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How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Mattress

You may walk through half your life before you ever have to encounter a  bed bug. If you really get lucky you may not have to look at one eye to eye snuggled under the sheets with you. These pests are small, yes but they’re very much akin to and just as welcome as rats and roaches! But, have no fear with every pest comes a way to eradicate them and we’re here to educate you on this here.

The most common concern for people who ask is how they can get rid of a bed bug issues in a mattress. This is normal and when you have bed bugs the last thing you get is a sweet night’s sleep. The biggest concern is whether or not you need to throw away the mattress. We can tell you now it’s not always necessary.

The one thing to realize is that each and every infestation is different from others. Here we’ll take you through how to identify the bugs as bed bugs and then eradicating them for good. There are clear steps and education here.

Are bed bugs confined to mattresses?

Bed bugs get their name from the fact that they are found in the bed. However, they’re adventurous creatures and very seasoned travellers. They adapt to any environment that they can get to through a nice, warm and comfortable mode of transportation like luggage.

They love to conserve energy and like to stay nice and close to the blood meal host that is your body. They can’t fly or jump they only crawl at a very slow pace and will stay close to you.

Bed bugs will end up in the bed with you after they’ve gotten a ride to you in your baggage or warm soft clothing. They prefer the warmth of clothes and luggage even though your skin is the blood host for these nasty little suckers but they do not travel on skin or hair or scalp like fleas or lice. You have a normal temperature of 98.6 and that is fantastic for you however; it’s deadly desert heat for the bed bugs.

There is a very bad association that is not so much true about these bugs. They are often associated with nasty, dirty hotels and slums. However, though they will thrive in those places they will also thrive in a clean, neat five star accommodation or home. So, don’t be fooled one moment that they’re restricted to any certain environment.

Initially, once the bed bugs enter the home you will certainly count on the fact that they’ll be in the bed with you. They’ll hide in the mattress and the box spring as well as side walls and seams. After a while they’ll make their way to the rest of the house regardless of how clean or messy it is.

Remember that they are going to travel from one room to the next when you move bedding or furniture from the bedroom to other spaces in the house. So, if you do discover them, make sure you are not moving anything out of that room.

Bed bugs can take up residence in way more than just a mattress. They love all soft furnishings and hard furnishings like drawers, closets and more. They may also live in backpacks and on anything on the walls etc. There is really no limits for the bed bugs but as we said you can confine them to the one room if you don’t move anything from bedroom or whatever room you find them, to another room.

Just be sure to understand that, you’ll find them in your bed eventually because it’s where they need to go.

How to Check for Bed Bugs

Can you see bed bugs? Most people don’t believe that bed bugs can be spotted with the naked eye. Though they are small, you can see them as they are apparent. The difficult part of the process is to find out whether or not the mattress is infested. They hide well so you’ve got to be diligent and identify them more accurately.

The adult bed bug is maybe ¼ inch or a bit smaller wide. You can see this in flipping the mattress over and inspecting.

They have a real bug look as you would think of it. In the case of the bed bug it’s more pronounced when it’s eaten recently. They have wings but can’t fly, they have segments and they have six legs and antennae. They are reddish in color more toward the reddish brown side and look more like little balloons. So, if you’re thinking that you may have been bitten then you are probably right.

They actually have a sweet and musty odor they emit. They look a bit like crumpled up paper after it’s been straightened out. The babies will actually look similar to the adults but a lot smaller. If you learn what you’re looking for you may see the 1 millimeter sized white elongated eggs.

Make sure you get an accurate image of a bed bug because they are mistaken for a myriad of other types of bugs. So, how do you find them and when since you have an idea what they look like. If you don’t see them you’re looking at the wrong time. They are nocturnal feeders so look at night.

Look at the headboard, seams, mattress, side walls, frame , all over. There are other signs as well such as the below list.

  • Dark colored blood spots that are small. This is from the feeding on you and you rolling over and leaving spots and also from the withdrawal of the beak from your skin.
  • Smears on the mattress
  • Red-brown clustered spots on the mattress in different areas
  • Look for shells that are empty from bugs

Examine your Skin

The best way to understand that you have a bed bug infestation problem is looking for bites. Little red, round welts on the skin, typically in a straight line one next to the other and can be in a curve or circle too. They bite as they go along but don’t discount isolated bites as well.

You may actually not see any welts but this does not mean bugs aren’t present. You may also mistake bed bug bites for mosquitos and fleas etc. Just keep it in the back of your mind what is there on the skin.

If you see any bugs, even one, then rest assured there will be more. They don’t travel alone so there are already more. The key is to make sure you are tackling this issue early before you are looking at them pouring from walls and electrical outlets.

If you act fast and you are precise in your remedy and patient you can defeat the bed bug situation. Following these processes here in the way that is prescribed it will make things easier. If you have dealt with them more than one time, these are and you adopt these methods it will serve you. How effective it is , will depend on your situation.

Will Getting a New Mattress Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Most times, getting rid of a mattress will not be necessary when getting rid of bed bugs. Most people will jump to throwing out the mattress. Think of it this way, if the bed bugs can migrate to curtains, sofas and more. So, what will getting rid of a mattress do? Not much. Also, when you start moving things around that have bed bugs in them, you are moving new eggs and bugs around so this too does nothing.

Remember to isolate the mattress in the room it’s in. So, make sure you keep it in a space where you won’t spread them around but that you can also easily inspect all sides of the bed.

Clean the Bedding Thoroughly

You must get the bed bugs where they like to be. They like the bed and they end up there, so it only makes sense to clean the bed first, then tackle the rest of the house. So, clean the mattress and the clothing as well.

The bedding must be cleaned at proper heat and dried as well that way. Since your bed clothes will be bulky, you may want to go to a laundromat. They have the better and more industrial machines that can give you both the space and heat to do the job correctly.

This means you can throw your linens into the wash alone and let the hot water circulate properly instead of being shoved in and crowded with other linens. Same for the dryer. Place them in the highest heat and make sure there is enough circulation of air.

Items you can wash, you need to be able to wash them. Purses and other soft, washable material can be placed in the washer and dryer. And, for those items that can’t take being wet or heated you can place those items in the freezer overnight or more. Make sure you seal them in a plastic bag.

Declutter your Spaces

Now, you get to tackle the room. If there is cluttered spaces they are bound to show up again because the environment is ripe for them. If you plan to keep something please place it in a plastic bag of some sort that can be sealed and set it aside somewhere safe and where it won’t yet be carried of the room.

The types of places bed bugs love to hide are in the things that are strewn across a room. This happens in the rooms of teenagers and people living alone. They tend to be a bit more care free when they allow things like clothes, backpacks, book bags and bedding to hit the ground and stay there.

This creates a nice warm space for bed bugs to shack up in and then move from base camp to the bed. This will eventually be their permanent home. We said this before that they will start in one place but eventually migrate to the bed because they don’t want to be too far from the host and that is you.

Keep those items that you don’t need for quite some time, sealed up to a year. Then, for sure they’ll be starved to death as they can live up to a year without food. If you have to use it we would suggest other options. Anything that you’re getting rid of needs to be put in plastic and taken from the home immediately. Fix any areas on the baseboards, floors, wallpaper and floor moulding that may make a good place for bed bugs to reside.

Properly Clean the Mattress

You don’t need to use water and steam and all of that. A nice stiff brush to scrub down the entire mattress works just fine. Make sure you are thorough and you scrub the mattress, side walls, seams, box spring and frames.

Now, vacuum the bed entirely and then the room working from top to bottom and end to end. If you have a bagless container vacuum you are safer as far as contaminating the house. However, whether it’s bagless or not, dump it outside the home immediately.

Now, if you do really want assurity that you’ve done the job, make sure you have a steamer. Steaming the entire mattress, side walls, braiding and box spring slowly and carefully and you’ve got it.  Bed bugs and eggs are destroyed.

Use an Alcohol Spray and Skip the Harsh Chemicals

There is no end to the amount of chemicals that can be purchased at any store worldwide. These should be a last resort solution. Why? Because handling them is a health risk.  Alcohol is a great way to clear off bed bugs from electronic devices just be very cautious.

The temporary fix or something you can do to start is to place rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and mist the mattress and the other furniture. Just make sure you read if the wood on your furniture won’t be ruined by it. This should not be used as the only treatment as it will only kill on contact so it’s only good when the bed bugs are present.

Alcohol spray is the most effective but make sure the room is very well ventilated and you don’t sleep on a surface that has been treated until totally dry. Keep in mind too that this method does not provide a permanent solution. You will have to spray often. It should be used in tandem with the other methods described here.

Use a mattress Cover

Mattress pads are something that most people have and are placed between the mattress and your body. You can’t use those for bed bugs. You have to have a zippered mattress protector. It has to have a strong seal around it. So, look for zippered mattress covers that will provide complete protection.

Look for a mattress cover that is not only zippered but is breathable and waterproof  so that there is no chance of them escaping out of the mattress and on to you. Bed bugs can stay alive for a year so plan to keep it that long.

It may be worth doing some research or reading an in-depth article on the different types of mattress covers. There are those that are treated and those that are waterproof and breathable. If money is an issue then a plain plastic one with a zipper will do and of course you can put duct tape on the zipper part.

If money is no object and comfort is a concern, there are more comfortable ones that may be a bit more expensive and they won’t move when you are sleeping.

Change the Bedding Often

Make sure you continue to change the bedding often. Roll the sheets inward from the sides so as not to spread anything that may be there lingering beneath.  Do not snap the sheets in the air to straighten them and do not pull them off the bed violently.

Anything you do with any swift way will blow eggs and bugs onto the floor and walls. This will do the complete opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish and the whole process will start again. In addition, when you bring in the new replacement mattress it will soon be infested with those bed bugs left behind.

Continue to use alcohol spray and steam etc to make sure if anything lingers that they are taken care of.

So, What Happens If All You Have Done Fails to Remove them?

Sometimes trying too hard to get the bedbugs to stop coming or to eradicate them completely gets overwhelming. There may be time to call the pros. They are called pest management specialists. They are ready with the right stuff to bust those bugs for good. It’s a frustrating task to try and eliminate pests at any cost so calling someone at that point is not a failure it’s a smart move.

Finding an exterminator could be best had through friends and family. Word of mouth is the best way and the way to start initially. Don’t take too long to decide because the problem is just getting worse but do look up some reviews and see what the community has to say about the companies you find interesting.

If you’re wondering about the money you’ll be spending, think about the money you’re saving by not having to replace the furniture and bedding.

Process for  Disposal of Bed Bug Infested Mattresses

If you’re still interested in solving the problem quickly on your own you may want to throw out the mattress. Especially if it’s old, and hard to clean because it’s worn out it may be a waste of time and energy to try and save it.

Moving the mattress is a process in itself and very important. Put it in plastic and then drag it out. You want to keep bugs and eggs inside the mattress cover or plastic and not spread them through the house. This is one of the main concerns and where people can get a little haphazard they don’t understand how serious that is.

Even if you get rid of the mattress you’ll have to clean and steam the entire room the bed was in. This means doing the ritual we taught you that takes great pains in placing your belongings in plastic. If you don’t move the mattress the wrong way and you let eggs and bugs out into the house, you’ve undermine your efforts.

For the sake of others, that typically pick up other people’s junk to use, mark it with marker Bed Bugs or damage it in a way that no one would want to use it. It may help you to call the department of sanitation to properly dispose of it.

This is a way to keep the neighborhood safe and be considerate as well as keeping an infestation from happening again. They can be transported back to your house quite easily which is why we suggest wrapping in plastic.

Second-hand furniture is one of the number one ways apart from luggage that bed bugs get in only second to termites.

Final Thoughts

No one wants to even dream of sharing their personal space with any kind of bug or creature. However, we feel that now you have a lot of very specific information about how to identify them and how to eradicate them using several methods. All methods in this article have been tried and tested for efficacy. We’ve made sure that all the methods are instructed for the safest execution of elimination. We also made sure you know the lifecycle and habits of this nasty little blood host feeding creature.

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How to Patch an Air Mattress

When you’re in a temporary space like a friend’s house or maybe on a camping trip, an air mattress will serve the purpose. However, if it’s not inflated well, you’ll wake up sore or not sleep well at all. When there’s a minor leak present, this is the common cause.

There are two basic but important steps to repairing an air mattress. You must first locate the leak or leaks and then attempt to patch it using a patch kit with a strong adhesive. What follows  are clear and simple steps to check for a leak and fix it.

Step One | Find out If the Bed Has A Leak

It’s normal for a temporary air mattress to lose air in a period of time. It’s a good move to reinflate it before you use it each time. You can then make certain that it stays firm and comfortable. Climate is also a factor as cold climates cause the beds to lose air.

The model is another factor and will sometimes not inflate to capacity until you sleep on them several times. In saying that, there is a marked difference between an air mattress that’s losing air as normal and one that has sprung a leak.

One good thing to do is to test the mattress out 24 hours prior to first use if at all possible. Inflate the mattress to the maximum capacity. When you can see the mattress is full then lay down on it. Keep the same position as you would while you’re sleeping. If the mattress has sprung a leak you should look for a one inch sag.

Still not certain there’s a leak? Here’s what you do. Place a heavy object, just not too heavy, like a book on top of the air mattress. Wait a few hours. If there’s no sagging then it’s probably there are no leaks.

The manufacturer’s specifications is another issue to look at as it may be the reason for premature deflation. On the other hand, if the mattress starts deflating very shortly after inflation then there are probably leaks present.

Step Two | Locate the Leaks or Leaks Present

Leaks can be microscopic and therefor hard to locate by looking alone. One way is to attempt to locate a leak by looking and feeling for those little puffs of air that may emerge. If this doesn’t work then the next steps here should do the trick.

  • Locate the valves and check them first:

There are valves that are comprised of two parts. There is a plug and it is typically inserted into a stem to keep the air from escaping in small amounts. There are also other plugs that use a dial and is twisted shut. In checking the first type, the valve must be securely fixed into the stem. In checking the dial, make sure it’s securely tightened.

Next, inflate the mattress fully and with your palm over the stem or dial, feel for any air that’s escaping. The plug may be too small for the stem if it’s inserted correctly into the stem yet there’s air escaping. If the plug is not inserting correctly and fully and air is escaping, then the valve is the issue.

If the plug is inserted correctly and can’t feel air escaping then time to look for the leak in another part of the mattress. If the dial type is secure and tight and you still feel air escaping then it’s probably the seal.

  • Raise the mattress up against the wall

It’s no surprise that most leaks originate at the bottom of the mattress because it’s been exposed to sharp objects on the floor. If the valve is not the issue, move the mattress so that the bottom of it is off the floor on its side against the wall is best. You may now listen for escaping air that sounds like hissing and feel for any puffs of air escaping.

If you aren’t having any luck hearing and feeling then with your hands, push down on different areas of the mattress surface. Now, to be absolutely certain, check the sides and seams as these areas make it harder to notice a leak.

  • Use Dish Soap

When all else fails, break out the dish soap. This method requires you to mix dish soap and water. Place one part liquid dish soap to one part warm water and pour into a clean spray bottle or on to a damp washcloth. When the dish soap is sprayed or whiped on to the mattress you should see air bubbles emerge from the location of the leak. The first place to try is the valve. Then, move on to the surfaces, side walls and seams.

  • Hose Method

This is a simple last-ditch method. Spray the mattress on all sides and surfaces and look for bubbles. Both for the safety of the mattress and the ability to see the leak bubbles use a low stream. If you use too hard a stream you can damage the outer surface layers of the mattress and the warranty may become void.

We hope you can find the leaks using one of these methods. Another good extra tip to do is to make sure you mark any leaks found with an indelible marker or pen so that they’ll be easier to locate when you patch them.

If you still haven’t found a leak then you may want to do the next practical thing and contact the manufacturer. If you purchased it at a shop then you may want to bring it there. The shop may have its own return policies as well as working with the manufacturer to understand your buyers rights under their policies. For more information regarding warranties and possible issues see the warranty section below.

  • Submerging Method

Before we continue to the next section we’ll touch on another method called the submerging method. We left this one to last because unless the manufacturers manual states clearly that this method can be used, we strongly recommend you don’t.

The submerging method is the same method used to find leaks in bike tires. It requires the mattress owner to completely submerge the mattress under water. When you remove it after a minute or two, you should be able to spot the bubbles caused by any leaks. This method comes with a warning though: though it’s really great at locating leaks, it can also cause irreparable damage to the pads that you sleep on, the valves and air tubes.

Step Three | Prepare the Leak Surface | Clean and Sand

This is only needed if the leak is located in a section of the air mattress that is fabric or any type of fiber that covers the rubber base of the bed. You must begin by deflating the bed completely and squeeze all the air out of it. Take a piece of the finest sandpaper which comes in 360 to 600 grit and rub it down to the rubber part.

The surface must be completely flat while patching as an uneven surface will still leak when its patched. The sanding will create a smooth surface optimal for the patch job. If there is any other dirt or gritty substance on the leak site or in the closely surrounding area you can use rubbing alcohol or a damp cloth to clear it up.

Step Four | Completely Dry The Air Mattress

Step four is only necessary if you’ve used the submerging, hose or damp cloth method as described in the above section. I you haven’t used any of these methods then you can skip straight to the patching method we will talk you through now.

If you have used any liquid to clean the leak at all, then leave the mattress in direct sunlight or at least out for several hours until dry before attempting to patch it. If you don’t need to sand it then deflate it all the way anyway and assist the drying process.

Step Five | Start Patching the Leak or Leaks

There are many air mattresses that will come complete with a patch kit. If you can’t find it or for some reason your model didn’t come with one, then all is not lost. You may refer to some of the retail companies that carry patch kits such as Walmart and Therm-a-Rest and REI. Though these are made for air mattresses, one good trick to use if you can’t locate one, is a bike-patch kit, these work tremendously well.

There are two ways that patch kits work. They may require some sort of adhesive to be used on and around the area of the leak. Others may be used as sort of a bandage that already has glue on it. It can be simple or a bit complex but either way, they work.

Whichever one you use you must be sure that the mattress is completely deflated and flat in order for the patch job to take properly. If it’s not, then the patch is going to bubble up and the sides can lift therefore the air will continue to leak.

Make sure that you place your hand over the patch or something a bit heavy like a book to make sure that the patch does not curl up at the edges. Once, the patch is dried on then inflate the mattress totally and then of course feel and look for leaks.

Try to make sure the bed stays inflated for at least a night and then check for the leaks the next day. This is best done when you’re not using the bed for a night. If the bed is still inflated then it may be that the leaks are repaired.

Below, are some other ways that you can patch the air mattress however, they aren’t the best ways or the most suggested because of the drawbacks.

DIY Mattress Repair

Creative Patch:  All you need is a clear sheet of plastic cut to fit the area of the leak. A shower curtain with no texture like a liner would do in this case. Other than that, plastic sheeting is also a great choice for do it yourself mattress repair. As far as size is concerned, it’s relative to your leak size. The plastic should cover the leak and surrounding area that you may have had to sand down. As far as the adhesive that you use it should be waterproof like a epoxy, rubber cement or E600 type permanent adhesive.

We have to mention that if you have a warranty that you need to check if this DIY patch method would negate your contract.

Using Hot Glue

There are some DIY suggestions out there that suggest the use of a low temp glue gun. This would make a protective covering. It may however provide less than perfect results. The glue is a bit stiff and may actually cause the leak to occur again. The glue gun may also damage the covering of the bed. This is something that may also negate the warranty so it’s worth checking out.

If you really want to be safe and do what you can for a temporary overnight fix then use plain duct tape. This will leave very little residue on the bed and will probably not negate the warranty. It won’t stop the leak entirely or long term but maybe overnight and then you can find another solution.

What to know about your warranty

Please note that there are many warranties and they are all different. There are warranties that will cover the product for a certain time period. There are also those that will cover any damage that is made for the life of the product but typically you would have to be the original owner.

The warranty typically covers defects in the mattress in the manufacturing or in the shipping. If the damage is caused after it is unpacked and has for example met with a sharp object and ripped or has been patched incorrectly etc then it’s very unlikely that the mattress would be covered.

If you’ve used any of the above DIY mending methods rest assured that it probably won’t be covered by the warranty. If you’ve actually tried to take the mattress apart and repair it then you can rest assured that it would be negated.

Here is what to do to be safe: If you haven’t caused the damage on the air mattress then you can probably have it replaced by the manufacturer and only have to pay the shipping and handling. If you have damaged it by either a sharp object or something that the warranty is not going to cover then by all means do the patch jobs we suggested here.

Supply Checklist

To repair the leak you need these supplies

  • Replacement Patch Kit if you have one
  • Wash Cloth
  • Spray Bottle
  • Fine Grade Sandpaper
  • Dishwashing Soap

Steps to Follow

  • Inflate the mattress and check to see by the prescribed methods if there is a leak.
  • Check the stem or dial valves
  • Check all the areas of the mattress by propping up and spraying with hose or dish soap and spray bottle.
  • Deflate the mattress all the way
  • If the mattress has fibers and you have to sand it then do so
  • Make sure you dry the mattress completely
  • Use the adhesive and patch to seal the leak
  • Get the patch to sit under a heavy object until dry
  • If all else fails then contact the manufacturer or shop where the mattress was purchased

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How to Get Urine Smell Out of Mattress

Waking up to the pungent smell of fresh urine is not the most enjoyable way to begin your day. For people with children or pets, a pee-soaked mattress may be an all-too-common occurrence, but “nighttime accidents” can also occur with adults who are incontinent due to an illness or medication.

If YOU have just peed in bed, there is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed. It is one of the most natural things a human does. We’ll show you an easy (and inexpensive) way to clean it.

Should I Clean Up This Urine Right Away? (the answer is YES)

Not only is urine on a mattress unpleasant and smelly — it might also be a serious health concern. Urine contains bacteria, so if it’s left in a mattress, mold and fungus can grow. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains the many health problems that can occur with indoor mold.

Excreted urine contains water, urea, uric acid and other inorganic salts and organic compounds. As naturally occurring bacteria eats away at the urine’s residue, it releases an ammonia smell that can get trapped inside your mattress. This ammonia from old urine can irritate the nose, throat and lungs, and it may cause respiratory problems.

Ammonia is especially dangerous for those with allergies, asthma or an existing respiratory ailment such as COPD. And what about pet urine? talks about the health risks from dog urine.

Yes, it’s important to clean your urine-soaked mattress right away!

Banish Urine from Your Mattress with Simple, Cheap Ingredients

There are safe, easy and effective ways to remove urine stains and odors with items that you already have around the house or can buy cheaply. Common household ingredients like distilled white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can work just as well and are safer for humans, pets and the environment than commercial products with harmful chemicals.

The Harsh Reality: Why You Shouldn’t Use Chemical Cleaners on a Mattress

Commercial cleaning products often contain potentially toxic chemicals. Even if the ingredients haven’t been found to be carcinogenic, many people are allergic to certain substances, have respiratory conditions or sensitive skin that can be irritated by harsh chemicals. Since your mattress is something you spend a lot of time with, be careful about the cleaning solutions you get up close and personal to!  

Dr. Weil mentions some of the toxic substances to watch out for in commercial cleaners. The American Lung Association warns of health risks from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and they suggest using safer alternatives such as vinegar and baking soda.

Clean, Green and Pee-Free

Fortunately, you can clean a pee-soaked mattress with eco-friendly, safe ingredients. Distilled white vinegar is biodegradable, safe to use and highly effective at cleaning many items. Vinegar naturally gets rid of viruses and bacteria.

Baking soda, another household product found in most homes, is another superstar when it comes to eliminating urine stains and smells. Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda has a whopping 9.0 pH, so it’s great at neutralizing acidic odors.

Hydrogen peroxide, which is anti-viral and anti-bacterial, should be another weapon in your mattress-cleaning arsenal. It disinfects and sanitizes. You can buy 3% hydrogen peroxide at a low cost.   

I Got the Pee Stains out of My Mattress, but it Still Smells Awful – Help!

Even if you manage to clean the stain, urine odor can linger. According to Medical News Today, certain foods, medications and medical conditions may cause your urine to smell strongly of ammonia. Even if this isn’t the case, a pee-stained mattress that hasn’t been properly cleaned will continue to smell because the urine has soaked through to the inside material.

If some time has passed and you still smell urine, follow the easy procedure below to completely remove any leftover odor.

How to Get Urine Smell Out of Mattress – 6 Easy Steps (and this will clean stains, too!)

The best way to remove urine stains and odor from a mattress will depend on when the deed was done. Fresher stains are easier to remove than old, set-in dry stains. If it’s a new stain, and the mattress is still wet, you must first remove as much pee as possible.

Even if you have a urine soaked mattress, you can get the pee out by first taking up the excess liquid with paper towels. You can also use cloth towels or rags, if you don’t mind cleaning them.  

Get rid of urine from a newly stained mattress

If your urine-soaked mattress is still a fresh memory, it will be easier to clean, as the urine hasn’t had a chance to fully soak in.

What You’ll Need:

  • Paper towels or cotton towels
  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner

  1. Remove sheets and other bedding and clean immediately in a washing machine.

  2. Fill your spray bottle with half white vinegar and half water (50/50 mix). Set aside.

  3. Use paper towels (or absorbent cotton towels) to remove as much urine from the mattress as you can.

Important! Use a blotting method and do not rub or push the towels into the mattress, as this can push the urine even deeper into the material.

  1. Spray the stained portions of the mattress with the vinegar and water (use a good amount) and continue to blog with towels to pick up liquid.

  2. Sprinkle baking soda liberally onto the mattress, covering all stained areas. Leave the baking soda on the mattress for at least 8-10 hours. As the baking soda absorbs the urine, it will turn yellow. In addition to extracting the urine, the baking soda will also act as a deodorizer, removing the odor.

  3. Use your vacuum to clean up the baking soda. If there is still a stain or any odor, this process can be repeated until your mattress is perfectly clean.

But What If I Have a Memory Foam Mattress?

Memory foam mattresses are made with highly absorbent, dense material. They’re durable and offer great back support but yes, they’re also good at absorbing urine. You can use the same cleaning method but it’s best to act quickly!

How to get urine out of memory foam mattress

Cleaning a memory foam mattress might require more vinegar soaking and towel blotting, but the procedure will still work. If the mattress still seems damp the next day, after you’ve vacuumed up the baking soda, try putting the mattress outside in the fresh air, preferably in a sunny location. If that’s not practical, you can open windows or use a fan to speed up the drying.

Get Rid of Urine Smell from an Older Mattress 

Did you inherit grandma’s old mattress, or did you just discover a mattress with older pee stains and a lingering odor? If the stains are dry, it is still possible to clean them and banish the odor, though you’ll require a cleaning solution with a bit more “oomph.”

What You’ll Need:

  • Spray bottle
  • 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 3%
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • A few drops of dishwashing liquid
  • A few drops of essential oil (optional) – Try lavender for relaxation!
  • Vacuum cleaner

  1. Combine the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, dish liquid and essential oil (if you’re using any) into the spray bottle.

  2. Gently swirl the ingredients to mix them.

    Important! Do NOT shake, as the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda reaction, when shaken vigorously, can cause the liquid to leak or be sprayed all over the place. For this reason, you should also never store the mixture in a closed container.

    Note: Make sure that the spray bottle tube is sufficiently wide enough so that the baking soda doesn’t cause it to become clogged. You may have to remove the filter from the end of the tube.

  3. Spray your solution generously over the urine stains, covering the mattress evenly.

  4. Let the solution dry, preferably overnight. The longer you can leave it, the more effective it will be. You’ll know your cleaner has done its magic when you see the baking soda residue on top of the mattress.

  5. Vacuum the baking soda, and all that should remain is a clean, pleasant smelling mattress!

  6. If necessary, repeat the process.   

To see the magic cleaning power of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dishwashing liquid in action on an old pee-stained mattress, check out this:

How Do You Get Dog Pee Smell Out of Your Mattress?

Do you have a dog or cat that pees on your bed? In addition to wanting to be free of that awful smell that seems to permeate your home, there’s another important reason to get rid of pet urine odor as soon as possible. Both dogs and cats have a keen sense of smell, and in addition to ordinary urination, they spray urine to mark their territory.

If the animal continues to smell the urine, even a faint whiff, they’ll keep marking their turf!

Why Does Cat Pee Smell So Bad?

Did you know that the half-life of uric acid, the most common by-product of cat urine, is six years? Yikes! explains that cat pee contains a strong concentration of urea, urobilin, uric acid and various forms of bacteria. When the urine dries, the bacteria breaks down the urea and creates ammonia, which is what makes the smell of cat urine so memorable.

Urea and urobilin can be cleaned with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. However, uric acid, which binds to surfaces and isn’t water soluble, is not so easy.

Tough Pet Urine Odors Solution –
Enzymatic Cleaners

To permanently remove cat urine odor, you might have to use something that will break down the chemical structure of the uric acid. Neither commercial cleaners nor household substances can do this. If our cleaning procedure fails to get rid of an especially stubborn pet pee odor, try an enzymatic cleaner.

Specially designed pet urine cleaners are highly effective at removing pet urine odor, because its enzymes will eat and break down uric acid into ammonia and carbon dioxide, which then evaporates as the solution air dries.

Causes of Bedwetting in Adults and Children

According to the Mayo Clinic, bedwetting in childhood may be due to the slow development of nighttime bladder control or an emotional disturbance.

As WebMD confirms, bed wetting in adults and the elderly may also be due to anxiety and stress, or a medical condition such as diabetes or a urinary tract infection (UTI). Certain medications, such as antipsychotics or sleeping pills, may cause urinary incontinence.

Whatever the age, if the bedwetting persists, it is advised that you inform your doctor so they can determine if there is an underlying cause. In the meantime, to prevent those little accidents from becoming big clean-up projects, you can purchase a waterproof mattress protector.

There are also incontinence products such as pads and specially designed underwear that can provide comfort in addition to mattress protection.

Why Does My Dog Pee on My Bed While Sleeping?

Even your pet might have a problem that’s causing them to pee in an undesirable place, such as on your mattress. As with humans, this can be a sign of stress or possibly an illness. You may think it’s “to get you back” for leaving them alone when you go to work.

However, according to Fidose of Reality, dogs don’t pee for revenge. Dogs and cats pee for various reasons, including fear, anxiety, bladder control problems and other medical conditions. With cats, the ASPCA explains that it may be a litter box issue.

They offer valuable information as to what you can do about this, including an in-depth article about urine marking in cats, also known as spraying.    

Final Thoughts:

Now you know how vital it is to keep your mattress pee-free. If you find yourself tossing and turning and losing precious sleep because of a lingering smell of urine, don’t hesitate. Get it cleaned up safely and naturally with these simple procedures, for a more peaceful, relaxing and odor-free sleep.

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Can You Learn An Entire Language in your Sleep?

Studies Suggest Learning a Language in Your Sleep May Be Possible

If you’ve ever tried to learn a foreign language like Spanish or German and felt it was just too difficult or time-consuming, there may be good news for you. A recent study from a lab in Switzerland suggests it may just be possible to learn new words while you sleep.

In this study, published in the journal Current Biology, it suggests that anyone could learn new words while they’re asleep. This would  increase their working vocabulary in that language. The study was made up of 41 German-speaking participants.

How This Language-Learning Study Was Conducted

In the study, German words were paired with nonsense words. For example, the word “haus” (German for “house”) was paired with “Tofer”, a nonsense word. All of these words were either smaller or larger than a standard shoebox. At the end of the experiment, the subjects were tested by being asked whether or not something would fit inside of this shoebox.

While participants were asleep, these word pairs were played back to them and meant to coincide with certain wave patterns. When the wave patterns and the nonsense words lined up in the way that the scientist recognized as optimal, it appears that the sleep-formed associations translated into recognizable “awake-associations.”

The words were played with the first word in the pair being alternated, in order to promote flexible binding. Each participant “learned” roughly 36 words, with an average of about 146 repetitions during their “nap.”

In order to test how well these words were learned, participants were given a number of questions. Each question asked if one of the words they were presented with would fit inside of a shoebox or not. They were presented with questions about imaginary words they had learned and some they had not.

In order to eliminate bias based on “size semantics”, half of the words on the list of made-up words were played to one-half of the sample group. The other half of the sample group would rate these words based on whether they felt they were larger or smaller than a shoebox. The same was done to the other half of the list of words.

The Results

Once the test was over and the researchers were able to analyze the results, they realized that their hypothesis was at least partially correct. When each subject took the test, they averaged an accuracy rating of about 10% better than what would be considered “chance level.” Chance level was, in part, determined by the rating given in the “size semantics” portion of the test.

Specifically, it was determined that slow wave sleep patterns were most effective at getting people to recognize one word as synonymous with another. This has been suggested within other studies but not enough research had been done to prove it definitively.

Sleep Is Essential For Learning

There is no doubt that sleep is needed in order to encode information we take in while awake. Even a short nap increases our likelihood of remembering what we have learned just as insufficient sleep can impair learning.

This study, as well as others, are beginning to build a foundation for the theory that learning during sleep is not only possible but that if done a certain way it may be just as if not more effective than learning while awake. At least when it comes to subjects, like vocabulary, that can rely on cueing.

More Research Is Needed

The team behind this study, led by Dr. Simon Ruch at the University of Bern, intends to continue this research into learning while asleep. Ideally, they will be able to improve the learning success rate to a point where it will be usable for the average person.

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Sleep Deprivation and 10 Ways it can kill you

When we don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, things can get off balance. It’s not unrealistic to say that if you have severe sleep deprivation, it may impact your health. It could even kill you.

Sleep, Health and Quality of Life

According to Matthew Walker, an expert on sleep in the field of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, when your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it can shorten your life.

Walker is also the author of the book, “Why you Sleep.” For his take on sleep deprivation, view his video at the bottom of this page. 

How could a lack of sleep effect your daily life? In this article, we will explore how sleep is interconnected to many different chronic diseases, illnesses and even accidents.

If you are a working adult, student in high school or college, a busy parent or new parent, you owe it to yourself to get some sleep.

In fact, we all do. It’s one of the single most important determinants of health. We must have sleep, and a lack of it sets us up for problems with our health and our lives.

How much sleep is enough?

As an adult, seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep is recommended. Children and adolescents may need longer hours of snoozing time.

Are you getting enough sleep? If not, it could affect your health. We will look at how a loss of sleep can put you at risk for many life-threatening events and conditions, a great reason to get your needed sleep.

What if you don’t get enough sleep?

If you think you don’t get enough sleep at night, see a sleep medicine specialist. The physician that you choose can arrange for you to have sleep studies and other necessary testing to get to the bottom of your disturbance. 

What are the stages of sleep?

When we don’t sleep, we interrupt the cycle of sleep. There are two stages that occur during sleeping hours.

REM sleep stage

The first, known as REM, or rapid eye movement, is the deepest state of sleep. This is when the mid-brain and fore-brain produce intense activity during this time. Dreams occur during this stage.

There is a tendency for limbs to remain still, while eye muscle twitching diaphragmatic movements may occur.

Contrary to popular belief, once you get into REM, you do not stay there. Your body may cycle in and out of REM sleep several times any given night.

NREM sleep stage

The second stage of sleep is NREM, or Non-Rapid Eye Movement sleep. During the night, you will drift back and forth between the two stages of sleep many times. This stage is broken into three separate stages:

  • N1
  • N2
  • N3

The three states are defined by brain electrical patterns in the brainwave itself. We will generally remain in NREM sleep for a larger percentage of our sleep cycle, with shorter periods of REM sleep.

Can you get a headache from a lack of sleep?

According to  President David Dodick, MD, of the American Headache Society and a professor of neurology at the Phoenix, Arizona, Mayo clinic, migraines are often triggered by a loss of sleep. In fact, it’s one of the strongest triggers for migraine headaches.

Scientists don’t know much yet about the pathways that are responsible for the link between sleep and headaches.

One theory is that it occurs by way of the trigeminal nerve. While roads of neurons going in and out causing sort of traffic jam, the resulting migraine headache can be debilitating and keep you down for a  day or more.  

10 Ways loss of sleep can kill you

1. Decreased alertness and sleepiness can result in accidents

A decrease in your level of alertness and sleepiness during daytime hours may compromise your abilities, leading to an accident. Driving vehicles and operating heavy machinery may become a safety hazard to yourself and others, which in the worse circumstances could lead to death.

Other symptoms related to a lack of sleep can cause untoward effects that impact ability to operate machinery or perform a job. These include hallucinations and problems with memory and concentration.

Compare drowsiness to drunk driving, and they are similar. Knowing that you shouldn’t drink and drive, you should also not drive or operate heavy machinery when you’ve had little sleep. This places you at higher risk for an accident and death.

Motor vehicle accidents related to fatigue and falling asleep while behind the wheel are becoming more common, as our lives become busier. It’s often underestimated how many times this occurs.

Those in the transportation industry, including truck drivers, airline pilots and even medical residents, can all shown signs of sleep deprivation that have caused an increased risk for traffic accidents.


2. Obesity and the relationship to sleep deprivation

Obesity related to sleep disturbances and lack of energy leading to a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a myriad of chronic illnesses that can shorten life, including obesity.

When we don’t sleep, we can develop more cravings for foods that are not healthy for us. Impulses may be increased with sleep deprivation.

Losing sleep causes hormones to get off balance, such as cortisol, that are linked to weight gain, a higher body mass index (BMI) and obesity.

3. Losing sleep ups your cancer risk

Colon and breast cancers notably are linked to loss of sleep over time. People with disordered sleep patterns disrupted by shift work, for example, are shown to be at an increased risk for certain kinds of cancer.

In one study, women who worked shift work were 30 percent more likely to develop breast cancer. The research also showed that as few as three nights of shift work left the women at a higher risk.

Shift work has also been linked to cancer of the prostate in men.

Researchers have long suspected that disrupted sleep patterns increase the risk of developing cancers. When our internal circadian rhythm is off, or our biological clock, we are unable to perform many of our basic functions down to the cellular level.

4. The relationship of sleep and Alzheimer’s

When we sleep, our brain cleanses itself of a protein called beta-amyloid that builds up in our brains and has a direct correlation with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

The build up of these proteins in your brain over time resulting from a lack of deep, or REM sleep, puts you at more risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) study points to evidence that even one lost night’s sleep may increase beta-amyloid proteins. The hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease is amyloid plagues that result from a build-up of this protein in the brain.

The build-up of protein plaques in the brain leads to decreased neuron firing in the brain.

The same effect of plaque build-up has been shown in the brains of mice, with more studies needed on the relationship between sleep deprivation and Alzheimer’s needed in humans.

5. Heart disease and sleep

Many studies have duplicated results that a lack of sleep takes its toll on the heart muscle.

The longer you are made to stay awake, the further your blood pressure will rise, along with your heart rate. When compared with the blood pressure and heart rates of those who are getting eight hours of sleep per night, if you are sleep deprived, you have a higher risk for heart disease.

The heart disease risk biomarker of C-reactive protein is elevated in those who don’t regularly get enough sleep.

In one NIH study, it was found that we sleep about an hour and a half less per day than we did as a society 100 years ago.

The study showed a relationship between sleep deprivation and high blood pressure, CAD, or Coronary Artery Disease and even found a link with Diabetes Mellitus.

When we lack sleep, our sympathetic nervous system reacts by increasing activity. This raises heart rate and blood pressure. The study confirmed that there is a link between loss of sleep and the development of all three conditions.

Too much sleep, conversely sets us up for poor health as well, including Cerebral vascular Accident (CVA), or stroke.

6. Loss of sleep increases your risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Metabolism is disrupted when sleep is lost. This, in turn, increases your body’s insulin resistance according to several studies conducted by researchers in this area.

A NIH study showed findings that when sleep is chronically missed, individuals are more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes. More studies are needed to study sleep disorders in relationship to Type 2 Diabetes.

7.  Sleep and inflammation

Down to the molecular level, a loss of sleep reaches down to the cellular level. All the cells in our body function better with sleep.

Cells are better able to fight inflammation in our body when they are rested. Getting enough sleep may help prevent inflammation and explain why when people are tired, it can point to many different conditions related to inflammation, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia, arthritis, heart disease, asthma and diabetes.

8. Sleep Apnea

Being a heavy snorer can often signal a condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, left untreated, can cause other problems over time, such as heart disease, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and it’s linked to weight gain.

Sleep apnea is a disorder of the sleep cycle that involves interruption of breathing during sleep. This occurs repeatedly during sleeping hours. Sometimes it can occur hundreds of times in a nighttime.

Over an extended period with sleep apnea, the heart muscles are strained due to a lack of oxygen. Not only the heart, but the brain and the body tissues are deprived of oxygen.

9. Genetics and sleep deprivation

Digging even deeper than the cellular level, we get to the actual DNA chain. Did you know that a lack of sleep can cause your genes to misbehave?

In 2013, a study found that disruption of genetic activity from sleep deprivation is actually tied to our overall health and wellness.

Participants in the study were allowed less than six hours sleep per night for one week. Genetic activity was noted to decrease, including responses to stress and immunity.

Genes on a circadian pattern that cycle from day to day stopped their functioning. Other genes picked up on the daily pattern.

This amounts to less sleep acting as a disruption to normal genetic activity, causing your genes to malfunction.

10.  Your Immune system and sleep disruption

When we don’t sleep, it stresses our body and as a result, our immune system will not work properly. This means that wounds may not heal, and infection could set in, being around other people with illness could leave you with an unwanted cold or virus.

When sleep deprivation is prolonged, the defense that your immunity provides may be compromised. Vaccinations that you receive may also not provide the immunity they should for vaccine preventable diseases. This is all related to our genetics.

Ways to get more sleep

Forget counting sheep. There are many ways to get a good night’s sleep for your health and wellbeing.

The American Cancer Society offers tips to help you get to sleep on time and stay asleep:

  • Avoid daytime napping
  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time daily
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol after 5 pm
  • Stop smoking, avoid nicotine products altogether
  • Exercise regularly and during the day (not within two to three hours of bedtime)
  • Eat healthy meals at regular times, with several hours before bed allowed to digest
  • Your sleep environment should be quiet, comfortable and dark
  • Use a white noise app on your phone to calm and relax you
  • Participate in reading, meditation, other relaxation techniques, or listening to music
  • After 20 minutes of lying in bed with no sleep, find something calm to do until you feel sleepy
  • See a doctor if you still can’t sleep

In summary, watch this video to see what happens when you do not get enough sleep:

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