How to Clean a Stinky Situation

Updated on January 05, 2017
S.F. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
24 answers

So my 6 year old vomited on my 9 year olds bed. Of course he had to go to her bed which does not have the waterproof protective covering on it. Now we are left with a stinky bed. I have tried pouring hot water mixed with laundry detergent on it, I have scrubbed it with a scrub brush, I have tried to steam it (which made the smell worse) I don't know what to do to get this smell out of the mattress. I don't want to have to buy a new one. Anyone have any ideas or tips to help me out. Thank you!

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D.N.

answers from Chicago on

I did this when one of my kids was a bed wetter: fill a spray bottle with half white vinegar and half water. Spritz the mattress until just slightly damp. Better to do this early in the day so it is dry by bedtime. If needed, repeat. I never had to do it more than once. Vinegar may have a smell but it is gone when the item is dry. I also use it in my laundry when things get funky.

Updated

I did this when one of my kids was a bed wetter: fill a spray bottle with half white vinegar and half water. Spritz the mattress until just slightly damp. Better to do this early in the day so it is dry by bedtime. If needed, repeat. I never had to do it more than once. Vinegar may have a smell but it is gone when the item is dry. I also use it in my laundry when things get funky.

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2 moms found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Get some of the enzyme stuff they use for pet accidents, spray it on, wash and dry.
If they are both single beds I might switch mattresses - but keep both with a waterproof covering from this point forward.

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K.A.

answers from San Diego on

I've used the cleaner they sell for cleaning up pet messes. I've also had success spraying vinegar on the spot with a spray bottle and then putting baking soda on that and letting it fiz. I've never done it on a mattress but I've had success on carpets and things like the couch that a sick child has managed to get. I keep water proof mattress pads on everyone's bed, just in case. We have pets too who, while rarely, will chuck up a hair ball on someone's bed so they come in handy for that as much as anything the kids might do.

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Use some pet spray such as Nature's Miracle. If it can work for cat urine, it can work for anything!! The trick is to keep the area wet with the solution. Don't just spray and wipe. Spray and spray and let it soak in and air dry. You may need to repeat the process, but this stuff really is a miracle!

3 moms found this helpful
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M.G.

answers from Portland on

As long as it's wet or damp, it will stink. The key is to keep it as dry as possible - so you can absorb as much moisture as you can with paper towel (blot don't rub) or even baking soda. Leave on, and then scrape off.

Vinegar diluted, rubbing alcohol diluted, baking soda ... and then there's all kinds of cleaners. We once had a cat pee on a bed. We got specific cat pee odor remover (spray) and it worked wonders.

But really try to keep it as dry as you can to avoid it sinking into the mattress. If you have already, it's ok just let it air out.

Spraying Febreeze etc. can help too.

We had to air our mattress out really well.

3 moms found this helpful

W.W.

answers from Washington DC on

you are only exacerbating the issue by pouring water on it. You can get mold that way.

Personally if it were me? I'd buy a new mattress and ensure that each and every mattress in my house was covered properly.

Since you didn't have a cover on it - the warranty most likely won't cover it. Our warranty covers the mattress should their cover fail.

If you are truly in California? Put the mattress outside in the sun and let it dry out completely. Use baking soda and vinegar. However. if it's not completely dry? you risk mold. Is it really worth it? Spend the $200 on a new mattress and properly cover it.

2 moms found this helpful
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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Pouring water on a mattress only makes a wet mattress with puke water soaking in even deeper.

Go rent a Rug Doctor and get the attachments for cleaning upholstery. Then follow the directions. Buy rug cleaner that is for pets odors. It's very clean smelling and kills lots of nasty odors.

Use it, put a fan on the mattress to dry it. Maybe clean it again. Then dry it again. Let it dry outside even. If you have somewhere it won't be too obvious or where everyone can see it.

Sunlight kills a lot of odors and it also bleaches stains out.

Make sure it's completely dry before putting it back on the bed and covering it.

When all is said and done put a plastic cover on it that zips at one end. This will help the odor, if there is one anymore, and it will protect the mattress from getting mess on it again.

I always put a mattress pad over the plastic cover so that sleeping on the bed isn't hot. Sleeping on plastic is hot and noisy and not comfortable at all.

2 moms found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

Keep a fan on in that room and crack a window if you can (to get air circulation to help the moisture evaporate). Sprinkle baking soda on the mattress and let it sit for a couple hours or so before vacuuming it up. This will absorb some of the odor. The other thing to try is to put it out in the sun for a day (no easy task to lug around a mattress). Also you should tray an enzyme spray to get rid of the odor. Good luck!

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Hot water will only serve to set the stain and smell. Saturate it with hydrogen peroxide and blot it dry once it stops bubbling.
There are also a number of enzyme-based stain and odor removers. The best ones are available at pet stores.

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

By pouring water on it, you essentially made it a lost cause. Toss it, get a new one, and put waterproof covers on ALL your mattresses.

2 moms found this helpful
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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

If you do not have a carpet scrubber with an upholstery cleaning attachment, rent one. Use the 'pet odor removal' solution. Scrub the mattress and let dry. The scrubber will also remove the dirt and water so should it dry faster. Set up a fan to dry the mattress faster, if necessary repeat.
Once it is dry get a waterproof mattress pad or simply cover the mattress with a shower curtain and make bed as usual. I know water proof mattress pads are expensive. However the 2 investments I am happy I made are a waterproof mattress pad and 2 a carpet scrubber with upholstery cleaning attachment.

2 moms found this helpful

M.P.

answers from Boston on

I use Solumel. It is not sold in the marketplace, so if all else fails, feel free to as me where you can get it. It works so well, a lady I know in the Boston area owns a hair salon. The restaurant next door had a fire and for weeks, you could smell the awful odors of the fire. The restaurant had various companies try to clean it up and the owner of the salon was telling a friend about it and she gave her this product to give to the owner of the restaurant. They diluted, used a power sprayer to wet everything down and the very next day, NO unbearable odors; saving not only her customers, but also the restaurant for her neighbor.

I don't sell the product, so please don't think I am trying to sell you anything.

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S.F.

answers from Phoenix on

Gaaaaa!!! My first thought was BURN THE MATTRESS! But then I remembered mattresses don't grow on trees. Great tips below!

1 mom found this helpful

D.D.

answers from Boston on

I've had really good luck using enzyme cleaner to get out a lot of gross smelly stains. After trying a lot of different ones my go to is Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator which you can get on amazon. You spray it on and let it sit for a while. It usually takes 2 or 3 times to get the small and stain out. With pets in the house its worked on pee, poop, vomit, etc.

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K.J.

answers from York on

P-U!!! Like a few people have said, do NOT clean it with water. It will only make it even stinkier. I made that mistake with my dog's bed and P-U we had to throw that thing away.

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

I suggest that if the mattress is soaked with detergent and water, you use an appliance to suck the water out. Wet and suck water out a couple of times. The detergent increases the possibility of mold and mildew which have a nasty odor in themselves.

Then soak with an enzyme cleaner so it goes as deep as the water has gone. Soak and suck up the moisture after 10-15 minutes. The goal is to get the enzyme into the wet mattress and to get it as dry as possible.

Leave mattress uncovered until it-s completely dry. You can hasten the drying with a space heater.

If the smell is Ok, I'd flip the mattress, only after it's completely dry, and use the other side, in case mold has grown. Mold can make your child sick.

I would use a mattress protected that is not plastic. If the matress protector only covers the clean side and not the revrrse side, it would bw OK. Plastic will trap the moisture and odor in.

I bought a mattress protector that is impervious to liquid and is not plastic. This allows the mattress and protector to breathe.

I have a mattress protector on all my beds because I can never be sure that an accident won't happen. My daughter has also protected all her mattresses.

1 mom found this helpful

D.B.

answers from Boston on

Ugh. Of course, because nothing makes a stomach virus worse than having to clean carpets and mattresses and stuffed animals.

Try this:

http://www.getsmellout.com/how-to-get-vomit-smell-out-of-...

Vinegar and baking soda are good deodorizers. Just don't use them together!

1 mom found this helpful

V.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

Haven't read all of the responses, so someone has probably already mentioned it, but next time, try Nature's Miracle. The thing is, now that you've poured water on it, and detergent, it's probably soaked it deeper into the mattress than it was when it happened at first. You may not ever be able to get it out.

Usually enzymatic type cleaners (like Nature's Miracle) say to use them before applying anything else. You've done other stuff, but it wouldn't hurt to at least give it a shot. I buy it at the Pet store.

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you tried a cleaner with an enzyme stain remover?
I recently had a stinky cushion situation (pet accident). I sprayed it down thoroughly with Shout stain remover and let it sit overnight. Then I used my handheld carpet spot cleaner on it to get out the detergent - it sucks the liquid out. Then I sprayed vinegar and water (1:1) on it and let it sit overnight. Then I used the handheld carpet cleaner on it again. Smell gone.

I'm a little afraid that you may have gotten the smell deep into the mattress by pouring hot water on it. Hopefully not...

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

From google...

Sponge water or club soda onto the area and blot away the liquid to remove the residue from the cleaner. If any smell remains, sprinkle the area with baking soda. Allow the baking soda to sit for several hours, then sweep away the baking soda.

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M.C.

answers from New York on

Bleach and baking soda (not together). First of all use cold water, the hot could fix stain and smell forever, then hot water (I'm sorry you already made it, a lot of bleach could throw out the smell).

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R.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Natures Miracle. You might have to pour it on vs. spraying it on. Let it be wet and do its thing.

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S.L.

answers from Denver on

Try sprinkling borax on it and let it sit for a while, then vacuum up.

T.D.

answers from Springfield on

i would soak it in vinegar.. blot up the majority of the vinegar and let it air dry.

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