How To Clean a Futon Mattress – Step by Step
Futon mattresses were created in Japan, but they were adopted in the western world and modified to serve dual purposes. For complete information about Japanese Futon Mattresses, take a look at our comprehensive guide. Futons are mainly used as a bed when flattened, but they can easily convert to a couch by folding them in the middle. If you're ready to purchase a futon for your home, take a look at our guide to futon frame sizes and our reviews of the Best Futon Mattress Reviews to find out what your options are. Just like any other type of mattress, a futon mattress needs to be taken care of to increase its lifespan. Regular cleaning is essential to protect the futon mattress from dust, dirt, spills, stains, mold, and mildew. There are some specific steps that you should follow in order to clean a futon mattress.
To clean a futon mattress, make sure to follow these steps: Step 1. Vacuum your futon, Step 2. Deodorize your futon, Step 3. Remove the stains, and Step 4. Clean the frame.
Below, we’ll go into more detail about the specific steps of cleaning a futon mattress.
Step 1. Vacuum Your Futon first, to clean a Futon Mattress
First, to clean a futon mattress, if your futon is in the couch position, unfold it and remove it from the frame. Run a vacuum over the mattress to remove dust, hair, crumbs, and other debris. Use a nozzle to get into the corners, or use a brush to remove debris from any gaps that aren’t accessible with a vacuum. When you’re done, flip the futon and vacuum the other side.
Step 2: Deodorize Your Futon with Baking Soda
Futons may start to smell over time if they’re not taken care of. This can be caused by sweat, moisture, and spilled food or drinks. In order to remove bad odors, sprinkle baking soda over the mattress and let it sit for about an hour. Then, run the vacuum over the mattress again to remove the baking soda.
Step 3. Remove Stains on Your Futon Mattress with Mild Detergent
It’s usually best to address spills right when they occur. If you can catch a spill, you may be able to blot out most of it before it soaks in. First, wipe the area with a paper towel or a sponge. Then, apply detergent (or soap) with cold water to the affected area using a damp washcloth. Make sure to test the detergent on a small portion of the futon to check that it won’t cause damage or discoloration before applying it over the stain.
If the detergent is safe to use, dab the stain with a washcloth. Next, wash the affected area with water to remove the detergent. Don’t use too much water, or your futon will become moist and susceptible to mold and mildew growth. For more information about how mold can grow in mattresses, see this study. If the stain is small, use a stain-removing pen like this one from Amazon. Press the tip of the pen into the mattress and rub it across the stain.
If your stains are tougher, use another stain-removal method. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and water together and cover the affected area with the right amount of the mixture. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain, followed by a mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide (a quarter cup) and a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent. Give the stain about fifteen minutes to absorb the mixture, then use a paper towel to wipe it off the mattress. Then, leave your futon outside for 24 hours to dry out. However, if it is sunny and bright outside, the sun will evaporate the moisture and the mattress will dry and rejuvenate faster. Once the futon is completely dry, vacuum it to remove excess baking soda.
Step 4: Clean the Futon Frame
Make sure to clean the futon frame in order to avoid dust and mold buildup underneath the futon. While the futon is removed from its frame, clean the frame and rub the surface with a damp washcloth. Make sure not to use a dusting solution on metal frames, because this may cause corrosion.
How To Remove Urine from a Futon Mattress
Having young kids or pets increases the likelihood of finding urine stains on a mattress. Whether the stain is wet or dry, there are several ways to eliminate it and mask the smell.
To remove urine from a futon mattress, first you’ll need to determine whether the stain is wet or dry. If the stain is wet, you can use baking soda and vinegar to remove it. If the stain is dry, you should use a stronger hydrogen peroxide solution to remove the stain.
To remove wet stains from a futon mattress, follow the steps below:
Step 1. Blot up the excess urine.
Use paper towels to soak up as much urine as you can.
Step 2. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain.
Cover the affected area with baking soda. Baking soda helps remove the stain and the smell.
Step 3. Pour vinegar on the stain
Pour vinegar (with or without water) directly onto the affected area. Use a spray bottle to help with this process. Vinegar has a strong smell, but it will lessen with time. Leave the solution on the stain for about 5 minutes. You can also use an enzyme cleaner like this one from Amazon instead of the vinegar; if you do, spray it over the stain and leave it for about 10 minutes.
Step 4. Blot up the excess moisture
Use paper towels to blot up moisture and get the spot as dry as you can.
Step 5. Add baking soda again
Sprinkle baking soda over the stain again (and all over the mattress) to eliminate any unpleasant odors.
Step 6. Let the mattress dry
Leave the mattress to dry for a day. If leaving it indoors, open the windows and put a fan in the room to make the drying process faster. If leaving it outdoors, try to leave the mattress in the sun on a warm day. Make sure that the mattress is completely dry before removing the baking soda and cleaning the futon with a vacuum.
If the stain is dry, it will be tougher to remove, so you will need to use a stronger solution. To remove dry stains, follow the steps below:
Step 1. Create a hydrogen peroxide solution
Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with 2 drops of dishwashing detergent and 3 tablespoons of baking soda.
Step 2. Dab the stain with the solution
Dab the stain with the mixture using a washcloth. Don’t saturate the futon too much, or it will take longer to dry.
Step 3. Spread laundry powder with water over the stain
Mix 1 tablespoon of water with 3 tablespoons of laundry powder. Spread the paste over the affected area of the futon. Leave it for 30 minutes.
Step 4. Scrape the paste off the futon
Next, scrape the paste off using a spoon or a brush.
Step 5. Vacuum the futon
Run a vacuum over the entire mattress to lift away any remaining powder or paste.
How To Clean a Moldy Futon Mattress
Mold and mildew can easily proliferate on your mattress due to humidity and temperature changes. So, if you notice green or black spots with a moldy smell on your futon, do not panic - you will be able to remove them if you follow the steps below.
To clean a moldy futon mattress, you should vacuum the mattress and then clean it with soap and water. See below for more details about the specific steps you should follow.
To clean a moldy futon mattress, follow these steps:
Step 1. Vacuum the futon
Put the futon outdoors to prevent the mold from spreading inside your room. Run a vacuum over both sides of the mattress to clean it.
Step 2. Use soap and water
If your futon’s fabric is colorfast, take a washcloth and dip it in a mixture of soap and water. Then, wipe the affected area with it. If the stain remains, add a solution of lemon juice and salt and let it dry in the sun. If this does not work, mix a quarter tablespoon of chlorine bleach solution with a cup of water. Make sure to test the solution on a small part of the mattress before using it on the moldy spot. If the solution does not cause any damage to the fabric, apply it on the affected area using a clean rag.
Step 3. Leave your mattress to dry
Give your futon enough time to dry before putting it back on its frame and using it.
There is another conventional method to get rid of mold using household solutions:
Step 1. Vacuum the futon
Place the futon outdoors to prevent the mold spores from spreading inside your house. Run the vacuum on both sides of the mattress.
Step 2. Use rubbing alcohol
Mix equal amounts of isopropyl alcohol and water in a disposable container. Dip a washcloth in the solution and gently scrub the affected area. You can also use hand-sanitizing wipes containing alcohol (like these wipes from Amazon), or you can use pure vodka.
Step 3. Rinse the moldy area
After cleaning the moldy area with alcohol, use warm water to wipe the solution away. Then, grab a household disinfectant and spray it all over the affected surface.
Step 4. Let the futon dry
Keep your mattress in the sun to make sure it dries thoroughly.
How To Clean a Suede Futon Mattress
Suede futon mattresses are made of microfibers that are more stain-resistant and water-resistant than regular futon mattresses. However, they are not spared from damage and spills.
To clean a suede futon mattress, you should vacuum the mattress and then clean it using a cleaning solution of your choice. See the section below for more detailed instructions on how to choose a cleaning solution.
In order to clean your suede futon mattress, follow the steps below:
Step 1. Choose an adequate cleaning solution
Your mattress comes with a code written on the tag, which indicates what type of cleaning solution is safe to be used on the fabric. Choose a water-based cleaning solution if you read the letter “W” on the tag, or choose a solvent-based cleaning solution if you see the letter “S”. If the tag says “W-S”, you can use both types of cleaners. However, the letter “X” indicates that no cleaning solution can be used on the material.
Step 2. Vacuum the futon
Vacuum the mattress to remove dust and crumbs before applying any kind of cleaner to the fabric.
Step 3. Apply the cleaning solution of your choice
Fill a spray bottle with an appropriate cleaning solution. Use water and soap as a water-based cleaner and rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropanol or ethanol) as a solvent-based cleaner. Spray your furniture, but don’t saturate it. Here’s a good example of rubbing alcohol you can use.
Step 4. Blot up excess liquid
Rub your mattress with a clean washcloth to blot up excess moisture.
Step 5. Let the futon dry
Give the mattress about 20 minutes to dry before using it.
If you notice stains while cleaning your furniture, make sure to follow the steps mentioned in the previous sections to get rid of these spots.
How To Disinfect a Futon Mattress
Your futon mattress may need to be disinfected to prevent the growth of bacteria and contaminants.
To disinfect a futon mattress, prepare a bleach solution and spray it over the futon. Always make sure to protect yourself from harsh chemicals while you do this.
Follow the steps below to disinfect a futon mattress:
Step 1. Protect yourself
Make sure to either open the windows or bring your futon outdoors before disinfecting it. Use safety equipment like gloves and face masks to protect yourself from inhaling or coming into contact with any contaminant. For more information about the importance of protecting yourself from chemical exposure, see this study from the International Journal of Cancer.
Step 2. Prepare a bleach solution
Mix 1½ cups of bleach with one gallon of water. You can use a commercial disinfectant, Lysol spray, or vodka instead of the bleach mixture.
Step 3. Spray the solution over the futon
Fill a spray bottle with the mixture and spray it all over the mattress. Then, wipe the surface with paper towels or with a clean rag. For a deeper clean, run a steam cleaner over both sides of the mattress to kill germs and bacteria in an eco-friendly way.
Step 4. Allow the mattress to dry
Keep the mattress outdoors and allow it to dry thoroughly.
How To Dry a Futon Mattress
It is important to dry your futon mattress because moisture can help mold and mildew growth. If you are drying your mattress indoors, you’ll need to ensure that there is plenty of air circulation.
You can use a variety of tools to dry a futon mattress, including a hairdryer, vacuum, cat litter, baking soda, a fan, or a dehumidifier.
Follow the steps below to dry a futon mattress:
Step 1. Dab the wet area with paper towels
If a liquid spill has just occurred, quickly dab paper towels on the wet area to absorb the liquid.
Step 2. Use a hairdryer or a vacuum
For small spots, put a hairdryer on its warm setting and dry the area in circular motions. For larger affected areas, run a vacuum over the surface to suck up excess liquid.
Step 3. Use cat litter or baking soda
Sprinkle cat litter (here’s an example from Amazon) or baking soda over the futon to absorb moisture. Allow it to sit on the mattress for about an hour before vacuuming it up.
Step 4. Use a fan or a dehumidifier
Turn on a fan or a dehumidifier and direct it at the mattress. Let the air circulate around its surface. Open the windows to increase the airflow.
How To Dry a Futon Mattress in the Sun
It is best and quickest to dry your futon mattress outdoors. The sun plays a vital role in removing excess moisture from the mattress and in killing bacteria.
Follow the steps below to dry a futon mattress in the sun:
Step 1: Bring your mattress outdoors
If it is a sunny day, remove the futon from its frame and bring it outside the house.
Step 2: Set your mattress in the sunlight
Place the mattress standing up against chairs, or unfold it and lay it flat over a clean sheet so that it doesn't get dirty.
Step 3: Allow it to dry
Leave the mattress in the sun for a few hours. The sunlight will clean the mattress, remove the moisture, and rejuvenate the fibers.
Tips To Protect a Futon Mattress
Futon mattresses, just like other types of mattresses, require regular maintenance to remain clean and to last longer.
Tips to protect a futon mattress include investing in a waterproof mattress cover, airing out the futon, flipping the mattress regularly, and avoiding putting your futon on the floor.
Here is a list of tips and instructions to protect your futon mattress:
- Invest in a waterproof mattress cover
Mattress covers like this example from Amazon keep your mattress dry and odor-free. They prevent spills and stains from leaking through to the mattress while also protecting it from sweat, oil, dirt, and germ buildup. However, make sure to wash the cover regularly to keep it clean.
- Air out the futon
Remove the futon from its frame and air it out in the sun every now and then. Whenever you make the bed or change the sheets, open the windows to allow air and sunlight to enter the room.
- Flip the mattress regularly
To prevent any saggy or lumpy areas on the mattress, make sure to turn it over once a month.
- Avoid placing your mattress on the floor
Placing your mattress on the floor will make it more prone to dust and mildew buildup. Instead, place it on a slatted surface that will provide proper air circulation throughout the mattress.
Should You Steam Clean a Futon Mattress?
Futon mattresses pick up dirt, dust, sweat, urine, and spills. Stains can soak in through the mattress and become hard to get rid of. In that case, you may need to deep clean your futon.
Yes, you should steam clean a futon mattress if you can. Steam cleaning is a non-toxic way to deep clean and disinfect your futon mattress.
Steam cleaners heat water and turn it into steam vapor. When you run a steam cleaner across a futon, the vapor molecules penetrate the surface of the futon and force out dirt, dust, and stains. The high temperature from the steam vapor also kills mold, dust mites, and bacteria.
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