How can I remove a dark brown shit stain from my mattress?
November 8, 2007 9:12 PM   Subscribe

For a friend: My ex-roommate shit in my bed for revenge. What do I do?

I haven't been sleeping in my room: there is a mess of brown streaks on the mattress. No odor, but psychologically traumatizing. How do I get rid of the stain? Should I get a new bed? Is the mattress safe to sleep on?
posted by davidriley to Home & Garden (39 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
get rid of the bed.
posted by parmanparman at 9:19 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Flip it over.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:21 PM on November 8, 2007

Uggh, jesus. Yeah I think before you worry about the mattress, I would worry about what a psycho your ex-roommate is and what else he might do.

But as for the mattress, I would think it would be ok if you sanitized the hell out of it, however, every way I can think to sanitize it, I seem to think would seriously damage the mattress (I would want to drench that thing in bleach, but maybe I'm overreacting).

Or if you wanted to go for a less destructive cleansing you could buy a plastic mattress cover, buy a cloth one to go over it and then get a feather bed, then you are far removed from the offending stains.

Also, this might qualify as assault, but uh IANAL (and I might be really pushing it with that argument), but hey wouldn't hurt to look into that! Then he can buy you a new mattress!
posted by whoaali at 9:21 PM on November 8, 2007

For the love of all that is holy, GET RID OF THAT THING.

Ew. Just... ew.
posted by MiaWallace at 9:21 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Is this really something you need to ask the Internet? Get rid of the bed already.
posted by bizwank at 9:22 PM on November 8, 2007

Oh come on mefi, if he has to ask he's fine about sleeping on shit. Leave him be!
posted by holloway at 9:23 PM on November 8, 2007 [3 favorites]

If it's just brown streaks and no odor (as you stated) is it possible the roommate did something else besides shitting (i.e. rubbing something else on the mattress to make you only think it was shit)?
posted by amyms at 9:23 PM on November 8, 2007

If you clean the mattress, and put new bedding on it, I don't see why you'd have to get rid of it for health reasons- you're not going to get a disease for sleeping in a spot where poop used to be.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:26 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

It's shit, not nuclear waste. If shit was poisonous, your mama would not have survived your infancy.

Wear rubber gloves, apply moderate amounts of hot soapy water, scrub out stain, drag mattress outside and leave to sun and air until dry.

posted by ottereroticist at 9:38 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

It is definitely possible that it isn't shit and that he is just fucking with me: how can I tell?
posted by davidriley at 9:39 PM on November 8, 2007

It is definitely possible that it isn't shit and that he is just fucking with me: how can I tell?

Uhhh, the sniff test should be diagnostic.

But really, why do you care? Either way, you need to clean the mattress and effect a drastic change in your living situation.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:41 PM on November 8, 2007

[A few comments removed. Take the pronoun argument and the crappy (yes, yes) jokes elsewhere.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:12 PM on November 8, 2007

yes, the sniff test should tell all. I knew a person who swore up and down that his friend shit on his bed. It later turned out to be Snickers.
posted by Xere at 10:13 PM on November 8, 2007

there is a mess of brown streaks on the mattress. No odor,

No odour? C'mon - he's just fucking with you.
posted by Neiltupper at 11:30 PM on November 8, 2007

Yes, it's gross, but it's not cause to throw out the mattress. Use something anti-bacterial to clean it well (like a bleach solution) and then get on with your life.

As for deailing with your psychotic roomate, well that's a whole different question.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:49 PM on November 8, 2007

If you're sure that it is feces, then report it to the police as criminal damage/criminal mischief/vandalism/whatever. Then move out. Life's too short to live it with psychos.

If you're not sure, but think he may have been playing a prank on you, then skip the police report and just move out.

Why do you think that your roommate did this? Did you have a fight? Did he call your attention to it in some way?
posted by grouse at 12:03 AM on November 9, 2007

You might have a conversation with him. Barring that, you could put said mattress on his head while he sleeps.
posted by asuprenant at 12:07 AM on November 9, 2007

You didn't mention whether you have any budgetary limitations, but most commercial carpet cleaning companies will scrub your mattress for a nominal charge.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:21 AM on November 9, 2007

Of course this has never happened in a hotel before. You can bet your ass that they don't throw out every mattress that gets soiled. I worked in several 4 and 5 star chains (and I mean flagship hotels in major international cities) when I was travelling and this kinda thing happened way more than you would like to imagine. In fact, in a lot of places the person who cleans it quite often gets the soiling charge that gets placed on the customer account. £100 is the average in the UK IIRC.

A proper scrub with some anti-bacterial solution and a clean should be fine. You could also get one of those mattress protector padded sheets that they sell in Ikea if it makes you feel better in the meantime.

However, I would imagine it's not the shit per se that's the problem just knowing that someone you know dropped one on it that is the problem and, therefore, once you have the moolah get it replaced.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 1:11 AM on November 9, 2007

Shit would most *definitely* smell like shit. I hate to overestimate this ex-roommate, but I really think if there's no shit smell then it wasn't really shit.

But more importantly, inquiring minds NEED to know what this was in retaliation for.
posted by loiseau at 1:20 AM on November 9, 2007

maybe it's just chocolate and he wants you to think it's shit, who takes the trouble of actually shitting on a bed, come on
posted by matteo at 1:41 AM on November 9, 2007

I'd say its probably not shit either. Even if he had explosive diarrhea there still be some solid matter there - so, unless he says he shit on your bed then scraped it all off - there would be some crusty residue (I have dogs...) , not just brown streaks.
If theres no residue at all, and its just a brown stain then it was probably a liquid of some sort.
posted by missmagenta at 2:17 AM on November 9, 2007

Why not swap your mattress for his?
posted by Acarpous at 3:20 AM on November 9, 2007

Tell him (or her) that you will be filing an action in small claims court for the replacement of your mattress. Few people want to be known in public as the person who shit on someone else's bed. Therefore, he (or she) will likely offer to buy you a new matress or tell you that it's only Pepsi stains.
posted by probablysteve at 5:13 AM on November 9, 2007

Use Nature's Miracle. Sleep on the couch for a few days.
posted by hooray at 5:22 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Snickers. Pepsi, Maple Syrple, 10w30 - if it's shit in your mind it's shit. Your inner princess is going to have a hard time sleeping on that particular pea, I reckon. DTMFMA.

But I doubt it's shit. Someone actually squeezes out a link in your bed and you would KNOW it, because they WANT you to know it.

Did roommate say they shat in your bed, and then you inspectd and found streaks? Details!
posted by dirtdirt at 5:23 AM on November 9, 2007

New bed. Now.
posted by grumpy at 5:41 AM on November 9, 2007

Did everyone miss the part where he says ex-roommate in the question?
posted by public at 5:56 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

I doubt everyone did, but I know I did.
posted by grouse at 5:58 AM on November 9, 2007

I have heard you can pour hydrogen peroxide on memory foam mattresses to remove stains.
posted by pluckysparrow at 6:31 AM on November 9, 2007

What about buying one of those hypoallergenic mattress covers? You can get them for $10-$20 at linen/bedding stores.
posted by anonymous78 at 6:41 AM on November 9, 2007

I'm glad to hear that it's an "ex"-roommate. Now how about a restraining order?

Seconding Nature's Miracle for the mattress. Basically any enzymatic cleaner which will get rid of pet excrement should work. Then flip the mattress over. And replace it when you can afford it. (Not that your friend is likely to catch anything from a few smears of shit on a mattress - most fecal infections are caused by, ugh, getting fecal matter in the mouth or in broken skin - but ew.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:03 AM on November 9, 2007

Who would buy a present and then leave just the wrapping? Seriously, who would go to the trouble of pooping in someone's bed, then take the poop and leave just the streaks? Why not leave the whole thing? I doubt it is what you think it is.

Either way, get some oxiclean, a scrub brush and a can of lysol. Scrub, spray. repeat. Wait till thoroughly dry then flip the mattress.

OR, get a new mattress.
posted by necessitas at 7:11 AM on November 9, 2007

If there is any question it is poo, try How to clean blood stains from a mattress.
posted by enfa at 7:29 AM on November 9, 2007 may be worth investigating if your friend decides to attempt cleaning the mattress.
posted by malocchio at 7:45 AM on November 9, 2007

I'm with bizwank - why even ask? Get rid of it.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 8:32 AM on November 9, 2007

So are you saying that your ex-roommate stripped the bed and then took a dump on the bare mattress? Or that it's just the sheets on the bed with the evidence? I know you said "mattress" but I'm having a hard time picturing the forethought involved with taking off all the bedding first. Or was the mattress just sitting there "naked" waiting to be defiled? If it's just the sheets, throw them out. Did the ex-roommate claim to have done this deed? Otherwise how would you know it had happened if it was under the sheets? Did he not re-make the bed? I'm confused.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:56 AM on November 9, 2007

Yep, I'm with the majority here - get rid of the mattress, and the room mate.
posted by mattr at 9:01 AM on November 9, 2007

the question you have to ask yourself is if it's worth dragging your ex-roomate into court to get him to pay for a new mattress. If it is - don't touch that mattress, it's evidence. I'm sure there's a lab somewhere that'll be glad to analyze a sample to tell you exactly what you've got there.

Otherwise, just clean the stain. If that's too much, start looking at what it'll cost to replace the mattress.
posted by Kioki-Silver at 9:46 AM on November 9, 2007

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