How To Clean a Memory Foam Mattress Pad (& Other Materials)
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If you have a mattress made completely of memory foam, or you have a memory foam topper, you should set aside at least one day per year to give it a good clean.
Unlike other bedding materials, memory foam tends to absorb dirt and odors, which means cleaning them is essential.
In this guide, we're going to walk you through the entire process of properly cleaning and sanitizing your memory foam mattress pad, step by step.
Let's get started!
Before we start on the steps, here are a few things you should know about cleaning memory foam.
- Set aside an entire day for the clean, most of this will be drying time
- Make sure you have extra time if you're removing stains from vomit, blood, or urine. These will need to soak with a baking soda mixture in addition to the regular cleaning.
- You CANNOT wash a mattress pad in the washing machine unless specifically suggested by the manufacturer. If your mattress pad isn't made of memory foam, you may be able to wash it in the washing machine, but all memory foam mattress pads should be hand washed only.
Okay, now that we have that covered, let's start cleaning.
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Step 1: Remove The Memory Foam Mattress Pad
The first step in cleaning your mattress pad is to take it off of the bed. Ideally, you want to put it in a well-ventilated room with tile flooring. Since you're going to be using liquids to clean the mattress pad, tile will be the safest flooring material to clean on.
If you only have carpet or hardwood floors, you can try putting the mattress pad in your bathroom if it's large enough, or if all else fails, put the pad on a tarp.
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Step 2: Remove Large Debris and Vacuum
The next step to cleaning your memory foam mattress pad is to remove any large debris and vacuum it. If you have an eggshell style pad, make sure you get everything out from the divots, paying extra attention to anything that's created a hole for itself.
After you've removed large debris from the pad, its time to vacuum. The best type of vacuum to use is a cordless handheld, but any vacuum with a hose and soft brush attachment will work too.
Vacuum the entire mattress pad, being careful not to press too hard. Make circular motions, methodically working from top to bottom, to pick up all the dust and dirt that's trapped.
Step 3: If You Have Stains or Odors, Take Care Of That First
Before you get to the actual cleaning of the mattress pad, you should address stains and odors. If the mattress pad has even been the unlucky victim of vomit, urine, or blood, this step is critical.
For stains, first, spray down the area with water, then sprinkle boric acid on it and blot the stain until it's gone. If you have a serious stain and this doesn't work, you can use an enzymatic pet stain cleaner. This helps remove deep-down stains.
Once you have the stains removed, if you have odors, sprinkle the mattress pad with baking soda and let it sit for at least 8 hours. This time period is critical for the baking soda to do its job. Once the 8 hours have passed, vacuum away the baking soda and move onto the next step.
Step 4: Spray With Watery-Detergent
The next step is to spray down your mattress pad with a mixture of 1 part laundry detergent and two parts water. If you can, use a gentle detergent that's meant for hand-washing.
Don't soak the mattress, but make sure it gets a nice even layer of detergent.
Once you've sprayed down the entire pad, flip it and do the other side.
Step 5: Let It Dry
With both sides of the memory foam mattress pad sprayed down, open up some windows and let the pad dry out.
You should allow for at least 8 hours, so letting it sit overnight is a good idea.
If after 8 hours, it's still wet, flip the mattress pad and let it sit longer.
Step 6: Vacuum Residue
Once both sides of the mattress pad are dry, get out the vacuum again and vacuum up any detergent residue.
Step 7: Put It Back On Your Bed
Once you've cleaned, dried, and vacuumed up all the residue, put the mattress pad back on your bed, being extra vigilant about any remaining moisture. If the pad isn't completely dry, it can develop mold, so make sure there are no moist areas anywhere on the pad.
Now that you know how to get your mattress pad good as new let us know how it worked in the comments section below!
Courtney is the reason The Sleep Shop exists. She’s a Seattle native with a passion for healthy sleep. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a major in marketing. She started The Sleep Shop to help friends and family choose a good mattress, and helped grow the site to what it is today. She does most of the product testing and reviews.