How We Stopped the Mold Under Our RV Mattress

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Close up of an RV mattress with mold underneath

Like many others, we take pride in cleaning and picking up after ourselves. We never gave much thought to the idea of finding mold growing where we were living.

That’s why it shocked us when we discovered mold under our RV mattress. We had heard about others experiencing it in their rig but never thought it would happen to us.

Today, we’re sharing how we stopped the mold under our RV mattress. This article is for you if you’re in a similar battle. Let’s get started!

Is Mold Common in RVs?

Unfortunately, mold in RVs is common. A lack of ventilation and maintenance are some of the primary causes. Moisture buildup in enclosed spaces can promote mold growth. 

Campers are especially prone to this when spending time in damp or humid environments. Regular cleaning, ventilation, and monitoring of humidity levels can help prevent mold growth in an RV.

What Causes Mold Under an RV Mattress?

Mold under an RV mattress is typically caused by inadequate ventilation, excess moisture, and lack of airflow. 

Manufacturers often place mattresses directly onto solid surfaces, such as a plywood platform. These prevent airflow from getting underneath the bed. Condensation can form between the two surfaces, leading to mold growth.

Many RVers use a breathable mattress, cut holes in the plywood, or install wood slats to increase airflow. You should regularly inspect and clean the area under the bed to catch any issues as soon as possible.

Can Mold Ruin an RV Mattress?

If you catch mold growth early, you can rescue a mattress. However, mold can quickly spread and ruin your RV mattress. While it’s possible to clean and sanitize a moldy mattress in some cases, it’s typically not easy. 

We knew we weren’t going to sleep peacefully on our old bed. So we ended up hauling our mattress to the local dump to dispose of it. We replaced it with a more comfortable option and took the necessary precautions to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.

Many people spend close to one-third of their day on their mattresses. Mold can cause serious health implications and isn’t something you want to mess with. If you discover or suspect mold growing under your bed, take action immediately.

Is Mattress Mold Toxic?

Mold on a mattress can potentially be toxic. However, it depends on the type of mold and the individual’s sensitivity.

Some mold can produce mycotoxins, which are harmful substances that can cause various health problems, including allergic reactions and respiratory issues. 

If you suspect mold is growing under your mattress, immediately take action. Remove the affected bedding and thoroughly clean the bed and surrounding area. Consult a medical professional if you notice any health changes for you or anyone else spending time in your RV.

A couple laying on their RV mattress after eliminating their mold problem

What to Do If You Find Mold in Your RV

If you discover mold in your RV, especially under your mattress, you can’t ignore it. You need to take action to avoid escalating the situation. Let’s look at what you should do in this situation.

Remove the Mattress

First, remove the mattress. Get it out of your rig as quickly as possible. Find a place to set the mattress to allow it to air out. This may mean placing it in the bed of your truck or against the side of your RV.

If you plan to attempt to recover the mattress, keep it dry and clean. Place a tarp under it or use two objects to elevate it off the ground. Getting as much air to it is a good first step.

Spray with Vinegar 

The next step is to spray the entire infected area with vinegar. Vinegar is cheap and highly effective at killing and stopping mold. Be generous when spraying the various surfaces, including the mattress itself.

Let the vinegar sit for at least an hour before rinsing the surface. Use clean water and a sponge to wipe it down. Avoid oversaturating any fabrics, as it can cause the mold to grow deeper into the fabric.

Some people use a bleach mixture instead of vinegar. However, we’re not a fan of this method as we don’t prefer the harsh odor it often leaves behind. Vinegar does a fine job, and we typically always have some on hand.

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Spray With Mold Control

Once you’ve cleaned the area, come back and spray the entire area with Mold Control. This product eliminates the odors and prevents mold from growing under your RV mattress again.

We love that it doesn’t contain bleach or harsh chemicals and is safe for almost any surface. 

Spray the infected area and let the Mold Control air dry. You don’t need to wipe, scrub, or clean it. Due to its ease of use, this is one product that we think you should consider always having readily available, just in case.

Concrobium 25326 Mold Control Spray, 32 oz
  • Use to eliminate mold, mildew, musty odors and prevent regrowth
  • EPA-registered formula crushes mold spores as it dries and leaves an invisible, barrier

Create Air Circulation Before Putting Mattress Back

If you don’t increase air circulation, you will fight the same battle in the future. Many RVers cut holes into the plywood or use wooden slats and pool noodles to increase air circulation under their mattress. 

However, the easiest and most effective option for us has been to use Hypervent Aire-Flow.

This breathable mattress pad can prevent moisture build-up from occurring under your bed. 

It comes in rolls 39 inches wide and 50 feet long. Just ensure you measure so you get enough to cover all the beds in your rig.

If There’s Too Much Mold, Toss The Mattress

Unfortunately, we had no other choice but to throw our mattress away. If you don’t catch it in time, you’ll likely have the same experience. 

It’s not worth the risk to sleep with a moldy mattress. While the cost to replace it may not be ideal, the potential negative health consequences are worse. When in doubt, replace the mattress.

Keep in Mind: If you’re looking to do some research on the many RV mattress sizes and what makes them different, this is the only RV Mattress Sizes Guide You Need!

Tips for Preventing Mold Under Your RV Mattress

The best way to avoid tossing your RV mattress in the trash is to prevent mold from appearing in the first place. Here are a few tips that can help you prevent mold under your RV mattress.

Paint the Wood Under Your Mattress With Mold-Resistant Paint

One of the best ways to prevent mold is to paint a surface with mold-resistant paint. This creates a nearly impossible surface for mold to grow. Luckily, this is one painting project that is easy to do.

Since most people won’t look under your mattress, you don’t have to worry about taping off areas for perfect edging. 

However, be careful not to get too sloppy that you get paint on the carpet or other surfaces. Apply a few coats and give plenty of drying time between each pass.

Rust-Oleum Zinsser 276087 Mold Killing Primer, Quart, White
  • Protective primer specially formulated to paint over and kill existing mold, mildew, moss, fungi and odor causing...
  • Low odor, water-based coating cleans up easily with soap and water
Zinsser 02774 PERMA-WHITE Mold & Mildew Proof Interior Paint, Quart, Eggshell White
  • Self-Priming formula - requires no sanding
  • Mold & Mildew-Proof paint film - guaranteed for 5 years

Increase Air Circulation

A lack of air circulation is one of the biggest reasons mold thrives under mattresses. Using a product like Hypervent Aire-Flow increases air circulation and nearly eliminates the chance of mold. This is a great option if you want a quick and easy fix.

If your mattress sits on a plywood platform, drilling several circular holes can do the trick. This helps air to flow freely under the bed and through the mattress. Spread out the holes, and don’t install so many that you weaken the platform.

Use a Mattress Protector

A mattress protector can be another layer in your defense plan. We use this cover from Mattress Insider on the bed in our camper. We love it because it encases the whole mattress, not just the top. 

It’s very durable and protects against stains, dust mites, and bed bugs. Whether we’re on an adventure or our camper sits in storage, we know it’s protecting our mattress.

Invest in a Good Dehumidifier

You must create an environment that prevents mold and other bacteria from growing under your RV mattress. These pesky growths thrive in moist environments.

Eliminating the moisture in the air makes it less likely that they’ll grow.

We recommend investing in a high-quality dehumidifier. This is typically one of those products where you get what you pay for. You can get some budget-friendly dehumidifiers that do an excellent job of removing humidity from the environment. 

However, don’t expect this to work in a massive rig. Unless you’re purchasing a whole-home unit, you’ll want one for each room in your camper.

How often you empty these devices depends on how much humidity is in the atmosphere. Many have automatic shut-off features when their storage reservoir gets full. Keep them empty so they can do their job.

Ivation 13-Pint Small-Area Desiccant Dehumidifier Compact and Quiet - With Continuous Drain Hose for Smaller Spaces, Bathroom, Attic, Crawlspace and Closets - For Spaces Up To 270 Sq Ft, White
  • 13-PINT DESICCANT DEHUMIDIFIER – Highly Efficient Desiccant Rotor Removes Moisture, Odors & Mold While Warming Ambient...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT BUT POWERFUL – Enjoy Adjustable Humidity Control & Whisper Quiet Operation for Small Spaces Up to 270...
A dehumidifier in an RV bedroom to decrease the chance of mold under a mattress

Check Spaces Regularly

You can’t let your guard down if you want to enjoy a mold-free RV. Regularly check spaces under mattresses, behind drawers, and in closets.

The second you let your guard down or don’t do your checks, mold will attack. You and your RV could be under attack in the blink of an eye.

Sleep Peacefully Without Mold Under Your RV Mattress

A good defense against mold under your RV mattress requires multiple layers of defense. However, if you build several tips we’ve shared into your plan, you have a good chance of victory. 

Living with mold in your RV can be dangerous and cause serious issues. That’s why we encourage you to take action before mold appears and know what to do if you spot signs of it growing.

Have you looked under your mattress recently?

Last update on 2024-03-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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