Memory foam mattress toppers should be cleaned at least once a year to get rid of things like dust mites, bacteria, and allergens. These things can affect not only your sleep, but also your health so its important that they don’t build up too much over time. That is why it is important that you clean your sheets and mattress pad properly and regularly.
Most mattress pads can be machine washed in warm water and tumbled gently in the drying machine, but others like memory foam, wool, down, feather, latex or egg crate toppers, need to be washed by hand. To be safe, you should always check the tag or information that comes with your specific mattress topper and follow the care instructions.
Did you know the average person sweats out around 200 ml. of perspiration every single night?
Your sheets may pick up most of the sweat and other things that get into your bed, but not everything. Properly washing your mattress topper will help you make sure that it lasts and is kept clean. Keep in mind that these are just guidelines, and depending on your circumstances you might want to wash your mattress pad more often than others.
Here is a basic guideline on how to wash your mattress pad by hand:
1. Clean Your Mattress Pad by Hand
A machine is likely to ruin a memory foam mattress pad, so be sure to wash your mattress pad gently by hand if it is memory foam.
Other mattress pads can be washed either by hand or by machine, but be sure not to use extreme temperatures or rough cycles just to be safe.
2. Things That You Will Need:
Before you start washing your mattress topper, you are going to want to gather a few essentials close-by, including:
- a vacuum ( if you also have a steamer, that’s great)
- gentle fabric cleaner
- a spray bottle (for the diluted cleaner)
- boric acid, borax, pet stain cleaner, or other chemicals (for stains)
- baking soda (for odor)
3. Find a Good Spot
Find a good spot to clean your mattress pad based on how dirty it is and if you will need to use chemicals to get stains out. If chemicals are being used, you are going to want space with open windows so you can air the room out.
Also, you may want to cover your floor to keep it from getting wet and dirty in the process. You can also try using a bathtub or laundry room space instead.
4. Vacuum First
Start vacuuming your mattress pad with a vacuum with strong suction (I use Black and Decker and recommend) to get things like dirt, dust, and crumbs off before you start to wash it. Vacuum in a circular motion and pay attention to dips, seams, and other areas where a lot of buildup can occur.
TIP: If you own a steamer, that's great. Use it prior to vacuuming to get rid of any dust mites.
5. If There Are No Stains
If you are doing a routine clean and there are no unsightly stains that need to be addressed, you can start to clean your mattress pad by spraying a solution made using gentle detergent (e.g Woolite) and two parts water.
Make sure the mattress pad is covered in the solution but be careful not to let it get too soaked in to any areas. Let it sit for about a half an hour before rinsing it off, squeezing out excess water, and allowing the mattress pad to dry out completely.
TIP: Remember prevention is easier than a cure. Use a mattress topper cover or a waterproof mattress topper.
6. If There Are Stains
If you do have to attend to a few stains before washing your mattress pad, try washing it with a diluted mixture of 2oz of powdered detergent with 300ml of warm water and rubbing it with a sponge until the stain fades out completely. Switch to using a dry sponge to remove all the detergent and let it dry out completely.
If this method didn’t work, consider sprinkling on some boric acid, Borax or an enzyme-based cleaner and rub gently in a circular motion until the stain is removed. Let the spot dry and simply vacuum any power residue.
If your stain is pet related, there are pet stain cleaners that specifically help deal with things like the smell.
TIP: Do NOT use bleach in an attempt to remove the stain. A bleach solution will actually worsen the stain by spreading it. Plus, bleach is too harsh of a chemical to be used on any mattress fabric material.
7. To Remove Odors
To remove odors from your mattress pad:
- Mix 1 cup of baking soda
- With 8 drops of lavender essential oil (lavender is antibacterial, kills dust mites, and promotes sleep)
- Use a kitchen sifter and sift over the areas you want to cover.
- Leave it on from a few hours to overnight.
- Vacuum up all residue.
TIP: If possible, let your mattress topper dry out in the sun, this helps to eliminate odors.
8. Remember to Do the Other Side
While you have everything out and you’re doing it in the first place, don’t forget to flip your mattress pad around and give the other side a quick cleaning too!
9. Let it Dry out Completely
Make sure that your mattress pad is completely dry before sleeping on it again. If you do not dry it properly, your mattress pad could potentially grow mold and mildew. The best method is to allow your mattress pad to air dry, and it helps if it is sunny and dry when you do it.
So, is there a best way to clean my mattress pad?
We all know that we are supposed to wash our bed sheets every few weeks, and now we know that our mattress pads need to be washed a little bit less, but still at least once per year. That number might increase if you know you have stains or your pet has peed on your mattress pad.
Depending on the type of mattress pad you have, you may or may not be able to wash and dry it in a machine. If not, you will have to take the time to do it by hand. The good thing is your mattress pad will smell and feel great when you are done!