Last updated on 27 July, 2023

How To Get Mold Out Of An Air Mattress - 5 Working Tips

– By Eric Smith

how to get mold out of an air mattress

How to get mold out of an air mattress?….Hmmmm, let’s see. If you’ve ever dealt with the unwelcome presence of mold on your air mattress, don’t worry, we’re here to share the secrets to creating a mold-free sleep space.

We will help you create a snug and healthy sleep area, free from those pesky mold and mildew spores. We’ll provide you with easy-to-use tools, natural remedies, and expert tips to say goodbye to mold and its musty problems.

Let the mold-busting journey begin!

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 Home Remedies 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 Against Mold?

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 of Mold Growth on Air Mattresses

sleep without inhaling mold

Even air mattresses are not immune to mold growth. It’s important to know what causes mold infestations on these sleeping surfaces so that you can maintain a healthy sleeping environment.

1. Moisture Build-up

One of the primary catalysts for mold growth on air mattresses is excessive moisture collection. When air mattresses are not properly dried or stored in moist environments, they become exposed to mold colonization.

2. High Humidity Levels


Areas with high humidity levels provide an inviting atmosphere for mold to thrive. 

If you live in a humid climate or use your air mattress in humid environments, the chances of mold growth increase significantly. 

When moisture and warmth are present, mold spores can settle and spread on the surface of a mattress.

3. Spills and Accidents

Accidental spills or exposure to liquids can introduce moisture to the air mattress, forming mold. Spills can penetrate the mattress material and encourage mold formation if not properly and thoroughly dried.

4. Bad Cleaning and Maintenance

clean mold from air mattress

If you don’t clean and maintain your air mattress on a regular basis, it can develop mold. Over time, dust, skin cells, and other organic matter build up on the mattress, providing food for mold to grow. 

Neglecting proper cleaning and maintenance creates the perfect environment for mold to thrive.

5. Poor Ventilation

It is important to have good ventilation in order to avoid the growth of mold. When air mattresses are placed in areas with poor ventilation and limited air circulation, the air becomes stagnant, and humidity levels increase. This lack of airflow creates a perfect breeding ground for mold spores to thrive.

6. Storage in Damp Areas

It is important to avoid storing an air mattress in a damp or poorly ventilated area to prevent potential issues. 

Basements, garages, and storage areas prone to moisture build-up are not suitable places for long-term air mattress storage. 

If the mattress is not completely dry before storage, mold can quickly take hold during long periods of confinement.

Conclusion - How To Get Mold Out Of An Air Mattress

Now you know how to get mold out of an air mattress. Remember, 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.

About Eric Smith

eric smith - content writer

With 4+ years of experience dealing with air mattresses, Eric has gotten really good at making useful and interesting stuff for you to read. He loves helping people find the right air mattresses and fix any air mattress-related issues.