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How to Clean a Futon

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Published April 28, 2010 | Updated June 30, 2015

Because they're perfect for both sitting and sleeping, futons get a lot of use. All that use can lead to a dirty futon, which is why regular maintenance is important. Follow these tips to get your futon clean and looking like new.

Cleaning a Futon:

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  1. Rotate the Mattress

    Rotate your futon mattress regularly. Depending on the type of futon mattress you have, you may have to rotate the mattress more often. Rotating your futon mattress will keep it from developing sink spots and give it a longer life. When you first purchase your futon, rotate the mattress on a regular basis during the first 30 days to ensure optimal weight distribution.

  2. Get Rid of Surface Stains

    Use a damp washcloth, warm water, and mild laundry detergent to remove any unsightly surface stains. Avoid soaking the mattress; too much moisture can lead to mildew.

  3. Deodorize

    Unfold the futon so the mattress is flat and sprinkle baking soda over the mattress. Let it sit for about an hour while the baking soda absorbs odors, then vacuum it off. For a deeper cleaning, you may be able to use a steam cleaner to deodorize your futon; check your manufacturer's instructions regarding the use of a steam cleaner on the mattress. For a quick refresher between cleanings, you can use household spray fabric freshener.

  4. Air Out the Mattress

    Leave your futon unfolded without a cover or any bedding for an hour or so. This will give the mattress time to air out. You can also use a fan to help circulate the air while you're airing it out.

  5. Vacuum

    Vacuuming your mattress on a regular basis throughout the month will help keep it free of dust and dust mites. If you leave it folded up in the sitting position while you vacuum, make sure to get in the cracks with the brush attachment.

  6. Care for the Frame

    Remove the mattress from the futon frame and examine the joints to ensure none are bent or rusted. Tighten any screws, if needed. If your futon frame is made of hardwood, dust and polish it with furniture polish as needed. A metal frame should be wiped down with a damp rag.

  7. Protect It with a Futon Cover

    Most futon covers are made of a thicker material than bed sheets and are machine washable. Wash your mattress cover a few times a month if it is used regularly.