There’s nothing quite like the allure of getting off the grid and reveling in the beauty of nature, which is probably why both kids and adults get so excited about sleepaway camps. Whether you’re running a typical summer camp for children or your facility is designed for adults only, however, you have to find ways to account for limited temperature and humidity controls in cabins, along with the potential for musty mattresses.
When you start to notice that musty smell, it can mean only one thing: you’ve got moisture in your mattresses and you may be growing mildew or mold. Your guests will not appreciate the smell (or the allergy implications) and for safety’s sake, you need to make sure your mattresses are clean, fresh, and dry by the time guests arrive. In other words, you need to know how to freshen up a musty mattress. Here are a few tips sure to help.
Moisture is the root of the problem when dealing with musty mattresses, which means you need to find ways to deal with humidity and dry out your mattress. Sunlight is your friend in this case. You can start by placing mattresses on a clean tarp in direct sunlight. Wipe them down with a damp cloth to clean the surface and dry them thoroughly with towels. Then leave them to bake in the hot sun, evaporating moisture and even killing pathogens in the process.
You might also consider adding dehumidifiers to cabins. As a caveat, this will really only work in enclosed environments, so if your air conditioning system is provided by nature (i.e. open windows and steady breezes), a dehumidifier won’t really help.
How to Freshen Up a Musty Mattress with Odor Neutralizers
Once you’ve dried your mattress, the next step is to remove all traces of mold or mildew that may be present and neutralize any lingering odors. You’ll want to start by vacuuming the surface to suck up any spores that might be dried out, but ready to revive with even a hint of moisture. As a side note, make sure to empty vacuum bags or cannisters into outdoor trash bins to prevent spores from filtering back into cabins.
Now it’s time to apply natural odor neutralizers like vinegar and baking soda. You could spray mattresses with Lysol to eliminate bacteria, but the chemicals might cause skin and respiratory irritation for some guests. Instead, lightly mist mattresses with a solution of a 1:4 ratio of distilled white vinegar and water, thoroughly drying with towels and sunshine, before sprinkling with baking soda, allowing it to sit for at least 15 minutes, and then vacuuming away.
Take Preventive Measures
The best defense is a good offense, and this means taking preventive measures to avoid the onset of moisture and mustiness. Waterproof foam mattresses for your industrial-strength, metal bunk beds are a great way to provide comfort, safety, and minimal need for upkeep. Silky mattress covers not only keep moisture out, but they’re easy to wipe down with a damp cloth or clean in a washing machine. This handy solution will all but eliminate the need to learn how to freshen up a musty mattress.
ESS Universal manufactures and supplies high-quality, cost-effective commercial grade beds, mattresses, and furniture to camps, hostels, shelters, dorms and more. View our entire line of furniture products including our popular waterproof foam mattress for institutional use, single metal bed frames, single over single bunk beds, single over double bunk beds, and triple bunk beds. Download our catalog for detailed information on our complete product line.