How to Clean a Futon Mattress

How you clean a Futon Mattress no matter if it’s a Japanese style or any style is simple. The items you will need are…

  • Fabric Spray Cleaner
  • Urine Remover Spray
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • White Distilled Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray Bottle
  • Rubbing Alcohol diluted with Water

You may not need all these items depending on how dirty your futon is.

How to Clean Futon

To clean your futon and it’s mattress you’ll want to separate the futon mattress from the futon frame. Each item must be washed differently.

Cleaning Futon Mattress

Cleaning the futon mattress is a bit more tricky. If you have urine on the mattress, then please skip below for the urine section as that is a whole different beast to deal with.

If your futon has a cover, then remove it and wash it in the washing machine. To cut down on cleaning in the future, you should get a Mattress Protector like this one* which helps to keep a mattress cleaner over time.

The problem with cleaning a futon or any mattress is that you can’t get it fully wet or you’ll ruin it. So you must spot clean it. Here are the steps to take to clean your futon correctly…

  1. Using your Vacuum Cleaner, Vacuum the entire mattress on both sides. Be sure to use the wide attachment on the vacuum and always keep it moving to keep from damaging the mattress. You can buy Mattress Vacuums which has the correct suction and is the most efficient at cleaning mattresses.
  2. With a cover off I like to spot clean the mattress. My cleaner of choice is Rubbing Alcohol in a Spray Bottle diluted with Water. The reason why I use Rubbing Alcohol instead of other cleaners like Vinegar is that Rubbing Alcohol dries quicker. The worst thing you can do to a mattress is getting it soaking wet from trying to clean it. Excess water takes forever to dry and can also cause mold. Just be careful with Rubbing Alcohol as it is very effective at cleaning and you don’t want to destroy the mattress.
  3. Once you have clean all the spots on the mattress, you want to let it dry or air out. If you can place it in the sun for a day then do that as the sun is very effective at disinfecting. If you can’t place it outside, then place it near a window and put a box fan near it to allow it to air out.

Cleaning Futon Frame

If you can take the futon frame outside, then wash the whole frame with water. Grab a spray bottle with white distilled vinegar and spray and then wipe down the entire frame. Be sure to not keep the vinegar on the bed frame for too long, 10 seconds at the most. Once you have wiped the whole frame down thoroughly rinse off the frame with the garden hose.

If you can not take the bed frame outside then use the spray bottle with vinegar to spray and wipe the whole bed frame down. Then go behind with a wet rag to get up any residue.

The reason why you have to be quick with vinegar is that it is an acid and can start to eat the wood or metal of the futon’s frame. The perks of Vinegar is that it’s easy to get and a natural cleaner at cleaning germs and other nasty stuff.

A better solution is to use a disinfectant all-purpose cleaner. You want to use something that disinfects because mice, bugs, and even humans leave nasty things behind. With an all-purpose cleaner, you can really get into cleaning without worrying about the side effects of vinegar.


It doesn’t matter if its human urine, cat urine, or even dog urine – urine is a tricky thing to get out of a futon mattress.

The first thing you need to do is absorb as much of the urine as possible with a rag or paper towels. You need to act quick. After you have done this or if the urine has dried into the futon mattress then you can try this below.

Just got to say, all this could have been avoided if you had a Mattress Protector on your mattress.

If you have a mattress cover on your futon, just remove it and place in the wash.

You’ll want to get a spray bottle with Rubbing Alcohol and Water next and spray the area affected down and dry it off with a clean rag. The reason why I like to use Rubbing Alcohol is that it will kill bacteria and also will help to dry the pee out of the mattress quicker.

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the area with the rubbing alcohol, wipe it up with a wet rag just to get any residue.

But you’re not done just yet. You may think you have got it all, but you didn’t. The smell of pee always comes back and to avoid this you must use a Urine Remover Spray. These sprays will dig deep and uses enzymes to eat the pee away and removes the issue.

Avoid Doing This

No matter what the internet says, you should really avoid using baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or bleach unless you want to stain your mattress.

The reason to avoid baking soda is that everyone says to vacuum it up, but this destroys vacuums as the particles are so small that they can burn up a vacuum motor.avoid hydrogen peroxide or bleach is because they can stain some materials. Both are super effective at cleaning especially the bleach but could permanently stain your mattress.

Avoiding hydrogen peroxide or bleach is wise because they can stain some materials. Both are super effective at cleaning especially the bleach but the side effects of stains are not worth it.

The reason why you don’t want to use straight Rubbing Alcohol and only want to spot clean with it as it is flammable. Diluting the Rubbing Alcohol with water is the best way to solve this issue. You must also allow proper time for it to dry before sleeping on it. This is why I recommend wiping the area you clean with a wet rag to soak up any Rubbing Alcohol or to dilute it.

Remove Mold From Futon

If you have mold on your futon mattress, then the best cleaner to use is Rubbing Alcohol diluted with Water. The rubbing Alcohol will kill the Mold Spores and also will help clean the surface too.

The mold comes from the mattress getting wet either by urine, sweat, or water. The best way to avoid mold is to add a protecting layer to your mattress by using a Mattress Protector.

Professional Futon Cleaning

Some places will professionally clean a futon mattress for you, but to be honest, it might be worth it just to buy a new mattress.

Futon Mattresses are quite affordable if you buy them online and avoid the expensive retail stores. Buying online means you avoid the high overhead that retail stores have and also avoid the annoying salespeople.

Leave a Comment