Now let’s be real, a mattress brand can promise you that its product doesn’t scratch or easy to have holes, but you need to know how to patch an air mattress nonetheless. In fact, it’s the number one skill that an air mattress owner needs to have, besides pumping in and pumping air out.
Leaking air is a frustrating problem, regardless you are using the air mattress in your home or outside camping. Luckily, we can have the solution quick and effectively by bringing the patching kits with us whenever we use the air mattress. All you need to do is just learn how to do it.
We have presented how to patch an air mattress effectively and fast below, so make sure you read it to the end.
Air Mattress Patching Repair Kits
As with any other house works, you need to get the right tool if you want things to be done successfully. In patching an air mattress, the toolkit without a doubt must include the vinyl patch and the vinyl adhesive.
What is vinyl?
You can see that we use both patches and adhesive made from vinyl. So what is vinyl?
Vinyl is a synthetic resin, or more often called, plastic. While an air mattress is most commonly made of PVC, we can’t realistically use the final form of PVC that is used on the surface of a mattress to mend a mattress. In the situation when a hole is making your air mattress deflating, we will need to have self-adhesive vinyl.
Self-adhesive vinyl is a material that is both flexible and versatile. People often use it to create graphics, decorate walls, windows, etc. Among its wide variety of users, we also use vinyl glue, or vinyl adhesives, or vinyl bonding to mend air mattress.
The type of vinyl plastic that is used for patching is actually polyvinyl chloride. The substance is safe and easy to use, so you can patch your mattress on your own, and teach anyone in the family to use it.
Where can I buy an air mattress patching kit?
Commonly, an air mattress patching kit comes together in the bundle with your air mattress. However, if you lost it, used them up or didn’t bring it with you on the trip, we can easily buy these kits in the local hardware stores. If you look for these kits in outdoor stores, you will see them in a larger bundle including sandpapers, too. In a pinch, we can even use a patching kit for cycling. Most companies also offer their products online, so you have the option to conveniently have them delivered to your doorsteps. Otherwise, some convenient store or supermarkets also carry these items.
If a kit is nowhere in sight, you could look for these two items instead:
- A vinyl patch: this looks like a sheet of thin plastic. Vinyl sheets are also the materials of shower curtains or pool liners.
(If you don’t have vinyl patches and need to fix the air mattress right away, we could make do with any strong and thin sheet of materials, for example, cotton, or duct tape. With cotton and duct tape, the mending will be temporary, and we need to use different types of glue).
- Glue: Depend on the patch that you use, we can choose different kinds of glue to create a bond.
If the patch is made of vinyl or PVC, then use vinyl glue. This combination is the best and lasts you the longest.
If the patch is cotton, you have to use regular superglue. However, this cannot stand water for too long, so you wouldn’t want to do it outside of an emergency.
If you use duct tape, then no glue is needed because it is self-adhesive. However, the duct tape doesn’t give us a bonding, rather, it just sits on the surface of the material. That’s why using duct tape makes our patch comes off quickly and should only be used temporarily.
You’ve known what we need to have in the kit. On the other hand, there are some more common household items we would need to use for this job:
- A pair of thin rubber gloves.
- A pair of sharp scissors to cut up the patch for mending.
- Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol to wash up the space that we’ll put the glue on.
- Soap and water for cleansing. We can use wet wipes for this purpose.
- Wet wipes (optional).
- Duct tapes; or a clean piece of cloth and superglue for temporary mending.
So, let’s get into the task!
How to patch an air mattress: Step by step guide
To mend holes in a mattress, we need to:
- Locate the holes.
- Clean the surrounding areas.
- Do the patching.
Let’s go do the job from one step at a time.
1. Locating the leaking holes
A mattress is big and the holes that air leak from are often small and hard to detect. Most of the time, you would have to inflate the mattress fully to catch these holes.
Use your eyes to scan all of the sides. If the holes are too small, you would also need to use your hands to feel up the air leaking out. Keep the air pump by your side all the time, because this trick would not work if the mattress is not tightly inflated.
*Tips: If your hands can’t feel the leaking holes, your ears might be able to detect it. Lie down so that your ears are close to the mattress and start scanning in that position. We are looking for a hissing sound.
If the holes are still nowhere to be found, then we need to use the aid of water and soap.
Make a solution with one teaspoon of liquid dish detergent in two cups of water. Soak a sponge in the solution and spread soap water all over the mattress. From the leaking areas, we will see bubbles popping up.
Once you’ve found the leaking hole, make sure you mark that up with a pen! Some people also use tape or even their lipstick. We can utilize anything that stands out and won’t leave a mark later.
As we’ve done with step 1, let’s get into step 2.
2. Cleaning the surrounding areas of the leaking holes
First of all, deflate the mattress completely. If the mattress is still full of air, the patching work will look wrinkly and can’t prevent the air from leaking.
Lay the deflated mattress down on the ground. Use rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol to clean the areas that we marked. We can use cosmetic cotton, or normal cotton, or even a towel to do this. Don’t use wet wipes though, because the water in wet wipes will dilute the isopropyl alcohol. Make sure that you mark the holes in the nearby areas of the holes so that the markings won’t be wiped away.
*Tip: We can also use the soap water used above to clean the area, however, that won’t make the patch stick as well as the alcohol.
Take out your patches, now we will come to step 3.
3. Do the patching works with the leaking holes
More than often, a vinyl patch that comes with the kit is much bigger than the diameter of the holes we need mending. Therefore, you should use a scissor to cut the patch to an accordingly size. Use rubber gloves to avoid the glue get on your hands. Put some glue directly on the hole, and spread the glue out all over the areas surrounding the hole. Then with your clean fingers, put the patching on the glued areas. Press the patch down with pressure. Make sure it covers the entire area.
Most people recommend pressing the patch with your hands in around 30 seconds. Then, we can use something with weight to put constant pressure on it, for example, some books or any similar flat-sided object. We could leave the pressure on for 3 hours to be safe. We need the glue to be dry before putting this pressure on, though.
*Tip: Never lift the patch if it is wrinkly or unsightly because lifting up now will exacerbate the hole, making patching much harder. After 3 hours have passed, you should inflate the mattress fully again to make sure that the holes are no longer leaking. If there is still air leaking out, we should press another patching on the existing one.
How to patch an air mattress with temporary fixes
Like mentioned above, a patching kit might not always be available. Which are when we should use temporary fixes like duct tape or superglue and cotton sheets.
- If you want to use duct tape:
Find the leaking holes like the instructions above.
Cut the duct tapes in long stripes, about 3 – 4 inches. We would need about 3 stripes.
Clean the area surrounding the holes, and put the duct tape stripes on it in a vertical – horizontal and cross pattern. The three stripes should lie on each other like an asterisk (*).
Put pressure on the patching work with your hands in about 30 seconds. Use some books to apply constant pressure on the patching area for about 2 minutes. Wait for another 30 minutes to inflate the mattress again to make sure the holes are no longer leaking.
- If you want to use super glue:
Find and clean the areas surrounding the leaking holes.
Cut a piece of fabric from any clean cloth. We recommend using round pieces of fabric with a diameter of 1 inch. Otherwise, you can cut them up to any size you want. However, too big patches won’t stick on so well, and too small patches won’t be able to prevent air from leaking.
Place the piece of cloth firmly on the air mattress. Dab super glue on to wet the cloth. Use two fingers to keep the cloth in place.
Wait until the super glue dry, which is about 2 – 3 minutes.
Let the glue sit for about 10 minutes and inflate the mattress again to see if the air is still leaking.
*Note: These two are temporary fixes that will only work to keep your mattress from deflating in a short amount of time. Whenever possible, take out the duct tape and do the patching work with a proper kit. If you mend the holes with cotton cloth, then the new vinyl or PVC patch should go on the existing cotton mending, covering a larger area.
More tips on how to patch an air mattress:
- The corners and sides of the mattress cannot be mended by yourself. You should take your mattress to the store to have them patched. Or else, it will leak air easily no matter how right you put the patches on.
- Most air mattress comes with a warranty policy. Always check this policy to see if you can trade your punctured mattress for a new one, or if the store offers to mend your mattress for free.
- Avoid putting your mattress on rough surfaces, and always check for sharp objects before placing your mattress down to avoid punctures. Most brands don’t cover the warranty if you place your mattress on a sharp object.
- The warranty policy will also render ineffective if you have already mended the mattress yourself using super glue. Therefore, if you have other bedding options on hand, leave the work to the professionals rather than mending it yourself.
Air mattresses have many advantages to traditional foam mattresses. However, you must know how to patch an air mattress since they can be punctured and leak air. With this article, we hope that you have nailed down the know-how. Let us know if you have any more questions regarding mattresses!