by Catherine Amo
Futons are more than emergency bedding for guests. Some owners choose futons over traditional beds because they are often less expensive than standard beds and they are convertible, a feature that is ideal for small spaces. Like traditional mattresses, futon mattresses need freshening on a regular basis so they don't develop odors. The methods of caring for futons range from airing them outside to cleaning them with a damp cloth; what you choose will depend on the state of your mattress. Look below to learn how to freshen a futon mattress.
Air out the futon on a sunny day. Place the futon mattress flat and turn it over after an hour or two. You may also hang it from a line. If the futon has a layer of dust, beat it out with a 2-by-2 level while the futon is hanging on the line.
Use baking soda to remove odors. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over one side of the mattress. Allow the powder to sit on the futon for about 30 minutes and then remove it with a vacuum cleaner. Repeat on the other side.
Remove stains. Dip a cloth in water mixed with a mild soap and wring it out. Scrub the spots on the futon in a circular motion. Dip another cloth in water, wring it out and then wipe the wet spots. Let the futon dry completely.
Clean the futon. Lay the futon mattress flat on its frame or on the floor. Spray one side with upholstery cleaner and scrub it clean with a brush or a dry cloth. Scrape off the dirty suds with a spoon or use a vacuum, and then wipe the futon clean with a moist cloth. Allow the side to dry completely before turning it over. Repeat the process for the other side. Work on small sections at a time.
Level the futon. If there are lumps in your futon mattress, lay it flat and walk on it. Concentrate on the high spots and try to shift the filling to the thin spots.
Rotate the futon. Rotate and flip the futon mattress at least once a month so that you are using every side of it. If not, the futon will sag in the spot you usually lie on.