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How to Dry a Wet Mattress

How to Dry a Wet Mattress

If you’re going to invest in any room of your home, make it the bedroom. Getting good quality rest is foundational. It can make or break the day ahead before it even begins. Finding the perfect mattress can be tricky, but once you’ve found it, you won’t want to let it go.

But what do you do if the mattress gets wet? While unforeseen events like floods may leave a mattress beyond salvaging, small spills happen to the best of us. And if you know the correct steps to take to effectively dry a mattress, you can prevent nasty mold growth, stave off unpleasant smells, and ensure your investment in great rest will last you the long haul.

How to Dry a Mattress

We’ve all been there. A spill or leak gets on our mattress, and we suddenly kick into action to dry it off. But are you using the correct methods to make sure there’s no long-lasting damage?

Here, we’ll take you through the steps of how to effectively dry a mattress for good.

Determine Extent of Damage

Before you dive into the following steps, you’ll need to assess the level of liquid damage on your mattress. If you spilled household liquid, like wine, coffee, or water, you should be able to clean this up. If you have young kids, accidents are bound to happen. Don’t panic! If you act quickly, these messes are cleanable.  A good rule of thumb here is the 24-hour marker. If you can clean up the damage within a day of it occurring, there’s a great chance you’re in the clear.

On the other hand, some types of messes aren’t worth the hassle of trying to clean. Flooding, sewage, or any sort of liquid that has soaked deeply into the mattress may, unfortunately, be beyond repair. Certain dangerous substances can contaminate a mattress by penetrating deeper into the material than you can reach to clean it. After 24 hours, even seemingly harmless liquids can be inside the mattress thoroughly enough that the dampness can be hard to remedy, leading to a risk of mold. The sooner you act, the better.

White Wooden Bed Frame With Wet Mattress

Remove Liquid

If you respond quickly to everyday spills and messes, you should be able to successfully remove the wetness and salvage the mattress. The first step of action is to remove as much liquid as possible. This can be done in a couple of ways.

If you have access to professional tools, like a shop vac, you can vacuum up most of the liquid. If the spill is less serious, blotting the area with absorbent material, like paper or hand towels, should work. Try to remove as much liquid as possible in this step, as it will speed up drying time.

Continue blotting the area until the towel is no longer absorbing liquid. Apply substantial pressure here to get deep into the mattress. You can place heavy waterproof objects on top of the towel to encourage absorption.

Prevent Bacterial Growth

After most of the liquid is absorbed, you need to make sure the area is bacteria-free to prevent mold growth and nasty odor. If the spill was only water, skip this step!

You can use store-bought products, like urine-remover, or make your own. A solution of hydrogen peroxide and water should work well here, as will white vinegar. Lightly spray the area and let sit for 10 minutes. Blot dry and repeat a few times to ensure thorough cleanliness.

Draw Out Leftover Liquid with Moisture-Absorbing Substance

Even if the surface appears dry, there’s a chance there is still moisture trapped below. Just in case, use a substance like baking soda or cat litter to draw out any leftover dampness.

Cover the surface with your product of choice and rub it into the mattress. If you opt for baking soda, using a toothbrush to scrub the product into the surface can serve a double purpose and also aid in stain removal. Allow it to sit for 10-12 hours to ensure maximum absorption.

Clean Up, Sanitize, Dry

When the time is up, vacuum up the substance. Then, using alcohol wipes or an alcohol solution, gently wipe the surface. This is the final attempt to ensure the mattress is fully sanitized and that no mold will develop.

After all this, it is finally time to let the mattress dry. Whatever you can do to aid in the process of drying is beneficial. Direct sunlight helps, but you can also use air circulation from fans, hairdryers, and space heaters. If you have a dehumidifier, set it up close to the mattress to aid in moisture removal. The final drying period can last up to 24 hours, so it may be time to pull out the sofa bed.

Is It Safe to Dry Wet Mattresses?

Drying a wet mattress is completely safe, as long as you are aware of the correct steps to take. If you do not take the proper actions, a spill can lead to bacteria growth and mold. These are definitely not things you want festering below you as you sleep. But if you take action quickly and ensure the area is sanitized and thoroughly dry, your mattress will remain safe for the long haul.

That said, it is never safe to salvage a mattress contaminated with floodwater, as it could contain sewage, chemicals, and other toxic substances.

How Do You Remove Odors From a Wet Mattress?

Depending on the type of mess, there are different ways to approach odor removal. The most common accidents that lead to nasty odors are from urine or vomit. In this event, here are the steps to take to prevent odor.

  • Remove and launder all sheets immediately. Add white vinegar to the laundry, as it can neutralize odors without damaging materials.
  • Blot the mattress dry, as much as possible, and then spray it with a vinegar solution or store-bought urine remover. Let it sit and then blot dry again.
  • Cover the area with baking soda and allow it to fully dry before vacuuming it up.


Our best bit of advice? A mattress cover is a great way to protect your mattress and get the most out of your investment. But if the damage is done and you need backup, the experts at All Dry USA have got your back.


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