Moisture Under Your Mattress in the RV? Here’s the Easy Fix.


What to Do When There is Moisture Under Your Mattress?

Moisture or dampness under your mattress can be a serious issue and something everyone needs to be mindful of. It is a common problem most people face with mattresses. Moisture usually leads to the development of mold or mildew, both of which can lead to health hazards. This mold can also eventually release mold spores into the air.

Mold is a serious irritant and can cause several health problems. It also tends to enter into the mucous membrane of the lungs. Apart from the mold, there are several dust mites present which thrives in moist conditions and is health hazards.

So, what do you do when you flip over your mattress and find it moist. Well thankfully, if you identify it soon enough, you can actually save your mattress.

  • The first thing to do is to flip your mattress and put it in a place where there are at least 2 feet of air space on either side.
  • If indoors, you can open the windows and turn on the fans to allow maximum ventilation.
  • Alternatively, you can also turn up the space heater to accelerate drying.
  • Another option is to take the mattress outside.
  • You can set it up on a platform of concrete or maybe sawhorse such as to allow maximum air circulation.
  • You can allow the mattress to stay out in the sun and wind until it is dry, at the same time accelerating the process with a few fans if possible.

Essential, time is paramount for drying out a mattress. You need to give it time to dry out and not cover it back up quickly. Drying can take a lot of time, sometimes up to 24 hours.

What are the Causes of Under Mattress Moisture?

Whenever you see moisture under your mattress, you might be confused as to from where it came. Well putting it simply, it came from your body. People sweat while sleeping. Some might sweat a bit more than others, but everyone does. It might range from just natural sweating to even a serious health issue.

According to research by a professor from the University of Florida, 25% of the moisture that the body produces during the night can be absorbed by your mattress. High humidity is also a major cause and can increase accumulation of moisture under the mattress.

Another factor in the accumulation of moisture is the type of mattress you use. Certain types of memory foam mattresses are known to be more notorious than others. The materials used in such mattresses matter. Due to this difference in material and construction, some mattresses are hotter to sleep than others. As an example, most memory foam mattresses are made of polyester fabrics or plastics. Though many might claim otherwise, like having a hemp and cotton blend, most of it around 60% polyester fabrics. Polyester fabrics are not known for absorbing moisture.

Another reason for this can be the fact that memory foam mattresses are usually almost 100% synthetic. They are also very dense. This leads to less airflow and more heat retention, thus hotter heat surfaces and more moisture.

Apart from your mattresses, however, even your bedsheets and comforters can be the cause for moisture. This is because even these materials are made up of polyester. They do not absorb the body moisture too well and even restrict air flow. If these materials could absorb moisture, it would pull away and evaporate. But they don’t. This allows the moisture to pass through the pores of the mattress. Eventually, it gets to the bottom.

Once the moisture does get to the bottom, it has to go somewhere. Even at this stage, if you have a surface which is breathable, the moisture would evaporate and eventually go away. However, if your mattresses are on a base which is non-breathable, moisture will accumulate eventually. This eventually leads to mold or mildew.

How to prevent moisture from forming under the mattress

So, we know how easily moisture can get into a mattress and accumulate at the bottom. So how can we actually prevent this from happening? Preventive steps are the best in such scenarios. If things get out of hand, you get serious health issues or need to throw out your expensive mattress.

  1. One simple solution is to keep your mattress off the floor. This is something most people already do, and if you don’t, should. Use a mattress base or box springs. In this case, your mattress will be safe even in a slightly damp environment.
  2. The second is actually pretty straightforward – keep checking the bottom of your mattress! Do this religiously every few weeks and you’ll know to take action the instant it feels a bit damp.
  3. Even if the underside feels a little damp, dry it out by airing once every few weeks.
  4. Invest in a high-quality mattress. The material of your mattress is extremely important if you want to keep moisture from accumulating beneath it. Top quality mattresses can come with materials with built-in protection from mold, moisture, and mildew. They might even have materials which are antibacterial, antimicrobial
  5. Get good quality materials for your top layer. Your bedsheets and comforters should be made of high-quality breathable materials. They should not trap much heat and restrict air flow.
  6. Air-Gap is of paramount importance for your mattress. Make sure that you have a significant amount of gap on either side of your mattress for air to circulate through and keep your mattress dry at all times.

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew from Forming Underneath your Mattress?

Mold or mildew in your mattress can be extremely dangerous for your health. It can be really disconcerting to find mold or mildew underneath your mattress. Sleeping on such mattresses can lead to various health hazards. More importantly, mold accumulation can occur on any type of mattress – be it a memory foam one or even on an organic natural mattress.

Mold and mildew thrive in dark, moist and warm conditions. And this is exactly what a normal person’s sleeping environment looks like! Mold eventually forms spores, which are airborne and get inside your lungs. The thing with mold is that once it grows, the parts of it which remain unseen are far more than the parts you can actually see and remove.

Looking at how dangerous mold and mildew can be for your health when found on your mattress, prevention is always the best solution in these cases. A few ways are –

  1. Look out from where mold can come from. If your environment is damp, chances of mold spreading into your mattress are more.
  2. Taking a cue from the point above, make sure that your mattress is on a surface which is breathable and has air gaps. Avoid keeping your mattress on the floor.
  3. Keep your mattress breathable flipping and rotating it regularly. It can also be helpful to let your mattress breathe occasionally by keeping it standing.
  4. Make sure there is plenty of air gap between either side of your mattress.
  5. Keeping a dehumidifier in a room can help to reduce the humidity content of the room pull moisture out of the air.
  6. Try using an air-purifier if possible to keep the air clean at all times.
  7. Certain materials like latex are more mold resistant than others. Try to use such materials.
  8. Try to keep yourself and your surroundings dry when you use your mattress. Use breathable covers, change your sheets often, keep damp clothes away from your mattress.
  9. Avoid getting on your mattress after just getting out of the shower and keep your hair dry before sleeping on it.
  10. Another point to note is the material of your mattresses. One theory to debunk is that only memory foam mattresses are susceptible to mold. All types of mattresses, be it foam, latex or organic can catch mold if treated properly. But it is true that some materials are more conducive than others, and memory foam is one of them. Foam mattresses, be it memory foam or latex foam, have millions of air pockets or open cells in them. This allows for mold to colonize in these millions of pockets, making it almost impossible to get rid of.

How to Remove Mold from a Mattress?

The first thing to keep in mind is that if you have a mattress that is infected with mold, it’s always best to replace it. The main reason for this is if the infection is bad, it’s really difficult to completely eradicate it. But if throwing out your expensive mattress is not an option for you, there are a few steps you can take to remove the mold from it –

Vacuum

This is the first and foremost thing you should always do. On the outset, vacuuming might look like it’s an extra compulsive step, but it’s pretty important. Vacuuming your mattress will do pretty much what you think it should. It will suck up all the visible mold spores into your vacuum and should logically be the first step.

Immediately after the mattress is cleaned, clean up your vacuum cleaner. Otherwise, it won’t just be your mattress that has mold, it’ll be your entire house as you vacuum it!

Removing mold using alcohol

The best option for killing mold spores which have accumulated in your mattress is to clean it by rubbing alcohol. Other options might be bleach or white vinegar. But bleach can de-colorize your mattress if it’s not color safe for using bleach. Another good option here is to use Lysol because apart from being antibacterial, it contains aerosols which can penetrate deeper into your cushion.

Regardless of the choice, the process remains the same. Mix an even ratio of alcohol(anything else) and water in a bow. Then using a scrub, sponge or rag and scrub the mattress in a circular motion. You don’t want to soak the mattress so much that it doesn’t dry later, but you also want to apply enough alcohol to kill the mold. Repeat this process for a long time. And then repeat it again just to be sure. Scrub even the areas where mold is not visible.

Wiping the surface

After applying all that alcohol, you would probably want to wipe the surface with a clean and warm cloth. Again, do not soak the surface.

Disinfecting

After the above process, it’s probably best to spray some disinfectant over the mattress. Before you do this, however, make sure that the disinfectant is suitable for the fabric.

Drying it out in the sun

Mold thrives in dark and damp conditions. Drying it under the sun is just the opposite of that and will help your mattress be ventilated and dry.

With these few tips, you can keep your mattress as good as new for a long time. Make cleaning your mattress a regular affair – once every three to six months work the best.