How did this happen! may be your first response, but you’ll want to act quickly when you observe a mess on your mattress. Given that mattresses are seldom replaced, you are likely to encounter at least one mattress emergency. Tossing a stained, soiled mattress to the curb is a two-person job, and then you may have to make special arrangements with the waste disposal company to cart it off. You may be charged for the service. Aside from that, who wants to see another mattress sent off to a landfill?
So, how can you get that soiled mattress cleaned up so that your family can sleep on it? Reliable methods are different for each stain, but the common first step is most likely the one you have already taken: soak up all the liquid you can. Be sure to use old cloth towels or sponges. Do not use paper towels that can disintegrate, and do not scrub or wipe as this will spread the mess over a wider area and push it deeper into the fabric. Many people do not know that the next best step is to vacuum the stained area. This removes all the dust and dirt that makes cleaning more difficult. Now, use the best tools in your cleaning arsenal for the particular stain.
For urine stains, mix three tablespoons of baking soda, one cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, and a few drops of dish-washing detergent until the powder dissolves. Pour into a spray bottle, spray the entire affected area, and let it sit for an hour. Cover the stain with baking soda and let it sit for eight to ten hours. Then, vacuum the treated area. If you still have a faint stain, repeat the process. If you do not have hydrogen peroxide on hand, combine 1/2 cup of white vinegar with 1/2 cup of water, spray on the stain, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Dab with a cloth. Sprinkle baking soda to get rid of the smell, and then vacuum the mattress. Do not use the mattress until it is odor free and completely dry.
Blood stains are the most challenging to clean. Deal with any blood stains as quickly as possible and do not use hot water, which will set the stain. Spray the area with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice and blot with a cloth until the stain is gone. You can also put a few drops of laundry detergent directly on the stain and blot it up until the stain is gone.
Vomit stains resolve well with a solution of half water and half white vinegar sprayed on the stain. Blot with a cloth and repeat until the stain has disappeared. Then, sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it sit for an hour. Wait for an hour and then vacuum up the powder. Let the mattress air dry until it shows no sign of dampness before remaking the bed.
Red wine stains are not difficult to remove while they are still wet. Use water as hot as you can stand to cover the stain with a towel or sponge, then blot, blot, blot until all the wine is gone. If the stain is dry, spray on one part dish detergent and two parts of hydrogen peroxide. If the mattress is white, you can use any dish soap. If it is colored, use a non-bleach, non-alkali soap or you will bleach away the color. Another method is to soak the stain with lemon juice so the acidity will loosen the dried wine then scrub the area with salt or sand. Let sit until dry, and then vacuum the stained area.
Pet stains may be more difficult to forgive, but most stains respond to the same treatments as human stains. Cat urine stains are notorious more noxious, so use odor neutralizing products liberally. Apply baking soda to draw out wet and damp urine. When the baking soda turns yellow, vacuum it up or use a small broom. Repeat until the baking soda stays white. Leave it on the mattress overnight before vacuuming it up.
Stubborn old stains from any source are particularly difficult to remove, and you may not be successful. If you have a steam carpet cleaner or can borrow or rent one, use the upholstery attachment to spot clean the mattress. Sometimes it works, and it may be worth a try.
Remember to use a good, thick mattress protector so that stains have a more difficult time to settling into your mattress. Our Organic Cotton Waterproof Mattress Protectors are the perfect accompaniment to our mattresses, or any mattress for that matter. Not only intended for children’s mattresses, our protectors will provide a barrier between your mattress and everything from sweat and accidents to beverage spills and dust mites. It is easier to toss a mattress protector into the washing machine after an accident rather than rushing to clean the mattress itself.