Mold is one of the scariest things that can go wrong with your mattress. Here at Palmpring, we want to ease your mind by teaching you everything you need to know about mold, how to prevent it, and how to treat it if it happens to you.
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that travels through the air as tiny spores until it finds a warm, wet place to grow. Once it starts growing, it can look like a series of fuzzy spots of various colors. You’re probably most familiar with mold growth on bread and fruit. However, mold can grow on all sorts of objects.
There are a few cues to let you know that your mattress might be moldy. First and most obvious is a spotty stain spreading across the mattress in the areas that get the least amount of light.
Second, mold spores produce a consistent pungent smell. Additionally, you may experience an allergic reaction after sleeping, such as headaches, exhaustion or congestion. It’s important to rule out all other possibilities before jumping to the conclusion of mattress mold.
If you want to be absolutely certain of the possible mold in your home, and the extent of the infection, you can use in-home test kits or mold inspectors to find out. They’ll be able to take readings of spore levels in the air and identify for you the potential culprits behind the mold outbreak. Understanding how and why you’ve got mold is crucial for dealing with the problem.
Preventing Mold Growth
Mold growth is fundamentally an environmental problem, so it’s important to make sure that your bedroom is not a place that will foster this unfortunate fungus. Your health and your wallet will thank you for taking a few simple steps now to avoid disaster in the future. Plus, your mattress isn’t the only piece of furniture in your house that can get mold, and once it spreads it can be a hassle to deal with.
Poorly treated stains can be the site of mold growth. Keep your mattress as dry as possible by avoiding stains, and drying spills as soon as possible after they occur. Don’t lie down on your mattress while you’re still wet from the shower or pool. Don’t keep damp clothes or towels on your mattress. Dehumidifiers and air purifiers will keep mold spores out of your room and keep the humidity from reaching the levels that support mold growth.
2. Air Circulation
Mattresses butted up directly against a wall or placed on the floor are more likely to develop mold, because air and moisture can get trapped in these crevices. Even if it’s not necessary for improving the durability and life of your mattress, flipping and rotating frequently will prevent any spot on your mattress from becoming too stagnant. Don’t be afraid to use your fans and/or air conditioners, even if you’re not in the house. Slotted bedframes allow for airflow underneath the mattress as well. Air out your mattress in a standing position with your bedding removed if you’re particularly concerned.
3. Mattress Materials Matter
It’s not just a marketing trick. A little bit of research will show you that latex (and by extension, rubberized coconut fiber) is the best material to use in a mattress to resist mold growth. Other materials like memory foam can trap air and moisture, creating the perfect environment for mold to thrive in. At Palmpring, we use certified organic natural latex, along with rubberized coconut fiber, wool, and cotton to create a mattress that’s mold resistant and free of off-gassing.
Just remember, no mattress is mold-proof. Any mattress can acquire mold if mistreated, so its important that you heed our other tips for prevention and treatment. Other preventative measures include changing your sheets often and using a breathable mattress protector.
Dealing with Mold
Sometimes, no matter what you do to reduce the risk of mold developing on your mattress or furniture, you still get unlucky. Mold spores could randomly waft into your room, and grow even in the most inhospitable conditions. Don’t worry, your world hasn’t ended yet.
There are 2 things that need to be done to deal with existing mold growth.
First, you need to remove the spores from your bedroom environment to prevent regrowth. Vacuuming all sides of the mattress and then cleaning out your vacuum’s dust catcher will help reduce spread.
Then, if the mold appears to have developed externally on the mattress, a 50/50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and warm water can be applied to the area with a wrung out cloth to disinfect. Make sure the cloth isn’t too wet, or you will be making the mattress even more moist. Also, mold colonies extend beyond the spot on the mattress that is visible, so its important to wipe down the area surrounding the mold spot as well to make sure you get it all. Finally, dry the mattress in direct sunlight. The UV rays will dry the area while also disinfecting during the drying process.
Some mold infections may penetrate too deep into the mattress to be cleaned, and there’s always a risk of mold regrowth. If you can afford it, replacing your mattress entirely is always the safest option. Just remember, unless you deal with the root environmental causes of mold in your home, your new mattress will be just as likely to get mold as the last one.