Archive for January, 2017
Urine stains on a mattress are one of the small, benign accidents of everyday life. Whether it’s a young child, an elderly person suffering from incontinence, or even a pet that hasn’t quite been properly trained, these mishaps are a part of our everyday lives. It’s quite possible to remove these unsightly stains and marks simply and to make the unpleasant odours caused by the proliferation of bacteria in the urine disappear. In fact, urine stains are much easier to remove than blood or wine stains. Let’s take a look at some simple and easy mattress stain remover solutions.
If the stain is still fresh, you can pour some baking soda onto the damp part of the mattress; this will absorb the urine. Work the baking soda into the mattress by hand, using circular movements with the palm of your hand. Let it work for several hours. You can also use talcum powder, which is just as effective and has the advantage of absorbing moisture. This tip also works with cornstarch.
White vinegar is also a valuable ally in case of dried stains. Moisten the soiled area using a sponge soaked in vinegar or with a sprayer, then sponge. The vinegar eliminates not only the bacteria that have built up, but also the astringent odour of the urine. White vinegar is also very effective at removing yellow stains.
Sodium borate – also known as Borax – is a powerful deodorizer. Moisten the dried stain using a sponge before applying Borax. Scrub vigorously. You can find sodium borate almost everywhere, at Walmart or Jean Coutu pharmacies, for example. Be careful to take the appropriate precautions, since Borax is a powerful detergent.
Rubbing alcohol is another very effective alternative. Scrub the stain with a damp cloth to remove it. Another advantage of rubbing alcohol: it’s just as effective on leather and other types of material.
You can also clean urine stains on a mattress using diluted bleach. Be sure to rinse the cleaned area well and let the mattress dry completely.
If it’s an old stain, ammonia is the most effective option. Take a cloth soaked in ammonia and scrub the area to be cleaned. Be careful: ammonia is a toxic substance that’s hazardous to your health, so be sure to wear gloves and ventilate the room properly before cleaning your mattress.
Remove the odours
When it comes to urine odours on a mattress, just apply a few drops of essential oil. Those of lemon, lavender, and eucalyptus – available online here and here, for example – are particularly recommended.
Protect your mattresses !
Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, consider covering your mattresses with a waterproof pad made of an absorbent material – especially the mattresses of young children. Depending on the size of the mattress, this will cost you around $10 CAN. There are also disposable pads made of defibered cotton: a small investment that will save you a lot of trouble in the future! You should know that there are also pads for chairs, sofas and even car seats!
One last piece of advice
A stain will wash out in water… so it’s best to do this in the morning, so the mattress has plenty of time to dry. Ideally, you should dry your mattress in the sun. There’s nothing worse than cleaning a urine stain only to end up with moisture problems !
If they’re not dealt with quickly, moisture issues can cause health problems (such as itching and redness on the skin and breathing problems) and lead to problems with rot (in wood, especially) and heavy condensation on the walls and windows (the water in the air condenses into liquid form with the temperature reduction). What can you do to deal with damp smells in your home? Follow this guide.
Humidity and insulation
The ideal humidity level of the air inside a house in the winter should be between 35% and 45%. Starting from 60%, you’ll notice the appearance of mold and the proliferation of dust mites. To measure your humidity level, equip yourself with a hygrometer, a small device capable of measuring ambient humidity, for less than $100 CAN, and easy to find at any hardware store. If, despite relatively dry air (that is, with a relative humidity of 35% or less), you still notice condensation or mold on the walls, it’s very likely that you have an insulation problem. You’ll have to reinforce the insulation in the walls (with water-resistant plaster panels, for example) as well as the tightness of your windows. You can find more information here about measuring humidity and ways to fight it.
Reduce the humidity level
Begin by identifying the sources of moisture in your home – most often, they come from the kitchen and the bathroom. You should install fans there. In addition, make sure that the air from the dryer is expelled outside your house. Finally, in particularly humid rooms, you can install a portable dehumidifier. Of course, the relative humidity level is linked to temperature: you can find more information about this topic here.
5 simple and practical solutions for effectively combating damp smells
- Baking soda effectively combats the damp smell in a house. Just pour some into a dish that you can place in the room where the smell is the strongest. Results guaranteed! And to clean mold, you can prepare a mixture of a few spoonfuls of baking soda and a pint of water, to which you should add a pinch or two of fine salt. Spray this mixture on the surfaces to be cleaned.
- Avoid collecting green plants in your home, which tend to accumulate moisture. Better yet, why not grow plants that absorb moisture, such as yucca and orchids?
- In the kitchen, consider covering your dishes that simmer with a lid: you’ll thereby avoid getting condensation on the walls and the ceiling. Likewise, make sure that the air expelled by your dryer is directed outside the house. Furthermore, if you can do so, it’s always best to dry your wet clothes outdoors.
- Leave about an inch of space between the walls and your furniture. The air will circulate better, preventing the formation of mold and the appearance of unpleasant odours!
- White vinegar cleans and neutralizes damp smells. Clean your interior regularly with a cloth soaked in white vinegar. And if the smell bothers you, you can add some lemon juice.
And to go further
You’ll find a few official links here and here that will let you better understand the problems caused by moisture issues… and above all, fight them better! In addition, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has published a guide – available online – that brings together all the useful information about moisture and the air, as well as the ways to sanitize your home and the inspections to be carried out.
Mildew smells are probably the most unpleasant odours of all. They can be especially stubborn in the home and seep into clothing, fabrics, and curtains. But that’s no reason to panic! There are some simple remedies and solutions to remove mildew smell and put an end to this problem once and for all. Let’s discover them together.
Your first instinct to fight the smells of dampness in your home should be to open your windows wide and create an air current that will make these odours disappear. Air out your home! However, if the mildew smell persists, it’s because you have a moisture problem. Be careful, because the humidity can eventually create health problems. The Government of Québec has published an online guide – accessible here – detailing the health problems caused by mold.
Begin by sprinkling powdered laundry detergent or a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda on your carpets. Let dry for at least six hours before vacuuming. If the carpet is very thick or worn-out, it might be a good idea to replace it with a hardwood or floating floor.
To sanitize your walls, put together the following mixture: an abundant amount of hot water, to which you’ll add a tablespoon of baking soda crystals (also known as sodium carbonate), the juice of one lemon, and a few drops of essential oil of lemon. Spray your walls using a sprayer and let act until they’re completely dry. This deodorizer also has the advantage of being totally natural.
Start by airing out the room. Add a few drops of ammonia to a bowl of hot water. Then, clean the interior parts of your cupboards and furniture with a cloth soaked in this mixture. Let dry completely.
And on your clothes?
Mildew smells on clothing can either come from the closets or the drawers in which they’re stored, or from the washer itself. If that’s the case, use the following method to sanitize your washing machine. Pour two tablespoons of white vinegar and one tablespoon of baking soda into the laundry compartment. Start a 60°C wash cycle. Once the cycle is over, wipe off the walls of the drum of your washer and let dry completely. You can also do a load of laundry with your clothes using this same mixture. Finally, an essential rule: never fold your laundry if it’s still wet. Always wait until it’s completely dry before putting it away!
If, despite all your attempts, the musty mildew smell persists, you’ll have to consider treating not the consequences of the moisture, but rather its causes. Moisture in a home can be the result of several factors. The most common are: water infiltration; the capillary rise of moisture in the walls and partitions; poor insulation of the walls, floors, and ceilings; defective heating; and, finally, poor general ventilation… and, simply, the lack of maintenance of the house. You can also equip yourself with a dehumidifier, which dries out the air in your home by sucking it up and cooling it. Thanks to the temperature drop, the water condenses and falls into a tank; the air, thus dried out, is then expelled. To prevent future mildew problems, regularly and meticulously vacuum your sofas, mattresses, and cushions using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter). This will cost you between $250 and $300. You’ll also eliminate the buildup of dust mites.