Futons are highly functional pieces of furniture and some of the most popular seating and sleeping options available today.
At the same time, because they get so much use the odds are ready good that you find yourself having to clean your futon more often than you might have thought. Worse than that, these things can be tricky to tackle when it comes time to do a deeper clean.
But that’s why we have put together this quick guide.
Below we highlight (almost) everything you need to know about how to clean your futon mattress effectively.
By the time you’re done with the inside information in this breakdown, you’ll know exactly how to bring older futons back to better than brand-new condition and keep them sparkling clean without headache or hassle.
Shall we get right to it? Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
Regularly Rotate Your Futon Mattress
Depending on the amount of use that your futon gets you’re going to want to rotate the mattress pretty frequently.
If your futon is used all the time (set up in your living room, for example) rotating the mattress and flipping it over a couple of times a week is never a bad idea. You’ll be able to avoid “soft spots”, you’ll extend its life by quite a bit, and you’ll make it a whole lot more comfortable to use at the same time.
Of course, rotating your mattress isn’t going to do a whole lot when it comes time to deep clean that mattress.
That’s what the rest of this guide aims to help you with.
Remove Surface Stains
If you are dealing with surface stains you’re going to want to address the issue ASAP.
You have a couple of different cleaning options available to you, but almost all of them break down into two different categories – wet surface cleaners and dry surface cleaners.
Wet surface cleaners (like stain removers designed with fabric in mind) work wonders on futons, but you have to be careful that you don’t over soak your mattress. Add too much wet cleaner and you’ll end up causing mold and mildew to take place. That’s only going to make an already unpleasant situation even worse.
Choose wet surface cleaners designed to attack the stains or surface issues you’re looking to clean up. A general-purpose cleaner can be used to sort of deodorize and sanitize things, whereas a specific statement were designed to combat blood, urine, wine, and other liquids should be used in those specific situations.
Dry surface cleaners, on the other hand, are powder form options that usually work best in conjunction with rushing or vacuuming your futon.
Some people even swear by sprinkling baking soda over there mattress and allowing it to “work itself in” for about an hour before vacuuming everything up. This will help to cut down on smells, will help to soak up extra moisture, and will help eliminate a lot the general cleanliness issues you’re looking to tackle (like dust buildup, for example).
That baking soda trick also works wonders when you’re just looking to generally deodorize your futon.
Sprinkle a decent amount of baking soda across the entire surface, giving it anywhere between 45 minutes and two hours to sort of sit on the fabric and soak up all that moisture, all that sweat, all that skin oil and anything else that might be worming its way into your futon.
The material that your futon is made out of may or may not be conducive to steam cleaning. If you can go the steam cleaning route that’s not a bad way to get a bit of a deeper clean while deodorizing your futon at the same time.
You’ll really be able to refresh things quite successfully without soaking or saturating your futon and potentially inviting the mold issues we mentioned earlier.
Of course, it’s never a bad idea to just sort of spray down your futon every now and again with regular fabric freshener between deeper cleans. That’ll keep everything smelling nice and fresh for sure.
Air Out and Vacuum
Giving your futon room to breathe for a day or two can work wonders to refresh it without you having to do really anything else at all.
When your bedding is allowed to stick to your futon for long periods of time it’s going to trap in all of those smells, all of those oils, all of those stains, and all of that excess moisture. This is going to combine to create a whirlwind of “funk” that just letting your futon breathe out can really help.
Set the futon up against the wall (leaning as little of it against the wall as possible) without any cover whatsoever. Give this a couple of hours to a day or two – however much time you have available – every month and your futon will be refreshed better than you would have thought possible otherwise.
It’s important that you get the futon mattress out of the frame when you want to air it out as well.
This helps it from developing “creases” but also helps it from cracking and crunching when it is contorted into a specific shape 99.99% of the time.
You’ll end up with a futon that looks and smells a lot better but one that is a whole lot more comfortable as well.
Invest in Removable and Washable Futon Covers ASAP
After you do a deeper clean for your futon (using all the tips and tricks highlighted above) you’ll want to get your hands on a quality washable futon cover ASAP.
There’s absolutely zero shortage of options of removable and washable futon covers on the market today. You can find them in every color, every pattern, and every size imaginable.
Even more, you can find them in pretty much every fabric imaginable – especially if you jump on a platform like Etsy, for example where people make them in 100% customizable configurations.
Spend an hour or two on Amazon or Etsy looking for futon covers and you’ll be almost overwhelmed with your choices. Just be sure to look for something that is number one completely removable and number two 100% machine washable.
Waterproof liners on the underside of a futon cover is another nice little bonus but not something that you definitely have to have. It will protect from skin oil, spills, and accidents from leaking down and staining or ruining your futon, but sometimes these covers can be a little bit on the more expensive side of things.
Worse, washing these waterproof options on a regular basis usually breaks down the waterproof material itself. Then you end up with a futon cover that’s not all that comfortable and not all that protective that you’ve paid a lot more money for.
Take Care of the Futon Frame, Too
A lot of people spend tons of time keeping their futon mattress nice and fresh without paying attention to their futon frame.
That’s a big mistake.
Some futon frames are made out of aluminum or steel and need to know maintenance whatsoever on a regular basis – but that doesn’t mean that they are totally maintenance-free.
Check the screws and fasteners that hold the frame together for tightness, guaranteeing that someone isn’t going to fold things out to spend the night only to find themselves folded inside the futon around midnight because everything fell apart.
It’s also a good idea to double check that the finish is holding up on metal futon frames. If you see any spots that are wearing or rusting might not be a bad idea to touch them up with a bit of spray paint, just to make sure that things don’t get any worse.
If your futon frame is made of wood you’ll need to do a little more “hands-on” care every now and again.
Check the screws and fasteners as recommended above. But also make sure that the wood finish itself is holding up. Anything that seems compromised or anything that seems prematurely worn out may need to be sanded and refinished.
This usually is a pretty simple and straightforward process but it’s definitely something you want to do outside – maybe while you let your futon mattress air out for a day or two.
At the end of the day, taking care of your futon shouldn’t ever feel like a full-time job.
Keeping it nice and fresh is relatively easy when you stay on top of the preventative maintenance tips we highlighted above.
Rotate the mattress every now and then. Spray things down with fabric freshener. Invest in a removable and washable cover.
When it’s time to do a deeper clean take advantage of cleaning products specifically designed not to soak in to the fabric itself. A little bit goes a long way, too. Make sure that you’re using the right product for the stain or spill you are looking to clean up.
Vacuum your futon on a regular basis, give it time to air out every now and again, and keep your eyes on your futon frame and you’ll be good to go!