How To Get Rabbit Pee Out of a Mattress In 10 Steps (With Pictures)
Bunnies are the third most popular pets in the US. Right now, 3+ million pet rabbits are living in American households. They’re super cute and friendly. However, no matter how domesticated these animals are, they don’t always go to the litter box for their bathroom breaks. Sometimes, they use your bed instead. So, what do you do when your lovely pet rabbit wets the mattress?
How do you clean it? You can’t exactly put a mattress in a laundry machine and call it a day, right? Well, don’t you worry, because, in this guide, you’ll learn how to treat rabbit urine properly and save the mattress from a terrible stain. We’ll go over each step in great detail and talk about the most effective products against bunny pee and how to use them for the best results. Let’s get to it!
What You’ll Need For The Job
Before you yell “Not again!” at your bunny and get to scrubbing, take a moment to get your tools and products ready. We’re talking about baking soda, some vinegar, and water to clean the mess. As for the tools, consider buying a spray bottle, vacuum cleaner (unless you already have one), and some towels/rags. Here’s a full list:
The 10 Easy Steps to Get Rabbit Pee Out of a Mattress
1. Start By Removing The Bedding
The bedding serves as the first “line of defense” against rabbit urine. So, remove it carefully and clean it using the washing machine. Make haste, because the fresher the stain, the easier it will be for the machine to make the bedclothes look (and smell) as good as new. If the stain and the odor linger, add a cup of distilled vinegar—that should do the trick.
2. Carefully Soak Up The Liquid
Alright, now that the mattress is exposed, use a 100% dry and clean towel, rag, or cloth to blot the stained area. Again, it’s very important to do this as quickly as possible. If the urine is still wet, the towel will soak up most of the liquid. In contrast, if it’s been a while since the rabbit “marked the spot” (say, you’ve been away for a while), blotting won’t work.
In any case, don’t scrub the urine. That won’t soak the liquid; instead, you’ll make the pee get deeper into the mattress and dry up faster.
3. Apply Vinegar On The Mess
Vinegar is one of the best natural products for removing stains—fresh, dry, or stubborn. Grab a spray bottle and mix 1/2 water (cold or lukewarm) with 1/2 vinegar. Please make sure that you’re using distilled, 3% kitchen vinegar. A product with 5–8% acetic might cause shrinking and damage to the mattress. It’s harmful to humans as well.
With the formula ready, spray a healthy amount; make sure the stain is soaked into the solution. If you don’t have a spray bottle around, that’s ok: you can create the mixture in a bowl and pour it onto the urine. Or, dip a sponge into the water-vinegar solution, hold it above the stain, and squeeze/wring it out.
Why Not Use Dish Soap Instead?
No, dish detergents won’t ruin the mattress or anything like that. However, while it is, indeed, a cleaning agent, dish soap isn’t very strong against rabbit pee stains (especially dry ones). With that said, if you’re out of vinegar or don’t have any soda lying around, you can use basic dish soap to clean as much of the mess as possible. Or, better yet, combine it with vinegar for the best effect.
4. Let The Solution Sit And Soak
Nothing hard about this part: just leave the mattress alone for 10 to 15 minutes and let the vinegar do its job. That should be more than enough for it to break down the urine. Use a dry and clean cloth/towel to soak up any leftover liquid. If you feel like the rabbit pee isn’t 100% removed, spray the spot one more time.
5. Next, Add Some Baking Soda
Please remember: kitchen soda isn’t as powerful against stubborn stains as vinegar is. However, if you add it AFTER treating the urine with vinegar, the results will be quite impressive. Be generous with it and cover the entire area with the powder. Then, give it time to sit and break the urine down. But this time, 15 minutes won’t be enough. Instead, give the soda at least 8 hours to get into effect. Ideally, it should sit for 10–12 hours.
Don’t forget to seal the room shut. Otherwise, your kids and pets will spread the baking soda all over the house!
6. Use Enzymatic Cleaners To Kill The Smell
Just like cats or dogs, rabbits have a bad habit of using the same spot as an “improvised bathroom”. This is especially true when the stain lingers (even if you can’t smell it). The good news is—enzymatic cleaners are pretty great at eliminating even the tiniest traces of urine odor. That’s what makes them an essential cleaning product. An average-sized spray bottle costs $15–25, depending on the size.
Enzymatic cleaners are a natural product and won’t damage the mattress or cause any harm to your pet or family members. When choosing between different options, go with a cleaner that was specifically designed and formulated to remove pet stains. Also, see that it’s a non-toxic solution.
Are you looking for an enzyme cleaner that can keep your house clean and your pet happy? We recommend the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray, which permanently gets rid of the most stubborn stains and smells. There’s even a 100% satisfaction guarantee so you can try this cleaner risk-free! Click here to order your first bottle.
At House Grail, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool cat company!
7. Use A Vacuum To Dry The Area
When used properly, enzymatic cleaners don’t leave any residue. Yet, there will still be some dried soda left on the mattress. Use a vacuum (ideally, with a hose attachment) to remove the soda. This is important: the mattress needs to be completely dry. Otherwise, the vacuum might damage it. So, if you want to play this out safe, vacuum-clean it before you spray the enzymatic cleaner.
Or, use a wet/dry vacuum if the kitchen soda is still damp. Steam vacuum cleaners won’t be appropriate here, though. That’s because excessive heat is bad news for a mattress. Once you’re done, give the mattress a long and hard look: it should be squeaky clean right now. If not, repeat the process, starting with vinegar.
8. Don’t Use Any Toxic Chemicals
Mainly, we’re talking about bleach. It’s known to damage not only carpets and couches but also mattresses. Besides, if you do everything right, you should be able to successfully get rid of rabbit urine using vinegar, soda, and enzymatic cleaners. Toxic chemicals are, indeed, very effective, but there’s no guarantee that even the least aggressive solution/product won’t ruin the mattress (and the bed along with it).
What About Hydrogen Peroxide?
Yes, we do know that using peroxide against stubborn urine stains is a common practice. But, you need to be careful when using this product. The reason: it’s not always 100% pet-safe. If you have a dog or a cat, this won’t be much of a problem, but for rabbits, you need to double-check the instructions. As long as it says “non-hazardous to animals”, you’re good.
9. Apply Rabbit Repellent On The Mattress
Sometimes, even enzymatic cleaners can’t remove the urine aroma completely. Thankfully, you can always use a rabbit repellent. As the name suggests, this product is designed to keep bunnies away. Apply it to the entire mattress, not just the spoiled area. On average, a spray bottle of decent-quality rabbit repellent will cost you $10–15 (for a 32-ounce bottle). That should be enough to treat the mattress and keep the bunny away from it for good.
Again, take a moment to check the instructions on the bottle. Just like most animals, rabbits tend to return to spots that they’ve previously marked. So, make sure the repellent is safe for animals. Or, you can make your own detergent. Mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar with 1.5 of water (cold) and 20 drops of essential oil (citrus-scented, like orange or lime), and that should do the trick. This way, you can be confident that the mixture is 100% pet-friendly.
10. Consider Using A Mattress Protector
If everything else fails, and the bunny keeps wetting your bed/mattress, consider investing in a mattress protector. You can get one for as little as $25–35. See that the protector is waterproof, breathable, and washable. It won’t let any of the pee ruin the mattress and you’ll be able to reuse it after machine washing. Besides, protectors keep dander, dust, pollen, and moisture from ruining your mattress. Make sure you’re getting the right size, though!
How Can You Stop Your Bunny From Wetting The Bed?
If you’re tired of cleaning up after the rabbit and hate when an expensive mattress, couch, or chair goes to waste, there are some tried-and-true remedies for that. Yes, we’re talking about the things you can do to stop the pet from taking bathroom breaks at the wrong spots:
Why Do Rabbits Pet Mattresses In The First Place?
As mentioned, it’s all about marking territory. This is especially true if you constantly feed your rabbit on the bed. They wet the area (in our case, the mattress) so that no other bunnies “invade” the area with easy access to food. On top of that, rabbits don’t follow the golden rule “do not poop where you eat”. They do the opposite! Therefore, the rule of thumb here is—don’t let the bunny feel comfortable enough on the bed to urinate on it.
Only feed your fluffy friend near the litter tray. And remember: when it’s time for a rabbit to go, they get a bit restless. Or, you’ll notice the tail lifting: that’s a clear sign that the animal is about to pee on the mattress. Be swift about it! Grab the bunny and place it in the litter box.
Related Read: How to Neutralize Rabbit Urine on Grass in 4 Steps
How Quickly Does Rabbit Urine Dry?
On average, it takes 2-4 hours for it to dry and soak into the fabric. If it’s a hot summer day, this can happen in 1–2 hours. You need to take action as soon as you witness the bunny wet the mattress. The sooner you find the mess and treat it, the less time and effort it will take to clean the mattress.
Rabbit pee looks awful on a mattress and it smells even worse. And, while there are some efficient ways of “persuading” your four-legged pet from wetting the mattress, they don’t always work. That’s right: this accident is bound to happen at a certain point. That’s why a bunny owner has to always be prepared to treat the mess quickly and efficiently, and that’s exactly what we did in this guide!
As long as you’ve got some baking soda, vinegar, and a couple of old towels/rags, it shouldn’t be hard to minimize the damage and clean bunny pee like a pro. Even if you were away when the accident happened, the mattress can still be saved with the right products. So, don’t give your rabbit that “I know what you did” look. Get to cleaning instead!’
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Featured Image Credit: Jennifer Chen, Unsplash