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A mattress topper made of memory foam can help you make your sleep more comfortable. However, just like your bedding, it needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent debris build-up and allergies.
So, how to clean a memory foam mattress topper?
Typically, you need to go through the following steps: vacuum dry it, remove stains and spills with a soap solution, deodorize the topper, and let it completely dry before putting the sheets on.
Now, let’s see more detailed instructions to each step right below!
#1 Prepare Your Topper
Before starting to clean your mattress topper, you need to do some preparation that will make the process easier:
- Remove the topper from the bed. You certainly don’t want the dust and soapy water to appear on your mattress, so it’s better to perform the cleaning on the floor (assuming it was vacuumed before).
- If your topper has a cover, remove and wash it as well. The same goes for dual-layer toppers with removable pillow-top layers. Washing and re-fluffing the pillow top in the dryer will add freshness and help prolong the topper’s life. Just make sure to check the maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer first.
“The average lifespan of a memory foam topper is around 3-5 years. Note that it’s only possible to achieve with regular cleaning, rotating, and flipping your topper so that it wears out evenly and gradually.”
#2 Vacuum Your Mattress Topper
The least resourceful way to clean a memory foam mattress topper is dry vacuuming. Here are the steps you should take:
- Place a mattress topper on an even surface. This will allow the vacuum cleaner to reach every spot.
- Vacuum the topper on each side. Try the standard nozzle you usually use and move thoroughly from edge to edge until the whole surface of the topper is cleaned. Then flip the topper and repeat.
- Use various nozzles. If you own an egg-crate mattress topper, try using the vacuum nozzle for hard-to-reach spots. Or, you can use a car vacuum cleaner, which is more compact.
I recommend vacuuming your mattress topper about once a month. This is enough to maintain a fresh look and prevent the dust and debris from building up in the foam pores. However, if you allow your pets to co-sleep with you, it’s advisable to vacuum your mattress pad twice as often so that it wouldn’t provoke allergy.
And one more thing:
You can totally use water-based vacuum cleaners. In fact, this may be even more effective, as they combine dry cleaning, wet cleaning, and deodorization — assuming you use a scented detergent — in one process. Just be sure to leave the topper for complete drying before you return it to the bed.
#3 Deal with Stains
Now, once you’re done with dry cleaning, you’re probably wondering how to clean a memory foam mattress topper if you accidentally spilled a liquid on it.
Well, it’s easier than it seems, to be honest.
But you have to act fast if the stain is fresh — especially if you own a thicker mattress topper, like those designed for hip pain relief — to prevent the liquid from soaking in too deeply so that it will more likely turn into a great home for mold and fungi.
So, here’s what you can do:
- Blot the excess liquid from the spill. You can use paper towels, an old towel or rug, or literally any piece of fabric that absorbs liquid. Do not rub it against the surface; instead, use blotting motions and squeeze the excess into a bucket.
- Remove the spill with a dish soap solution. Add a tablespoon of dish soap into the cup of lukewarm water and use the same blotting motions to distribute the cleaning mixture on the stained area.
- Try baking soda. This method may work for older stains or for those times when you don’t have dish soap at the moment. All you need to do is mix baking soda with water until it forms a consistency similar to that of a paste or spread. Then apply the mixture onto the stain — but do not rub it in — and let it dry. Finally, clean the dry soda with the vacuum. Baking soda has slight bleaching properties and can dissolve oily stains without damaging the mattress pad.
Note that most memory foam toppers aren’t designed to be washed in the washing machine and allow only for dry and spot cleaning. Aside from the fact that most washers simply won’t fit a topper in, the water condensate may collect in the pores and provoke mold growth even if the topper seems completely dry to you.
“Do not use harsh laundry detergents or bleach to clean your mattress topper. They can damage or ruin the foam.”
#4 Remove Odors
Memory foam is a porous material, and it can lock some amount of air and moisture inside the pores. This moisture may be a result of accidental liquid spills or even your own bodily fluids, such as sweat.
Even though scents developed over time are completely normal, they’re still unpleasant.
So, how do you remove them?
Well, I use the following methods:
- baking soda;
- rubbing alcohol spray;
- scents and aromatics.
None of them have failed me to this time, so I will describe each one below and you can choose the one that appeals to you the most.
Baking soda is most commonly used for removing scents from bedding accessories. It can deal with both sharp and mild odors, and it doesn’t damage the materials of your mattress pad.
So, here’s how you use it:
- Sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda around the mattress surface and let it sit for at least 2 hours.
- Vacuum the topper as usual.
- Flip the mattress topper and repeat the procedure.
“You can also use baby powder instead of baking soda. It has the same odor-absorbing properties but may also have a subtle scent that will help you deal with residual odors.”
Rubbing Alcohol Spray
Rubbing alcohol is a volatile compound, so it can trap the odor molecules and then release them into the air, thus making the smell less pronounced.
So, take a spray bottle and fill it with the rubbing alcohol. Then sprinkle it generously over the mattress topper and let completely dry. Repeat if needed.
“You can use regular ethanol or even vodka if you do not have the rubbing alcohol. Just note that vodka will take more time to dry because of higher water content.”
Scents and Aromatics
This method works if your topper has a cover or a removable pillow-top layer. When you put the cover in the dryer, add a scented sheet that is typically used for laundry. This sheet can add pleasant odors and mask the pungent ones.
#5 Dry a Mattress Topper
Moisture is the worst enemy of any memory foam item because it can boost mold and mildew development and damage your mattress pad in the long term.
Unfortunately, many people don’t dry their mattress toppers properly after cleaning.
That’s why I’d like to share a few personal recommendations:
- Airing the topper out is the best way to dry it. If you can place the topper outdoors without putting it to contact with direct sun rays, do it. Circulating air will help the moisture evaporate very quickly.
- If you use a hairdryer, do not use the hot setting. Memory foam is a synthetic material and it can simply melt under the stream of hot air. So, it’s better to blow cold air only. Also, note that 8-11 inches away from the material is the optimal distance for a hairdryer.
Have you used any of these tips? Do you have your own ways to clean a memory foam mattress pad? If you do, share them below!