Last updated on 18 Oct, 2022

How To Get Mold Out Of An Air Mattress - 5 Proven Tricks

– By Casper

air mattress with mold

Have you noticed mold growing on your air mattress and struggling to deal with it? Don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll discuss 5 effective ways to deal with mildew or mold on an air mattress. 

Make sure to read the guide till the end, as we’ll also mention the reasons for mold growth on an air mattress and what you can do to prevent it from coming back.

Let’s dive into it.

How To Get Mold Out Of An Air Mattress

Can an Air Mattress Get Mold?

Most of you might be wondering can an air mattress really get mold? So, it’s simple answer is, YES. Mold or mildew(growing stage of mold) growth is quite common nowadays on air mattresses.

The most common cause of mold growth on an air mattress is improper or careless storage especially when you left it in humid or damp areas or store it without drying it properly.

No need to mention that mold can grown on any regular as well as air mattresses, even on child’s inflatable bed, if not used and stored with proper care.

What Does Mold Look Like on an Air Mattress?

Now you know that there can be mold on your air mattress, you might be wondering what mold looks like and how you can get rid of it.

Mold is typically black, green, brown, or white and if you notice any of these colored stains on your air mattress’s flocked top, bottom, near the inflation valve, or on the seams, there is a high chance that mold is growing on your inflatable bed.

what mold look like on air mattress

Apart from spots, there’s a possibility of mold growing on your bed and you can’t see that with the naked eye. So, in this case, there are 2 other ways to identify it.

Odor: Mold smell is not always the same, it varies. However, some of the most common smell people have described is musty, earthy(like a forest, rotting wood), damp(like dog fur), sour and rotting.

However, among all these descriptions, musty is considered the most common smell coming out of an air mattress. 

So, inspect the complete airbed for a musty smell first. If you want to learn more about what mold exactly smells like, here’s a dedicated guide.

Discoloration: Mold on the surface of an air mattress can cause discoloration. If you’re not able to spot any stains, check if any areas of the airbed have started to lose color while inspecting for a musty smell as well, to confirm mold quickly. 

Plus, you must wash your hands thoroughly after completing the inspection, as it may cause health issues.

5 Best Tricks To Get Mold Out Of Air Mattress

#1. Lemon

If you want a simple and cost effective way to deal with mold on air mattress, you should try lemon. A lemon is natural but quite effect way to get rid of toughest mold or mildew stains from any surface. This method is also widely used to deal with black mold.

However, there are some limitations such as you just can’t start rubbing lemon on air mattress which is completely covered with mold spots, it will take your an hour or even more that to complete the job. But for small areas, it’s worth using lemon in case nothing works for you.

How To Use:

Now, using the lemon on a moldy air mattress is pretty simple. Just cut a lemon half and start rubbing it onto the mold stains.

For small areas, it might take up to 3-5 minutes so be patient and keep rubbing. In case of light mold stains, you can see instant results after rubbing the lemon.

However, for tougher stains, you may need to leave the air mattress for about 15-20 minutes to let the lemon do its job. Once this is done, you’ll notice that the mold has disappeared.

#2. Vacuum

HEPA Vacuums can be used to suck mold spores from the air mattress especially from the flocked top, seams, joints, near the inflation valve and any other hard to reach places.

Not limited to mold or mildew spores, it will also suck all the small dust particles and debris hidden on the flocked surface.

How To Use:

Turn the vacuum’s mouth towards the moldy areas of your air mattress and let it clean everything for you. This process might take 10-20 minutes depending on the spots.

#3. Bleach

Bleach becomes the most controversial topic when it comes to removing or killing mold from a surface. Some say bleach can kill mold easily and others say it’s nothing more than a myth.

However, the truth is you can use bleach to kill mold from nonporous surfaces, such as glass, metal, plastic, and varnished wood. Hence, the good news is bleach easily eliminates mold from an air mattress.

Let’s see how to properly use it.

How To Use:

Take a spray bottle. Mix 1 cup of bleach in case of lighter mold stains, and 2 cups for strong stains, and shake the bottle to mix well.

Now spray the solution all over the air mattress where you notice the mold or mildew growth and leave it for some time to settle.

Use a brush or sponge to scrub the surface and wash the bleach out with a hose when done. Allow the bed to air dry.

#4. Alcohol

Using alcohol for cleaning an air mattress may sound weird but, it actually works. This trick might not be the best fit for strong and black mold. Nevertheless, for lighter spots, it still works.

How To Use:

Take a small tub or bowl and prepare a solution of alcohol and water. Make sure both are in equal quantity. Now, mix them well with a brush.

Soak a sponge or brush into that solution and start scrubbing it onto the mold spots. When you notice the spots disappear, you can do this trick for the entire air mattress.

Once you’re done, wipe the blow-up bed with a slightly damp cloth or leave it in the sunlight for about 30 minutes. It will not only dry the bed but also eliminate foul smells from the airbed.

#5. Vinegar

Vinegar is a widely used cheap but effective cleaning agent that kills almost all types of mold from any surface. It can help you get rid of even the toughest black mold stains that have been on your air mattress for a long time.

How To Use:

Prepare a solution of half water and half vinegar in a bowl and mix it for 10-15 seconds. Now, dip a sponge into the solution and start rubbing the moldy area until the mold vanishes.

When you start getting the results, repeat the process for the other moldy spots on the bed. Keep in mind, it might take some time to work on bad spots. So, leave the bed after rubbing if you’re not getting instant results.

In the end, rinse the bed properly to remove the vinegar smell. You can also use a hair dryer to dry the bed faster.

Tip: This trick can also be used to remove any other type of spot or stain such as food or pee stains.

How Do You Disinfect an Air Mattress?

If you have used above mentioned methods to kill mold on your blow-up bed, then thankfully, you’ll not need to disinfect your air mattress separately, these also work as disinfectants.

disinfect air mattress

However, if you have used a chemical way to clean any unwanted stuff off your air mattress, then you can use white vinegar and baking powder to disinfect the bed.

Otherwise, there are lots of antibacterial sprays on the market which you can use to eliminate odors as well as remaining bacteria.

Causes & Prevention:

Once you know what is causing or promoting mold growth, you can prevent it from coming back the next time and also don’t repeat the wrong things in order to keep it away.

As we know, mold needs moisture and food to grow outdoors as well as indoors. Moreover, moisture is the key factor that promotes mold growth, and controlling moisture indoors can indeed help prevent mold growth.

sleep without inhaling mold

There are many sources of moisture around our home such as a little condensation in the washroom or around a window, insufficient ventilation, sweat, a warm sleeping environment, keeping airbed on the floor while sleeping, accidental liquid spills, sleeping outside the tent while camping, etc.

I know you can’t control dampness in the environment. Still, some causes are not that complicated to handle such as you can lift the bed off the floor by putting a frame or plywood under it, or sleep inside the tent in bad weather, or avoid those accidental liquid spills.

Always let your inflatable bed dry properly after using it once. You can simply leave it in the sunlight, or use a hair dryer in case you don’t have much time. But, never roll and pack it into the box, until it’s perfectly dried.

Final Wordings:

Sleeping on a moldy air mattress is never suggested in any case. It can cause both long and short-term effects on your health such as coughing, skin rashes, wheezing, itchy eyes, and much more.

It is better to deal with the problem than to ignore or throw away the airbed. These 5 tricks can really help you get rid of any mold stains from an air mattress, no matter where it is.

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