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Spilled Water on Your Mattress: Here's What to do


Woman wearing yellow rubber gloves cleans a spilled water stain off mattress with a red towel

Not only is your mattress a relatively big purchase, but it also plays an important role in keeping you happy and healthy. You want your mattress to last at least eight years, yet your mattress is subjected to a lot! You try to be careful, but what day it happens- you spilled water on the mattress. Now, what?

What water damage on a mattress can do

Before we go into how to clean up the water, let’s first discuss why you need to do so. As discussed in our mattress stain cleaning article, any type of liquid damage can completely ruin your mattress! Just like carpets and rugs, mattresses may be home to many allergens and provide a habitat for mold to grow, especially when it remains dampened for a long period of time. Once the mold gets completely absorbed in the mattress, you will never be able to bring your mattress to its original condition. According to experts, you have about 48 hours before this happens.

Step by step what to do after spilling water on a mattress

Before you begin, be sure to check the care label on your mattress for manufacturer recommendations or cautions. No matter what kind of mattress stain you’re working with, never drench your mattress with alcohol or liquid cleaners. Mattresses aren’t designed to get wet, particularly those made from especially memory foam. Your mattress won’t dry quickly, and if it stays damp for too long because of your cleaning efforts it can start to smell or even develop mildew. That will be worse than the situation you’re dealing with now!

Step 1 - Immediately address the spill.

You wouldn’t spill nail polish on the carpet and get to it eventually. The same emergency mentality should apply to a mattress as well. The longer you wait, the greater the chances are of having to throw away the mattress. As soon as you notice the water damage on your mattress, start drying it with towels. Get as much of the water sitting on top as possible before it can soak down into the mattress’s core. The sooner you can get the mattress dry, the better. 

Step 2 - Dry it out.

Next, you need to put the mattress at a place where it remains in direct contact with sunlight. The scorching sunlight will work wonders in taking every drop of water drop out of the mattress. This also acts as a natural sanitizer. You’ll want to get as much water out of the mattress before you move it because the water will make it very heavy. If you’re unable to move your mattress, as some are very heavy, you can also use blow dryers and fans. This won’t work as well as direct sunlight, but it will be better than letting it slowly air dry in a cool, dark room. 

Let the mattress dry for at least a day or two. You can’t take the risk of the bed you sleep on every night becoming a dwelling place for mold. You can also take a cloth dampened by an alcohol solution and thoroughly wipe off the whole mattress. The alcohol can help prevent mold growth, so mix one part rubbing alcohol with one part water. 

Step 3 - Vacuum it.

Once your mattress gets totally dried up, vacuuming is up next. Use a nozzle vacuum cleaner and start vacuuming the entire mattress, even if you feel only part of it was damaged. It may be a good idea to do this a few times on each side of the mattress. This will help you pull out additional water that you didn’t realize was lingering.

If your mattress is one that comes with a cover able to be unzipped, like a Tempur-Pedic, then don’t waste the advantage. Open up the mattress and check whether all the inside structure is completely dried or not. When you have the cover off, toss it in the washing machine and dryer to completely remove any nasty stuff and ensure it’s totally dry.

Step 4 - Know when to call in professional help.


It’s quite possible to look at this list and know you can’t or aren’t willing to do this. That’s okay! Although we have given you the basic tips to try on your own, it may be preferable to bring in professional restoration services. A professional repair and restoration company has the experience and training that you don’t have. These highly-skilled experts know about the different types of water damages and various repair methods needed to bring your mattress back to life.

Avoid water damage on a mattress in the future

You may swear to never drink in bed again, but that’s only part of it. Every night, you sweat, drool, and leave skin oils when you sleep. This doesn’t even take into account the occasional pet accident. Even a top-of-the-line mattress won’t stay in pristine condition forever! This is why it is recommended to purchase a mattress protector for your mattress. A new mattress protector will stop moisture from getting into the mattress, preventing the growth of mold and mildew, as well as keeping stains like water, wine, coffee, blood, sweat, and urine from seeping in.

Is there water damage on your mattress? Perhaps a few cleaning steps are all you need to sleep great on your current mattress again, or it may be time to buy a new mattress altogether. If your mattress is a low quality one or past its prime, then it’s better to just dispose of it and get a new one. Don’t forget to purchase a mattress protector this time! Visit our store and speak to a friendly team member about your options.