how do you clean and sanitize an air mattress
how do you clean and sanitize an air mattress

Ah, the joys of a good night’s sleep on an air mattress – until it hits you, the inevitable question: how do you actually clean and sanitize this inflatable sleep buddy? Fear not, dear reader, for we bring you the answer to this pressing conundrum. In this article, we will unveil the secrets to effectively cleansing and sanitizing an air mattress, ensuring that your nights are restful and free from any unwanted germs. So buckle up and get ready for the ultimate guide to keeping your air mattress fresh, pristine, and oh-so-comfortable.


Gather cleaning supplies

Before starting the cleaning process, gather all the necessary cleaning supplies. You will need a vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment, mild soap, water, enzyme-based cleaner, soft brush, disinfectant spray, baking soda, vinegar, mattress protector, and a clean cloth or sponge. Having all these supplies ready will make the cleaning process more efficient.

Deflate the air mattress

Before you begin cleaning, make sure to deflate the air mattress completely. This will make it easier to handle and clean. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on deflating the mattress, as different models may have different deflating mechanisms.

Remove bedding and accessories

Next, remove all bedding and accessories from the air mattress. This includes sheets, blankets, pillows, and any other items that may be on or around the mattress. By removing these items, you will have easier access to clean the mattress thoroughly.

Surface Cleaning

Vacuum the mattress

Once the mattress is fully deflated and free of bedding, start the cleaning process by vacuuming the mattress. Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust, dirt, and debris from the surface of the mattress. Pay special attention to the seams and crevices where dirt can accumulate.

Spot clean stains

If you notice any stains on the mattress, it’s important to spot clean them before proceeding with the general cleaning. Mix a mild soap and water solution and dip a clean cloth or sponge into it. Gently dab the stained area, taking care not to saturate the mattress. Blot the stain carefully until it lifts, and then pat the area dry with a clean cloth.

Use mild soap and water solution

After spot cleaning any stains, you can proceed to clean the entire mattress using a mild soap and water solution. Mix a small amount of mild soap with warm water in a bucket or container. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution and wring out any excess liquid. Gently scrub the entire surface of the mattress, paying attention to any areas that may be particularly soiled. Once you have covered the entire surface, rinse the cloth or sponge and go over the mattress again, this time with clean water to remove any soap residue. Pat the mattress dry with a clean cloth and allow it to fully air dry.

Deep Cleaning

Inflate the mattress partially

After the surface cleaning is complete and the mattress is dry, partially inflate the mattress to a comfortable level. This will make it easier to handle during the deep cleaning process.

Apply enzyme-based cleaner

Once the mattress is partially inflated, apply an enzyme-based cleaner to the surface. Enzyme-based cleaners are specifically designed to break down organic stains and odors. Following the instructions on the cleaner bottle, spray or pour the cleaner onto the mattress, ensuring that it is evenly distributed.

Scrub with a soft brush

After applying the enzyme-based cleaner, use a soft brush to scrub the mattress gently. Work in circular motions, paying attention to any areas that may be heavily soiled or have stubborn stains. The soft bristles of the brush will help to dislodge dirt and grime from the mattress without causing any damage.

Rinse thoroughly

Once you have scrubbed the mattress, thoroughly rinse off the enzyme-based cleaner. Use a clean cloth or sponge dampened with clean water to wipe away any remaining residue. Make sure to remove all traces of the cleaner to prevent any potential skin irritation or allergic reactions when sleeping on the mattress.


Use disinfectant spray

After the deep cleaning process is complete, it is essential to sanitize the mattress. Use a disinfectant spray that is safe for use on fabric surfaces. Spray the disinfectant evenly over the entire surface of the mattress, focusing on any areas that may be more prone to bacteria or germs.

Allow time for drying

Once the disinfectant spray has been applied, allow the mattress to dry completely. Proper drying is crucial to avoid any moisture retention, which can lead to the growth of mold or mildew. Place the mattress in a well-ventilated area or use fans to speed up the drying process. Ensure that the mattress is completely dry before using it again.

Removing Odors

Sprinkle baking soda

To remove any lingering odors from the mattress, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the entire surface. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can help absorb and neutralize odors.

Let it sit

After sprinkling the baking soda, allow it to sit on the mattress for a few hours or overnight. This will give the baking soda enough time to absorb the odors effectively.

Vacuum excess baking soda

Once the baking soda has had enough time to work its magic, use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to thoroughly remove the excess baking soda from the mattress. Vacuum in a slow and deliberate motion to ensure all the baking soda is properly removed.

Dealing with Mold and Mildew

Inspect the mattress

Regularly inspect your air mattress for any signs of mold or mildew. These can develop if the mattress has been stored in a damp or humid environment. If you spot any visible mold or mildew, it’s important to address the issue promptly to prevent it from spreading and causing potential health issues.

Spot treat visible mold/mildew

If you notice small patches of mold or mildew on the mattress, spot treat them using a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Gently dab the affected areas with a cloth soaked in the vinegar solution, taking care not to spread the mold or mildew further. Leave the vinegar solution on the mattress for a few minutes before gently scrubbing the area with a soft brush. Rinse the area with clean water and pat it dry.

Use vinegar solution for stains

Vinegar is also an effective natural stain remover. If you have any stains on your air mattress, you can use a vinegar solution to treat them. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray the solution directly onto the stained area. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes, and then blot the area with a clean cloth or sponge. Repeat the process if necessary until the stain lifts.

Ensure complete dryness

After treating any mold, mildew, or stains, ensure that the mattress is completely dry before using or storing it. Mold and mildew thrive in moist environments, so it is crucial to eliminate any residual moisture. Allow sufficient time for the mattress to air dry, both on the surface and within the internal air chambers.

Protection and Maintenance

Use mattress protector

To keep your air mattress in optimal condition, it is advisable to use a mattress protector. A mattress protector acts as a barrier against spills, stains, and allergens, extending the lifespan of the mattress. Choose a waterproof, breathable protector that fits your air mattress snugly.

Regularly clean bedding

In addition to cleaning the air mattress itself, it is important to regularly clean the bedding used with it. Wash the sheets, blankets, and pillowcases on a regular basis using the recommended laundering instructions. This will help maintain a clean and hygienic sleeping environment.

Keep mattress dry and well-ventilated

Properly maintaining your air mattress involves keeping it dry and well-ventilated. Avoid storing or using the mattress in areas that are prone to moisture, humidity, or excessive heat. If the mattress gets wet, dry it as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Storing the Air Mattress

Clean and dry thoroughly

Before storing your air mattress, make sure it is clean and dry. Follow the cleaning instructions mentioned earlier to ensure all dirt, stains, and odors are properly addressed. Thoroughly dry the mattress to prevent any moisture from being trapped during storage.

Deflate completely

It is essential to deflate the air mattress completely before storing it. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper deflating process. Remove all the air from the mattress, ensuring it is flat and compact.

Fold and roll tightly

To save space during storage, fold the deflated mattress in half and then roll it tightly from one end to the other. This compact folding method will help minimize the storage footprint and ensure easy handling.

Store in a cool, dry place

Finally, store the air mattress in a cool, dry place where it will be protected from moisture, dust, and potential damage. Consider using the manufacturer’s storage bag or a similar airtight container to keep the mattress clean and protected until its next use.

Safety Tips

Avoid using harsh chemicals

When cleaning your air mattress, it is important to avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the fabric or pose a health risk. Stick to mild soap, water, vinegar, and natural cleaning solutions to ensure the safety and longevity of your mattress.

Follow manufacturer’s instructions

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance of your specific air mattress model. Different models may have unique instructions or specifications that are essential to follow for proper care.

Test cleaning solutions on a small area

Before applying any cleaning solution to the entire mattress, it is recommended to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first. This will help ensure that the solution does not cause any adverse reactions, discoloration, or damage to the mattress.


Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in your air mattress is crucial for a good night’s sleep and its overall longevity. By following the step-by-step cleaning and sanitization process outlined above, you can ensure that your air mattress remains fresh, odor-free, and in top condition for years to come. Regular cleaning, spot treatment of stains, and effective sanitization will help extend the lifespan of your air mattress, providing you with many comfortable nights of restful sleep. So, let’s keep our air mattresses clean and hygienic, and enjoy a fresh sleeping experience every time.