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How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress

How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 6 minutes
  • Properly maintaining memory foam beds involves carefully washing removable covers, vacuuming off debris regularly, and spot-cleaning stains with a gentle fabric solution to prevent lasting damage.
  • Respond quickly to spills on memory foam mattresses, using either the “Sit & Spray Method” or the “All-Natural Method” for effective stain removal, followed by thorough drying to prevent mold and mildew growth.
  • Employ a waterproof mattress protector to safeguard against stains, dust mites, and allergens, ensuring the longevity and cleanliness of your memory foam mattress for quality sleep.

Memory foam is praised for its pressure-relieving, pain-reducing abilities, and is regarded by some as the most comfortable bed you can buy. However, unlike traditional innerspring mattresses, cleaning memory foam beds can be tricky because they’re essentially large sponges.

But if you’ve spilled on or stained your bed, don’t count your losses quite yet, because there are things you can do to clean a memory foam mattress. Check out our five tips below.

1. Carefully remove and wash the cover

how to dry memory foam mattressFirst, remove the cover from your bed. Most covers can be unzipped and removed to be washed separately. However, check your warranty agreement first to ensure your cover is removable.

Then, locate the zipper on the cover to take it off— this could be on the side or bottom of the mattress. Some covers are trickier to remove than others. Take caution when removing the cover if it’s stained or spilled on, as to not worsen the stain.

To clean the cover, follow the washing directions on the care tag. If there are no instructions, we recommend spot-cleaning it with a mild detergent or throwing it in the wash on a gentle cycle.

Never use bleach when washing your cover. Mattress covers are made with a variety of fabrics, and harsh chemicals can damage, discolor, or interfere with their potential benefits. Also, never put the cover of your mattress in the dryer. Instead, let it hang dry, to avoid accidentally shrinking your mattress cover.

2. Vacuum off any dirt, hair, or lint

While many of us keep our homes clean, we often overlook our mattresses. But over time, dead skin cells, pet dander, hair, sweat, and oil from your skin will accumulate on your bed.

To get the healthiest, germ-free sleep, vacuum up the debris from your bed’s surface every time you change your sheets, or once every two weeks. You can do this with a handheld vacuum cleaner, or with a vacuum brush attachment.

If you’re tackling a stain, be sure to vacuum the entire bed before applying any cleaners. Doing so gets rid of any loose dirt and makes the next step easier.

3. Spot-clean stains with a gentle fabric solution

how to clean a memory foam mattressThe faster you address a stain, the better— as stains can quickly soak into foam mattresses.

To effectively remove a stain, spray it down with a homemade foam cleaner. In a spray bottle, combine ½ cup of fabric cleaner with 1 cup of water. Shake up the bottle, and spray— but don’t go too overboard, as it will take longer to dry.

For particularly stubborn stains, mix ¼ cup of vinegar and ¾ cup of water in your spray bottle; this should clean deeper and remove any sign of an accident.

After you’ve applied your cleaning solution, use a clean cloth to scrub the stain in small, circular motions. Be careful not to scrub too hard— you don’t want the stain to penetrate any deeper into your mattress.

Once the stain is gone, wet a new washrag with cold water to clean off any extra solution. Then let your bed dry.

How to Get Liquids Out of a Mattress

So, the unimaginable has happened— you’ve got a stain on your new mattress. Luckily, it’s not the end of the world. Accidents happen, and fortunately, this is fixable.

Remember, it’s pertinent you address the stain sooner than later, especially when it comes to an acidic liquid. If you let it sit too long, it may leave permanent damage.

Sit & Spray Method

You’ll first remove the cover and bedding from your bed, saturate the affected areas with a bleach-free stain remover, and throw them in the washing machine on a gentle, cold cycle.

Then, grab a spray bottle, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, dishwashing liquid, and a bowl. Mix 10 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and a few drops of dish liquid in the bowl, and then pour the solution in the spray bottle.

Avoid mixing this solution in the spray bottle itself because it can foam over and potentially make another mess for you to clean.

When your solution is ready, spray the stain thoroughly. Don’t go overboard, but it’s critical to make sure you cover the entire stain.

After you’ve applied the stain-removing solution, let your mattress air dry. Open a window, turn on a fan, or set your mattress outside to sit in the sun. Make sure to check the weather before propping your mattress on your back porch, as an unexpected rainy day could result in a waterlogged bed.

Once your bed dries, you should see the stains have been completely removed, leaving your bed looking and smelling as good as new. For extra freshness, follow step 5 below before re-covering your mattress.

All-Natural Method

If you prefer to use all-natural ingredients, try this method, instead.

First, remove the bedding and cover of your mattress and apply a bleach-free stain remover to the affected areas. Then, throw them in the washing machine separately with mild laundry detergent on cold.

Then, gather a roll of paper towels, a clean washrag, and a spray bottle. In the spray bottle, mix ½ cup of baking soda and a ½ cup of white vinegar.

Start by dabbing up as much excess of the stain as you can from the mattress using paper towels.

Next, spray your baking soda-vinegar solution onto the stain and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. While it’s sitting, open the windows or run the fan to help the mattress aerate. After time’s up, use more paper towels to soak up the vinegar from the bed.

Then, sprinkle more baking soda on the surface of your bed and let it sit for at least 2 or 3 hours. The baking soda will pull the vinegar solution and the stain from your mattress, clumping up as it absorbs.

After it looks like the baking soda has soaked up and removed the majority of the stain, use a vacuum to clean the dried baking soda from the mattress.

4. Dry your mattress thoroughly

You can dry your mattress using a fan or a hairdryer on a low setting. Alternatively, you can air out your bed by placing it in direct sunlight.

Before putting the mattress cover back on, make sure your mattress has completely dried; this drying process can take 1 or 2 days. Any excess moisture stuck in the memory foam can cause mold or mildew to grow, ruining your bed.

5. Deodorize and re-vacuum

vacuum your mattress regularlyWhen your mattress is almost dry, sprinkle a bit of baking powder on its surface to freshen it up a bit. Let the baking powder sit for 30-45 minutes and then use a vacuum to clean it off.

Doing this should leave your mattress smelling fresh and clean, enabling it to feel like one of the most comfortable mattresses.

After you’ve completed these five steps and your mattress is completely dry, you’re safe to make the bed.

What’s the Best Way to Maintain a Memory Foam Mattress?

While cleaning a memory foam mattress isn’t an impossible task, you can avoid messes by covering your bed with a waterproof mattress protector.

A mattress protector can effectively maintain the integrity of your mattress, extending its longevity. Protectors can fit like a fitted bed sheet or zip-up around the entire mattress.

How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress

Besides protecting you against stains, mattress protectors also keep dust mites, bed bugs, allergens, and dirt from soaking into your bed— allowing you to sleep germ-free.

When to Replace a Memory Foam Mattress?

Memory foam mattresses can be particularly challenging to clean deeply, and persistent issues may indicate underlying hygiene or structural concerns that compromise sleep quality and health. If cleaning efforts fail to revitalize a memory foam mattress and it remains stained, malodorous, or harbors mold or mildew despite thorough cleaning attempts, it’s time to replace the mattress.

You can save on a new mattress by taking advantage of the year’s big mattress sales:

Are You Ready to Clean the Bed?

Memory foam mattresses can offer a variety of sleep-promoting benefits. For sufferers of neck and back pain, they can be the solution to achieving pain-free sleep.

To get the healthiest sleep, we recommend vacuuming your mattress at least once a month. However, should you face a more difficult clean-up, our five simple steps can save a stained bed.

Christine Lapp is a full-time graduate student and part-time freelancer for Sleep Junkie. Since she was a little girl on the soccer field, Christine has had a love for sports, and she believes everybody should get up and get moving once a day. Now, she incorporates her love for exercise into her studies, pursuing a degree in exercise physiology. Christine understands that what you do during your waking hours has a direct impact on your night’s sleep. In our better sleep guides, she offers advice for developing healthy daytime habits to nurture a more peaceful slumber.

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