How to Remove Mold From a Memory Foam Mattress

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Memory foam is made from polyurethane and is designed to conform to your shape to relieve pressure points, which will help provide a good night's sleep. However, mold can develop on its surface, presenting health hazards, including breathing problems, joint aches and possibly asthma. If you discover mold on your mattress, it's important to address the issue immediately. Unlike fabric-topped mattresses, special cleaning is required for memory foam; its density means that it soaks up liquid cleaners like a sponge.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Plastic tarp
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Hair dryer

Step 1: Treat Linens

Strip the bed of its linens and blankets, and launder them to destroy mold spores that might be harbored in them. Treat your pillows as well, and, if they are more than two years old, replace them. If you wake up in the morning feeling congested, your pillows might be the culprit.

Step 2: Vacuum

Vacuum the mattress thoroughly to remove any loose debris. Empty the vacuum's contents outdoors into a garbage bag to avoid spreading mold spores in your home. Change the air filter outdoors because mold spores may be trapped inside it.

Step 3: Sunshine

Place your mattress outdoors on a canvas on a plastic tarp on a sunny day. Mold won't grow in a sunny, well-ventilated space, and airing it outside will help destroy existing spores. Sunshine is the most natural way to combat mold.

Step 4: Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda over the mold stain on your mattress, which helps freshen the foam and neutralize odors caused by moisture. Vacuum the mattress again to remove the baking soda.

Step 5: Surface Clean

Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spritz the mold without saturating the foam. Blot the area with a clean, white towel. Press down hard while blotting to extract as much moisture as possible. Repeat if necessary.

Step 6: Dry Your Mattress

Set a hair dryer on "high" and hold it several inches above the mattress, continually moving it across the entire wet foam until it feels dry. This will help decrease the drying time of the foam. Set the mattress in the sun to kill any remaining mold spores. Your mattress must be completely dry before reassembling your bed, or the remaining moisture will support regrowth of mold spores.

Tip

  • If vinegar doesn't work, substitute color-safe bleach. Other effective substitutes include oxygen-based enzyme, or a mild dish detergent diluted in a gallon of water. Follow the same steps to clean the foam.

    To prevent further problems with mold, run a dehumidifier to remove moisture from your living space. Flip your mattress regularly.

    Latex mattresses are a natural material made from rubber and do not support mildew or mold growth.

Warning

  • If mold involves more than the surface of the mattress, it should be discarded and replaced. Never place damp towels or clothing on your foam mattress or go to bed with damp hair -- all promote the growth of mold.

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