What to Do When There is Mold on a Memory Foam Mattress
Mattresses can be a breeding ground for many things such as bodily fluids, hair, dirt, bacteria, and shedding skin. They act as a protection layer between us and those not so fancy items they collect. However, the worst thing that can happen to your memory foam mattress is mold growth. You may not consider mattresses as a place for mold growth, but it is entirely possible.
In this blog, you will learn about how to prevent mold growth on mattresses and what you should do if you do find mold on them.
How Does Mold Develop on Memory Foam Mattresses?
Humidity is an essential factor for mold to grow. The surface of memory foam mattresses is porous, so cotton covers or foam comfort layers can absorb moisture from different sources. Usually it is not a problem, but if a mattress stays humid for an extended period of time, it could make it possible for mold to grow. There are several possible reasons why a mattress could be humid.
- Human sweat: Because body temperature rises when we sleep, we will sweat to cool ourselves down. Over time, it could get into the mattress itself.
- Spills: This is especially dangerous for memory foam mattresses. The sponge in the mattress will quickly absorb the moisture and it would be very hard to get it out.
- Living in regions with high humidity: Some regions are more humid and living in such regions naturally would make mattresses more likely to be humid.
- Not allowing air to flow: If a mattress is placed in areas in the house where air does not circulate that well or it is placed on the ground, it could make it more likely for mold to grow.
Mold can also develop on the glue/adhesives that are used to hold the mattress together during the assembly process. Mold can spread quickly on these surfaces. Always make sure to pick a mattress without glues and adhesives to avoid mold.
Having mold on your mattress is very dangerous for your health. You probably don’t want to physically contact the mold on an everyday basis. Inhaling mold for long periods of time can cause various health conditions. This includes allergies, sneezing, and coughing or more extreme ones such as upper respiratory infections and asthma. You should avoid sleeping on a mattress that has visible mold on it.
How to Clean a Moldy Mattress
If the mold damage is not severe, try the following methods. However, it doesn’t mean that the mold cannot come back. When you see mold all over the mattress or if it is developing from within the mattress, the only way is to replace the mattress.
- Place the mattress under the sun. Sunlight will kill the bacteria and the mold on the mattress. It will also sanitize the mattress.
- Vacuum the mattress, even if you don’t see mold in the particular spot, vacuum it. Make sure you clean the vacuum filter and dispose of the garbage so the mold spores don’t spread in the house.
- Mix baking soda with warm water for a cleaning solution. Use this solution to apply directly to areas affected by mold and dry the mattress under the sun.
- Use lemon juice. The acidity of lemons can effectively kill the mold. Squeeze some lemon juice and add a tiny bit of water to dilute the acidity and put it in a spray bottle. Apply to areas with mold and brush off the moldy sections.
- Mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water to remove the mold. You can either use something to rub off the mold or apply the solution and place it under the sun for a long period of time.
- Mix one part of hydrogen peroxide and three parts warm water to remove the mold. Rub off the mold and place the mattress in a spot that is easy to dry, best under the sun.
You can pick which method is most suitable for your situation according to your budget.
20 Tips to Avoid Mold on Your Mattress
The best way to deal with mold is to not let it grow. Here are some tips you should follow if you want to prevent mold from growing on your mattresses.
- Replace your old mattress. If your mattress is over ten years old, you should consider changing it as there is a chance that mold already formed.
- Don’t buy a memory foam mattress. They are very toxic and sometimes come with mold issues right from the factory. They are very airtight which prevents them from breathing so mold growth can form quicker and easier.
- Create good airflow on the bottom of the mattress. Buy a slatted bed base instead of a board or box spring. This will allow for free air flow on the bottom of the mattress.
- Make sure there is airflow in your mattress even when you are not there. Always make sure that there is a fan or air conditioning on, and the bedroom door is open to keep the airflow fresh. Stagnant air can cause mold.
- Do not put your mattress near a window if possible. Try not to place a mattress near window, and if you really do have to place it there, make sure that the window is not leaking, its fully sealed with mold resistant caulk and is free from condensation.
- Buys a breathable mattress cover. A breathable mattress cover prevents moisture from getting into your mattress and protects you from anything that is on the mattress getting onto your skin.
- Wash your sheets at least once a week or more often if you get sweaty at night to prevent mold.
- Replace pillows at least once per year.
- Vacuum your bed weekly with a HEPA vacuum using the upholstery attachment. Clean the top and the sides of the mattress.
- Use only 100% organic cotton sheets. This a breathable fabric which helps moisture not end up trapped in your bed to cause mold.
- Air out your mattress occasionally. Standing up your mattress to air it out helps prevent mold from forming.
- Give your mattress plenty of light. Make sure that you expose your mattress to daylight to avoid any chance of mold forming.
- Do not add moisture to your bed. Do not lie down on the bed if you just got out of the shower or a pool. Always make sure to dry yourself and your hair before using your mattress.
- If there is a bathroom in your bedroom, make sure to avoid extreme moisture getting into your bedroom by airing out the bathroom and keeping it dry by running a fan.
- If you live in a high humidity area, make sure to run a dehumidifier in your bedroom. If you have exposed to mold already, consider buying an air purifier.
- Make sure to shower and rinse off before going to bed. This can help prevent mold spores from your body and hair from getting into your bed.
- If something spills on your mattress, make sure to clean and dry it right away.
- Do not place any wet towels or clothes on your mattress.
- Change into clean clothing to prevent mold spores from getting into your bed.
- Don’t eat in bed as crumbs can be a food source for mold.
What Type of Mattress Should I Buy to Prevent Mold?
All mattresses can get moldy. However, there are materials that are mold resistant that can help keep mold away from your mattress. These include natural latex, wool, and rubberized coconut fiber. Also, mattresses that have coils and springs prevent mold from forming as they offer more breathability. There are also some mattresses on the market that have a charcoal layer to help avoid mold growth as charcoal helps resist moisture.
If you are experiencing mold at your home, make sure you call a professional right away to provide mold remediation. Mold removal professionals cannot remove mold from your mattress, but they can remove mold from your home which can help protect your mattress and other materials in your home from mold growth.