Want to clean a mattress of urine or vomit and get that bad smell out? Don't toss your memory foam topper or bed. Click below for step by step instructions on how to freshen up a soiled mattress without ending up with a moldy bed that will make you sick.
First try the method outlined in How To Clean A Mattress - Emergency. If necessary treat the entire mattress.
(Buying from links on this website sometimes adds a bit of cash to my lumpy mattress fund. It doesn't cost you more. And helps me spread sweet dreams everywhere.)
Use this method if the soiled area is:
If the vinegar and baking soda didn't work and the mattress or pad is still unusable, your final option is use a steam cleaner to try to remove the stains and odors. Forcing enough liquid through the mattress to clean it and then get it dry before it starts growing mold is usually not an option unless you live in a desert.
WARNING: Steam cleaning memory foam mattresses and toppers may ruin them and is not recommended by any manufacturer of steam cleaners.
It may take a while to get all the materials together, but if the soil has waited this long, a couple of days more won't hurt.
1) Steam Cleaner - You can sometimes rent these, but you can buy a great one for less than $100. And if it saves a mattress that you paid thousands for, isn't it worth it? Besides these machines are great for cleaning up all sorts of impossible messes like baked on food on your kitchen cook top or bathroom grout. Two highly rated steam cleaners are:
Several said that it worked well with vinegar and baking soda. Many used it to get rid of infestations of bed bugs or dust mites.
One good idea was to use the course bristled carpet brush with a terrycloth cover over it. That prevents the slight 'spitting' that can happen if you pause and water collects in the hose.
2) A GOOD Odor Neutralizer: Anti-Icky-Poo. A stupid name. But it really works.
3) Fan - Get one that oscillates and has a stand so that it's high enough to blow air over a table. This Honeywell model is reliable and quiet.
4) Sturdy Table - Available for 3 to 5 days. Just make sure that the mattress or topper doesn't sag.
5) Dry Towels
6) Tarp - or plastic tablecloth to protect your table
Step 1: Put the tarp down on the table.
Step 2: Place the mattress or topper on the table with the soiled side up. Spray a fine mist of the odor neutralizer on the surface of the mattress.
Step 3: Take the steam cleaner and gently steam from side to side with long strokes. Press firmly with dry towels to blot up any excess moisture.
Step 4: Pour a generous layer of baking soda on the whole mattress. Let it sit for more than 45 minutes. Then vacuum it up.
Step 5: Get out a fan and blow it over the surface of the memory foam. If you've treated the underside turn it over every 4 hours or so to let it dry evenly. Don't put it back on your bed until it is TOTALLY dry. This can take a day or two for a memory foam topper and from 3 to 5 days for a mattress.
Do not soak, saturate, wring or twist your mattress or topper during any part of the cleaning process.
If the memory foam bed still smells bad after all this work or worse, starts to smell moldy, just get rid of it. Breathing mold all night is hazardous to your health. In the end, sometimes knowing how to clean a mattress is not enough and you need to just give up.
For tips on cleaning all sorts of other things (including your rabid monkey) Maniac goes to How To Clean Stuff.