Having an air mattress on a camping or fishing trip is great because it offers more comfort than just a sleeping bag. You will feel like you're sleeping on a bed indoors or outdoors.
However, there is a downside to an air mattress, especially for outdoor sleepovers. They are not very durable, and a small rock or a pointy twig will be enough to puncture it. The good news is that you don’t need to carry a sophisticated patch kit with you. You can fix it with super glue.
Patching a Punctured Air Mattress
There are a few methods that you can use to repair a damaged air mattress. The best way to fix it is with a bicycle repair kit or a special air mattress patch. However, any multi-surface glue or super glue will be enough to get the job done. So, let's see what your options are and what to do when you have a leaky air mattress.
Finding the Leak
If you discover or suspect that your air mattress is leaking, you'll have to find it before you can repair it. Here is how you do that:
- Inflate the mattress a bit and dip a sponge in soapy water.
- Wipe the mattress with the sponge.
- Look for bubbles forming on the mattress.
- The area where the bubbles form is where the leak is. The escaping air creates bubbles like a child blowing bubbles.
- When you’ve pinpointed the leak, it's time to start the repair.
Patching the Leak with Super Glue
Super glue is a multi-surface glue that can fix almost anything. You can even use it to glue metal pipes together if you don’t have any metal glue or epoxy on hand. As such, you bet it's able to plug the leak on your air mattress quickly. Here is what you need to do that:
- Super glue
- Fine sanding paper
- Think layer of rubber or plastic
When you've gathered what you need, it's time to get started. Follow this simple step-by-step process and your air mattress will look as good as new in less than 15 minutes.
- Sand away the felt around the hole
Take the sanding paper and gently sand away the area around the hole. You must use a super-fine sanding paper if you don't want to cause even more damage. You need to sand away the soft felt around the leak to make the surface better able to hold the glue/patch. Keep sanding until the surface is nice and smooth.
- Prepare the patch
The next step is to prepare a strong, flexible plastic patch. You can use any plastic table cover or shower curtain. If you don't have those, a small piece of bicycle tire will do. Take a pair of scissors and cut out a 1-square-inch piece. Wash the patch and dry it out to get the best results.
- Apply the super glue
Pour some super glue around the leak. You can also apply it to the patch. Cover the entire area with plenty of super glue to make sure that the patch sticks to the surface of the air mattress.
- Apply the patch and put some pressure on it
When the entire area you prepared is covered with glue, apply the patch over it. The patch has to be placed in a way that leaves at least a centimeter of material around the leak. Press it down with your hand and remove the excess glue around the edges.
- Place a heavy object on top for 8 hours
Even though super glue takes only a few minutes to dry out, you should get something heavy and place it over the patch. You can use a few big books or a couple of bricks to get the job done. Leave the weighs on top of the patched leak for 6 to 8 hours to make sure that the glue adheres to the mattress. Of course, if you’re patching up leaks in the wild, you may take a chance and skip those 6-8 hours.
(Repeat Steps 1 to 5 if there are additional holes)
- Inflate the air mattress
The last step is to inflate the mattress to see if the leak is plugged. If you did everything correctly, the air mattress should hold the air inside. The best thing about using super glue to fix a leaky air mattress is that you won't have to come back and plug the leak again.
You Are Ready to Go Camping Again
Repairing a leaky air mattress is simple enough with super glue. As long as you keep plugging any holes that occur, there's no reason why you couldn't use the mattress for years to come. If it starts leaking again after some time, you can always use a bigger patch to cover everything up.