How to get smells out of a foam mattress?
July 8, 2005 12:57 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way of getting pet urine odour out of a Tempur Pressure Relieving mattress?

On the first night in our new house our cat urinated on our bed - a £1000+ Tempur mattress. According to the manufacturer, if the liquid (any type) penetrated the mattress entirely then it's a write-off. It will damage the foam which won't work any more.

Well it did go through to the bottom, plus we tried to soak up as much as we could (with a wet cloth - which was the wrong thing to do apparently). However, after drying out the thing seems fine. It retains it's memory foam properties and you wouldn't be able to tell which part was soaked.

However there is the smell... All the standard methods involve more soaking and I don't want to push my luck. Can anyone think of another method of removing the odour?
posted by Glum to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Wow. That really sucks. I don't know how to get the funk out, but you could always try locking it in with a mattress cover or three.
posted by defreckled at 1:23 PM on July 8, 2005

During some of the worst TV ever last night, I saw an advertisement for Urine Gone

posted by redteam at 1:26 PM on July 8, 2005

Your local pet store will carry a product called Nature's Miracle, which comes in a white bottle with red print. The stuff really works. Though you probably want to get as much of the urine out as possible first, either with towel or a wetvac or a combination of the two. I would suggest renting a carpet cleaner that would inject clean water and pull it and hate urine out, but I don't know if that would work with a tempur-petic mattress.
posted by rtimmel at 1:34 PM on July 8, 2005

Plain ol' cheap white vinegar. It neutralizes the cat odor smell. Use 1 part water to 3 parts vinegar, or if you really hate vinegar smell, 1 part water to 1 part vinegar. Dampen the mattress but don't soak it too thouroughly. You may need multiple applications.

Yes, it'll stink even worse at first, but in a few days all odors will be gone completely. I was in a similar situation a few months ago, and vinegar worked where no other odor neutralizer would.
posted by junkbox at 1:54 PM on July 8, 2005 [1 favorite]

I would strongly recommend the Nature's Miracle (which I've even seen in non-specialty places, such as WalMart). It's likely to be much gentler to the mattress, compared to bleach or vinegar solutions.

I've used it myself on a futon mattress; worked like a charm, though you do need to apply it liberally to make sure it gets to all the places the urine did.
posted by bemis at 2:03 PM on July 8, 2005

Best answer: In the interest of actually answering the question that was asked, I don't see any way you could clean this without introducing more liquid into the foam.

You could try putting some kind of cleaning liquid into a device like a clothes steamer or humidifier to turn it into a mist, but any cleaner strong enough to dismantle cat pee molecules is also likely to wreak havoc on any nearby lungs once airborne.

I think the way to go is several small, light treatments over time. Put a little bit on, squish it through some, let it sit for a week, then repeat as needed. I'd favor Nature's Miracle. It has no real smell of its own, and it's worked for me on all but the worst cat pee stains.

Bleach sounds like a disaster in the making. This stuff isn't even supposed to get water on it -- how do you suppose it'll hold up to having acid poured on it?
posted by jjg at 2:17 PM on July 8, 2005

Bleach sounds like a disaster in the making. This stuff isn't even supposed to get water on it -- how do you suppose it'll hold up to having acid poured on it?

Bleach is a strong base, not an acid. ;-) Not that it still can't cause chemical burns... (just mentioning because if you mix it with an acid [vinegar, coke, puke] VERY BAD THINGS HAPPEN).

Your problem is you need to kill the bacteria in the bed that are inside/and/or feeding on the urine. Basically anything that kills bacteria will kill the smell. Vinegar kills bacteria, alcohol kills them, and probably a bunch of other products.

You might even find an application of baking soda does the job, at least for a while. Hey, at least it's DRY. :)
posted by shepd at 2:55 PM on July 8, 2005

ExStink. It's a dry powder. Works just fine to remove pet urine smells.

Basically, every single thread you people post about smells has a single answer: ExStink. Seriously. I'm sure it's just a rebranding of some generic mineral substance, and yes, the web site is dubious-looking at best, but it works. Well.
posted by majick at 3:01 PM on July 8, 2005

chlorine bleach plays hobbs with latex foam rubber, softens and makes sticky. I have removed pet odors with sparkling water CO2/H2O
leaves no residues(your sleeping in it)
posted by hortense at 4:54 PM on July 8, 2005

Be careful what you use on a Tempur elastomeric foam mattress. I would guess it would not react exactly the same way as most foams.

Is Tempur foam actually latex, or is it something else? Also, I thought it was all or mostly closed-cell foam? It actually absorbs liquids?
posted by loquacious at 5:04 PM on July 8, 2005

For what it's worth, Borax (20 Mule Team Variety).
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:20 PM on July 8, 2005

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