how do you disinfect an air mattress
how do you disinfect an air mattress

Have you ever wondered how to effectively disinfect an air mattress? Whether it’s due to a spill, an unexpected accident, or simply the need for a thorough cleaning, knowing the proper method is essential to ensure hygiene and extend the lifespan of your mattress. In this article, we will explore different techniques and products that can be used to disinfect an air mattress, leaving it fresh, clean, and ready for a good night’s sleep.


Before we begin the process of disinfecting an air mattress, there are a few essential steps we need to take for a successful cleaning experience.

Gather necessary materials

To properly clean and disinfect your air mattress, we will need a few materials. These include a vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment, mild detergent, clean water, a disinfectant of your choice, a soft cloth or sponge, baking soda or vinegar, and a storage cover for the mattress.

Ensure proper ventilation

While cleaning and disinfecting the air mattress, it is crucial to work in a well-ventilated area. Good airflow will help in the drying process and prevent the buildup of any unwanted odors. Open windows or turn on a fan to ensure sufficient ventilation during the cleaning process.

Cleaning the Mattress

Now that we have gathered all the necessary materials and created a suitable environment, let’s move on to the first step in the cleaning process.

Remove bedding and accessories

Start by removing all bedding, pillows, and accessories from the air mattress. This will allow easier access to the entire surface and ensure a thorough cleaning.

Vacuum the mattress

Using a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment, thoroughly vacuum the entire surface of the air mattress. This will help remove any loose dirt, debris, and allergens that may have settled on the surface.

Spot clean stains

If there are any visible stains on the air mattress, it is essential to address them before moving on to the overall cleaning. Dampen a soft cloth or sponge with clean water and gently blot the stained area. Avoid rubbing, as this may push the stain deeper into the mattress.

Use a mild detergent solution

Prepare a mild detergent solution by mixing a small amount of mild detergent with clean water. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution, wring out any excess liquid, and gently clean the entire surface of the mattress. Pay special attention to any areas that appear soiled or stained.

Rinse with clean water

After cleaning the air mattress with the mild detergent solution, rinse it thoroughly with clean water. This will help remove any residual detergent and ensure a fresh and clean surface. You can use a clean cloth or sponge dampened with water to rinse off the mattress.

Disinfecting the Mattress

Now that we have successfully cleaned the air mattress, it’s time to move on to the crucial step of disinfection.

Choose a disinfectant

Select a suitable disinfectant that is safe for use on air mattresses. Read the label carefully to ensure it is effective against a wide range of pathogens and viruses. Opt for a disinfectant that is gentle on the mattress material and does not leave any harmful residue.

Read and follow the instructions

Before using the selected disinfectant, carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Pay attention to the recommended contact time, dilution ratios, and any specific precautions that need to be taken during the disinfection process.

Spray or wipe the surface

Apply the disinfectant to the surface of the air mattress either by spraying it directly or using a clean cloth or sponge. Make sure to cover the entire surface evenly, paying extra attention to high-touch areas such as seams and corners.

Allow sufficient contact time

To ensure the disinfectant effectively kills any lingering bacteria or viruses, allow it to sit on the mattress for the recommended contact time. This will vary depending on the disinfectant used, so refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Rinse and dry the mattress

After the appropriate contact time has passed, rinse the air mattress thoroughly with clean water to remove any residue from the disinfectant. Once rinsed, allow the mattress to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area. This may take several hours or overnight, depending on the humidity levels in your environment.

Dealing with Mold and Mildew

If you notice any signs of mold or mildew growth on your air mattress, it is essential to address the issue promptly and take the necessary steps to eliminate it.

Identify and isolate affected areas

Carefully inspect the air mattress for any visible signs of mold or mildew. If you spot any, it is crucial to isolate the affected areas to prevent further spreading of the spores. Cover the surrounding areas with plastic or protective sheets to contain the mold or mildew growth.

Remove visible mold/mildew growth

Using a soft brush or cloth, gently scrub the visible mold or mildew growth on the air mattress. Be careful not to spread the spores further during this process. Dispose of any materials used for cleaning the growth to prevent recontamination.

Apply a mold/mildew remover

Choose a mold or mildew remover that is safe for use on the specific material of your air mattress. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and apply the remover to the affected areas. Allow it to sit for the recommended time to ensure effective elimination of the mold or mildew.

Clean and disinfect the entire mattress

After removing the visible mold or mildew growth, it is crucial to clean and disinfect the entire air mattress to eliminate any remaining spores. Follow the cleaning and disinfection steps mentioned earlier to ensure a thorough and hygienic result.

Preventing Future Contamination

Taking proactive measures to prevent future contamination of your air mattress will help maintain its cleanliness and extend its lifespan.

Protect the mattress with a cover

Invest in a high-quality mattress cover specifically designed for air mattresses. A cover acts as a protective barrier, shielding the mattress from dust, dirt, spills, and stains. Ensure the cover is snugly fitted to prevent any pests or allergens from entering.

Regularly clean and rotate the mattress

Create a routine of regularly cleaning your air mattress to keep it fresh and free from dust and allergens. Vacuum the surface and spot clean any stains as needed. Additionally, rotate the mattress periodically to distribute the wear and tear evenly.

Avoid spills and stains

Prevention is always better than cure, so take precautions to avoid spills and stains on your air mattress. Keep drinks and food away from the mattress, and consider using a waterproof cover or barrier for added protection.

Keep the mattress properly inflated

Maintaining the proper inflation level of your air mattress is essential to prevent sagging and potential damage. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for inflation and ensure the mattress is not overinflated or underinflated, as this can impact its structural integrity.

Getting Rid of Odors

Unpleasant odors can sometimes accumulate on an air mattress, but worry not – there are simple solutions to eliminate them.

Identify the source of the odor

Before treating the odor, identify the source. It could be caused by spilled liquids, body sweat, or even mildew growth. Understanding the source will help you choose the most appropriate method to eliminate the odor.

Apply baking soda or vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are natural deodorizers that can effectively neutralize odors on an air mattress. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the entire surface of the mattress or create a vinegar solution by mixing equal parts vinegar and water. Apply either the baking soda or vinegar solution to the mattress, allowing it to sit for a few hours to absorb and neutralize the odor.

Sun and air dry the mattress

Once the baking soda or vinegar has done its work, take the air mattress outside on a sunny day. Sunlight has natural antibacterial properties and can help further eliminate odors. Allow the mattress to air dry in the fresh air, flipping it over occasionally to ensure both sides receive proper exposure to sunlight.

Storing the Mattress

If you need to store your air mattress for an extended period, it is crucial to follow proper storage procedures to keep it clean and in good condition.

Deflate the mattress

Before storing the air mattress, completely deflate it to avoid unnecessary strain on the seams and valves. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for deflating the mattress properly.

Clean and dry thoroughly

Clean the air mattress as previously mentioned to ensure it is free from dirt, stains, and odors. Allow it to dry thoroughly before proceeding with the storage process. Moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, so it is crucial to ensure the mattress is completely dry.

Fold or roll the mattress carefully

Depending on the size and type of your air mattress, carefully fold or roll it up. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended folding or rolling method to avoid damaging the mattress.

Store in a clean, dry, and cool area

Choose a clean, dry, and cool area for storing your air mattress. Avoid places with high humidity, direct sunlight, or extreme temperatures, as these conditions can impact the integrity of the mattress. Use a storage bag or cover to protect the mattress from dust and potential damage while in storage.

Tips and Precautions

Here are some additional tips and precautions to consider when cleaning and disinfecting your air mattress:

Check manufacturer’s instructions

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations regarding cleaning, disinfection, and storage. These instructions may vary depending on the type and brand of your air mattress.

Test disinfectants on small inconspicuous areas

Before applying any disinfectant to the entire mattress, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it does not cause discoloration, damage, or adverse reactions to the material of the mattress.

Avoid excessive moisture

While cleaning and disinfecting, avoid saturating the air mattress with excessive moisture or liquid. Prolonged exposure to moisture can lead to mold or mildew growth and damage the mattress.

Use protective gloves and masks

When using disinfectants or mold/mildew removers, wear protective gloves and masks to minimize your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and fumes. Follow the safety guidelines provided by the product manufacturer.


Cleaning and disinfecting an air mattress is an important maintenance task that ensures a hygienic and comfortable sleeping surface. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this article, you can effectively remove stains, disinfect the mattress, and prevent future contamination. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and proactive measures will significantly extend the lifespan of your air mattress, allowing you to enjoy a fresh and comfortable sleeping experience for years to come.