What's the best way to get out the smell and germs when your loved one has an episode of incontinence? Try this:
To wash bedding:
- Strip the bed of sheets and mattress cover.
- Pretreat the stains with stain remover.
- Use bleach in the wash. (Ideally, stick to all-white sheets so you won't have to worry about fading.)
- Wash in hot water, and set on disinfectant cycle if the machine has it.
- Before putting bedding in dryer, check to see if stains are still visible. If so, wash again (also pretreating again). If you skip that step, drying will set the stains.
- When bedding is ready for the dryer, try adding scented dryer sheets to further eliminate odor. Line drying outside helps, too.
To clean a mattress:
- Gently blot the area with dry towels to absorb urine; wash towels with bedding.
- Saturate with hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol; let set for five minutes. Blot dry.
- Sprinkle baking soda onto the mattress when it's relatively dry; let set eight hours or overnight. Or take it outside to dry in sun, if feasible. (You may want to keep a cot on hand for your loved one to use during the cleaning.)
- Vacuum off powder.
- Invest in a plastic or rubberized mattress cover to protect from future damage.