Q. Two mattresses stored in the cellar for six months now have a damp odor. A mattress company says that nothing can rectify the penetrating odor. Various homemade remedies including a vinegar sponging have failed to remove the smell. Now I'm thinking ''salad'' every time I retire. Any solutions? Or is this problem unsolvable? Rose L. Miller Pelham, N.Y.
A. Most anything is solvable if sufficient dedication, plenty of money, and intelligent effort are mustered; but please, no mustard after the vinegar.
With only partial respect for the mattress company's response, I'd try a commercial deodorant obtainable from a janitorial supply company. Follow labeled directions.
If the aforementioned contractant fails to alleviate the offending odor, seek professional help from a company listed in the Yellow Pages under ''deodorizing and disinfecting.''
If you have a question on maintaining your house, send it to the real-estate editor, The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, Mass. 02115. Forrest M. Holly is a longtime California builder now living in Arizona.