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Cleaning a Waterbed

A waterbed should be cleaned often, several times a year is great, once a month even better.
Because of moisture inherent in a waterbed, germs, mold, mildew and bacteria can form. You can use a vinyl cleaner on the outside of your waterbed mattress, or you can use a conditioner, which works great on both the inside and outside of your mattress. This type of conditioner will keep away bacteria, as well as keep the mattress supple and less prone to tearing.
Some people recommend using a cleaner such as Pine Sol before using the conditioner. This can help rid your mattress of offending odors and the like, as well as disinfect.
Others recommend using baking soda to wick up moisture and odors.
It won't help keep the mattress supple however, so use a conditioner after using any disinfectant, and never use bleach.
Always make sure the mattress is dry before covering with sheets or zip covers etc. You don't want to trap any moisture inside. That will only promote mold and mildew.
After time, your vinyl bladder will start to lose its plasticizers and start to tear and crack, just like vinyl car seats. Make sure you use a conditioner to stop this from happening.
Washing your bedding, pads and covers in hot water will help rid them of germs and such, as well as take away any odor that may be lingering.
Some recommend washing with vinegar on the first load, then using regular washing detergent on the second.
Airing out your sheets and covers on the clothesline outdoors will help rid them of odors too. Make sure the sun is shining and it's not a humid day. This will all definitely help get rid of any smells as well as any mold on the sheets and covers. You may have to scrub out any offending mold spores and such, before sending them through the wash.
Many times an unpleasant smell can be coming from the inside of a waterbed mattress.
You must always treat the water in your bed with a special conditioner. Every 6 months is recommended, as well as whenever you fill a waterbed. If you smell an odor when removing the cap of your waterbed bladder, then you probably have waited too long to add the conditioner. Adding a shock treatment (biocide) will kill any bacteria that is growing inside.
Make sure you clean between the mattress and safety liner too. Dirt can tend to build up there, so make sure you remain cognizant of it.
Another good tip is turning up the waterbed heater to help kill off germs and bacteria. Turning it up past 80 degrees will help deplete any moisture.
Installing a new waterbed safety liner every several years is a good idea too. It is the last line of defense between your mattress and your floor, to keep any water leaks from ruining your carpet or hardwood floors. After a time, because of trapped dirt and moisture, these liners may start to smell, so replacing them every so often isn't a bad idea.
They also keep your mattress from tearing or producing leaks because of the protection it gives from waterbed hardware and wood furniture.
If you are using a regular garden hose to drain or fill your waterbed, be sure to flush it out before using it. Often a garden hose can itself be prone to bacteria, so you would only be compounding the mistake.
Both hardside and softside waterbeds need cleaning and conditioning.
Also, using a mattress cover for your waterbed will keep dirt and body oils away from it, thus reducing smells and also make your mattress last much longer.
The following are some mattress covers available:
zip covers
quilted covers
Pillowtop covers
deluxe quilted Pillowtop zip covers

Helpful Links:
How to Treat Waterbed Mildew
Mold Removal From Waterbeds
Cleaning A Waterbed Mattress

If you have any questions about cleaning a waterbed, or have any questions in general about waterbeds, give us a call at 1-800-630-5889. We'll be happy to advise you in any way we can.

 
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