How to find a hole in an Air Mattress
We have a favorite air mattress that we have had for years. It has a flat top with a couple inches of memory foam on it. It is the closest to a normal bed that we have ever seen or slept on. But like all air mattresses they eventually get little holes in it and you are trying to pump air into it at 3 in the morning.
I’ve seen videos on Youtube of people trying to put their air mattress in a pool and try to sink it. With all of the movement and the super small air bubbles it can be incredibly hard to find the holes. My husband has a super easy way to find even the smallest of hole in an air mattress, inner tube, or any other kind of blow up toy like pool toys.
Simply grab a rag or wash cloth, get it quite wet to the point it holds the water but when you squeeze it the water comes out easily. Then lather it up with a couple squirts of dish soap. Then scan the surface of the air mattress or tube or other inflatables and look for any irregularities in the surface. Small little discolorations in the surface sometimes are where the small holes are. Those small holes can be so small that you can’t feel the air coming out but if you run the soapy rag over the hole then it will create soap bubbles. Move the rag around that area till you pin point exactly where the air leak is. Then use you finger and point to the area and dry off the surface. With a permanent marker make a small circle or X directly over the spot, maybe half and inch or finger nail width mark. That way when you use a patch it covers the mark as well.
To fix the hole you will need kits based on what type of air mattress you have. Many of the older air mattress are more vinyl then a plastic or pvc type material. You can try to use a rubber cement type kit that most bike inner tubes use.
But if it doesn’t stick or adhere to it then the next best thing, and the only thing we use now, is the rubber patch from those kits but instead of rubber cement we use super glue. And glue the same patch from the kit on and press it hard against the mattress till it dries. Holding a small clear saran wrap or plastic film against it, you can peal it back or if it sticks to it just cut the excess off. It will be firm and not flexible like the rubber cement but it works so much better and wont peel back like rubber cement patches do.
Once the patch with super glue has dried, say after 5 or 10 minutes, you can go ahead and fill up the air mattress to sleep on it. We have tried all kinds of repair kits and the rubber patch with the super glue has been the best fix for all types of air mattresses. For inner tubes the rubber cement will work best. It is just that air mattresses are all made out of slightly different materials that the super glue works best.