How to Dry a Damp Mattress

Dear Home-Ec101,

We have had our pillow top mattress for two years.
I tried a new spot cleaning vacuum on the surface, however, the mattress only absorbed the mixture of water and chemical cleaner. Consequently, the vacuum was unable to suck up any moisture. Now I am concerned the moisture and chemical is stuck in the pillow top, and I desperately want to pull that chemical out before we start sleeping on it.

Any suggestions?

Damp in Dameron

Dear Damp,

First, let’s take a deep breath and remember that chemical does not mean bad just like natural doesn’t necessarily mean good. Water is a chemical, salt is a chemical. Poison ivy is definitely natural, as are black widows. 

Next how much water and solution did you use? If the mattress is sodden, you’re going to need help to dry it fully before mold and mildew start growing. Pillow top mattresses can be expensive, take action quickly. (If it’s the middle of the night, you don’t need to make an emergency service call, but don’t put it off for a week, either).

Additionally, if you are referencing dry cleaning solvent, I strongly recommend contacting a professional. There are companies that clean only mattresses, but if there isn’t one in your area, give your local carpet cleaner a call, they should be able to help. In the meantime, keep the room well ventilated.

If, as it sounds like, you are referencing something like Bissell’s Cleaning Solution. This is something you can take care of, on your own. I don’t recommend pouring yourself a glass and serving it for tea, but this isn’t going to give your unborn children horns and a tail.  

Grab some old, absorbent towels and some heavy books. (It’s only in situations like this that I miss the yellow pages, but cookbooks work well). Place the towel folded over several times directly over the spot you were cleaning and place the heavy books on top of the towel. The weight is important. Give the moisture some time to wick into the towel and then replace it with a dry towel. Keep doing this until you can’t pull any more liquid from the mattress. 

Next, remove everything from the mattress and set up a fan in the room. You’ll want to direct the fan toward the damp area. Keep the air circulating until the mattress is fully dry. 

We’ve talked about mattress cleaning in the past, but the best practice is prevention. Protect your investment with a good quality mattress pad.

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1 Comment

  1. Bobbie Laughman on May 5, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    If you own or can borrow a powerful wet/dry shop vac, that’s worth a try to pull liquid out of the mattress quickly.

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