Mold in Mattresses What to Do?

Health issues?  Look no further than the mattress you wake up in day after day. Mattresses are a common gathering place for everything unhealthy we would rather not know about. One of the toughest and unhealthiest problems to deal with is mold. It can be present not only on the surface of your bed but embedded down deep where it can’t be seen. So what is it, how did it get there, and what in the world can I do about it.

What to do about mattress mold

Mold, mildew, and bacteria are the primary biological pollutants produced in the home and your mattress can be a haven for all of them. Mold our subject for today can cause wide ranging health issues ranging from simple allergy symptoms to more severe respiratory issues. It can cause sickness and in extreme cases serious symptoms that could even lead to death if not treated. Mold can start to reproduce in and on a mattress and the best treatment for it is to prevent it in the first place because it is extremely hard to clean up if not nearly impossible.

So what causes mattress mold?

Through out the course of a night the body temperature rises and the human body perspires in order to cool it back down. During this process the body gets rid of a great deal of water. Water is not just absorbed by our bed clothes, sheets, and mattress pad which act as the mattress’s first line of defense. Ultimately if moisture gets beyond these defenses the mattress acts like a sponge and absorbs the moisture. This is why we recommend breathable absorbent fabrics for your bedding. Think of your mattress as a giant warm and moist Petri dish for mold which doesn’t just grow on the surface but in fact grows down deep and hidden within the foam and padding layers.

If you are noticing it on the surface it is highly likely it was growing in your mattress long before you noticed since the mattress surface is the least likely spot for growth because it dries the fastest. This is what makes mattresses so tough to clean.

Cleaning your moldy mattress yourself?

• Vacuum the mattress with a very good HEPA Vacuum Cleaner can trap loose mold spores from a mattress and can be spread through the air.

• Allowing your mattress to sun bathe is a great way to kill surface mold but will do little if anything to get the deep down growth within the mattress.

• Try to brush away the surface mold and mildew with a brush this should loosen surface mold

• Using an oxygen based bleach in an empty clean spray bottle

• Spritz the mixture onto the mattress in the affected area which must be saturated

• Continued to let the mattress sun bathe in the sunshine until completely dry both on the surface and within.

Prevention of Mold and Mildew starts with a Resistant Mattress

that includes all natural latex and wool which are both natural resistant materials. These products help solve a mold problem in addition to breathable bed linens and clothing. Dehumidifier can help prevent mold and mildew growth if levels are maintained at about 50 percent relative humidity or lower.

Disclaimer: Talk with the mattress manufacturer before applying any solution to the mattress or attempting to clean otherwise you may damage your mattress & void the warranty. Speak with your doctor about any possible affects that may result from adding various cleaning solutions to your mattress.

It is our recommendation to either dispose of a moldy mattress or have it professionally cleaned.

About 

Doug Belleville and his father Dave own and run STLBeds - a specialty sleep store located in Arnold, MO. The staff at STLBeds is highly educated about sleep, comfort and their special sleep products. STLBeds only carries high quality mattresses and bed-related products. You won't find the brand names here - just call and ask us why!

3 Comments Leave your comment »

Client has a white powdery substance on their mattress. They just bought it from Mattress & More. The date on the manufacturing tag is 10/10/2010. It had been wrapped in plastic and stored in a warehouse for the last few years. I am not sure what it is other than mildew. It is now spreading to other area’s of the house. Any ideas?

Comment by Keith Martin — December 24, 2013 @ 10:23 am

by bleach i hope you mean oxygen bleach, as no doubt you wouldn’t want to be breathing in chlorine.

Comment by m — March 31, 2014 @ 10:27 pm

Mark, You made a very good point that we overlooked. Oxygen based bleach products like OxiClean™, OXY-Boost™, and even the old bleach name we all recognize Clorox offers such a product and theirs is called Oxi Magic™. Thank you for the correction. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — April 1, 2014 @ 7:50 am

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