How To Clean A Memory Foam Mattress

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how to clean a memory foam mattressHow to clean a memory foam mattress

Have you ever cleaned your mattress? Possibly not. I know it’s something I have not done enough in the past (maybe ever), but now that I have a new memory foam mattress I want to look after it as best I can, so I’ve researched how to clean a memory foam mattress to share the information with you.

Should you clean your mattress? Definitely!

Looking after your mattress will help extend its life and keep it as comfortable as possible for you to get the best sleep. But do you know how to clean a memory foam mattress? It’s actually pretty simple. After I fill you in on why you should keep your mattress clean and the one simple thing you can do to save yourself a lot of worry, I’ll talk you through the three best ways to keep your mattress clean:

  • vacuuming your memory foam mattress
  • removing stains from your memory foam mattress
  • removing spills from your memory foam mattress

Why you should clean your memory foam mattress

Apart from helping extend the life of your mattress, there are three other key reasons why you should clean your mattress. They are:

  1. Cleaning can help keep your mattress as dust free as possible, which will help its breathability and reduce your exposure to this potential allergen
  2. You can prevent the mattress retaining any odor (cool fact: one of the interesting innovations we are seeing more and more of with memory foam is the infusion of the foam with materials such as charcoal that help absorb odor: you can find out more about a mattress infused with green tea and charcoal here)
  3. Any staining will void your mattress warranty, so you need to make sure your mattress is in beautiful condition, should something go wrong. If you have a ten year warranty and encounter a problem in year eight, you don’t want to be left empty handed because someone spilled something on it five years earlier that could have easily been cleaned up!

How often to clean your memory foam mattress

  • wash sheets and bedding weekly
  • wash your mattress protector monthly
  • vacuum your mattress monthly, unless one of the people using the mattress has allergies; in which case you will want to do it more frequently
  • act on any spills or stains immediately

The number one easiest way to keep memory foam clean

Want to avoid cleaning your mattress as much as you possibly can? There is one thing you can do which will help keep your mattress a lot cleaner, and guard against stains. It might sound obvious, but use a mattress protector! This will put a barrier between you and the mattress and take the brunt of any spills and drops that may occur.

You will need to choose a mattress protector that is made of breathable fabric, which is going to come at some cost to waterproofing (as it is always a balance of both). If you put a non breathable protector on your bed, you will sleep really hot because air will not flow through to the mattress. This means that if a spill does occur, just whip the mattress protector off the mattress as quickly as you can!

What NOT to do

There are a couple of things that it is really important you do NOT do when cleaning your memory foam mattress. The first one depends on the manufacture of your specific mattress, the second one is for everyone.

  1. If the manufacturer has specified in the instructions to not remove the mattress cover, DO NOT remove the mattress cover to clean it. Even if it has a zip! Don’t do it. Some mattresses must never have their cover removed because there is a fiberglass layer within the mattress which acts as the fire barrier (a fire barrier is required under federal law and fiberglass is much preferable to some of the chemicals that have been used in the pass to fulfill this function). If you remove the cover from one of these mattresses, you risk dispersing some of that fiberglass around your bedroom: there could be teeny tiny fibers everywhere. I have seen this cause many people to leave one star reviews of mattresses, when it’s not necessary. If your mattress has a non removable cover, do not, under any circumstances take it off for cleaning. Follow the steps below instead.
  2. Don’t wait to clean up a spill. Like I mentioned above, you will want to use a mattress protector that is breathable. That is going to mean it is porous to some extent. If you do not act to start cleaning up a spill immediately, liquid will start absorbing into the foam. This can be impossible to get out later, due to the density of the foam, and lead to mildew.

How to vacuum your memory foam mattress

The purpose of vacuuming your mattress is to remove dust and any dirt that has collected, to keep the mattress allergen free. You can also deodorize the mattress by combining vacuuming with a baking soda treatment.

This is a pretty straight forward process. If you’re used to vacuuming floors, you’ll find vacuuming your mattress a breeze.

  1. Remove all bedding and your mattress protector
  2. Put the upholstery attachment on (this is nice and wide and sometimes has a lint-catching fabric strip perfect for coaxing dust from sofas, chairs, mattresses, and cushions)
  3. Vacuum the entire top surface, paying attention to the seams and stitching areas, where dust and dirt is likely to collect

If you want to deodorize the mattress, sprinkle the surface with baking soda prior to vacuuming. Don’t be shy with it, you might end up using an entire one pound box. Ideally you would leave the baking soda to sit for 24 hours to allow it to work its magic

How to remove stains from your memory foam mattress

If a stain gets onto your mattress, don’t panic, you have a few options of ways to treat it. But the number one most important thing to remember is to SPOT CLEAN ONLY.

  • According to the Consumer Reports website, your best options for cleaning solutions to apply to the stain are:
    • An upholstery cleaner (follow instructions on bottle)
    • Enzyme based pet odor remover can also help lift stains (follow instructions)
    • A mixture of dish detergent and water (keep adding detergent to a cup of water until you get lots of nice foamy bubbles when you mix it. Apply the bubble component to the stain only, to avoid adding too much water
  • Spot clean with a damp cloth, never a fully wet one as you don’t want to add too much extra liquid to the mattress. Depending on the instructions of the solution you are using, or if you’re using dish detergent, allow it to sit on the stain for a few minutes then dab to try and lift the stain, rather than rubbing at it
  • Make sure the area is completely dry before putting bedding back on. You can hurry this process along by putting the mattress outside if the weather and circumstances permit, or running a fan facing the mattress

How to remove spills from your memory foam mattress

  • Immediately remove bedding and mattress protector. Hopefully by whipping them off like lightning will take the majority of the spill with them
  • Blot with paper towels or clean cloths to draw out as much moisture as possible. Dab at the spill rather than rubbing, as rubbing can actually drive the liquid into the mattress
  • Sprinkle the area with baking soda. This will work in two ways: it will absorb any further moisture and help neutralize any odor from the spill. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes
  • Vacuum up the baking soda (remember to use the upholstery attachment as mentioned earlier)
  • If needed, you can repeat the blotting, baking soda and vacuuming process again
  • As above, make sure the area is completely dry before putting your bedding back on

One more way to neutralize odor in a memory foam mattress

There is one more method to remove odor from a mattress. It involves using moisture, so I would recommend you try baking soda first, then use this as a backup option to take care of any lingering odor.

Mix equal parts of vinegar (white would work well as it has no color) and water. Put them into a misting bottle and spray the area you want to neutralize. Don’t pour them on as you will add too much water to the mattress. Misting gives just enough to do the job without risk of wetting the mattress, and disperses the vinegar well.

Make sure the area is completely dry before putting your bedding back on.

Do you have a mattress cleaning tip? Or perhaps a horror story about a spill you couldn’t shift! Please tell me in the comments, I’d love to hear. 







Emily Johnstone

Emily is the creator and owner of Emily's scientific background gives her an analytical, critical, and discerning eye to bring unbiased, thorough, and helpful content to the site. Your good sleep is her top priority. Find out more about Emily and here.