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Can an old futon be used as mulch, or composted?

 
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Location: Doylestown, United States
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Has anyone used an old futon for mulch or tried composting it (not all at once but by adding it to a compost pile)? I live in eastern Pa.
 
pollinator
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I imagine that futon is just petroleum product.  I wouldn't want all that microplastic in my soil.
 
Susan Pierson
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No, it feels and looks like cotton, just cotton.
 
gardener
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No labels on it I assume. If it isn't  dyed it could be ok.
 
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Susan Pierson wrote:No, it feels and looks like cotton, just cotton.



Try, carefully,  burning a small tuft of it just to be sure.  If there are any manmade fibers in there they will turn hard like plastic and smell.   I usually hold the fiber with tweezers at the sink with some water handy to dowse the flame.  Cotton should burn with only some soft ash left and unless treated with a fire retardant is not self extinguishing like wool.

The only thing I would worry about if it's cotton is any pesticide/herbicide residue from crop production or  a fire retardant if it's a commercial mattress.

 
Susan Pierson
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Thanks, I'll check. I'm familiar with fibers and reasonable sure it's cotton but forgot about the pesticide issue. I just hate to see it go to the dump.
 
steward & bricolagier
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Susan Pierson wrote:Thanks, I'll check. I'm familiar with fibers and reasonable sure it's cotton but forgot about the pesticide issue. I just hate to see it go to the dump.


What about giving it to someone who raises dogs or some other animals that would like a cozy futon to hang out on? It would keep animals up off the cold ground in winter.
 
Susan Pierson
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It was sitting in the barn on a concrete floor for a number of years, then rats got into a corner of it and so... the only thing to do is compost or throw out, although even after that, when I did start pulling the fibers apart, they looked nice and bright and clean.
 
Judith Browning
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Susan Pierson wrote: when I did start pulling the fibers apart, they looked nice and bright and clean.



Maybe then, the fibers would still be useful as stuffing for dog beds for a shelter then as Pearl mentions?

I used to know exactly what was used on cotton fields when I was weaving full time and handling a lot of 'natural' less processed cotton yarns. That was before I found organic cottons and hemp yarns.  Anyway, it was a lot of chemicals and not regulated so well because it was not food although I always wondered about the cotton seed meal that was fed to cattle?  

I wonder if it would be worth trying to compost in an isolated area away from your gardens and give it a few years to break down in the weather and with some added mushroom slurry, greens, etc?

 
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