"What's That Funky Stain On My Mattress?"

Jun 18, 2001

The Bottom Line You might be a little shocked to discover WHO'S been sleeping in YOUR bed! Here's a few hints and tips to reduce your chances of that EVER happening again!

When I pulled the mattress pad off the mattress to wash it, boy was I surprised!

I'm a clean freak! I clean behind the fridge three times a year! I pull the stove out and scrub with all my heart! I even pull the washer and dryer out every year and clean! So the day I pulled my mattress pad off the bed to wash it, you can imagine my horror when I discovered a little two inch round brownish stain on my brand new - less than a year old - Simmons Beautyrest!

Now nobody in my family wets the bed anymore ... the dog doesn't even GET on the bed while we're around ... we don't EAT in the bed ... we rarely drink in the bed ... so the spot in the lower middle portion of the mattress pretty much confused me.

So I called Eric (that's my husband), "Honey, there's a two inch brown stain on my Beautyrest. Do you know anything about it?" There was silence for a second and then he asked, "What part of your anatomy are we talking about and why would I know anything about it?"

Geez! Doesn't anyone even know what kind of MATTRESS they sleep on or is it just me?

Alright ... so Eric was clueless. I plopped down on the mattress and studied that spot. What the HECK was that???


I called up Simmons and asked about the spot. No, I didn't ask them if they knew what the spot was ... THAT would be sort of embarrassing. I ASKED them how I could CLEAN it!

First, they advised me to try a good quality upholstery shampoo and just try the instructions on the can. If that didn't work, then they told me to mix up a concoction called "Dry Suds" and apply that to the spot.

The upholstery shampoo did very little to render the mattress free of the stain. So ... on to step two. The SUDS.

Dry suds, it seems is a blend that mattress manufacturers have been using for years on all SORTS of mystery spots and stains. If the stain is fresh it works better, but I had pretty good luck on my "mystery" stain!

To make these miracle working suds, you need a little warm water, some dry detergent and an electric beater. Put the detergent in a bowl (I used about a quarter cup) and start slowly pouring in warm water a few teaspoon fulls at a time. Mix this stuff on medium speed and it will form into this CRAZY froth of suds!

Skim the top off the froth and take it to your mattress. With a soft brush or a firm sponge, rub the dry suds into the stain using a circular motion. Keep rubbing until the stain begins to fade. If you need to use more, be sure to rinse your sponge or brush in warm water and be sure to rid it of any and all water droplets before using the dry suds.

Your goal here is to NOT get the padding inside the mattress wet. If you do, you're going to end up with not ONLY a funky STAIN, but also a funky smell as well!

Be SURE you dry the mattress WELL before putting your mattress pad and sheets back on. I, being the clean freak that I am, dragged mine out on the back deck in the sunshine and let it dry naturally. Of course, you can always be normal and just easily aim a fan towards the mattress and allow it to dry that way too!


Maintaining a mattress requires VERY little time OR effort. Be sure to protect that mattress with a good mattress pad or cover. The cover should be easy to take off and put back on as well as be machine washable! Investing in a GOOD mattress pad can save your mattress YEARS in damage due to stains and wear!

Mattresses should be turned periodically end over end (for pillow topped mattresses) and for all others, flip it bottom to top as WELL as end over end. Rotating a mattress keeps it from wearing out in the same spot night after night! I always find that after I rotate my mattress, I get a much better nights sleep.

Every time I change my mattress pad, I be sure I vacuum the surface of my mattress as WELL as the boxed springs. Be sure to vacuum the sides and if you can slip beneath your bed, be sure to get the undersides as well.

By removing the dust from your mattress, you cut down on dust mites living in your mattress. Recent studies have also discovered all SORTS of critters sleeping in your bed with you ... things like disease & allergy causing bacteria, fungi, germs mold & mildew and heaven forbid, dust mites.

Dust mites like warm, dark and humid conditions like your mattress and get this ... 90% of people with asthma have an allergy to the dust mite! YUCK! Do you realize that you can be exposed to up to 2 million mites in your mattress at one time, so for pity's sake people ... clean your mattress!!!


There ARE professional mattress cleaning companies that actually come to your home and do the cleaning for you! MITex is one company that my mother used and they did a wonderful job of cleaning hers! These companies are a bit on the pricey side, but ARE cheaper than purchasing a new mattress!


Keep your mattresses clean! Take care of them and they'll last for years and years! Be sure to vacuum it regularly and keep the rotation going! Spray it lightly from time to time with a fabric freshener before you turn it ... and be sure to buy a pad!

By the way, we found out what the stain was. While I was cleaning it, it turned back to it's original red color. The stain was a small splash of red wine that somehow found it's way onto my mattress the evening that .... well, nevermind.

That's another epinion altogether.

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