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How to Clean an Air Mattress?

Many love air mattresses because they are the ideal mattress for camping or sorting guests at home. They give convenient storage, meaning you can roll them up and store them in their containers once you use them. They are also lightweight to work with as compared to memory foam and traditional spring beds.

However, despite air mattresses providing you and your guests with a temporary sleeping solution, many stay with them for years without cleaning, making them prone to mold and dirt. Whether you use it regularly or not, cleaning your air mattress is essential to avoid mold formation, unpleasant odor, stains, and mildew.

But how do you clean an air mattress? This article will highlight why you should clean your air mattress and how to do so step by step. Let’s go!

Table of Contents

Why Should You Clean an Air Mattress?

Below are several reasons why you should clean an air mattress. Have a look.

Remove Dust and Dirt

Whenever you use your air mattress, it absorbs dust, dirt, and hair since it’s on the flow. People sleeping on it may also release dead skin cells and sweat that accumulates on it with time. That’s why you should regularly clean your air mattress.

Eliminate Mold and Mildew Growth

Most people like storing their air mattresses in a closet or basement. Such places are usually prone to mold and mildew growth. If left, it can damage your hard-earned air bed and reduce its shelf life. Cleaning is necessary to avoid any stains resulting from mold and mildew formation.

Prevent Allergies

If insects contact your air mattress, some can cause allergies to you or your guests. Their droppings usually make you have rhinitis and asthma. Doctors usually say that many allergic patients react at night since their bodies react to the dust and mites on the air bed.

Get Comfort

A clean air mattress makes you and your friends sleep in a healthy environment. It, in turn, increases comfort since there are no distractions from smells or insects.

How to Clean an Air Mattress?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean an air mattress.

1. Remove the Air Mattress from Its Power Source

Since most recent air mattresses inflate using an electric pump that functions from a wall outlet, remember to unplug it from its power source and put it far from nearby outlets.

If you notice the pump is detachable, ensure you unplug it from the air mattress to have more mobility as you clean the air bed.

Additionally, if the air bed contains a built-in pump, ensure you take caution to avoid any water from accessing and damaging the battery.

2. Remove any Sheets on the Air Mattress

If any sheets or blankets are on the air mattress, you can remove them and place them on a washing machine as you continue cleaning the air bed.

Remember that if you frequently use your air mattress, you should wash the sheets or bedding at least after a week. This is because your air mattress is on the ground and is prone to dirt and dust, which can accumulate on your bedding with time.

3. Vacuum the Mattress


Next, vacuum the mattress to eliminate any dust and dirt before deep cleaning it. You can leave your mattress inflated as you vacuum it. Do not deflate it since cleaning deeply between the creases and folds may be difficult.

Vacuuming an air bed is pretty simple; you must run the hose attachment till below the mattress top material. Ensure you cover every square inch. Afterward, you can access the sides of the mattress and flip the hose attachment over to vacuum the lower part of the air bed.

4. Products to Use to Clean the Air Mattress

use water to clean the air mattress

After vacuuming, it’s time to arrange your cleaning materials. Remember, the products you use depend on the type and amount of cleaning you want.

  • You can use warm water and dish soap to complete a routine.
  • Baking soda and vinegar will serve you best if you want to eliminate cat and human air.
  • For mold and mildew, you can use equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water.

5. Cleaning Your Air Mattress

There are two methods of cleaning your air mattress, and they include:

  • Light cleaning
  • Deep cleaning

All these methods require you to use your hand alongside a cloth and cleaning solution. Let’s look at each method.

Light Cleaning

Light cleaning is usually suitable for an air mattress containing a velvety top layer to prevent damage. Here are the instructions to follow when performing light cleaning:

  • Immerse a sponge inside your cleaning solution, then squeeze it out.
  • Slowly and lightly wipe any strains using the cloth, starting from the outer edges of the stains and moving to the middle.
  • Use another clean wet cloth to blot areas and wipe any lingering soap
  • You can rewind the same process on other stains available on the air bed.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning is ideal for air mattresses whose primary material is polyvinyl chloride. The material won’t damage with this cleaning method. To perform deep cleaning, here is a procedure to follow:

  • Immerse a clean sponge into your cleaning solution.
  • Squeeze the cloth to remove extra liquid.
  • Wipe the mattress using a sponge or cloth. You can use harsher pressure on excessively dirt areas.
  • Take another clean and damp cloth, and use it to eliminate any lingering soap.

6. Dry Out Your Air Mattress

Once your air mattress is now clean, the next step is to dry it out. The best way to achieve this is to take it outside to air dry using the sun. Alternatively, if you are experiencing rainy and cold seasons, you can fix a fan near the bed to help dry up the mattress.

For plastic or rubber air mattresses, they usually air dry very fast. However, other softer fabrics, such as velvet and velour, may need several hours to dry evenly.

Remember to keep your air bed inflated even during the drying process. It will help quicken the drying process and prevent moisture from getting trapped inside the folds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I clean my air mattress?

The frequency with which you clean your air mattress depends on how often you use it. If you use it every day or every other day, it is recommended to clean it at least once a month.

On the other hand, if you use it only occasionally, such as when you have guests over, then cleaning it after each use, or once every few months is sufficient. 

Regardless of the frequency, cleaning your air mattress is important to maintain its longevity, hygiene, and prevent any long-term damage. It is best to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning recommendations.

Can I use regular household cleaners on my air mattress?

It is not recommended to use regular household cleaners on your air mattress as they can damage the material and deteriorate the structure of the mattress. Instead, use mild soap and water to clean any stains or spills on the mattress. 

Additionally, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance to ensure the longevity of your air mattress. Using harsh chemicals or cleaners can also be harmful to your health if you inhale them while sleeping on the mattress. 

 It is always better to err on the side of caution and use recommended cleaning methods for your air mattress.

Can I submerge my air mattress in water for cleaning?

No, submerging your air mattress in water is not recommended for cleaning. 

Water can damage the internal components of the mattress, such as the pump and valve, and can also cause mold and mildew to form if the mattress is not dried properly afterwards. Instead, it is recommended to spot clean the mattress with a mild detergent and water, and to use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface. Allow the mattress to air dry completely before inflating it again. 

If the mattress has a removable cover, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance.

Is it safe to use bleach on my air mattress?

It is generally not safe to use bleach on an air mattress as it can damage the material and weaken its structure. Bleach can also discolor or stain the mattress.

If you need to clean your air mattress, it is best to use a mild soap and warm water solution. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the mattress and allow it to dry completely before storing or using it again. 

It is also important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance to ensure the longevity of the air mattress.

What can I do to prevent stains on my air mattress?

To prevent stains on your air mattress, there are a few things you can do.

Firstly, always make sure your air mattress is clean before use. Secondly, use a mattress protector or waterproof cover to prevent spills and accidents from seeping into the mattress fabric.

If you do experience a spill or accident, try to clean it up immediately with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals or too much liquid, which can damage the mattress. Also, make sure to let the mattress dry completely before putting sheets or bedding back on it.

By taking these precautions, you can help extend the lifespan of your air mattress and keep it looking and feeling clean.

How do I remove pet hair from my air mattress?

To remove pet hair from your air mattress, you can use a variety of methods. One of the most effective ways is to use a lint roller or a pet hair remover brush to remove the hair from the surface of the mattress.

If you don’t have these items, you can also try using tape, such as masking tape or duct tape, to stick to the pet hair and peel it off.

Another solution is to use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment that is designed to remove pet hair. Be sure to clean the area thoroughly and check for any remaining pet hair after removing it, so it does not cause any allergies or respiratory problems. 

Taking preventive measures, such as covering the mattress when your pet is around, can also help reduce the amount of pet hair on the mattress.

Can I use a steam cleaner on an air mattress?

It is not recommended to use a steam cleaner on an air mattress as it can damage the material and compromise the mattress’s inflation. Steam can also seep into the mattress and create mold or mildew if not dried properly.

It is best to clean an air mattress with a mild soap and water solution and allow it to air dry thoroughly. If there are stains on the mattress, consider using a specialized cleaner or stain remover designed specifically for inflatable mattresses.

How long does it take for an air mattress to dry completely?

The time it takes for an air mattress to dry completely can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the mattress, the material it is made of, and the humidity level in the room.

In general, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day for the mattress to dry completely. To speed up the drying process, it is recommended to open windows or doors in the room to increase ventilation and air circulation. 

Additionally, using a fan or a hairdryer on a low setting can help to evaporate any remaining moisture from the surface of the mattress. It is important to ensure that the mattress is completely dry before packing it away to prevent mold or mildew growth.

How do you clean top of the air mattress?

Cleaning the top of an air mattress is relatively easy. First, start by removing any bedding or covers from the mattress. Then, use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove any dust or debris that has accumulated on the surface.

 If there are any stains on the mattress, mix a small amount of dish soap with warm water and use a clean cloth to gently scrub the affected area. Be careful not to use too much water and allow the mattress to dry completely before using it again. If the air mattress has a built-in pump or control panel, make sure to cover it with a plastic bag to prevent any water damage.


Cleaning an air mattress is not that difficult, provided you follow the steps provided in this article. Always clean your air bed frequently to prevent dust, mold, dirt and unpleasant smell from ruining your hard-earned mattress. Remember, a clean air mattress will serve you better and longer.

Author: Jessica

Jessica is a lover of both life and gardening. She loves to share his passion for both on social media. He often posts about his latest gardening projects, as well as tips and tricks for others who might be interested in starting their own gardens. She also frequently posts about the different aspects of his life that he enjoys, from spending time with friends and family to exploring new places.

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