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Finding Leaks in an Air Mattress

Woman pumping up air mattress in the woods
This guide is about finding leaks in an air mattress. It can be challenge to determine where the holes are, when an air mattress deflates itself.
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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 8, 20131 found this helpful

I have a Coleman airbed with built in pump. How do I find a leak and patch it?

By Sharon

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June 11, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

It's the same method as a bicycle tube... fill the air mattress with air. Spread a thin layer of liquid soap all over the mattress. Immerse the mattress in water. Press down on the mattress and watch for the bubbles coming through the soap. You can just immerse it in water, but I found the soap made it easier to find the leak. I put the mattress into a kiddie pool full of water... worked really well. I found the hole in just a few minutes.

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February 21, 20140 found this helpful

I have found a leak all around the built in motor on my air mattress. Is there anyway to fix it or should I just buy a new one?

By Daniel G from Cathedral City, CA

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February 22, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

My friend Bill bought something from Amazon.com, called Coghlan's 8880 Airstop, and said it fixed his air mattress very well. It's a thick liquid that plugs the hole and dries quickly. It only cost about $5-6. Maybe that would work for your air mattress.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 13, 2011

I have an air mattress and have got patches, but how do I find the leak?

By Leona from Lawrenceville, GA

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March 13, 20110 found this helpful

Blow up air mattress, put it bathtub filled with water. Push sections of the air mattress under water, and when you see bubbling, you will be able to locate the leak.

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March 14, 20110 found this helpful

In the old days when tires had tubes and one had to find a small pin whole in the tube the mechanic would wet the tube with a mixture of soap and water. The soap made the pin hole easier to see as the soap would bubble up where the hole was.

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

To add to the conversation, I use a permanent marker to write the date on the bottom of air mattresses, along with "OK"...as in "OK on 3-3-11, to let me know when I last checked for leaks. when a mattress can no longer be repaired (or, if I have no way to patch), I write "leaks" in big letters; then, I use the mattress as a floor pad under a good air mattress.

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March 16, 20110 found this helpful

My advice is similar to Foxrun41's. Make a small basin of soapy water. Wipe it over your air matress and look for bubbles. When you see them, mark the spot with a pen or marker. Dry the air matress thoroughly and patch where you marked. Best to you!

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March 13, 20110 found this helpful

What's the easiest way to check for pin holes in a air mattress?

By Cheryl from Glendale, WI

Answers:

Finding Leaks in an Air Mattress

Fill a spray bottle with water and spray in grids across the mattress and specially the seams. You will see bubbles if a leak exists. Dry with a towel as you go along but, give it time to reveal any leaks first. (09/14/2010)

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By sufigirl

Finding Leaks in an Air Mattress

I read a few years ago if you blow up the mattress and put tissue paper on it, the leaks will show up. You might have to move the paper until leak shows. It is worth a try. (09/14/2010)

By burn55

Finding Leaks in an Air Mattress

Easy and a piece of cake. Fill in the mattress tight with air. Take a pot of water and dissolve any dish washer liquid soap in it. Take a sponge and work the lather all over the mattress. The hole will sound and keep spouting bubbles longer than you think. It is a breeze. (09/26/2010)

By Akizil

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September 12, 20100 found this helpful

How do I find a slow leak in an air mattress?

By denny 1 from Grand Junction, CO

Answers:

Finding Leaks in an Air Mattress

You do the same thing you would to find a leak in a tire; a spray bottle filled with soapy water. Spray the soapy water on the air mattress while it is inflated. Wherever bubbles start to develop is where your leak is. (08/24/2009)

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By medievalmom

Finding Leaks in an Air Mattress

This may sound crazy, but it worked. I lit a dark colored smoke bomb and let it enter the air intake of the pump while blowing up the mattress. Continue to blow the mattress all the way up then let it sit. You will not be able to see smoke come out of the holes, but you will notice the dark powder from the smoke bomb. Bot-a-bing, there's your hole.
(08/02/2010)

By covrooster

Finding Leaks in an Air Mattress

First I tried feeling for the leak in my queen sized 19 inch Aerobed. Next I tried soap bubbles. Third, I tried Brian's advice with tissue paper. I was just about to give up when I saw cjb's advice to use aluminum foil and voila I found the leak in under 5 minutes. The sound was easily detectable when I lay on the mattress and put my ear close to the foil that covered the hole. Thank you so much cjb. (09/06/2010)

By pgelman

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February 9, 20090 found this helpful

Can anyone tell me how to find leaks in air mattress beds?

magnoliatn

Answers:

Find Leaks In An Air Mattress

There's a couple of ways, one is to inflate the mattress and just feel around to see if you can find the leak. Another is to use baby powder after you've inflated it, the air escaping will blow the powder up. It's messy but does work. The first method usually works best. Most air mattresses leak along the seams or around the hole where you inflate it. I would check that hole and make sure the valve is completely intact. Sometimes on cheaper beds that valve wears out or stretches out over time. I worked for a sporting goods store for many years and have come across this many times!
(08/24/2005)

By Madelynnsmama

Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

For fixing it. If the leak is along a seam then I'd use duct tape, they even make colored tapes now if you wanted to match the mattress. If it's something in the valve area. I'd probably just get a new mattress most of them are on sale this time of year. In fact I just got a twin size one for my daughter for $7 on clearance at a chain store!

If you do end up getting a new one, the old "flat" has lots of uses. I cut the vinyl off of one to make the bottoms of dog beds for our labs. I also have an old one in the back of the Suburban to protect the carpeting! (08/24/2005)

By Madelynnsmama

Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

You could make a soap water mixture and spray where you think it might be leaking. It'll make bubbles where the air escapes. (08/24/2005)

Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Another thought is using an incense. Get the stick format and wave the smoke from the incense around the area of choice. Smoke is great for air leak detection. (06/14/2006)

By Jon

Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

I've discovered a much better way of detecting leaks in air mattresses, that does not involve getting anything wet, or making a mess. Get a thin sheet of tissue paper, the kind you use for wrapping gifts. Make sure the room is relatively quiet and the mattress is full. Lay the tissue paper on the mattress and let it rest. If the hole is under the paper, it will make a very audible hissing noise. If you don't hear any hissing after a few seconds, move the paper to cover another area.

Flip the mattress over and try the other side. Then stand the mattress up on its edges and cover the edge with the paper, moving and rotating until you have covered the whole mattress. For the corners, just hold the paper in place in a way that tightly covers the corner. I had an expensive air mattress with built-in pump and velvet top with a hole it it, so we didn't want to use water or soap on half of the mattress, and none of the other methods worked. Tissue paper made the tiny hole quite obvious even on the corner of the mattress. One small patch later (patch kit came with the mattress) and the mattress works perfectly, no need to get an expensive replacement. (11/16/2007)

By Brian

Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Just fill an ordinary spray bottle with a few drops of dish soap and some water, and spray. Inflate it, and bubbles will appear. I found several in mine that way. (02/18/2008)

Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Nothing worked except to fill the mattress with water. Actually, I didn't even get the mattress full of water before I found the leak. (08/22/2008)

By Shane Clark

Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Brian, tissue paper, worked great! found the whole no water, no soap, no mess. Awesome! (09/16/2008)

By Mary Ellen

Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

I usually air up the mattress, then I turn off everything that makes a loud sound. Once it's quiet, I follow the hissing sound that the mattress makes when air is seeping out of it. Usually that sound leads me to the hole. (11/14/2008)

By Herm0sa

Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Fill around 1/2 gallon of water into deflated mattress. Next, with water still inside, fill mattress completely with air, and plug it up.

Next, move mattress to a very dry area and wipe down outside of mattress with a towel. Next, rotate the mattress, and shake it, so the water inside hits every part of mattress.

Next, completely examine outside of mattress for wet spots. There's your hole! :) (12/01/2008)

Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Brian's method worked awesome! I didn't have tissue paper so I used foil and I found the leak super quick without any mess whatsoever. Thank you! (12/30/2008)

By cjb

Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

I just did a search to get some help with problem. I saw tons of posts about water and powder and I did not want to get into all of that. Then I saw the one about the tissue paper. Worked like a charm. It took me less than a minute to find the leak. I patched it and now we are back in business. Thanks! (01/08/2009)

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