mice damage-how to clean and replace

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by eskay, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. eskay

    eskay New Member

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    I just pulled my PU out of the garage and the mice have chewed holes in a mattress, urine and droppings all over the place (canvas, curtains, etc.). I can wash the curtains that haven't been destroyed, put I was wondering the best way to clean the canvas. Just use a heavy duty cleaner and then waterproof? Or is there a specific cleaner that works so that I don't have to waterproof again? I don't think I can get the smell out of the foam mattresses, but this is an older PU and finding replacement mattresses are going to be a challenge. No canvas chewed through, just a spot in a screen. The mattress cover was chewed up, I can patch that if I can find or clean the foam itself. Any ideas on cleaning the canvas and/or the mattresses?
     
  2. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    You don't mention your PUP's yr. and model (You might want to put that in your signature so it's always there). I'd check you owners manual. They usually have cleaning recommendations for at least the tenting. If you look in the owners manual section here, they may have a cc you can download. Coleman recommends Woolite or Dreft for the tenting. I've not had to waterproof after using it.

    I personally wouldn't try to salvage the foam. For foam mattresses, I'd recommend Foam by mail. Others here have used them and are happy. I haven't used them for foam mattresses, but other stuff and they sell a good product at a competitive price. As to the mattress cover, if you can't salvage the mattress cover, you can buy a one at many stores. Won't be the same as the camper but fulfills the same function. Some just use regular bedding linens.
     
  3. Dusty82

    Dusty82 Active Member

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    The foam and undamaged covers can be easily salvaged. If you have, or have access to, a steam carpet cleaner with an upholstery wand (I call them the soak and suck type of cleaner,) this is a perfect time to use it. Get the type of carpet/upholstery shampoo made for pet stains. Pet stain shampoo has the enzymes in it that break down and neutralize urine and other nastiness. Using the upholstery wand on the cushions and such is easy. For the mattress, I'd lay it out on the driveway and use the cleaner as if you were cleaning carpet.

    If the covers are chewed, slip covers can be easily made out of just about any fabric. I've seen some great looking slip covers made out of common bed sheets.

    For the canvas, just a good regular wash and rinse will do the trick. With just about any cleaner, you might to need to re-apply weatherproofing, so be ready for that possibility. Applying weatherproofing isn't a bad job - spray it on and let it dry - done.

    If your heart is set on replacing mattresses, I'd recommend going the air mattress/foam topper route. Polyurethane foam is expensive, so be ready for sticker shock if you go that route.

    Good luck!
     
  4. eskay

    eskay New Member

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    Thanks for the tips and ideas. The camper was in mint condition when I bought it a couple of years ago, and I am pretty peeved right now. Never had a problem with anything stored inside the building until this year. 1992 Coleman/Fleetwood Pioneer PUP. I'll try the pet removal stuff on the matresses and the covers. This year the mattresses come inside!
     
  5. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    I'm sure youve done this but I'd suggest that you go over the camper and make sure you've got every potential access point closed. The mouse had to get in somehow. Caulk every joint and hole for wires/gas line/water line. Or plug it with steel or brass wool. Even with the mattresses at home, the tenting is still at risk and as you well know that could be much more expensive.

    FWIW, I put Decon in the 4 corners of the garage where mice or prevalent. No problems in 3 yrs. betweeen that and a "tight" PUP. This summer we have a feral cat taking up residence under the garage. She's really thinned out the local population. Haven't seen a chipmonk or mouse in weeks.
     
  6. Team cmk

    Team cmk Member

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    Hi Eskay. I recently bought a 2002 Coleman Cottonwood that had severe mouse damage. You might want to consult the owner's manual for tent cleaning - for my rig they state to use either Dreft or Woolite. They worked ok on some of the bad spots (blood stains) but I think I'll need to remove everything and give it a good scrubbing. I had the same problem with mice nesting in the mattresses. I'm renting a carpet cleaner this weekend and will try it on them. Otherwise I'll be getting new foam.
    Good luck and sorry to hear about the unexpected surprise.
     
  7. eskay

    eskay New Member

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    Well, I started on the clean-up today. Twisted my knee and was laid up for a week, so I couldn't get to it right away.
    After a trip to WW to get $50 bucks worth of cleaning supplies, I took the mattress covers off the foam and washed them in the washer on delicate with 1/4 cup simple green. This seemed to take care of the mouse smell, they're hanging out drying right down, so we'll see. The foam is another story. After I took the covers off, it's obvious that twenty years is the life span of the foam. While still firm, the musty smell along with the vermin attack spells new ones. I'm not even going to try and clean, I think they'll fall apart. I'm thinking to replace with air mattresses if I can find a size to fit. The bed platforms are 71 1/2" wide, with one being 72" long and the other 50 1/2". All I seem to be able to find are 75" or 80" ones. I'm sure I can make a 72" fit, and having 75" on one end won't hurt anything hanging over a couple of inches, but to find something smaller is a pain.
    The canvas tops over the beds are vinyl coated on the outside, so I'm going to clean with simply green solution. The insides, where the problem odors and stains are, I tried steam but it didn't seem to work for the effort. I then sprayed a couple different pet odor and stain removers on the inside, one on each end to see how they work. Both got the bulk of the stains out with a five minute soak and most of the odor (I think). I'm going to give them another application, clean the floors and the cabinets with a hard surface odor remover, let everything dry and air out, and then close it up and see if it's better.
    I'm not going to replace the mattresses until I know I can get the smell out. With the price of new mattresses, new canvas, etc and the time frame I can buy a nice replacement on C-list this time of year.
    I did find where they were coming in. The cover over the electrical cord pass-thru hole in the box was open! Nice 4 inch gateway. I'm planning on going over it with a fine tooth comb and plugging everything with steel wool before I put it away for the year.
    Thanks, and I'll update my situation as it develops.
     
  8. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    Just a word of advice. Don't go with conventional air mattresses if you plan to do cold weather camping. They transmit the cold pretty well. We use Thermarest mattresses left over from our tent camping days. Ours, which are thicker than most of them, have an R7 insulation rating. They are pricey and you'll need several of them if you can find the right sizes to fit the space. But they're incredibly comfortable because of the open cell foam inside and self-inflate. If you get them at an REI and become a member for $25, they'll have a "Forever" warranty. We replaced one this Spring that was @7 yrs. old and got a new one, no questions asked.
     

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