Cleaning a futon mattress is similar to cleaning any other kind of mattress, but there are some notable differences due to the overall difference in design between a futon and a regular mattress that goes on a bed frame.
In order to help you better understand the process for cleaning and maintaining a futon mattress, we’ve put together this article for you. Here, we will share with you some different methods for cleaning your futon (one method for a general cleaning, and another for how to deal with more serious stains).
How To Give Your Futon a Normal Cleaning
In general, it’s a good idea to give your futon a basic cleaning on a regular basis, to prevent an unpleasant build-up of dirt, dust, and debris. A good process for such a regular cleaning (assuming that there are no serious stains you need to clean up) is as follows:
1) Remove Any Covers or Bedding
The first step is, of course, to remove any sheets, blankets, or futon covers that you might be using on your futon; the goal here is to clean the mattress, so for that the bedding has to go (and since cleaning the mattress might take a little while, this might be a good chance to launder the bedding itself as well if you feel so inclined).
2) Vacuum Your Futon
Vacuums are a vital part of the cleaning process for a futon, since they are very effective at suctioning up any lingering dust, dirt, and debris that might be on the surface of your futon. Make sure to lay your futon flat for the vacuuming process, so you can get up any dirt or dust that might be stuck in the cracks or crevices of the futon. Also make sure to vacuum the back of your futon as well (and the bottom if you’re able to flip the futon over). You might also want to take some time to examine and clean the frame of your futon as well.
3) Remove Any Odors
Futons absorb smells over time, not all of them pleasant, so it’s important to take steps to remove those odors when you’re cleaning your futon. The easiest method for this is to use baking soda, which is renowned for its odor-absorption properties. Simply sprinkle some baking soda across your futon and let it sit for an hour or two. Once it’s has time to do its work and absorb any lingering odors, all you need to do is vacuum it up and off your futon.
There are also deodorizing sprays available for sale that can similarly remove odors, but baking soda is considered to be the easiest and cheapest option.
4) Search For and Lightly Wash Away Any Dirty Spots
If you notice any spots that are dirtier than the rest, all you need to do is take a damp washcloth and lightly scrub at the spot with a mild laundry detergent. Be careful not to use too much water, as this can cause your futon mattress to become over-saturated (which can in turn lead to mold and mildew if the moisture lingers within your futon for too long).
Also make sure to test out your detergent on a small and unnoticeable spot of your futon first before scrubbing; some detergents have the potential to cause discoloration in the fabric of your futon and it’s best to test the soap discreetly first before spreading it all over your futon.
5) Allow Your Futon To Dry and Air Out
If you needed to take the time to wash away some dirty spots, it’s important to give your futon time to fully dry from the scrubbing before you put your bedding back on; you don’t want any moisture to get trapped in your futon and cause mold. Also, it’s a good idea just in general to allow your futon to air out from time to time, so the fabric doesn’t get musty.
In any case, once your futon has finished drying and/or airing out, you're all done! Replace the bedding you removed earlier, and you’re all set to go. Unless, of course, your futon has more serious stains that need to be dealt with; if that’s the case, keep reading!
How To Clean Stains From Your Futon
While the method we discussed above is great for general cleaning and maintenance and light dirty spots, heavier stains and spot will require more serious treatments. The best method we’ve discovered is as follows:
1) If The Stain is Fresh, Dab Up As Much As You Can
In general, it’s important to try and clean a stain as soon as possible after it occurs; the longer the stain sits there, the better chance it has of setting in and being stuck there permanently.
Therefore, when something first spills on your futon, try to blot up as much of the liquid as you can using paper towels, cloth towels, or an absorbent sponge. You can press down lightly in order to try and absorb as much of the staining liquid as possible, but make sure you don’t scrub at the affected area; scrubbing has the potential to force the stain in deeper, which in turn will actually make it harder to remove in the long run.
2) Apply a Vinegar Mixture to The Stain
Vinegar is effective at removing both unwanted stains and odors, so it makes sense to use it in a situation like this. In this case, it’s a good idea to dilute the vinegar, so make a mixture that’s half vinegar and half warm water. Then, apply this mixture to the affected area of the futon. (Some people pour the mixture directly onto the stained area, while others prefer to use a spray bottle so the mixture doesn’t over-saturate the mattress; ultimately, the decision of how to apply it is up to you.)
3) Add Baking Soda (and a hydrogen peroxide mixture if desired)
After applying your vinegar and water mixture to the stain, sprinkle baking soda on it. At this stage, you may also apply a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and a light detergent if you want to; a low percentage hydrogen peroxide (such as one with an intensity of 3%) can be effective for stain removal in tandem with the detergent.
Do take care, however; hydrogen peroxide has been known to have bleaching effects in certain circumstances, so you can skip this part of Step 3 if you’re worried about discoloration and just stick with the baking soda instead. In any case, once you’re done with this step, let the stain sit for ten or fifteen minutes.
4) Let The Stain Sit, and Then Blot It Up
As mentioned above, once you’re applied both the vinegar mixture and the baking soda, let the stain sit for a little while. Then, once the cleaners have had time to soak in a bit, come back and blot at the stain again. If your cleaning process has been successful, the stain will lift out of the futon’s fabric. Then, all you need to do is let your futon dry and air out before placing clean bedding on it. (If the stain lingers, however, you may want to either try another round of cleaning or consult with an upholstery cleaning professional).
As you can see, the process for cleaning a futon mattress is largely similar to the process for cleaning a normal mattress, albeit with a few small differences. In any case, we hope that you’ve found this article helpful and informative. And if you have any further questions about futon care and maintenance, we encourage you to do additional research on the subject until you’re satisfied and comfortable with the subject. Have a great day!