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Can You Put Bleach in a Waterbed?

Pat Krueger
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There are many facets to owning a waterbed. It needs to be filled properly, air bubbles need to be removed from the mattress, condensation and leaks may occur, a heater is necessary to maintain proper temperature, and relocation requires complete draining.

The extra maintenance is overlooked by many individuals who believe the beds provide total body support, relief of arthritic pain and improved circulation. One question which is frequently asked concerns the use of chlorine bleach in lieu of waterbed conditioner.


Bacteria can quickly grow in a warm waterbed mattress. Strong chemicals need to be added twice a year to ensure mold and fungus do not develop in the mattress.


Waterbed conditioners contain very strong compounds to control bacteria and keep the water clean. Chlorine bleach is comprised of active powerful ingredients. It does not, however, have the elements and components necessary for proper waterbed maintenance.


A waterbed mattress can sustain damage through the use of chlorine bleach. A multipurpose water conditioner properly maintains the vinyl mattress while bleach can cause the plastic to dry, become brittle and crack.


Chlorine bleach is not compatible with vinyl. It chemically changes additives such as plasticizers resulting in damage to the fabric. Consumers should use products compatible with the mattress' composition.


Many manufacturers will not recognize warranties and damage claims if an owner uses chlorine bleach in the mattress rather than a waterbed conditioner compatible with vinyl. After a mattress is damaged due to improper maintenance, it must be replaced; repair is not possible.