Mattresses are soft and porous, and can easily develop mold or mildew if they become saturated with excess moisture. Obviously you won’t want to sleep on a moldy mattress, and in all honesty, in some cases your best bet is simply to throw the darned thing away and buy a new one. Mold spores can penetrate so deeply into the surface of a mattress that you may never effectively remove all of them, which leaves you with a potentially permanent problem. Still, if you notice the early signs of mold or mildew and want to nip the problem in the bud, you will want to get started right now.
First off, dry the mattress by placing it in the sun. Just when you think you have it dry, flip it over and wait a few more hours. If you have no sunlight, this job will prove far more challenging. You can try to air dry the mattress outdoors, but this can prove slow and ineffective. A better solution would be to apply some sort of heat, like that from a space heater or hair dryer. Again, this only applies if mold spores have scarcely begun to form. If the problem has become deep and widespread, there really is little hope for the mattress.
After drying the surface, you will need to disinfect it. Try mixing 1 part borax (boric acid, sold in home supply stores) and 4 parts hot water. Apply the mixture conservatively to a clean sponge and gently dab the areas of the mattress affected by mold or mildew. After an hour or two, dab the area again with a clean-water sponge and then dry the mattress again.
If you notice that mold or mildew regenerates shortly after, or if the musty odor remains, throw out the mattress and purchase a new one.
All information on this website is intended for research purposes only, and is in no way intended as a substitute for professional consultation or inspection. Information is gathered from a variety of sources including government websites and mold remediation websites, and may not always be accurate. Any mold removal effort is done at your own risk. "Mold and Mildew Remedies" bears no responsibility in the event of illness or structural damage. Always contact a professional mold remediator for best results.