How to fix a wet mattress

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to fix a wet mattress
Fix a wet mattress to prevent mould and bacteria from developing. (elegant bedroom image by Ritu Jethani from

When a mattress gets wet, assess the damage carefully to determine if you can salvage the mattress. If the source of moisture is flooding or rainwater, it may be difficult to save the mattress due to the development of mould that could ensue. If the source of moisture is urine in a smaller amount, you may be able to fix a wet mattress by cleaning, deodorising it and then drying it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tarp
  • Outdoor extension cords
  • 1 or 2 fans
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Small bowl
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Dishwashing soap
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner (with attachments)

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  1. 1

    Spread a tarp outside in direct sunlight.

  2. 2

    Place the mattress onto the tarp. If possible, lean the mattress on a large object to position it at a 45-degree angle. This will enable air to circulate to both the top and the bottom of the mattress.

  3. 3

    Set up the fans to blow air directly onto the mattress while the mattress dries in the sun.

  4. 4

    Mix one part isopropyl alcohol and one part water in the small bowl and saturate the cleaning cloth in this solution. Wipe the entire surface of the mattress (front, back and sides) down completely with the diluted isopropyl alcohol.

  5. 5

    Turn the fans on again and direct the airflow over the mattress to dry it completely in the sunlight.

  1. 1

    Blot up as much of the moisture as possible from the mattress with a dry cloth. Press firmly against the surface of the mattress with the cloth to absorb the moisture, working until no moisture transfers from the mattress to the cloth when you press.

  2. 2

    Fill the small bowl with warm water and add two squirts of dishwashing soap to the water. Saturate a cleaning cloth with the soapy water and wipe the stained area completely with the cloth. Rinse the cloth in plain water and remove the excess soap residues from the mattress.

  3. 3

    Saturate another cloth with white vinegar and blot this cloth over the stain area to dampen it well with the vinegar.

  4. 4

    Sprinkle the urine area with a 1/4-inch layer of baking soda and leave the baking soda sitting on the stain for at least eight hours to neutralise bacteria and odours.

  5. 5

    Vacuum up the excess baking soda after the time elapses. The mattress should feel dry and be free of odours.

Tips and warnings

  • According to the Restoration SOS website, mattresses saturated with flooding or rainwater for more than 24 hours may not be salvageable due to the moisture penetrating deep into the mattress. If you cannot remove this moisture, mould will develop, creating an unhealthy sleeping environment.

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