How to Prevent & Remove Mold Off a Mattress
Mold is a common problem that can affect any household, and your mattress is no exception. It grows when there is mildew or excess moisture. It can cause unsightly stains and strange odors on any surface. For the memory foam mattress, mold and mildew problems are more common thanks to the excellent moisture absorption capabilities, making it an ideal environment for mold to grow in humid situations.
Inside the foam, there are little air pockets, all of which can contain spores once moisture enters them. Unfortunately, most people realize too late that their mattress has mold or mildew growth so it can go unnoticed for weeks. So, is there anything that can be done about mold or mildew on a mattress?
Yes and no would be the answer. Leaving either unattended too long will only cause you more trouble down the line, and possibly render the mattress completely useless. Mildew at least can be wiped off if noticed soon enough. But we’re jumping ahead.
- Mold or Mildew?
- Why do mattresses get moldy?
- Why is it so important to get mold off a mattress?
- How to get mold off a mattress?
- How to prevent mold on a mattress?
mold or mildew?
|Green, black||Grey, white, yellow|
|Grey, white, yellow||Fluffy, powdery|
|Underneath the surface of anything that has got wet||Grows on moist, warm areas|
|Best left to professionals||Can be cleaned off with household products|
Why do mattresses get moldy?
- People or pets on the bed. Sweat, hair, and body fluids, including those from you or your pet while sleeping on the mattress, can all potentially enter the mattress itself.
- The mattress combination is too thick. For example, a box spring plus a memory foam mattress, and an additional topper. The more products you add to your bed, the more difficult it is to dissipate the heat, which leads to dampness and moldiness.
- Weather or geographic factor. Tropical regions with high rainfall or areas near the sea naturally have higher moisture and humidity levels. Most people will naturally shut windows, and doors in order to keep the dampness out. However, this action inhibits airflow and creates a wet environment perfect for mold growth.
Why is it so important to get mold off a mattress?
Being in a mold-infested environment for too long will have a serious impact on your health. Anyone can get nasal congestion, throat irritations, wheezing, coughing, itchy skin, or irritated eyes, but those symptoms will be more serious for people suffering from an immune system disorder or who are fighting lung disease.
It can be extremely harmful to children and can result in asthma, respiratory illnesses, or pneumonitis (lung tissue inflammation) for both adults and children.
The reason why mold has such a negative impact on the respiratory system is that mold spores are airborne.
How to get mold off a mattress?
Depending on the size of the moldy area, there are different methods to remove the mold.
- Small Moldy Area: Vacuum Cleaner + Cleaning Alcohol
Many people believe that the packaging film is meant to keep the mattress from getting dirty. However, people will produce heat while sleeping, when they come into contact with a sealed packaging film that prevents it from dissipating, resulting in heat buildup and causing moisture and mold to develop in the fabric. We highly recommend removing the packaging film for ventilation and using a protector, to shield against liquids and contamination.
- Moderate Moldy Area: Baking soda + White Vinegar
Spray the mold with a solution of white vinegar and water, sprinkle baking soda on top, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and then gently wipe it away, the mold stains should fall off.
- Large Moldy Area: Soapy Water + Disinfectant Solution
We recommend replacing a new mattress if your mattress is severely moldy. If you still want to save the mattress’s life, try to clean the entire mattress with a brush soaked with soapy water, repeat several times, and then spray with disinfectant. Finally, leave the mattress in a sunny location for a couple of hours to allow sunlight to kill any remaining bacteria. If the mold regrows, it is possible that the mold is inside the mattress material, and therefore, getting a new mattress would be better for health in the long run.
Whether your mattress already has some stains or you want to do some regular cleaning as a routine, you can go over "How to Clean a Mattress" and follow the step to keep the mattress in a relatively hygienic condition.
How to prevent mold on a mattress?
- Get a waterproof yet breathable mattress protector
- If you live in a very humid climate, consider getting a dehumidifier
- Regularly check under your mattress
- Let your mattress air out, and make sure it is well-ventilated. (Don't place your mattress directly on the ground)
- Don’t go to sleep with wet hair, or put wet towels, clothes, or swimsuits on your bed
- Let air circulate even if you are not home. Whether that means opening a window or keeping the air conditioning on, it is up to you.
- Get an air purifier. This actively removes mold spores that fly through the air
- Flip your mattress regularly to prevent moisture from being contained inside
Unfortunately, if you ever notice mold on the surface of your memory foam mattress, likely, mold is inside too. You will barely be able to dry a memory foam mattress on the inside. So for your health, it would be the more sensible decision to throw it away and replace it.
Before you set up your new mattress though, figure out, what caused the old mattress to get moldy. Chances are, whatever it was that caused it might cause it again, and you wouldn’t want to throw out a new mattress immediately.
That’s it for this article. If you want to understand how to clean a mattress from bed bugs or pee stains you can read these two links. How to Get Bed Bugs from a Mattress & How to Get Urine Stain and Pee Smell Out of a Mattress.