how to get water out of a mattress

How to Get Water Out of a Mattress

Here's how to get water out of your mattress explained step-by-step in detail. Water spills on a mattress can be a nightmare, whether from a glass of water knocked over, a leaky roof, or a more serious flood.

Acting quickly and effectively is crucial to prevent mold, mildew, and damage. This guide will walk you through the steps to efficiently remove water from your mattress, ensuring it remains clean, dry, and comfortable for future use.

Table of Contents

  1. Immediate Actions to Take
  2. Gather Your Supplies
  3. Blotting and Absorbing Water
  4. Drying the Mattress
  5. Using a Wet/Dry Vacuum
  6. Baking Soda for Absorption
  7. Applying Heat
  8. Preventing Mold and Mildew
  9. Deep Cleaning After Drying
  10. FAQs

1. Immediate Actions to Take

When you first discover water on your mattress, the immediate steps you take are crucial:

  • Remove All Bedding: Quickly strip the bed of all sheets, blankets, and mattress protectors. If the bedding is also wet, wash and dry them separately.
  • Elevate the Mattress: If possible, move the mattress to a dry area or elevate it to allow air circulation underneath. This helps prevent further soaking into the bed frame or box spring.

2. Gather Your Supplies

Before starting the drying process, gather the following supplies:

3. Blotting and Absorbing Water

Begin by blotting the mattress to remove as much water as possible:

  • Use Clean Towels: Press clean, dry towels firmly into the mattress. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the water deeper into the mattress. Replace the towels as they become saturated.
  • Apply Pressure: For better absorption, you can stand on the towels or use a heavy object to press them down.

4. Drying the Mattress

After blotting, start the drying process:

  • Fan the Area: Position fans around the mattress to circulate air. If possible, place the mattress near a window to benefit from fresh air and sunlight.
  • Use a Hairdryer: On a cool setting, use a hairdryer to target wet spots. Keep the dryer moving to avoid overheating any area.

5. Using a Wet/Dry Vacuum

A wet/dry vacuum can significantly speed up the drying process:

  • Vacuum the Wet Areas: Use the vacuum to suck up excess water from the mattress. This is particularly effective for larger spills or soaked mattresses.

6. Baking Soda for Absorption

Baking soda is excellent for absorbing moisture and neutralizing odors:

  • Sprinkle Generously: After blotting, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the wet areas.
  • Let It Sit: Leave the baking soda on the mattress for at least a few hours, ideally overnight.
  • Vacuum It Up: Vacuum the baking soda thoroughly once it has absorbed the moisture.

7. Applying Heat

Using heat can help in drying the mattress more effectively:

  • Use a Dehumidifier: Place a dehumidifier in the room to reduce moisture in the air, which helps the mattress dry faster.
  • Heaters: A space heater can also be used, but keep it at a safe distance to avoid overheating or damaging the mattress.

8. Preventing Mold and Mildew

Preventing mold and mildew is essential for maintaining a healthy mattress:

  • Disinfectant Spray: Once the mattress is mostly dry, lightly spray it with a disinfectant to kill any potential mold spores.
  • Air Out Regularly: Continue to air out the mattress by keeping it in a well-ventilated area for several days.

9. Deep Cleaning After Drying

After the mattress is completely dry, consider a deep clean:

  • Vacuum Thoroughly: Use an upholstery attachment to vacuum the entire mattress, removing any remaining debris or baking soda.
  • Mattress Protector: Invest in a waterproof mattress protector to prevent future incidents and protect your mattress.


Q: How long does it take for a mattress to dry completely?

A: It can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours for a mattress to dry completely, depending on the amount of water and the drying conditions.

Q: Can a mattress be saved after water damage?

A: Yes, a mattress can often be saved if you act quickly and use the appropriate drying methods to prevent mold and mildew.

Q: Should I use a hairdryer on high heat?

A: No, always use a hairdryer on a cool setting to avoid damaging the mattress material with excessive heat.

Q: How do I know if my mattress has mold?

A: Signs of mold include a musty smell, visible black or green spots, and unexplained allergies or respiratory issues when using the mattress.

Q: Can baking soda alone dry a mattress?

A: Baking soda is excellent for absorbing some moisture but should be used in conjunction with other drying methods like blotting and using fans.

Q: Is it safe to sleep on a damp mattress?

A: No, sleeping on a damp mattress can lead to mold growth and health issues. Ensure the mattress is completely dry before using it.

Q: Can sunlight help dry a mattress?

A: Yes, sunlight is very effective at drying and disinfecting a mattress. If possible, place the mattress in direct sunlight.

Q: How can I prevent future water damage to my mattress?

A: Use a waterproof mattress protector and be cautious with liquids around your bed to prevent future spills and water damage.

Q: What if the water has seeped into the box spring or bed frame?

A: Address these areas separately by drying and disinfecting them to prevent mold and damage.

Q: When should I consider replacing a water-damaged mattress?

A: If the mattress has extensive water damage, mold growth, or remains damp despite efforts to dry it, consider replacing it for health and comfort.

By following these steps, you can effectively remove water from your mattress and restore it to a dry, clean, and usable state. Remember, quick action is key to preventing long-term damage and maintaining a healthy sleeping environment.