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Body Odor Smell on a Mattress

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I am renting and my landlord gave us a kingsize bed. My problem is that the mattress smells from body odor and where ever it was stored. How can I get that odor out? I have tried Freebreze and Lysol. It is driving us crazy.

Thanks,
Cwazywabbit from Ripley, TN

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Carrie Evans R.09/28/2013

Corn starch is the answer. Everyone always forgets about it and uses baking soda. First spritz the mattress all over with vineger in a spray bottle ( lightly spray..don't soak it) After about 2 hrs sprinkle the corn search all over the mattress. Let sit at least 4-5 hrs. I left mine on the whole day, so the longer the better. Then vaccuum up the corn starch. If that don't get your stink out, nothing will.

This was a tip from Heloise in a magazine I get. I'm sure most of you know who she is. I inherited a mattress that smelled like "old person" tried everything I could find on the Internet to remove the smell and nothing worked. Saw the magazine article....tried it...old person smell gone. Heloise said its possible you may have to repeat the process several times to remove strong odors. Good luck!

By mojambo01/26/2013

My dog has had allergies. he has been itching and my apartment smells funny. I am from dryer areas in the west and a mattress is nothing to buy used. People sweat and the mattress soaks it up. Nothing drys out in Florida, so whatever you absorb or pick up is someone else s body fluids...gross. I have thrown out my mattress, never sleep in someone else sweat.

I have a mold problem from the moisture that is why my dog is itching plus I have noticed hair loss in my apartment. You laugh not a joking matter mold will kill you. especially if your not from the south and moved here. If your immune system is not accustomed you will die.

By janet [1]10/07/2009

I work at a mattress store and everyone should cover their mattress with a waterproof mattress protector. Do you know a stain on a mattress voids your manufacturer's warranty? Also great to protect against dust mites, allergens and any body fluids. It's worth the price.

By Rose Cox11/25/2008

I found out that a spray bottle of vinegar seems to do the trick. Allow drying time before you do this. Just spray it on and then when damp apply baking soda. Take a scrub brush and brush it into the mattress. When almost completely dry, take a vacuum with a beater bar and sweep off the excess. Again, open some windows, you will smell the vinegar. Once it's dry, you won't smell the odor or the vinegar. Then get a mattress protector at walmart--$7-15 and just regularly wash the sheets. I found out with bed wetters this was the simplest and inexpensive way to clean the odors out. When you wash the sheets, wash them in a soap with enzymes and about 2 cups of white vinegar--they will be fresher than ever! Good Luck!!

By Annie Rios Hill [12]08/30/2008

Denver mattress stores sell a kit for keeping mattresses
clean. The spray for sweat and urine works like no
other. My ex was a heavy sweater and so
I had an expensive mattress pad and he still would
sweat so this cleaner worked wonders. I tried all
others febreeze, baking soda wiping down with
white vinegar etc this kit was the best.

By Laura04/25/2008

I realize I am a little late on this. A very very good vacuuming with a beater bar is first. Then I would go buy an enzyme cleaner (like for cat and dog urine). Spray the mattress good and let it sit for a good 10 minutes. Then blot with towels or if you have a shop vacuum suck it up with that. It that does not do it. Then I highly recommend getting rid of the mattress.

As for the memory foam mattress. I would call the company, especially after only 6 or so months and raise hell. That mattress cost a fortune and I would want them to take care of it.

Good luck!!

By King Size Smell (Guest Post)04/19/2008

We just bought a King size bed like two weeks ago. My husband sweats in his sleep and his side of the bed smells so awful - I can't stand it anymore! Help - nose plugs are hard to sleep with.

By Superfrustratedanddisgusted (Guest Post)12/16/2007

I recently purchased a very pricey mattress with 3 inches of memoy foam on it (6 months ago) and lately it's been smelling really really fowl. My side is fine, but my husband's side is so rank it wakes me up at night. I've tried washing the sheets and mattress pad (the pad was the one the salesperson for the bed recommended, not cheap) every three days or so but it's getting worse. I don't know what to do! Febreeze doesn't work at all. It smells actually like (and this is going to sound gross) like feet + body odor + rotting corpse (or like when you have a cast removed and your limb stinks). Please help!! Any suggestions??

By TENDER LOVER (Guest Post)11/24/2007

Walmart has the mattress covers for $8-$15 bucks, then go to overstock.com and buy yourself a 2inch memory foam topper for under $70. Now your sleeping on a new bed with no smell since the vinyl mattress cover is stopping the funk

By ENCHANTED1 (Guest Post)09/14/2007

Hello, any advice will be so grateful! I bought a truck 1 year old, beautiful, but the seatbelt smells like the worst body oder smell, like someone never showered! Any ideas on how to remove smells? Thanks!

By KLS8800 (Guest Post)01/17/2006

Ugh. I am sure your landlord was well meaning, but I would check out local NEW furniture stores. Ask about scratch and dent items, or maybe an item returned due to wrong size (ordered Queen, but King arrived..) Or maybe a set that was split up. They took the box spring but not the mattress... You may get an incredible deal. I didn't get a mattress that way, but I did get a coffee table that way. A tiny piece was chipped off, and unless you really hunted for it, you'd never notice it. Regular price was $139 I got it for just over $30. Ask about. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh?

By Becki in Indiana (Guest Post)01/13/2006

If the smell is your only concern, tuck a few fabric softener sheets under the edges of the mattress.

By Julie [2]01/12/2006

Put the mattress out in the sun. The sun has ultraviolet rays the kill bacteria that causes smells. I do this regularly with my pillows that I can not wash as they are latex. Pillows smell much nicer after a day in the sun!

By Dee [3]01/10/2006

baking soda and borax should do the trick, but as others have said, best to get a mattress cover.

By Vicka (Guest Post)01/10/2006

I agree with Idyharley. That mattress sounds bad. Air mattresses are not so bad. We have one in our travel trailer that I cover with a mattress pad.
Good Luck

By Carol (Guest Post)01/10/2006

When you buy a used mattress from a thrift shop, I think they've always been professionally sanitized (whatever that is). I for one could not sleep on the mattress you've described.. However if you need to, the best way would be to seal the mattress in a zippered plastic covering made for this purpose. You'll find them in the part of a store where they have allergy covers for pillows and mattresses. Mattresses harbor dust mites which cause breathing problems in many people. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells which are shed all the time, but especially while we are sleeping because we are confined to that one area for a long time.. Sorry to gross everyone out, but I had to tell the truth..lol I am sorry these plastic covers are pretty expensive, but IMHO its a good investment. Maybe you'll consider saving that money toward buying yourself a new mattress and sleep on the couch for awhile...

01/10/2006

I would sleep on an air mattress before I would sleep on a mattress that smelled of body odors or any other kind of odors. But if you insist on keeping the bed, you could dilute white distilled vinegar with water in a spray bottle and spritz the mattress. Don't soak it, just spray it on lightly and allow to dry. I read this in a little book on many uses for vinegar.
Save your money and buy a new mattress.

By Pammy01/09/2006

Regardless of how much of the odor you can remove I would encase the mattress in plastic and then put a mattress cover over top of that before putting your sheets on. You are then protected from anything distasteful left on the mattress as well as any lingering odor.

By SusannL (Guest Post)01/09/2006


We use plastic mattress protectors on ours in case someone gets sick or one of our pets has an accident. The idea of sleeping on a mattress that has been penetrated by someone else's bodily fluids is pretty repugnant. I would look for another mattress.

By SL Edens [1]01/09/2006

I think I'd want to call around (perhaps used furniture stores) and see how to have the mattress sterilized. The baking soda is a good idea for odor alone....but I'm so picky, I'd want it sterilized, too. I think it's very nice of your landlord, though.

By (Guest Post)01/08/2006

Baking Soda sprinkled on mattress; wait a while; then, vacuum it up? I'm guessing because they make Baking Soda products for odors in fridge/freezer, for carpets, for laundry. Look on Box of Baking Soda products; perhaps it will give you advise? Hope this helps.

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