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The futon mattress originated in Japan and the western futon mattresses are based on the Japanese original piece with a few alterations. The western mattress is placed on a wood or metal frame which makes it usable for dual purposes. It can be used as a couch and also as a bed. Basically there is a fold in the middle of the frame which converts it into a couch and when it is flattened, it becomes a bed. It is filled with foam and batting in the form of several layers thicker than a Japanese futon. If you are using a futon primarily as a couch and want to keep it clean, the first thing you can do is buy a futon mattress cover to protect it from dirt and stains. These covers can be easily removed and machine washable. And if you are using it as a bed, purchase a mattress pad or a vinyl sheet to keep it clean. But it is also essential to clean the mattress from within and hence, the further part of this article tells you how you can clean a futon mattress and also its cover.
How to Clean a Futon Mattress?
Like all other mattresses, a futon also needs to be flipped regularly so that lumps don't form in the mattress. If you are using the futon as a couch, it needs to be flipped once in a month and if it is used as a bed, you should flip it with every change of sheets. Japanese people clean the futon by hitting it repeatedly with a stick called futon tataki. But for westerners it does not make much sense because they doubt the capability of the stick to remove dust and dirt completely from the mattress.

So here are a few other tips to clean the futon mattress:
Using Household Cleaners
Using White Vinegar
White vinegar
White vinegar is typically beneficial for removing mold and mildew. It neutralizes the mold and mildew and removes the stains caused by it on the fabric. The steps involved are:
  • Mix a cup of white vinegar with four cups of water.
  • Take a sponge that does not have any dirt or dust particles and dip it in the mixture.
  • When the sponge absorbs the cleaning agent, squeeze it to remove the excess solution and dab the area with it that is affected with mold or mildew.
  • Wash the sponge with clean water and dab the affected area with the clean sponge to get rid of the white vinegar smell.
  • Dry your futon mattress outdoors, so that it gets sun and air-dried. The fresh air will clear the remaining vinegar odor while the sun will help it dry completely.
  • Check if there is any damp area on the futon as it can allow some remnants of the mold to reproduce.
Using Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide makes the dirt lose its hold over the mattress so, you can pull it off from the futon cover. Following steps will help you complete the task:
  • Take a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and mix it with a cup of water.
  • Take a clean sponge, dip it into the solution and sponge the affected area with gentle hands.
  • Let the futon air dry to get rid of hydrogen peroxide.
If the above cleaning agents leave a strong unpleasant odor, you can use baking soda to get rid of it. Sprinkle the baking soda without water and let it settle on the mattress for at least an hour. The baking soda will not only remove the bad odor but will leave your mattress with a fresh smell.
Using Other Equipment
These are the general steps followed all over the world to clean the futon mattress. Before starting the cleaning process, take a look at the weather. A bright and sunny day is best for cleaning the mattress as you can sun dry the mattress.
Things You Need
Vacuum
Vacuum cleaner
Steam Cleaner
Steam cleaner
Damp Cloth
Rag and hand
Steps to Clean the Futon Mattress
Step 1
If your mattress has a futon cover, remove it. The covers usually have buttons or zips on the sides and you can clean them separately in the washer.

Step 2
Use a steam cleaner to deal with the soaked stains. Make sure that you do not wet the mattress too much because it will take a lot of time to dry and if it remains damp, fungus and other moisture friendly things will grow on it.

Step 3
Use a damp cloth to clean the visible stains on the surface. Do not use a lot of force as the mattress will become wet and it will be difficult to dry it.

Step 4
After steam cleaning or damp cloth cleaning the futon, let it air dry properly. Now, vacuum the mattress once it is completely dried. Vacuuming a futon mattress regularly keeps it dust and dirt free.
These are the ways you can clean your multipurpose futon mattress. But do remember to read the user manual before using any of the above methods. If your user manual prescribes any specific method of cleaning the futon, use the same.