A popcorn-scented bed won't help with the cravings.
April 12, 2010 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Can this mattress be saved from buttery goodness?

So one of my wonderful dogs found a bottle of Orville Reddenbacher Butter Flavor Popping Oil, opened it and spilled it all over a cheap area rug (no big deal) and the mattress in our spare bedroom (bigger deal). There's a rather large oil spill in the middle of the mattress. Can it be saved? Even if I get the surface oil off, how do I get the buttered popcorn smell out? Will residual oil go rancid? Should I just give up and throw the mattress out?
posted by thejanna to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
For a lot of, ahem, organic mattress issues (urine and so on), direct sunlight is often the best curative. If you have the space and location, it might be worth a shot.

I have seen (and indeed, purchased) mattress covers that completely enclose the mattress and zipper shut. Whether that would be enough to hold back the buttery smell or not, I have no idea.

As this is the spare bedroom, I'd be inclined to chuck the mattress myself and go to a local mom-and-pop place for a reasonably priced replacement.
posted by jquinby at 9:59 AM on April 12, 2010

The city of Cincinnati once had a vegetable oil spill on a freeway overpass. After trying several (unsuccessful) methods of removal, Procter&Gamble sent over a shitload of Dawn liquid soap. The overpass was opened in a matter of hours.

So my advice is to wash it thoroughly with Dawn and then steam-vac the hell out of it.

(I wish I could find the news report of the incident. I'm just not patient enough.)
posted by cooker girl at 10:26 AM on April 12, 2010

I second the dish soap - but you'll need to do lots of rinsing and thorough drying. The drying will be the hardest part of this whole operation since mattresses are "dense."

The reason dish soap works is it's still basic (as in opposite of acid...), so it essentially turns all of the fat you're trying to clean up into more soap by chemically reacting with it.

You most likely will still have issues with the butter smell, so you can attack that with Oxyclean, Enzyme Cleaner, and maybe even some vinegar.

One other option is write the manufacturer of the product and tell them your situation. They may have some good suggestions as well.
posted by JibberJabber at 11:47 AM on April 12, 2010

I'm honestly not sure if you'll be able to get to all the oil, short of removing the mattress cover. I'm thinking it may have dripped down and oiled the springs, which will release a puff of buttery smell every time someone sits down on the mattress. Forever. Also; ants.

I'd probably find a place that rehabilitates old mattresses. They will be able to clean it properly and turn it around for resale. A basic spring mattress is pretty cheap these days.

If the cost of a basic spring mattress is too prohibitive, then my second plan of attack would be to drag it out into the yard, pour Dawn on it, and then spend an afternoon out there with a garden hose and a good book.
posted by ErikaB at 3:32 PM on April 12, 2010

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