How to Fix an Inflatable

In the past, whenever our inflatables get a hole, whether it’s a toy or a swimming gear, it was headed straight to the trash. Not that I didn’t try to fix them, it’s just that I always fail. One day, it’d be all patched up and filled with air but deflated again the next. Ugh! I finally gave up.

That is, until now.

When our air mattress leaked, I was determined to find a solution. It was just too much of a waste to throw it in the bin. After trying a couple of methods, I’m happy to say that I was able to successfully patch it up. It stayed nice and comfy when I woke up the next morning, and the morning after that, and the morning after that, and the morning after that…

Find the Hole

First thing you need to do is to find the hole. It’s easier said than done. It took me a couple of days to find it but here’s what worked for me:

  1. Fill the inflatable with air, more than you’d usually do.
  2. Sit on it, lie on it, put pressure on it.
  3. Feel the surface for cold air. Do it systematically, from left to right, top to bottom, front to back. Some say that our lips are more sensitive to the cold air so you can pucker up. I was able to feel the hole with my cheeks though so that works too.
  4. Once you’ve found the hole, remember its location and deflate the mattress completely.

Hole on Air Mattress

Clean the Surface

It was unfortunate that the hole I found was on the flocked/velvet side of the mattress. Since most adhesives would not adhere to that surface, I had to scrape that off. I did not have sand paper so I used an exfoliating pad that I have at home. I dabbed it with a little water and started scraping off the velvet side.

Must Remove Flock

Here’s what it looked like after all that scraping. The PVC material underneath is now showing.


Patch the Hole

To patch it up, I used the following:

  1. A pair of scissors (to cut a patch of tarpaulin)
  2. A small patch of tarpaulin
  3. Adhesive – I used Handy Fix (the one with AiAi delas Alas on the packaging) that I got for P55 from Handyman Homecenter


I loaded the small patch of tarpaulin with LOTS of adhesive. I didn’t want to take any chances. 😛 I then stuck it into the air mattress making sure to flatten out any air pockets. For good measure, I placed a heavy set of books on top of it and only inflated it after 24 hours.


So here it is, all inflated and still good after a a week of use. Knock on wood! 🙂

Air Mattress

I’ve tried the same procedure to fix the others also like this punching bag sea lion (I don’t know what it’s really called).

Fix Inflatable

Hope you find this useful!



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