How to Get Rid of Mold On Your Mattress

Mold can be a major problem for anyone, but it can be especially troublesome for people who have allergies. If you have a mold allergy, you may be especially sensitive to the spores that mold produces. Exposure to mold can cause a number of symptoms, including sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes. If you have a mold allergy, it’s important to take steps to get rid of any mold in your home, including on your mattress.

The best way to get rid of mold on your mattress is to use a disinfectant. There are a number of different disinfectants that you can use, but bleach is a good option because it’s effective against a wide range of bacteria and fungi. To use bleach to get rid of mold on your mattress, mix one part bleach with nine parts water. Then, using a spray bottle, spray the mixture onto the mattress. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, and then use a wet cloth to wipe it away.

If you don’t have bleach, you can use a number of other disinfectants, including vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or borax. All of these disinfectants are effective against mold and can be used in the same way as bleach.

In addition to using a disinfectant, it’s important to keep your mattress clean. You can do this by vacuuming it regularly. Be sure to use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to get into the crevices of the mattress. You can also spot clean the mattress with a damp cloth if it becomes dirty.

If you have a mold allergy, it’s important to take steps to get rid of any mold in your home, including on your mattress. By using a disinfectant and keeping your mattress clean, you can help to get rid of any mold on your mattress and reduce your exposure to the spores that mold produces.

Discovering mold on the surface of a mattress is unsettling, as it can be an indication of a much deeper problem within the core. Mold appears on a mattress if the conditions in and around the mattress are too warm and humid. If the mold is discovered quickly and treated properly, small colonies may be suitable for safe removal. However, the mold should be identified before attempting to treat the mattress.

The molds that most homeowners encounter can be classified into three categories: allergenic, pathogenic, and toxic.1

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  • Allergenic molds can require removal by a professional, but most allergenic molds can be removed with home disinfecting products.
  • Pathogenic molds can be controlled with disinfectants but large colonies require professional removal.
  • Toxic molds are the most harmful and require a professional to kill the mold and dispose of any affected materials.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold can cause many side effects. For some people, mold can cause a stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing or wheezing, burning eyes, or skin rash. People with asthma or who are allergic to mold may have severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung disease may get infections in their lungs from mold.2

Learn the best way to get rid of mold on a mattress surface and when you should dispose of the mattress.

Wear Protective Gear and Improve Air Quality
To reduce your chances of an allergic reaction to the mold spores, wear eye protection, a mask, and rubber gloves. Wear clothing that can be tossed in the washer.

If possible, place an air purifier in the room to help capture mold spores that will become airborne.

Remove All Bedding
Remove all of the bedding, including the mattress protector, and wash them in the hottest water suitable for the fabric. Add a disinfectant—chlorine bleach, pine oil disinfectant, or phenolic disinfectant (Lysol Laundry Sanitizer)—that is safe to use on the fabric.

Dry the bedding at the highest heat appropriate for the fabric as a final step to be sure any mold spores have been eliminated.

Vacuum the Mattress
Use a powerful hand-held vacuum or a floor vacuum with a hose and upholstery brush. Start at one end of the mattress and vacuum the entire surface—even the areas with no visible mildew. Don’t forget to vacuum the sides of the mattress.

If possible, turn the mattress over and inspect the other side for mold growth and repeat the vacuuming process.

When the vacuuming process is over, take the vacuum outside to reduce chances of spreading the mold spores and empty the disposable bag or dust bin into a trash bag. Tightly seal the trash bag and dispose of it in an outdoor trash bin.

Treat the Mold Growth
The areas with mold growth must be cleaned with a product that will kill the spores. You should not saturate the mattress with an excessive amount of a wet solution because that can damage the mattress. The cleaners will not address any mold spores deep in the core of the mattress.

To kill mattress surface mold, mix a 50:50 solution of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and water. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and gently rub the moldy surface of the mattress in a circular motion.

When the area is free of visible mold, dip a cloth in clean water and “rinse” the area.

Use a Fabric Sanitizing Spray
After cleaning and rinsing, spray the area with a fabric sanitizing spray like Febreze Fabric Antimicrobial that prevents mold growth on soft surfaces for up to 14 days.

Dry Thoroughly
Add a circulating fan or move the mattress into direct sunlight to help it dry as quickly and thoroughly as possible.