Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Getting the Stink Out of That Which Can Not Go in the Washer

I've been busy doing a lot of cleaning. Hence, my absence. I typically do much of my "Spring Cleaning" during Christmas break and January. The New Year just feels better with a deep clean. I've learned a few new things about cleaning that I'll be sharing.

Today's Topic: Stench Yucky, smelly, musty, smells that you can't seem to get rid of. I'm talking about stuff that Fa-breeze can't cut through. And I'm talking about things that you can't put in the washer: carpet, couches, mattresses... surface wash only stuff.

Recently, we started using a mattress that had been in storage. It had a musty, storage smell that I hoped would go away on it's own. I couldn't let it air out outside since the weather wasn't allowing for that. So, I tried shampooing it with the hand tools of my carpet shampooer. It didn't touch the smell. I gave up for a day. Hoped it would air out. It didn't.

So, I searched around online. Most people were saying to put vinegar in a spray bottle, spray the offensive area, allow it to dry. Easy enough. I tried it. It helped. I had also read about using ammonia in a spray bottle, applying the same as the vinegar. If figured I'd give it a shot. Because ammonia is so repugnant, I opened the window and closed the door of the room while the mattress dried. The results were great. The stench was gone...without smelling ammonia instead.

Now, would two applications of vinegar have done the trick? Perhaps, but I think it might have taken 3-4 applications of vinegar. I use vinegar to get the sink out of the carpet after cleaning up barf. It works. Now I know that ammonia works too (seems stronger) and that vinegar is easier on the respiratory system. I have found vinegar to be quite effective in removing the yucky cigarette smoke smell as well.