skin, which can be a prime cause of the light yellow to brown marks. If you sweat a lot, chances are that bacteria are being toiled over your bed. Don’t be surprised to see some spotting on the mattress in such cases.  

  • Urine and Feces Of Your Kid

If you have kids, then unattended feces or urine can ruin a bed if not treated immediately. The urochrome pigment from urine can leave a yellowish mark. The decomposition can make the spots more severe when left for too long. 

This problem can happen to those who have pets as well. Potty train your furry animals, if possible, to avoid such mishaps. 

  • Bleeding

It’s not only bed bugs that can bloodstain a mattress; rather, your body can excrete blood from open wounds. Most people don’t even realize that a minor injury can partake in ruining the mattress. A small amount of blood splatter can tarnish the bed and will have to be recovered through the cleaning process. 

How to Remove Rust Stains from Mattress

Credit: Sean Symons

Rust spots can be very tough to remove, and orthodox scrubbing might not seal the deal. It has to be treated with vinegar and salt solution or by applying commercial products like Whink Rust Remover. This is what you can do to clean the mattress. 

Step 1: Get the Things You Need

Arrange the following items;

  • Lemon juice or vinegar
  • Bed scraper
  • Towel
  • Fan

Step 2: Create a Mixture

To fight off the adamant stains, you will need a potent solution at first. You can make this by combining lemon juice and salt. Vinegar can be used in replacement of lemon juice. Make sure to make a paste-like formula. 

Step 3: Rub

Start applying the solution you created to the rusted area. Make sure you cover every bit by rubbing it thoroughly and then let it sit for a while. 

Step 4: Scrape

Now take the scraper and then dig out the rust bits. Make sure you take out the paste completely to ensure a clean finish.

Step 5: Air Dry

The previous step should already efface the rust marks. Now it’s just the final touch, air-dry the mattress before using it again. Take the towel and blot the area to remove the remaining residues. 

Now use a table fan to dry the mattress completely. Make sure no water patches are left on the surface, as it can build up moisture again. 

To use rust removers, it’s advised that you follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. 

How to Remove Blood Stains

Whether it’s the blood from your wound or the leftovers from the bed bugs, the dark red or brown spots can be hard to look at and will need a thorough cleaning. Below are the steps that you need to follow. 

Step 1: Things You Need

  • Hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar
  • Towel
  • Deodorizer

Step 2: Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a potent chemical that can eliminate harsh stains. Use 3% hydrogen peroxide, take a small amount, and put it on the spotted area. When in contact with blood spots, it will foam up. All you have to do is take the towel and blot the surface. 

If you are using white vinegar instead of the mentioned chemical, then let the vinegar solution sit for 10 minutes before blotting it away. Repeat these methods to remove the stain completely. 

Step 3: Dry the Surface and Use Deodorizer

When you are done with the blotting, you will still have to air dry the surface before using the mattress again. 

Now to tackle the unpleasant chemical smell, you better deodorize the mattress. Ready-made deodorizing products are an option, but other remedies like essential oil treatment or a water-vinegar combination can work wonders.   

How to Remove Urine Stains

The light yellow spot from urine contamination can turn out to be severe if left untreated. To fight it off, you can follow the following steps. 

  •  Take dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda and create a mixture. 
  • Use a spray bottle to fill in the solution and then spray it on the affected area. 
  • Let it work for 1 hour at least. 
  • Take baking soda and sprinkle on the area of concern. Grab a vacuum cleaner and dust off the remains from the top. 

To counter feces urine stains, use enzyme cleaner on the affected area. Blot the surface after a few minutes with vinegar solution and then air dry the mattress. 

Things You Can Do to Avoid Stains

Now that you know what causes the stains and how to fight them off, it is also vital that you take care of the mattress regularly. Overlooking some basic cleaning can accumulate grimes and later pop up unpleasant stains. These are what you can do;

  • Weekly dust your mattress to keep the away small particles
  • Use a vacuum cleaner once every month to clean off the surface grimes
  • Use a protector for your mattress to avoid spills getting into the inner frame
  • Make a habit of blotting the unwanted splotch as soon as it appears


The main reason for the brown stain on a mattress is moisture build-up, which eventually interacts with the inner frames and comes up with a rusty outcome. Several other occurrences can catalyze this mess, such as an infestation of bedbugs, and even human sweat can lead to damage. 

There you go, now that you know the answer to why does my mattress have brown stains, better start by treating it the right way. 

Just be calm and act immediately. Letting the stains sit for too long can make things tough for you. Follow the lemon juice or vinegar treatment to scrape off rusty bits. To counter blood marks, you can use hydrogen peroxide. 

Whatever you do, we advise you to care for the mattress daily. Use vacuums and dusters to keep things tidy at all times. Remember, a clean mattress helps you sleep better.

Photo of author

Rene C. Evans

Hi, I'm Rene C. Evans author and owner of this website. Though this website is not related to manufacturing company of mattresses but I extensively studying, and analyzing mattresses and inform you solutions regarding mattress problem that will help you to take rest properly.

Leave a Comment