How to Clean a Camping Mattress (Easily and Safely)

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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 awesome.

Whether you have an air, foam, or self inflating mattress and wondering how to clean a camping mattress you should be aware that the procedures are almost the same. Depending on the material and amount of dirt, you can either use water with mild soap or vinegar. Sometime baking soda to remove odor. Read below for our full guide.

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

A clean camping mattress will give you an easy time when sleeping.  It will ensure a relaxed ambience, fresh air, and offer a soothing sleep. In most cases, the camping mattress is designed for use outside 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 too 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 all the sweating. When a the mattress is well cleaned, the user can comfortably fold or roll it and then store it in a bag.

A camping mattress should not only be cleaned only in those cases it is showing serious stains and spills but mostly immediately after use.  As a result, in 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 thoroughly wash down your mattress after every use. If the mattress just has some light dirt or debris, light cleaning is okay.

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

Light cleaning is pretty cheap. However, you have to choose your cleaning tools keenly.  Whatever you buy, ensure that it will take prior care for 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.

Cleaning a camping air mattressUse Mild Soap and Water

Cleaning it immediately after use with soap and water helps to 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 soupy water and scrub it gently on the mattress. Scrub hard in areas that stains are concentrated.

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

Lastly, keep 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 do away with odor. You will only be required to use a few drops of baking soda.

Leave the soda for a few minutes and later wash it out with a vacuum cleaner. Fortunately, the baking soda may also assists to remove stubborn stains.

Apply Water and Vinegar to Remove Mold on Foam Mattress

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

This phenomenon is very common in foam mattresses which tent to absorb and retain moisture after camping.

During rainy seasons a camping mattress can easily get wet, dirty and probably start growing some mold or mildew. Hence, routine cleaning will help to ensure camping mattress accomplishes a longer life span.

Some common signs of mildew are black spots on 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 damp cloth and leave the mattress to air dry.

Use Sunlight to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew

This method can be used for a 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 to use.

It is achieved by ensuring you keep you camping mattress outside once in a month especially during sunny days.

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

Cleaning a Camping Air Mattress with Pee on it

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

Requirements for cleaning an air mattress with pee on itIf are still wondering why you need all the above and how to clean an air mattress with pee on it, it is very easy. Just put 8 ounces of the 3% hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, add 3 table spoons 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. Do not leave the mixture to stay for long because it will lose it’s effectiveness.  Also avoid diluting with water as it will lose its effect on set in pee stains.

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

Apply Water and 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 use this multipurpose alcohol to clean a mattress too?

In a basin, create a mix of alcohol and water in the ratio of 1 and is to 2. Ensure that the water is warm. Take this liquid mixture on sponge and apply it on 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 physically damage the mattress. Water is also likely 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, in order to prepare your mattress for cleaning.

How 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 in order to deflate a mattress successfully.

It is not recommended to jump on 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 it

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 in a few hours.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a camping mattress is a great step in ensuring comfy camping sleeps. Thorough and effective cleaning of 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 to protect adventures from uncomfortable sleeping situations in random places. It assists in keeping dirt, cold, and insects at bay.

During regular cleaning it’s wise to use limited cleaning elements. Whereas in occasional cleaning it’s wise to use sophisticated process to deep clean this garment. Cleanliness improves on 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 completely clean and dry before you put it away to prevent the growth of mud.

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