06 February 2008

Adventures in Mold

I really really miss one thing about living in Calgary. NO mold whatsoever! No bugs, no allergies, no mess at all. When you live in the cleanest city on Earth for 5 years and then come to Hong Kong, it's a bit of a shock. I thought I had avoided the dirtier side of HK quite well the past year.5

I was wrong...

We flip the mattress about every 2-4 weeks depending on if I remember or not. As advised by the manufacturer IKEASS you really only need to do this every 2-3 months. Boy I'm glad I didn't wait that long. It had only been about 3-4 weeks since the last flip, but in that time a nice patch of mold had decided to take up residence underneath the matress. "Ewwwwwww!" = Mai's exact words.

At first I had no clue as to how this happened. I flip it regularly, it's not dirty, it was clean when I last flipped it, we don't sweat THAT much, and I have a mattress pad as well. Also this just happens to be the dry time of the year. It's been raining a little but not that much. It is way more humid in the summer. Still the bottom of the mattress was damp and moldy. Hoooooray!

I moved it to the living room to let it dry out. Once dry I thought I could unzip the mattress and clean the cover. The zipper was completely jammed and the pull thing was broken off. Weird, I have never even looked at it. I thought, "Woohoo! Manufacturing defect, I can return it! Yay no more mold! Lucky me!."


I went to IKEA today to claim that the mattress was faulty due to the broken zipper (not my problem it also happened to be moldy) and therefore I could not clean it so the mattress would be wrecked through no fault of my own. NO I didn't tell them it had mold on it. So the 12 year old working at IKEASS proceeded to call his manager - this took 10 minutes - to ask if he could give me a new mattress with a working zipper. According to them, zippers are not part of the mattress therefore not covered under the mattress 25 year warranty. "How the heck am I supposed to clean it!" was my thought. What I said was the zipper is part of the mattress, the cover and foam are sold as one unit, why isn't it covered?

I got no answer.

They told me to take a picture of the damage and send it to the global IKEASS inquiry email. So in maybe 100 years they'll get to my email and reply, sorry, we can't open jpeg images over 1KB, please send again. Then another 100 years will pass and I'll be told that I'm already dead so I can't claim the warranty. Woooooo!

So now I'm stuck with a mattress that I cannot clean unless I break the zipper. Ok I already broke the zipper, so I can clean it, sort of.

I tried cleaning the cover with the shower by blasting hot water and detergent on it. This sort of worked but the stains from the mold are still there. I'm hoping that I used enough disinfectant to kill the patch of mold that was there. The actual foam inside seems to be perfectly fine, so if the mold gets worse I will have to ask IKEASS for a new cover. For now the stained one hangs drying.

After all of this I'm still angry about why the bed was moldy in the first place. The mold only shows up in the portions of the bed where the most weight is applied. I did some googling and discovered that our "convienently" designed bed was really just another word for "floor" and by being totally flat with no air to go under the mattress, we were doomed from the start. Awesome... So because of 3 small shelves and an empty storage area we have a bed that grows mold no matter what we do.

The only solution is to turn the mattress every 1-2 days so it can dry totally from any moisture created by our weight causing a moisture barrier when it's cold and damp outside. Awesome...

I hate moisture barriers...

Advice: Don't buy beds from IKEASS, don't buy a bed without a frame, and don't put a mattress on a flat surface.

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