How to Clean an Air Mattress Quickly and Easily


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Do you have an air mattress? If so, you know that they can be a real lifesaver when you need an extra sleeping surface. But what do you do when it needs cleaning? 

Whether it’s because of a spill or because it needs a good deep cleaning, here’s how to clean your air mattress quickly and easily.

This guide will cover the benefits of cleaning your air mattress, how to clean your air mattress, and common mistakes to avoid.

tips to clean air mattress

The Benefits of Cleaning Your Air Mattress

Cleaning your air mattress is essential in ensuring that you get the most out of it. Cleaning can keep your air mattress in good condition and help you enjoy a comfortable sleep.

Here are a few reasons to regularly clean your air mattress:

  • Maintain Quality – Over time, oil and sweat from our bodies can accumulate. These oils can cause the air mattress to break down. Cleaning will remove any built-up grime and maintain the quality of your air mattress. This can extend its lifespan anywhere from a few months to a few years.
  • Eliminate Odours – It’s not uncommon for air mattresses to develop bad smells over time. This is usually a result of bacteria and mildew growth. Cleaning your air mattress will eliminate odours and keep your sleeping environment fresh.
  • Reduce Allergens – Dust mites are a common allergen, and they thrive in dirty environments. By cleaning your air mattress, you can reduce the number of allergens in your environment. This can help improve your overall sleep quality.
  • Improved Health – An unclean air mattress can lead to several health problems. These include respiratory issues, skin problems, and even eye irritation. Avoid these health problems and improve your overall well-being by cleaning your mattress.

Now that you know the benefits of cleaning your air mattress let’s look at how to do it.

How to Clean Your Air Mattress - Step by Step

Follow these steps, and your air mattress will be clean and fresh in no time!

Step 1: Prepare your air mattress.

Before cleaning your air mattress, you will need to prepare it.

At this point, you should remove and wash any sheets, bedding, and blankets. You may also need to unplug the air mattress from power and seal any air valves.

Step 2: Inflate the air mattress.

After your air mattress is prepared, we recommend inflating it for the best results.

Take care to avoid any sharp folds or creases. If you have a built-in pump, inflate the mattress to its maximum capacity. If you are using a manual pump, inflate it until it is firm to the touch. The surface should be smooth, even, and free of wrinkles so you can ensure a deep clean.

Step 3: Vacuum the air mattress.

The next step is to remove all loose dirt from the surface of the air mattress.

Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt, dust, and debris. The hose attachment will work best for this task. Start from the top and work your way down the sides and bottom. Make sure to get into each nook and cranny.

Step 4: Wipe down the air mattress.

Next, you will need to wipe down the air mattress.

Use a damp cloth to gently wipe the entire surface of the air mattress, including the seams and corners. Start at the top and work your way down. Pay particular attention to any areas that appear dirty or stained. Careful not to over-saturate the fabric.

There are several solutions you can use to clean your air mattress, including:

  • A mixture of warm water and dish soap
  • A mixture of vinegar and water
  • A commercial mattress cleaner

Step 5: Spot clean the air mattress.

After wiping the air mattress, it’s time to apply a spot treatment (as necessary).

Inspect your air mattress, looking for any stained or dirty areas. If you find any, apply a spot treatment to the affected area. Finish by wiping the area down with a damp cloth. We’ve included several tips below to remove stains, odours, mould, and more!

Step 6: Dry the air mattress 

Once you have finished cleaning your air mattress, it’s important to dry it thoroughly.

The best way to dry your air mattress is to place it in the sun. If you can’t dry your air mattress outside, it’s alright. Simply place the inflated air mattress near a fan or dehumidifier for several hours.

Step 7: Store the air mattress

When you’re finished cleaning or are not using your air mattress, it’s important to store it properly. Improper storage of air mattresses may result in air leaks, broken seams, or other types of damage. Here’s how to store your air mattress properly:

  • Deflate. Once your air mattress is dry, deflate it until it is entirely flat.
  • Fold. There are three different ways to fold your air mattress for storage:
    • Fold – Fold the air mattress in half lengthwise and flatten. Then fold into neat squares.
    • Roll – Roll the air mattress up like a sleeping bag. You can secure it with straps.
    • Fold and Roll – This is a combination of the two methods above. First, fold the air mattress in half lengthwise and then roll it up from one end to the other.
  • Store. Place the folded air mattress in a dry, cool place. Avoid storing in direct sunlight, near heat sources, or in moist areas.

How To Remove Stains From Your Air Mattress

Stains can make your mattress look dirty and uninviting. Here’s how to remove them:

Sweat Stains: Spray the yellowed area on your mattress with 3% hydrogen peroxide. You should spray until the mattress is damp, but not soaking. Allow the area to air-dry. 

The stain should fade away as the peroxide dries, but feel free to repeat as needed. 

Blood Stains: Combine 2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide,  1 tablespoon liquid dish soap, and 1 tablespoon salt. Spread this mixture on the bloodstain and wait 10 minutes. Scrape the crust away and then wipe any residue with a clean cloth. Let the area dry. 

You can spray any leftover discolouration with hydrogen peroxide. The stain will fade as the peroxide dries. 

Urine Stains: In a bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of baking soda, 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, and some liquid dish soap. Use a cloth to dab the mixture onto the stain. Rinse and repeat until the stain has lifted. Let it air dry before continuing. 

How To Remove Odours From Your Air Mattress

If your mattress has an unpleasant odour, don’t worry – it can be remedied! Here are two natural ways to get rid of any unwanted smells:

Water and Vinegar:

  1. Mix equal portions of water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  2. Lightly spray the solution over your mattress.
  3. Let it air dry completely.

You might want to add a few drops of essential oils to your spray. Check out our favourite scents for a better night’s sleep.

Baking Soda: 

  1. Sprinkle baking soda over your mattress using a flour sifter.
  2. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes – the longer, the better.
  3. Vacuum the baking soda.

How To Remove Mould and Mildew From Your Air Mattress

Mould and mildew can be a huge problem when it comes to air mattresses. These pesky little spores can make your sleep area uncomfortable and even dangerous.

  1. Mix equal parts alcohol (isopropyl) and warm water.
  2. Dip a cloth in the solution and scrub the mouldy area.
  3. Rinse the area using warm water.
  4. Spray the mattress with a fabric disinfectant.

You might consider purchasing a mattress protector if you constantly deal with pesky moulds. These covers can be washed regularly, and reduce allergens like mould and bacteria.

How to Remove Lint From Your Air Mattress

Lint can quickly accumulate on your air mattress over time. This can affect both its appearance and performance. Here are two easy ways to remove lint from your air mattress:

  • Vacuum Cleaner – Use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to remove the lint. Be sure to suction up all the lint and debris from the mattress.
  • Lint Remover – Try using a lint remover if you’re having trouble removing lint by hand. Gently run the tool over the surface of the mattress to remove any lint or fuzz.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Washing An Air Mattress

Here are a few common mistakes people make when washing their air mattresses.

  • Machine Washing: The intense spinning and agitation of a washing machine can damage the fabric and affect the performance of the air mattress.
  • Pressure Washing: The use of high-pressure jets can cause the fabric to be damaged and the seams to be torn.
  • Machine Drying: The high heat of a drying machine can damage the fabric and affect the performance of the air mattress.
  • Harsh Scrubbing: Excessive brushing or vigorous rubbing might result in the fabric of the air mattress being torn.

Wrapping up

Now that you know how to clean an air mattress, you can rest easy knowing that your air mattress is clean and fresh. No more worries about sleeping on a dirty air mattress – just enjoy a good night’s sleep.

And if your air mattress is beyond cleanable, don’t forget that you can always buy a new one. After all, air mattresses are an affordable and comfortable option for temporary beds. Here are our top picks for air mattresses in Australia, so be sure to check them out.

James Lee

James Lee

James is the content director at WhatASleep, a certified sleep science coach from Spencer Institute and our in-house sleep product expert. Over three years, he's personally tested hundreds of mattresses. He likes to keep his reviews simple, objective, and straightforward so that the readers don't have to go through decision fatigue which is often the case while shopping for sleep products.

He hails from Sydney and has a journalism degree from the University of Queensland and an MBA from Melbourne Business School.


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