Your bed starts smelling musty while stain spots also appear on your mattress - this is mould. Mould is a type of fungus that thrives in damp, warm and humid environments, but can also be caused by human sweat. This moisture can accumulate inside or under your mattress, and allow mould to grow and spread quickly. If a person is constantly exposed to mould on their mattress, it can cause allergies, disrupt sleep and worst of all, lead to respiratory issues. So, how can we remove and prevent mould from forming in mattresses? Let’s take a closer look.
Simple Steps to Clean Away Mattress Mould
1. Vacuum The Mattress
Vacuum both sides of your mattress thoroughly, especially the affected areas. Clean the vacuum cleaner immediately afterwards to avoid spreading the mould spores.
2. Spot-Clean Mattress Stains And Mould
Mix alcohol and warm water in a disposable container in a 1:1 ratio. Dip a cloth and scrub the affected area in a circular motion until the mould disappears. Make sure you’re not applying too much pressure while cleaning, and that the washcloth isn’t too wet to avoid the mattress from getting soaked.
3. Absorb Excessive Water With Baking Soda
Next, use a separate clean cloth to dry off any excess liquid and sprinkle baking soda directly onto the mattress. Let it stand for several hours and then vacuum it up.
4. Dry The Mattress
Once you have thoroughly cleaned your mattress, place it in a ventilated area to dry off any leftover moisture. Leaving the mattress out in the sun to dry out can inhibit further growth of mould.
However, if your mattress contains memory foam or latex materials, then we do not recommend exposing it to direct sunlight as this can break down the cellular structure of the materials, but instead air-dry or use a fan / hairdryer to dry it off. Hold your hairdryer about 4-6 inches above the mattress and only use it on its low-temperature setting to avoid any damage to the mattress.
How Can I Prevent Mould From Growing On My Mattress?
As previously mentioned, mould thrives best in a humid environment, or from the accumulation of moisture from your body or sweat. To prevent the growth of mould on your mattress, we’ve prepared the below tips which can help:
1. Keep Your Mattress Clean and Dry
- Change and wash bedding at least once every two weeks
- Keep damp towels and clothes away from the mattress
- Avoid lying down on the mattress when your body or hair is wet
2. Maintain a Well-Ventilated Room Environment
- Keep windows or doors open as frequently as possible to keep your room ventilated
- Open curtains and expose room regularly to sunlight
- Use a dehumidifier to keep your room dry on days with high humidity
- Place moisture absorbing pads (can be purchased at most homeware / department stores) under your mattress to further avoid accumulation of moisture
- Use an air purifier to help circulate and filter the air, thereby helping to remove mould spores
3. Appropriate Mattress Care
- Use a slatted mattress foundation / bed base that allows airflow through the bottom of your mattress, instead of a solid platform or directly on the floor where the inhibition of airflow can lead to excessive moisture building up on the base of your mattress
- Allow your mattress to air out regularly to avoid moisture build up, especially if you are using the mattress directly on the floor or on a flat platform providing limited ventilation underneath your mattress
- Rotate or flip (if applicable) your mattress regularly once every 3-6 months
- Consider using a waterproof mattress protector to prevent sweat from travelling through and into your mattress, as well as keeping the mattress away from liquid spills or stains
4. Choose a Breathable Mattress
- A breathable mattress allows air to flow easily across the mattress
- This not only provides a cool night’s sleep, but also helps reduce the risk of mould, bacteria or mildew developing on the mattress
How Often Should I Clean My Mattress?
To keep your mattress in its best condition, we recommend cleaning your mattress regularly every six months, using a vacuum cleaner to vacuum across all mattress surfaces and spot-cleaning any stains found on your mattress. Check out our Mattress Cleaning Guide for further details. Of course, if you do accidentally spill anything onto your mattress, you should clean it immediately before the stain sets.
Furthermore, you should also wash your bedding at least once every two weeks to minimise the amount of sweat, natural oils, skin and other dirt from getting into your mattress.