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Old 03.03.2021, 16:20
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How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

I have a mattress cover that is now over a decade old but is of superlative quality. It is very thick and luxurious, from a time when not everything reasonably priced was made in China or made form synthetic materials.

This mattress cover bears many unidentifiable stains, the source of which can only be guessed but probably shouldn't be thought about in too much detail. I only discovered the other day, after a decade of ownership, that the mattress cover splits into two zippable halves and so will actually fit in a washing machine. That would probably have been useful to know many years earlier. Anyway, I put each half in the washing machine along with some washing powder and softener and now it smells lovely but alas, the stains have not disappeared.

I want to clean this mattress cover so that it is once again as unstained as it can possibly be within the realms of reason.

So, wizened denizens of EF, what are your foolproof solutions for removing stains from a mattress cover that is otherwise clean but has many stubborn and unidentifiable stains? Any tips appreciated please.

Last edited by Chuff; 04.03.2021 at 07:38.
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Old 03.03.2021, 16:24
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

I put bleach tablets when washing. No stains even after 7 years, but then I don't wet the bed
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Old 03.03.2021, 16:39
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

I use Oxyclean (imported from the US) and soak the offending bits for a week. It is good for for *protein-based* stains. (OH is particularly fond of his sheepskin German mattress cover that must be at least 20 years old.)

Now that you've already washed the cover, you have probably set any proteins with the hot water. If you can find some enzyme-based cleaner, that would be your best bet, plus try baking soda (Natriumbikarbonat) and vinegar. I've found these kinds of stains are very stubborn once they've set.

Good luck!
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Old 03.03.2021, 16:44
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

I only once tried washing the removable cover of a mattress that came with a second-hand bed, completely ruined, but it was that or just throw it away in the first place. Stained mattresses do not have any place in a rental property. TBF it didn't claim to be washable and was quite thickly padded.

It was suggested after the event that it could have been dry cleaned, which ought to have removed the stains, so you might try that, but otherwise we failed to find any workable solutions.
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Old 03.03.2021, 16:47
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

As you have washed it already in hot water, the stains have kinded to settled in and I do not believe you will get them out.


Bleach varies, some say it yellows some items, other good job.


Other stain remover, a brand name of Powder and Spray is Vanish (read contents, you can buy the unbranded cheaper). They sell one for white wash and another for colour wash.



The spray you do on the spots and leave for a while before washing.


The powder you add along with your normal wash powder.


I use the spray on cotton tee shirts and the like, where I get the odd food, drink spots, before putting in washing machine.


If you are very enthusiatic with masses of energy and patience , there is a Vanish white bar of soap. With a little water rub away for as long as you could be bothered 'elbow grease' power.
If you cannot find the bar of soap, maybe try the spray though good idea to wear gloves, as maybe toxic to skin.
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Old 03.03.2021, 16:47
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

We use mattress covers, it is really practical, pillow covers that go under the real covers, too.

Otherwise, Oxyclean (here it is Vanish) spray, on old stains - wet it, spray it, rub it with a brush for a bit and let it sit for a couple of hours, rinse a bit. Then repeat 3-5 times. If it is a mattress, I'd dry the spot with a paper towel in between and lay on a side touching the radiator. You can make a Vanish paste with the powder. There is also a tube laundry detergent in drugstores here that is concentrated and super potent, it's for a quick handwash when camping. It works too.

If the mattress is unimpressive, I'd just get a new one.
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Old 03.03.2021, 16:52
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

It’s probably too late now that you’ve already washed it as the stains will have ‘set’.

One of the best things for removing stains is sunlight. If you wash it using a stain remover such as oxyclean or vanish on a sunny day and hang it out to dry in the sun you’ll be amazed how quickly the stains disappear. Lemon juice or white vinegar plus sunlight also works really well.
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Old 03.03.2021, 16:54
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

I think mom used to help it with bit of lemon on the stains on sheets outside, lemon and sunshine bleach it even more.
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Old 03.03.2021, 17:05
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

Have you tried vanish?
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Old 03.03.2021, 17:22
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

Maybe a job for the dry cleaner?
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Old 03.03.2021, 19:12
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

Thanks for the replies guys. Indeed, it's likely the stains are washed in now due to my previous wash.However there s no hot water in my washig machine, so it will have been cold and not heated. Probably doesn't make much if any difference though.

I do have Vanish-style powder but have not used it yet and it's definitely worth a shot so thaks to everyone who suggested that.

I went to the supermrket earlier and bought 2L of white wine vinegar and some baking soda, so I will do some stain surgery down in the basement whre there is a sink and lots of floor space to experimment this weekend.

Dry cleaning I can of course try, but that costs 120chf, so I'd like to try myself and learn a few things first!
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Old 03.03.2021, 19:17
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

Have you tried gorilla glue?
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Old 03.03.2021, 19:28
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

Once you have washed the covers- you could buy zipped mattress protectors like these


https://www.lehner-versand.ch/fr/p-8...CABEgI__vD_BwE
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Old 03.03.2021, 21:13
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

I would start with Vanish Oxy Action or a similar enzyme based stain remover. It is the least dangerous among effective stain removers for the most types of fabric. Paste is better for spots, liquid - for washing.

Next would go soda paste (one can simple use baking soda with a drop of water and apply it directly to spots on a wet fabric).

If nothing has helped and the cover is white, then goes in some chlorine bleacher.

Also, it may be beneficial to learn a little more about the material of the cover, before applying any concentrated reagents to it.
Cotton is the sturdiest, unless it is made of thin or low quality threads. Those can be easily damaged by a chlorine bleacher. Linen (flax) is also quite durable, but may get extra hairy, if cleaned with any substantial mechanical friction. Bamboo doesn't like ammonia and chlorine bleachers. With silk (especially natural) or wool extra caution has to be applied both to preserve the structure of material and the dye, which sometimes doesn't have the strongest chemical bond with those materials.
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Old 04.03.2021, 07:36
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

Chuff, I have lots of antique linens, and I find that sometimes it takes smearing on Oxyclean/enzyme paste (with or without vinegar/soda) and keeping that paste very damp for a week or even more (!)
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Old 16.03.2021, 21:45
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

Well guys, thanks for all of the advice I really appreciate it. Today I did a trial on one of the halves of the mattress cover and laid it on the floor and covered the various stains with a 50/50 water and white vinegar mix. I then poured on a pack of bicarbonate soda, rubbed it in, then for good measure rubbed in some Vanish-style powder too. I then left it for a few hours.

Whatever noxious mix of chemicals was released from that nefarious concotion I covered it with, it was brutal and even started to creep out of the cellar into the rest of my building and I had to open all of the windows, lest I be overcome. Upon the realization that there was a chance that I could be responsible for the death of my entire apartment building, I bunged it in the washing machine with the utmost expedience, along with a generous helping of washing liquid, conditioner, and a couple of large scoops of Vanish powder. I set it for a long wash and waited with baited breath for what fresh horror would emerge from the dim recesses of the machine.

The good news is now that it has more or less dried that the stainage has considerably reduced and is now much more faint. This is very promising and makes me think that with a couple more treatments I could have it looking even better.

Tomorrow I will start work on the other half and pray that no-one calls the fire brigade.

Last edited by Chuff; 17.03.2021 at 08:09.
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Old 16.03.2021, 23:03
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

Hope all goes well!

For possible future problems, Optipet spray is enzyme based & smells less

https://www.coop.ch/en/household-ani...roduct-reviews
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Old 17.03.2021, 08:17
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

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Hope all goes well!

For possible future problems, Optipet spray is enzyme based & smells less

https://www.coop.ch/en/household-ani...roduct-reviews
Thanks... I guess it's good for all stains (the full range of human bodily fluids, food and drink) and not just pet pee?
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Old 17.03.2021, 10:35
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

You mentioned that you wash in cold water.... I am sure warm or hot wash would make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your process...


If that's not possible, then a deep pre-soak in the bath with hot soapy water would probably make a huge difference, then squeeze it and then put, still wet/soapy into the washing machine again...
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Old 17.03.2021, 10:52
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Re: How to remove old and ingrained mattress cover stains?

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You mentioned that you wash in cold water.... I am sure warm or hot wash would make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your process...

If that's not possible, then a deep pre-soak in the bath with hot soapy water would probably make a huge difference, then squeeze it and then put, still wet/soapy into the washing machine again...
Hot water is disconnected on our washing machine and pre-soaking it in my bath is unfortunately way too inconvenient in terms of size and logistics.
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