How To Easily Clean A Camping Mattress

Cleaning a camping mattress is essential in many ways. Keeping it fresh helps in maintaining comfort and extending its life. This will ensure that the nights you spend under an open sky will be incredible.

Whether you have an air, foam, or self-inflating mattress and wonder how to clean a camping mattress, you should know that the procedures are almost the same. Depending on the material and amount of dirt, you can use water with mild soap or vinegar. Sometimes baking soda can easily help to remove odor.

Using a camping mattress on such raised platforms as roof-top tents exposes it to less dirt than camping on the ground using dome tents. Either way, one has to enjoy camping in their unique way.

A clean camping mattress will give you a better sleep. It will ensure a relaxed ambiance and fresh air and offer a soothing sleep. In most cases, the camping mattress is designed for use outside the home during adventures. This exposes it to lots of dirt.  One should thus ensure thorough cleaning.

After cleaning your mattress, don’t forget to clean your tent by following this procedure to avoid contaminating your mattress on your next adventure.

A camping mattress used precisely during summer seasons needs regular cleaning due to sweating. When a mattress is well cleaned, the user can comfortably fold or roll it and store it in a bag.

A camping mattress should not only be cleaned only in those cases. It is showing severe stains and spills but mostly immediately after use.  As a result, this article will focus specifically on how to clean a camping mattress effectively.

How To Clean A Camping Mattress

Light Cleaning

You don’t need to wash down your mattress after every use thoroughly. Light cleaning is okay if the mattress has some light dirt or debris.

It is wise to clean off any debris before storing a camping mattress because it will have some outdoor dirt most of the time.

Light cleaning is pretty cheap. However, you have to choose your cleaning tools keenly.  Whatever you buy, ensure that it will take primary care of the camping mattress and maintain its cleanliness standards.

You can use a soft brush to sweep off the dirt and debris or a mattress vacuum cleaner to suck the dirt. Vacuuming is usually very effective on air mattresses such as the common velour.

Use Mild Soap & Water

Cleaning it immediately after use with soap and water helps ease this task.

First, put a few drops of soap in a basin.

Second, ensure that the soup is mild, and then pour some water into the basin.

Use a towel to take up the soapy water and scrub it gently on the mattress. Scrub hard in areas where stains are concentrated.

Rinse with a clean damp cotton cloth to absorb excess dirt and soap. Finally, pat with a dry cotton cloth to remove excess water.

Lastly, keep the mattress in an open space and allow it to air dry naturally.

Use Baking Soda To Remove Odor

If your air mattress smells bad, use some baking soda to remove mild and strong odor. Pour some liquid baking soda onto the mattress to remove the odor. You will only be required to use a few drops of baking soda.

Leave the soda for a few minutes and wash it out with a vacuum cleaner. Fortunately, baking soda may also assist in removing stubborn stains.

Apply Water & Vinegar To Remove Mold On Foam Mattress

This usually applies if your camping mattress has some mold or mildew. If you spot mold in a mattress by good or bad luck, you should clean it as soon as possible.

This phenomenon is very common in foam mattresses that absorb and retain moisture after camping.

A camping mattress can quickly get wet, dirty, and probably grow some mold or mildew during rainy seasons. Hence, routine cleaning will help to ensure a camping mattress accomplishes a longer life span.

Some common signs of mildew are black spots on an air mattress. Follow this procedure to remove the mold and mildew.

Put some vinegar and water in a basin and then mix them proportionally. In this case, you will be required to take one cup of water and a cup of vinegar.

Take a sponge and then immerse it into this mixture. After that, scrub the mattress gently, rinse it with a damp cloth and leave the mattress to air dry.

Use Sunlight To Get Rid of Mold & Mildew

This method can be used for minor mold growth or after cleaning a mattress with vinegar. If you are wondering how to keep an air mattress from molding, this is the method.

It is achieved by ensuring you keep your camping mattress outside once a month, especially on sunny days.

Sunlight will assist in drying out the moisture on the camping mattress. It will also help in killing growing bacteria and harmful creatures. Additionally, sunlight serves in reducing disturbing odor.

Cleaning A Camping Air Mattress With Urine On It

If you are using an air mattress for camping and somehow some urine gets on it, probably the kids did something. You can clean it with baking soda, 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, vinegar, dawn dish liquid, measuring cups, and a spray bottle.

It is straightforward if you still wonder why you need all the above and how to clean an air mattress with urine on it. Just put 8 ounces of the 3% hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, and add 3 tablespoons of baking soda, plus a half teaspoon of detergent.

Avoid shaking the mixture in the bottle but rather swirl it around or stir with a rod. Please do not leave the mixture to stay for long because it will lose its effectiveness.

Also, avoid diluting with water as it will lose its effect onset in urine stains.

You can opt to add a few drops of essential oil, such as lemon or rosemary, for natural sanitizing and freshness.

Apply Water & Alcohol Mixture (Isopropyl)

Probably by now, after the corona issue, most of you are familiar with isopropyl alcohol. Most likely, you tried making a hand sanitizer at home. But did you know you can also use this multipurpose alcohol to clean a mattress?

In a basin, create a mix of alcohol and water in the ratio of 1 and 2. Ensure that the water is warm. Take this liquid mixture on a sponge and apply it to the mattress.

Gently rub on the mattress. And after that, rinse the camping mattress with water and leave it for drying.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning is essential in getting rid of inbuilt dirt. It does not matter what your camping mattress is made of.

If you are thinking, can an air mattress go into the washing machine? Please don’t do it. This is likely to damage the mattress physically. Water is also expected to get into the mattress, and it is not easy to dry it.

In this case, it is wise to undertake some necessary steps, as shown below, to prepare your mattress for cleaning.

How To Prepare Your Camping Mattress For Deep Cleaning

Auto Deflating

Remove the mattress pad and sheets. Wash the sheets after each trip.  Twist it or pull the button to deflate a mattress successfully.

It is not recommended to jump on the mattress while deflating it. Besides, you may not depressurize or hit it. If you do so, you are likely to damage the mattress.

If your mattress has an inbuilt air pump, unplug it before wiping liquids down. Deflating a camping mattress is essential because it will make vacuuming easier.

Deep Clean

First, vacuum your mattress. This will get rid of all debris from dog hair to dust. It is also the most appropriate way to clean a mattress with velour tops.

Second, wipe it down using a soft cloth. Dampen your cloth with alcohol. Rubbing alcohol helps to remove sticky spots, germs, and stains.

Conversely, you may use dish soap and water. Ensure your rinse water does not get inside the mattress because it may lead to bacteria and mold growth. Finally, allow it to air dry for a few hours.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a camping mattress is an excellent step in ensuring comfy camping sleep. Thorough and effective cleaning of the mattress does increase its lifetime.

Cleaning assists in getting rid of any stains, odor, and dust. Instead of dumping a camping mattress because of molds and odor, it is advisable to clean it effectively and re-use it.

While camping, ensure that you inspect your site thoroughly and get rid of stones and rocks. Always stock a patch kit while going out to take care of your mattress. Regular cleaning is recommended in this case.

A clean camping mattress is essential when you do not have a comfy bed outside your home. It aids in protecting adventures from uncomfortable sleeping situations in random places. It assists in keeping dirt, cold, and insects at bay.

During a regular cleaning, it’s wise to use limited cleaning elements. In occasional cleaning, it’s wise to use the sophisticated process to deep clean this garment. Cleanliness improves the longevity of the camping mattress.

Despite it seeming like a burden, cleaning a camping mattress can give one an incredible camping experience. Make sure your camping mattress is spotless and dry before you put it away to prevent the growth of mud.

Written by Den Kyle, verified, and edited by David Myer.

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Den Kyle

Den Kyle

I'm the founder of Dens Camp Guide. After many years of hiking and trekking worldwide, I decided to share my experiences by making my guide website! Former science teacher, Ohio State graduate, and now full-time adventurer!