I dated a guy who peed on my mattress. Three times. He was very, very drunk each time, which I know is no excuse.
Anyway, now we're broken up and I have my mattress in my new apartment (I couldn't afford to buy a new one). Each time he peed, I did what my mom used to do with cat pee and that was to sop up as much mess with paper towels and then put corn starch on it to soak up the rest. Then I vacuumed up the corn starch once it was dry and did some extra cleaning with Resolve. I think that did a lot to clean things as the mattress doesn't smell like pee.
But there are stains. Telling outlines of where the pee happened. It just grosses me out every time I take off my mattress pad to clean it. And what if I someday have a man-friend over and we happen to change the sheets together? I don't want it to look like I peed the bed nor do I want to explain that I dated a man who peed the bed and then had me to clean up his mess (three times!).
So my question is: How do I get rid of the stain?
Ahhh look at you go with your smell removal techniques!!! I raise my bleachatini to you, and am thrilled that the rest of the readership can benefit from your shared wisdom!
Mattress stains are definitely tricky, because of course you can’t saturate a mattress, and forced water is, like, The Thing for stains. So we’re going to have to do a spot treatment. Fortuitously, as I was sitting down to write this column, the fine folks at Good Housekeeping tweeted an article about mattress care (I read Good Housekeeping so you don’t have to)(that’s not a knock, I mean, I absolutely LOVE Good Housekeeping — almost as much I love Family Circle), in which they recommend using products designed for cleaning stains and smells associated with pet accidents. They particularly make note of Bissell’s Pet Stain & Odor Remover. Use the product as directed, being careful not to go overboard on the spraying, and blot up the solution with a clean, white towel before allowing the mattress to air dry. You can also turn a fan or hairdryer on it to speed along this process.
Of course, our beloved old faithful, OxiClean, is another option, especially because by now every single person reading this column has a vat of it in their homes. (RIGHT??? Right.) Apply the same basic techinque as what we did with the Jizzcliner –make a low-water paste, apply to stain, allow it to do its Oxi thang, blot blot blot with a damp towel, and allow the mattress to dry before making the bed again. You could also try the spray version of Oxi, OxiClean Max Force Laundry Stain Remover, if you don’t want to muck around with pastes.
I sleep on silk pillowcases. Yes, this sounds crazy. I do it because it keeps my hair from getting super frizzy, and thus keeps it from getting too dry and twisty and dead, and because it REALLY helps my complexion. No idea why, but my dermatologist recommended it and it's amazing. They are cream colored, and I need to know how to wash, stain-treat, and generally maintain my three silk pillowcases. What temp of water? What products? Why are my linens so complicated?!?
Well fa-la-la, Miss Priss, aren’t you fancy?!? I was recently admiring Agent Provocateur’s new line of silk sheeting and hummina hummina can you imagine? Well, yes, I suppose you can.
For those of you who are going to rush out to buy silk bedding, the thing I want you to do is ask upon purchase how the particular brand you’ve picked up should be cared for. Different manufacturers will have different best practices, and you should follow those. But generally here’s what you want to do with silk:
(2) You needn’t hand wash your silk sheeting, though you may if you wish; laundering them in the machine is absolutely fine. You just must use the gentle cycle, and cold water only, and you should wash them separate of other non-silk items.
(3) You can tumble dry the sheets on a no-heat setting, but it’s best to let the sheets air dry. If you need to iron them, do so when they’re still slightly damp, turn the iron to the lowest heat setting possible and turn sheets/cases inside out before hitting them with the iron.
(4) If your silk bedding gets stained, use WinterSilks Spot Out to treat the area.
Any thoughts on how to de-funkify a mattress? Despite not believing myself to be the sweatiest lady on the block or having any memory of unfortunate spills, and though I am a dedicated sheet-washer, I feel like my mattress sometimes smells a little grody (my suspicion is that it's where all the wafting kitchen smells in my doorless bedroom end up hiding). It's not a terrible smell, maybe a little musty and not overly pleasant. Thoughts? To add difficulty, some parts of the internet have instructed me to sprinkle various powders then vacuum, but I am rugless and wood-floored and have no vacuum to speak of. Any solutions?
I’m actually a little disappointed that the first Q-asker didn’t have a problem with smells because there’s a product out there called ExStink that I feel would be so satisfying for her to use on her mattress. But you’re here and so yay, you get to use this stuff! It’s a powder, so you’ll sprinkle it all over the mattress and leave it for an hour to pull the smells up. Normally, you’d vacuum the powder up, but since you don’t have one you should get a new mini dustbrooom, something along these lines, and brush the powder off. And do buy a new one — it won’t cost that much and I don’t want you using a dirty broomlet on your bed. If there's any extra powder the brush didn’t get off the mattress, dampen a cloth and run it over the surface to pick up the excess. You can also run the same set of tricks using plain old baking soda.
You might also want to consider buying a handheld vacuum; a quick review of Amazon turned up a number of pretty affordable options, including one that is shaped like a shark. You should absolutely buy that and then use it to menace your pets.
If you don’t want to use a powder option, you could also take a page from the Good Housekeeping article upcolumn and spray the mattress with Lysol or any other similar disinfecting spray. Just remember not to saturate the mattress and give it plenty of time to dry before resheeting.
My mom's a big bargain shopper, so when she found a queen sized duvet that matched my bedroom, I told her to go for it. It's a great duvet except for one thing: It produces ridiculous amounts of lint. It's dark brown and the lint is white, pilly, and everywhere. It reappears within hours of making the bed, and have you ever tried to lint roll a queen sized bed? I tumble-dried it extra long last time to try and knock some of the lint off, but that didn't really seem to help at all. Should I just pretend it's on purpose and say it's "Freshly Fallen Snow" pattern?
Real talk time: I think you ended up with a lemon of a duvet cover. But if you’re hellbent and determined to keep it there are a few options.
You gave no indication in your letter as to what is/might be causing the lint, so I can’t really help you, prevention-wise, but if you’re washing the duvet with towels or jersey sheets or fleece anything no no no stop doing that. Is it possible that whatever comforter situation you’ve got stuffed inside the duvet is causing the pilling? If so, deal with that in some way.
Moving along to coping skills: I’m actually super excited to share my very favorite DIY lint removal trick — and I learned this while working at Vogue so you know it’s the real deal: FedEx pouches. I know, I just killed you dead, didn’t I? Just peel the brown wax paper backing off the pouch and use the sticky side to pull swaths of lint off the duvet.
There’s a product on the market that basically replicates the principle, so if you’re not a person who has easy access to a mailroom from which you can gank a stack of FedEx pouches, check out StickySheets.
There are also lint rollers that are designed specifically for large surfaces, which are also great for those with hair-on-furniture issues, which of course none of you have because you’ve already gotten rid of your cats and your men.
I use a really rich night moisturizer on my face, and I've noticed that it rubs off on my pillowcases to the point that it doesn't really come off in the wash. My "clean" sheets still have darker spots that look greasy. This is concentrated on my pillowcases, but if I've gone crazy on the body lotion, I notice that it happens to the actual sheets, too. Is there anything I can do to rectify the situation?
Sure thing! You could certainly toss a cup of ammonia in with your wash — you know how I’m always banging on about how ammonia is aces on grease? Right, and lotion is just grease for your body. If that feels really, really wrong to you, you can try using a cup of white vinegar in the laundry; it won’t do quite the job of ammonia, but it will help. Applying a solvent-based stain treatment like Shout to the stained areas before washing is also an option, though it sounds like your problem might be too big for spot treatments to be realistic.
The last time we talked about grease stains the commentariette went bananas singing the praises of Pine Sol for this purpose. The ladies suggest doing a 30-minute pre-soak before laundering as usual.
Jolie Kerr is not paid to endorse any of the products mentioned in this column, but she sure would be very happy to accept any free samples the manufacturers care to send her way! Are you looking for a green alternative to the suggestions found here? Because we’ve got some! More importantly: Is anything you own dirty?