How to Fix a Water Damaged Mattress

water damaged mattress

Please Note

TSC Restoration only restores damaged mattresses while performing residential or commercial water damage cleanup services to rooms and structures. This article has been published for informational purposes only.

If your mattress as experienced water damage, you’re probably wondering if you can save it or if you just have to throw it out. Since a mattress is a big expense, you don’t want to just throw it away, but you also don’t want to deal with mold on the mattress that could make you sick.

We’re here to tell you how to dry a mattress and what your options are when water damage has occurred. In some cases, you can save the mattress and continue to use it safely. Unfortunately, in other cases, you’ll need to consider it a complete loss.

Take Immediate Action

As soon as you can, take immediate action to try and save your water damaged mattress. The longer you wait, the greater the chances of having to throw away the mattress are. The first thing you need to do is to see how wet the mattress is.

If it is completely soaked or was involved in a flood, you may not have any option but to throw it away. In some cases, you can call a professional water damage restoration company that may be able to save your mattress.

If the water damaged mattress wasn’t completely underwater, you may be able to clean and fix it yourself. We’ll walk you through the steps. Whether you hire a company to dry the mattress or do it yourself, you should treat the mattress within 24 hours to prevent mold.

First Step – Decide if You Should Try to Restore and Fix the Water Damaged Mattress

Before you spend hours trying to fix your water damaged mattress or hire a company to dry the mattress, you need to consider if it’s worth fixing or should be discarded.

You should look at three main factors:

  • The mattress price and age: If you have a cheaper or older mattress, you’d be better off using the money to restore the mattress to get a new one.
  • The material of the mattress: A foam, cotton, or rubber mattress is generally one you should throw away because mold can grow inside the mattress where it can’t be cleaned. If the mattress has springs, you have a better chance of making it safe because it allows for adequate air flow.
  • The extent of the damage: As we mentioned above, a fully soaked mattress that’s been underwater is one you may not be able to save.

If the mattress is really wet and it’s been that way for more than 48 hours, it’s time to throw it away and go mattress shopping. Mold on a mattress is a real problem and health risk, and it’s a chance you don’t want to take.

Dry the Mattress Completely

The sooner you can get the mattress dry, the better. You’ll want to get as much water out of the mattress before you move it because the water will make it very heavy.

Rent a wet-dry shop vacuum and use it over the entire mattress surface to suck up as much water as possible. You may want to do this several times until no water is coming up. Then cover the mattress with baking soda and work it into the surface by scrubbing it with a sponge. Baking soda will help absorb moisture, odors, and prevent mold.

Give the baking soda a few hours to work its magic and then vacuum it up. If the mattress is really wet, you can use cat litter in place of baking soda to absorb more moisture. Sprinkle it over the bed, work it in, let it set, and vacuum it up. Repeat either the baking soda or cat litter method until you feel like you’ve gotten as much moisture out as possible.

Vacuum the Water Damaged Mattress

Once the mattress is dry, vacuum the mattress to remove any dirt and other debris. It may be a good idea to do this a few times on each side of the mattress. This will help you get the mattress cleaner and may even pull out additional water that you didn’t realize was lingering.

Clean the Mattress

Next, you want to use an alcohol solution (1 part alcohol and 1 part water) to wipe down the mattress and try to get the mattress cleaner. The best way to do this is to get a cloth wet with the alcohol solution, wring it out, and wipe the mattress down instead of applying the solution straight to the mattress. The alcohol can help prevent mold as well.

Place the Water Damaged Mattress in the Sun

Even though you’ve done best you can so far, moisture may remain inside the mattress. A great way to help make sure the mattress is dry and sanitary is to place it in the sun. The sun will dry it out and it also acts as a natural sanitizer.

Stand the mattress up on its side with support so it won’t fall over or leaning against a wall so airflow can circulate. If you can’t take the mattress outside, a dehumidifier and fans will help finish the drying process.

Give it the Sniff Test

Once you have the mattress dried, vacuumed, and cleaned, put your nose close to it and smell for any lingering odors. If you smell anything damp or musty, you may have mold and mildew growing already. Mold can be white, green, and black and it may not be visible on the surface because it’s inside the mattress.

If you can’t get the mattress totally dry or notice mold growth on it at all, throw it out. It’s not worth risking your health. Remember, it’s better to call a water damage professional because you take a big risk trying to dry your water damaged mattress yourself.

Need more help? Our team has handled water damage in San Diego for decades, and we’re just getting started. Call now to learn more.