Soaked Mattress a Goner?
February 27, 2011 11:36 PM   Subscribe

The roof leaked, thoroughly soaking my (conventional, not foam) mattress. It took quite a while to dry out, and, after a quick inspection, it doesn't look or smell bad. An experienced handyman friend said I should throw it out and buy another. Is that necessary?
posted by Quisp Lover to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
By "quite a while" do you mean 10 hours? 2 weeks? That would change my answer. The US EPA advises that if items dry within 48 hours and no mold growth is evident then you have nothing to worry about. Beyond that, you're in more of a gray area. Do you have a nose that's sensitive enough to notice if the mattress smelled a bit like mildew?
posted by slidell at 11:50 PM on February 27, 2011

Yeah, I'd say it depends on how long it was wet.

But having been a foster parent to 13 kids over the years, I've had experience with treating, um, "wet" mattresses. I'd use a combination of natural ingredients to treat the affected areas, Borax, Vinegar for mold and odor. Put a fan on it to speed drying. Then I use a plastic mattress cover (once dry) in combination with a mattress pad. Never had any long term problem with odor or mold.
posted by cross_impact at 6:03 AM on February 28, 2011

A week or two to dry, and it's now a full month since this happened.

It was soaked saturated through, dripping wet, so I haven't bothered with surface fixes.
posted by Quisp Lover at 7:58 AM on February 28, 2011

If it was closer to two weeks, I would probably start saving for a replacement. You spend 8 h / day breathing the air around your mattress. Water from your roof probably carried leaf litter, mold spores, and bits of asphalt shingles onto the mattress; this wasn't clean water from a pipe directly above. Insurance might cover a replacement. Alternatively, you might consider sealing it off with a plastic zipper bag, and/or using a vacuum with a HEPA filter to try and suck out any mold particles.
posted by slidell at 8:08 AM on March 1, 2011

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