Accidents that happen to involve liquid occur all the time. However, in some cases this liquid or spillage can be a lot more damaging and hard to deal with than just wiping the floor.
If you’ve spilled water, or any other liquid on to or into your mattress, or someone’s had their own accident on your mattress, then there’s a few things you can do to deal with this as fast and as pain free as possible.
Right off the top, you don’t want to sit and wait for the mattress to dry on its own. It’s good to get your covers off right away and get to drying ASAP! You don’t want the liquid to sit and let the mattress become ripe for mould and bacteria to build up on the inside.
That said, we suggest you act quickly and with intent and get to reading our article below, where we’ll go over how to dry a wet mattress as fast as possible. With a bit of luck, if you follow our tips and tricks below, you won’t be stuck with a mouldy, odorous mattress.
It’s common for most of us to just throw out our wet mattresses, though we’re happy to say that you don’t need to do this! Your mattress was an investment, and should last up to a decade, so don’t give the rubbish collectors a call just yet.
Here’s how to dry a wet mattress — fast.
A Simple, Yet Vital Seven Step Guide
To kick things off, regardless of the mattress material you’re dealing with, the steps to get the material dry are relatively similar.
Whether you need to dry a latex mattress, a memory foam model or an innerspring mattress, you’ll have to follow the seven steps we’ve listed below. It isn’t too hard, and you’ll certainly thank us when you don’t need to replace your costly mattress.
One — Assess the Mattress Damage
The first thing you’ll need to do is assess the mattress.
Take a look at how wet the mattress is, what it’s been wet by (a window, urine, a spill, etc) and work out how much damage there is to the bed. We suggest that you do all of this within the first few hours of you noticing that the mattress is wet.
Faster is always better.
If you have come to realise the entire mattress is soaked all the way through, or if your home’s window has been left open and rain has been pouring in on the mattress all day or evening, then this is where we must say — your mattress must be thrown away.
This type of long-term or severe damage isn’t typically salvageable and it’s better off for you to simply invest in a new mattress. You’ll be risking the chance of mould build up on the interior of the mattress even if the exterior does dry, and this becomes a health hazard for both yourself and your family who may sleep on the bed.
In all, a small spill, urine accident or some minor liquid damage is fine. However, a whole-bed soaking is something you can’t come back from.
Two — Soak Up the Liquid
If you’ve assessed the mattress and found that the liquid damage isn’t all too severe, then it’s time to get to soaking things up!
Again, you need to be as quick as possible here to prevent the liquid from hitting the core of the mattress. Our biggest tip to start things off is getting a crisp, dry towel and pressing it into the wet area. Paper towels work well too.
Continue pressing down on the area for as long as possible or until your towel is soaked and then get another one.
Another tip here is to use as much force a possible when pressing down on the mattress. You’ll want to be sure you’re getting as deep into the bed as possible and drawing out as much of the liquid as you can. Your mattress’s inner layers will thank you for this.
If you’ve noticed you’re dealing with a relatively severe spill, do our steps above first, then make your way to a vacuum store and grab a waterproof vacuum or rent one for sucking out the liquid from deeper in the mattress.
We know that sometimes you’re not able to get enough force to press down deep into the mattress and so we suggest adding some weight to the bed and then forcing your towel into it. Boxes of soda, free weights and milk bottles work well here this — or you could have someone stand on the mattress too.
To sum up, soak up the spill with a towel and put as much force into the mattress as possible to really squeeze out the moisture.
Three — Ensure Bacteria are Neutralised
For water damage, this step isn’t required.
However, if your spill was caused by either a drink, urine or any other bacteria-carrying liquid then you’ll have to make sure you work on sanitising the mattress’s interior to prevent bacteria and mould build up.
Our top tip is to get your hands on a urine remover with an Industrial Strength label, which ensures you’re able to penetrate the outer layers of the mattress and really get the bacteria on the internals to perish.
You can also make do with vinegar if you’re not able to get your hands on these cleaning agents.
Keep in mind you shouldn’t simply pour the cleaning agent over the top of the mattress, but rather spray the liquid-soaked area of the mattress and allow it to sit and absorb for around ten to fifteen minutes.
You’ll need to make your own judgments on whether this has done the trick, or wipe the spray off and repeat this step a few times. When it comes to bacteria and mould it’s time to be as pedantic and professional as possible.
In all, spray the affected area with a bacteria killer and let this sit for a few minutes to ensure you’re killing anything that may harm you or a loved one as you sleep.
Four — Add an Absorbent Substance
Although you will have soaked up the majority of the moisture with a towel, it’s time to hand off the next step to an absorbing agent.
This is where you’ll be able to ensure you’re soaking up the remainder of the liquid and getting your mattress back to the driest state possible. It’s always good to use something relatively people-friendly here, so keeping things natural is best.
At Sleepify, we suggest using anything from baking soda, salt, kitty litter or anything similar to these products to soak up the moisture.
If the spill or liquid was rather severe, we stand by kitty litter as the best option. It’s one of the more absorbent materials out there, so leaving this on the bed for a while will be your best bet at drawing the water or liquid up through the interior of the mattress and out the top.
To get the best result, we suggest applying the kitty litter or baking soda to the liquid-affected area and using either a dry paper towel or a toothbrush to rub this well into the mattress. By doing this, you’re subtly forcing the soda or litter into the mattress and not just leaving it on the surface.
Once that step is done, we highly suggest you leave this substance on the mattress for at least 12 hours or longer. Do not make the bed and don’t use the mattress either, simply let the baking soda or kitty litter do its job at drawing out the moisture.
You’ll know this step worked when you see the litter or the soda become moist and clumpy.
Five — Suck Up the Leftover Liquid
Our first four steps will have greatly reduced the amount of liquid in the mattress down to almost nothing, and now it’s time to deal with whatever is left.
For this step you’ll need access to a vacuum capable of liquid suction and you’re on the right track.
Switch to a vacuum attachment that works best for your spill, which is generally a pinched tip attachment and run the vacuum over the top of the mattress and allow it to draw out the remainder of the liquid.
You may need to sit and press down into the bed quite hard with the vacuum’s attachment, though this is going to give you the driest result.
If you do find that a lot of water or moisture is still coming out of the internal areas of the mattress, we suggest you run through our earlier steps again and then move back to vacuuming out the liquid.
Keep in mind that if the interior of the bed isn’t dry when you add the bacteria-killing agents, you’re leaving room for the mites and mould to move into the bed.
Six — Anti-mould Mixture
As we’re sure you’ll agree, mould is going to be a big worry after you’ve gotten control of the moisture in the mattress.
To help you get control of this mildew or mould and to ensure none of these issues ever become an issue for you, we suggest that you create an anti-mould mixture that you can use to wipe the surface of the mattress with.
The easiest way to make this mixture is with equal parts water and hand sanitiser or rubbing alcohol. This will work as an anti-bacterial mixture that kills off any mould particles in the affected area on the mattress.
Once you have the mixture ready, add it to an ultra-absorbent towel or paper towel and wipe the mattress’s liquid-damaged area. The alcohol in this mixture should take care of the water drying, so you’re not adding any more moisture to the bed.
If you would like, you can also add fragrant soaps or cleaners to this mixture to help with the smell that might come from the mattress or the anti-mould mixture. This won’t damage the mattress further, though it also won’t add any extra power to the mixture you’ve made, it’s simply a good way to add a nice smell.
In all, create your anti-bacterial mixture and apply it to your mattress with an absorbent towel or fabric and wipe down the affect spots.
Seven — Get the Air Moving
To end our steps to dry a wet mattress, you’ll want to get the bed out of the room and out into a dry, windy and ideally sunny space.
If you can’t do this, turning on fans and a dehumidifier will generally do the trick, though sitting the mattress out in the sun for drying is the best option and the one Sleepify stands by the most. Sun exposure also kills bacteria, so it’s a win-win.
One big tip we have here is to stand the bed up against something with plenty of space in front and behind it for air circulation. You don’t want the mattress sitting flat on the ground, so keep this in mind when moving it outside for drying — you want as much of the mattress exposed to ventilation as possible.
For this final stage, you’ll want to keep the bed out in the sun drying for at least 24 hours and to keep a close eye on the weather. Don’t let the bed get rained on.
Once you’re absolutely certain the bed is dry, you can then move it inside. Don’t jump the gun here either, because if you move a wet bed inside, you’ll prompt mould and bacteria growth and reverse all of your hard work.
With all of the above steps out of the way, you can then take a look at your mattress to determine whether it’s a keeper or worth throwing away.
A lot of the time though, you’ll find the mattress is nice and dry and able to be used again without issue. If there’s a smell though, or the mattress simply didn’t dry all the way to the core, it’s best to just take it to the tip and invest in a new model.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether the mattress is a keeper and you can use deodoriser sprays to help you combat the issue for a week or two while you order a new mattress, though a bad smell typically means bacteria has made its way into the bed.
In all, Sleepify’s seven steps to drying a wet mattress fast should give you the framework to dry your bed to the best of your ability, which should hopefully save you from investing in an all-new mattress.