Memory foam mattresses are one of the most popular mattress types across the US. Their distinctive slow responsive feel and soft cushioning make them the number one choice for many homes. But, how do you clean a memory foam mattress? Do you need to follow a specific cleaning regime? Yes, you do. Here’s How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress.
Cleaning Memory Foam Mattress – Your Quick Guide
Cleaning a memory foam mattress is easy and doesn’t require any specialist equipment or materials. You can tackle the job yourself using common household cleaning solutions – just follow the steps below. Regardless of whether you want to perform a periodic clean to restore freshness, or if you’ve had an accidental spill and need to remove moisture, odor, or a stubborn stain – we’ve got your back. Our 10-step guide below covers everything you need to know about how to clean a memory foam mattress. You’ll have it clean and smelling like new in no time, see below.
What You Need to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress
- Baking Soda
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Mild Detergent
- Stain Remover
- Spray Bottle
- Clean White Cloth
1: Act Quickly
The first thing you need to do is – act quickly. If it’s an accidental spill or stain that needs to be cleaned up, time is of the essence. The sooner you act the easier the clean job you have on your hands. Liquids can damage the fabric of the memory foam.
And, left unchecked they can degrade your mattress and affect its overall performance. If you’ve had a spill or an accident, don’t waste any time. Act on it right away. If you leave it overnight to the following day it will become more difficult to remove a stain or unpleasant odor.
2: Check the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Perhaps the most important step on this list is to begin by checking the manufacturer’s care instructions for your specific mattress. While cleaning a memory foam mattress is easy, you need to abide by the instructions of the manufacturer. And, if they advise you to avoid using any materials or techniques you should not use them.
Even if they are included in the steps below. Failure to follow your mattress manufacturer’s guidelines could result in damage to your memory foam and the voiding of your warranty. This is the last thing you want to happen, so be warned. However, in general, the following steps should be applied to clean a memory foam mattress.
3: Remove Bed Clothing
First up, you should remove all bed clothing and accessories. Strip away blankets, sheets, pillows, cushions, mattress toppers, and protectors. Add what you can to the laundry if they need cleaning. This is the perfect time to wash all your bedclothes and accessories. Once you have everything stripped away you should have the memory foam mattress exposed and ready for your attention.
4: Sprinkle Baking Soda
If you’ve spilled a liquid on the mattress you should begin by sprinkling a generous layer of baking soda on the affected area. If the stain is still wet you should leave the baking soda in place for 12 hours, or overnight, to allow it get to work. Baking soda is an excellent material for absorbing liquids and neutralizing odors. It will effectively absorb any moisture that has been soaked into the memory mattress surface.
If you are not trying to remove a stain and just want to freshen up your memory foam mattress you should sprinkle a light coating of baking soda over the entire mattress surface. Leave it overnight, (aim for 12 hours), and then remove using a vacuum cleaner – see next step. This will freshen up your mattress and remove any residual moisture or unwanted odors.
5: Vacuum the Mattress
Next up, grab a vacuum cleaner. Vacuuming the mattress surface is the best way to remove the baking soda. Attach the upholstery soft brush attachment. This works best at getting into the foam crevices and the soft bristles won’t damage the memory foam.
Once the baking soda has been removed you should spend some time vacuuming the remainder of the memory foam surface. You can use the crevice attachment tool to access those difficult-to-reach areas. This will remove debris and particles that have accumulated on the mattress and will help restore that new-mattress feel.
6: Spot Clean Stains
If you’ve been lucky enough to tackle the spill right away – the chances are your memory foam mattress will require no further steps. However, if the spill has been left overnight or longer you may have a nasty stain that needs removal. In this case, you’ll have to take some additional steps. But, don’t worry. Removing a stain from a mattress is simple. Just follow the steps below.
Begin by preparing a cleaning solution. Most stains can be removed using a mild detergent or stain remover. Apply your preferred cleaning solution to the affected area using a spray bottle. Then, allow 20-30 minutes for it to get to work.
Use a clean white cloth to firmly dab the stain. Do not rub as this will spread the stain over a larger area. And, always use a white cloth to prevent colored dye from transferring onto the memory foam. Colored cloths are a no-no.
7: Tackling Difficult Stains
While mild detergent or stain remover will effectively remove stains from most memory foam mattresses – more difficult stains will require a tougher approach. If you’ve tried the spot cleaning step above and it hasn’t removed the stain you need to power up your cleaning solution and reach for white vinegar. White vinegar is a powerful and effective cleaning solution and it’s great for removing stubborn stains on memory foam mattresses.
All you have to do is mix a ¼ cup of white vinegar with ¾ cup of water. Add the solution to a spray bottle and spray the affected area. Don’t overspray as it will become difficult to remove all the cleaning solution. Allow 20 minutes for the solution to get to work. Then grab a clean white cloth and dab the area to remove the liquid and the stain. Hey presto, you have a clean memory foam mattress!
8: Removing Food Stains
The best way to remove food stains from a memory foam mattress is to use a mild detergent solution as described in step 6: Spot Clean Stains. Most food stains are easily removed using either a mild detergent mixture or a stain remover for more stubborn stains. If the food stain has been allowed to dry for a considerable period it becomes very difficult to remove. If this happens, reach for the white vinegar and follow the instructions outlined in step 7: Tackling Difficult Stains.
9: Rinse Mattress Surface
If you’ve used a cleaning solution or white vinegar to clean your memory foam mattress – you should follow this rinsing step to remove the cleaning solution when you’re done. Rinsing is easy. Just take a clean white cloth, moisten it with cold water, and dab the area repeatedly to remove as much cleaning solution as possible. You should be left with a clean memory foam mattress and a small water-damp area that needs to be dried.
10: Air Dry
The last step in cleaning a memory foam mattress is air drying. It is vital you completely dry the mattress foam before returning the bedclothes. And retained moisture could lead to nasty microbial growth within the foam. A source of unwanted odor and a potential health risk. Here’s how to dry a memory foam mattress after cleaning.
Ensure the mattress surface is exposed. There should be no sheets or blankets on the mattress. Then, all you have to do is allow the mattress to naturally air dry with time. This can take anywhere between 24-48 hours. You can test for dryness by pressing a piece of clean tissue paper into the foam and checking for moisture absorption on the tissue.
Do not use any heat source to speed up the drying process. The heat for a fan heater or hair drier can damage the structure of memory foam. And, impact the performance and comfort of your mattress. Take your time, and allow the mattress to completely air dry before returning it to use. Now we’ve covered how to clean a memory foam mattress, see below for a list of frequently asked questions.
CLEANING MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS FAQ
Can I use a steam cleaner on a memory foam mattress?
No, don’t use a steam cleaner on a memory foam mattress. The heat from the steam could cause irreparable damage to the foam structure and damage your mattress. Instead, use a mild detergent solution and dab the affected area using a clean white cloth.
What kind of detergent should I use to clean a memory foam mattress?
You should use mild and gentle detergent to clean a memory foam mattress. Mix up a solution of mild detergent and water and apply it to the mattress surface using a spray bottle. Take care not to saturate the foam as it may be difficult to remove all the detergent if too much is applied.
How often should I clean my memory foam mattress?
You should clean your memory foam mattress every six months to maintain and clean and comfortable sleeping surface. For a scheduled clean you should sprinkle a light coating of baking soda over the entire mattress and remove using a vacuum cleaner. Baking soda effectively absorbs moisture and restores freshness.
Can I use bleach to remove stains from a memory foam mattress?
No, you should not use bleach to remove stains from a memory foam mattress. Bleach is a potent chemical and can damage the foam structure, cause discoloration, and leave an overpowering smell. If you have a stubborn stain on a memory foam mattress you should use a white vinegar cleaning solution to remove it.
How long does it take for a memory foam mattress to dry after cleaning?
It takes 24-48 hours to dry a memory foam mattress after cleaning. Allow the mattress to air dry naturally and do not use a heat source such as a fan heater or hair dryer to speed up the process. These can damage the foam structure and impact mattress comfort and performance.
Can I use a vacuum cleaner with a regular attachment to clean a memory foam mattress?
If you are using a vacuum cleaner to clean a memory foam mattress you should use the upholstery attachment with the soft bristles. The soft bristles will not scratch or damage the memory foam as you work your way across the mattress surface.
Is it necessary to use a mattress protector after cleaning a memory foam mattress?
It is not necessary to use a mattress protector after cleaning a memory foam mattress. However, it is highly recommended. Mattress protectors are inexpensive and highly effective at shielding the mattress surface from spills and accidents.
How do I remove urine stains and odors from a memory foam mattress?
Urine stains can be removed from a memory foam mattress using a solution of either mild detergent in water or stain remover and water. Apply the solution to the stain using a spray bottle. Then, dab the area using a clean white cloth to break the stain down and remove the discoloration. More stubborn urine stains can be removed using a solution of white vinegar and water.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JESSICA GABEL – MCG Contributor
Jessica joined the MCG team in 2021 and is our in-house sleep expert. She is a fountain of knowledge on sleep cycles, sleep hygiene, and sleep-related disorders. Jessica is a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Mexico and holds a B.S in Sociology.
When she’s not educating us on sleep-related matters she is continuing her studies at the University of Arizona. Outside of work and study, Jessica likes to explore the great outdoors. Her favorite places to visit include the White Sands National Park, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.