Uh-oh, you've got a wet mattress on your hands — what to do now? If your mattress got soaked from the rain, it's crucial to dry it as quickly as possible. A wet mattress is a breeding ground for mold and mildew, both of which can lead to an unhealthy living environment if they're not eradicated. To prevent icky bacteria from building up, use the following techniques to thoroughly dry out your mattress.
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Absorb the Moisture
First things first: You'll want to absorb as much water as possible from the mattress. Clean, dry towels and/or paper towels should do the trick. Press the towels firmly into the mattress, soaking up as much moisture as you can. Repeat as needed.
Next, remove any remaining moisture by using a wet-dry vacuum. You can also sprinkle baking soda onto the mattress before vacuuming (just allow it to sit for a few hours if you decide to go this route). Not only does baking soda absorb moisture, but it also has excellent anti-mold properties and helps to break down odors. Cat litter also works well here, especially if your mattress is fairly soaked.
Remove and Prevent Stains
If you see stains on your mattress, it's best to remove them while the mattress is still slightly damp. Use a stain remover and dry cloth to blot out the stain, making sure not to rub it (this will only make the stain worse). If the stain is fresh, this should take care of it. If not, you can try using mild dish detergent (for dirt or grass stains) or an enzyme-based cleaner (for biological stains).
Then, to prevent mold growth, you should disinfect your mattress with a rubbing alcohol-water solution. Mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of rubbing alcohol together. Dip a clean cloth into this solution and use it to wipe the surface of your mattress. Mold can be removed from a foam mattress as long as it's just surface mold and not growing in deeper parts of the mattress.
Dry the Mattress
Wondering how to dry your wet mattress completely? If it's nice and sunny outside, place the mattress in a dry, safe spot that's in full view of the sun. You can also use a fan to help speed the process along. And, as an important final note: If your mattress has been wet for more than 24 hours, it may be impossible to salvage it. In this case, you're usually better off buying a brand-new mattress.