Regardless of the type of mattress you are dealing with, you should never use liquid to clean a mattress bed. Water based cleaners will seep into the foam and batting. Difficult to remove, the remaining moisture may result in mold and mildew.
Regardless of whether you are dealing with cat urine, blood or sweat, you should not use liquid to clean the mattress. However, there are steps you can take to clean the mattress when something should happen to it.
Removing Liquids from the Bed
It doesn’t matter if your young child peed the bed or your over intoxicated husband had an accident and peed the bed, if your cat decided to spray it, or if you spilled a glass of wine on the mattress. Although it sounds like you also need a good bed wetting solution too.
The first step is to remove as much of the offending liquid as possible. Here are the steps you should follow to start on this task.
Remove bedding – Start by stripping the bed completely. Get the sheets washing and remove any mattress covers you may have. With the bed stripped, you can start to see the extent of the damage. If it’s urine in the mattress, you can see the extent of the stains with a black light if it has already started to dry. If not it should be visible without one.
Waterbeds and airbeds – If you have one of these beds, then you can start by unzipping the top cover and pulling it back. The liquid can easily be cleaned off the vinyl base mattress with some warm, soapy water. Have a towel on hand to quickly dry the material, and do not allow the liquid to get near the foam that is around the sides. The cover can be cleaned separately following the directions for innerspring and foam mattresses. Be sure to remove and wash down any liquid that gets in and around the vinyl base because if that dries it’s going to smell and could grow mold.
Mold = bad!
Futons, spring mattresses, foam and waterbed covers – The liquid should be blotted out completely. Paper towels are highly absorbent and can be used to start pulling the liquid out. If necessary, put a heavy layer of towels on the stain, cover them with a heavy stack of books or lay on it yourself and give it a few hours to start wicking the moisture up.
A shop vacuum or steam cleaner is also handy when things like this happen. Use the suction only to remove as much liquid as possible. When using attachments, do not use any that have spinning brushes to avoid spreading the stain. Suck it up or blot it up as quick as possible. Trust me if you use those vacuums with the rotating bristles you’re only going to spread moisture where it doesn’t belong.
Now if you have properly cleaned the liquid or urine from the mattress and it’s dry now you want to see if it completely removed, right? You don’t want to be sleeping in bed wondering if you removed all that urine and smell.
So how do you check to be sure you cleaned all the urine?
Got a black light around?
If you don’t have access to one you can purchase a cheap one like the one I got on Amazon here.
Urine has enzymes in it that give off a distinct glow when they have a black light shining on them. UV lights need to be used at night in order to see cat and dog urine odor spots. When using the black light, urine stains will typically show up as a dull yellow to yellow-green color before being treated.
If necessary, masking tape can be used to outline odor areas for treatment in the daylight.
Perfect for you so now you can see if there’s anything glowing on there. Get out those disco lights you got in the basement or run down to the local party store and pickup a flashlight or black light bulb.