Whether you bring out an air mattress for your guests to sleep on or you take your air mattress camping, you need to be wary of punctures. A hole in your air mattress will only get worse over time, and the larger it gets, the more difficult it will be to repair. When you are dealing with an air mattress with a hole in it, you need to take action immediately.
Locating the Hole
On a large air mattress this can take some time. Do not simply inflate the mattress and lie down on it until you can hear air hissing out. This will only enlarge the hole and risk more damage to the air mattress itself. Instead, prepare a solution of water and dish soap and place it in a spray bottle. Fill the air mattress up and mist strategic areas of the plastic. As you gently press down on the mattress, a hole will make its presence known by creating small bubbles in the liquid. This is the most gentle and reliable way to locate the hole.
Ideally, your air mattress will come with a repair kit that is exclusive to the vendor. These kits usually consist of vinyl patches and some kind of adhesive. If your mattress is from a high-quality manufacturer, it might be best to use the materials that they give you for the most effective repair. If your air mattress did not come with a repair kit, you can contact the manufacturer for a kit that works well with their air mattress.
Vinyl Repair Kits
When you cannot contact the vendor or the vendor is no longer in business, you can go to a general home improvement store and look for general vinyl repair kits. These kits can be found in any major home improvement store like Lowe's or Home Depot, and they are usually located in areas that pertain to pool maintenance. They will require that you cut your own patch before sealing it to the hole.
If you do not have the time to look for a repair kit, or even if you are camping and cannot get back to town, there are a few quick fixes that you can use. Applying glue from a glue gun can help you seal up the hole, and in an emergency you can use duct tape to seal the hole. Either of these options will help you mitigate the damage until a more permanent solution can be reached.