How To Clean A Futon

A futon mattress is one of the most reliable household items to possess. The padded folding mattress can be used as a bed to sleep on in the house or camping. It can be used as cushioning for your couch/sofa or even used as a couch itself. Because of the futon’s multifaceted uses and portability, at some point, all that repeated usage over a long period of time can lead to your futon getting a bit dirty. Futon covers need some attention too.

Dust, stains, all kinds of dirt, and gunk are unsightly and unbecoming of your trusty futon. A simple solution is to clean it, right? Well, cleaning a futon by yourself without the right knowledge and resources can lead to irreparable damage, and paying the dry cleaners to clean it for you is unnecessary admin and expenses.

This article’s goal is to equip you with all the tips and tricks you need to become a professional futon cleaner so that you can avoid damaging your futon or incurring unnecessary charges at the cleaners. You will find that it’s quite simple and easy to do at home with the right guidance.

List of things that you may need to use:

The list of items required to clean your futon depends on the type of imperfection you are trying to remove. Mould requires a different process compared to dust or urine stains.

General cleaning 

  • Vacuum cleaner.
  • Baking Soda.
  • Mild detergent.

Cleaning urine stains

  • Vacuum cleaner.
  • Baking soda.
  • Vinegar or enzyme cleaner
  • Hydrogen peroxide solution.

Cleaning mold

  • Vacuum
  • Soap and water
  • Rubbing alcohol.

Step By Step Process.

Step 1 

Start by vacuuming your futon to eliminate excess dust, hair, crumbs, and other foreign particles that have gathered on the futon’s inner and outer surfaces. It helps to use a vacuum with high suction power, so set whatever vacuum you have onto the max power setting.

It is important to vacuum before adding deodorant to avoid odd smells. Make sure the mattress is removed from the frame and unfolded. You can make use of a nozzle to get into the tight areas. Scrubbing these tight areas with a brush can also help remove stubborn debris. When you’re done, flip the futon and vacuum the other side.

Step 2

Baking soda is a simple and affordable way to deodorize your futon mattress. It works well, removing stubborn smells that develop over time. These smells are usually due to an accumulation of food particles, sweat, and other moisture kinds. Sprinkle some baking soda all over the mattress and let it sit for an hour or two. After enough time has elapsed, simply run over the mattress again and repeat step 1.

Step 3

The best way to avoid stubborn stains from liquids is to address them before they soak in the fabrics. Wipe the wet area with a paper towel or any absorbent washcloth. Apply detergent (or soap) with cold water to the affected area using a damp washcloth.

The detergent can be scented if you so desire; however, you need to be careful as some scented detergents can damage fabrics. Make sure to test the detergent on a small portion of the futon to check that it won’t cause damage or discoloration before applying it over the stain. After testing the detergent on a small area, you can apply it to the entire affected area.

Gently dab the stain with a washcloth. If the stain is more stubborn, you can gently scrub in a circular motion. Next, wash the affected area with water to remove the detergent. Make sure not to use an excessive amount of water, and if your futon becomes too moist, it becomes susceptible to mold growth and more rancid smells.

Stubborn stains and Mold

For exceptionally stubborn stains such as urine stains, go a step further by using a hydrogen peroxide solution. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and water and cover the affected area with the mixture’s right amount. Sprinkle more baking soda over the stain, followed by a mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide and a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent.

Allow the affected area to absorb the solution for about 15 to 20 minutes. After the required time has elapsed, wipe off the solution with a damp washcloth. Allow the futon to dry outside for 24 hours. Once the futon is completely dry, vacuum it one last time to eliminate any trace of baking soda or debris.

For the process of cleaning mold, we follow step 1 exactly as described above. Then mix equal amounts of isopropyl alcohol and water in a disposable container. Dip a washcloth in the solution and gently scrub the affected area.

Alternatively, you can use hand sanitizing wipes that contain alcohol. Next, after cleaning the moldy area with alcohol, use warm water to wipe the solution away. Then disinfect the affected area using an alcohol-based disinfectant. Conclude the process by letting the futon dry.

How Long it will take

It will take about 24 hours to clean your futon. The slowest part of the process is the drying. However, if it’s sufficiently hot outside, the process can be much shorter. The important thing is to allow the futon to dry fully.

Expected Results

Depending on how dirty your futon is, results can differ. For light stains doing the steps described above should be more than enough. If the stains have sat for longer, they can require repeating the steps described above 2 or 3 times.

Things to look out for

Do not scrub the futon too violently. It’s effortless to tear the fabric of the futon by being too aggressive. Also, do not soak the futon in too much water because this will cause more bad smells.


Eventually, everything gets dirty, but the best method to clean your futon is prevention. Avoid eating and drinking on the futon. It is also necessary to regularly clean the futon so that stains do not get absorbed by the fabrics, making them harder to clean.

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