How To Clean A Memory Foam Mattress That Has Tough Stains

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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The memory foam mattress is the epitome of comfortable sleep in today’s lifestyle, where sleep is a huge part of one’s well-being. However, cleanliness is one of the major forms of a mattress’ comfort and cannot be separated from health and wellness.

A dirty mattress comes with many risks, including dust mites, allergic reactions, a blocked nose, and a bad look at the owner’s personality. You have all the reasons to clean your mattress, and we are here to show you how to clean a memory foam mattress using easy steps.

How to Clean Memory Foam Mattresses

You have to be careful when cleaning your mattress to keep it safe for use after you are done. However, you do not want to damage your mattress in the name of cleaning it, and if you follow the following steps, you will enjoy using your mattress for the days ahead.

1. Remove and Wash the Mattress Cover

If your mattress has a removable cover, it is good to clean the cover regularly. Most removable mattress covers are machine washable. But if your mattress doesn’t have a cover or protector, make a note to buy one of the best mattress protectors or covers. It will help in keeping your mattress clean and free of stains.

2. Vacuum the Mattress

If you have always wanted to use your cordless handheld vacuum cleaner, now is the time to put it to use. You will be assured of restful sleep when you include a vacuum cleaner as part of your cleaning solution. Mattresses are the most notorious traps for dust, dead skin cells, and other tiny particles. The nature of the mattress and how it is built make the foam have a high affinity for any tiny thing that might stick to the surface.

Vacuuming memory foam mattress

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Your other bet is to use an upholstery attachment to get the job done in no time. These devices are quite easy to handle and appropriate for cleaning mattresses. Using heavier equipment might damage the mattress and rip some parts. Our goal is to get an intact and newly cleaned mattress. These gadgets will get the entire surface cleaned because they are not as limited as using a fabric cleaner.

The advantage of vacuuming is that you can do it as often as you want. For example, every time you change your sheets is a good time to get some vacuuming going to ensure your mattress is always clean. Cleaning your mattress as many times as possible is a great way to ensure your mattress does not build up excess dust to call for a thorough cleaning.

Nooks and crevices are parts you should not forget and look out for most. These parts contain more dust and dirt than the entire mattress. You may wonder why bed bugs like these parts. And the answer is that they are the hardest parts to get to. Vacuuming is a great way to get to these parts to ensure you deep clean the mattress every time you are out cleaning.

3. Mattress Cleaning Solution

A vacuum may be a great way to get rid of dust, dead skin cells, dirt, and pet hair. However, the method is not the most efficient in removing stains. In addition, many things might cause staining on the mattress. I will not mention some, but other reasons include spilling drinks on the mattress cover or kids getting playful on the bed. All in all, you have to remove stains to keep the look of a new mattress.

Cleaning a memory foam mattress

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You have many options for making a cleaning detergent for your mattress. You can use a dishwasher liquid, a fabric cleaner, or a mild detergent to get the mattress pads or cover cleaned. The mattress materials are not very different from your other fabric and will respond to the washing solution like the fabric would.

Once you have settled on the cleaner you want to use, you can mix one part with two-part warm water to get the process started. Next, add the solution to a spray bottle to help you clean the whole surface of the memory foam mattress evenly and neatly. Tough stains will hardly stand in the way of this solution.

You will need a stronger solution in the spray bottle for urine stains and discolored surfaces. You can use one-part white vinegar and three-part water to get the job done. Baking soda will come in handy in such situations as well. You can sprinkle baking soda on the surface to get rid of foul smells while at it.

While memory foam mattresses are the best on the market, they will not do well with hydrogen peroxide. Therefore, limit the hydrogen peroxide solution to traditional mattresses because they damage the memory foam mattress material.

4. Spot Cleaning

Identify the spots on the mattress that require most of the cleaning you can manage. The first go-to solution is the fabric cleaner, as we had established before. However, you may want to introduce the vinegar solution on the memory foam mattress for tougher stains.

You do not want your mattress to absorb excess water while cleaning. Therefore, you should use a highly absorbent, clean towel to clean the memory foam mattress. Remember, harsh chemicals will do more harm to the mattress than good.

Spot cleaning

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Use circular motions to clean the spots on the mattress while minding the foam underneath. Cleaning memory foam mattresses is not the hardest thing to do, provided you follow the right steps.

Once you are done spot cleaning, you want to pat the area you have cleaned with paper towels to absorb the water that may be clogged in the mattress. Next, cover the cleaned area with dry baking soda for about eight hours to help completely dry the mattress by absorbing the excess water left behind. In addition, the baking soda will pull the stain off the surface of the memory foam mattress and deodorize the surface, leaving the mattress fresh.

Once the baking powder has done its job, get back the vacuum cleaner and remove all the baking soda from the cleaned surface of the mattress.

5. Drying

The drying process is one of the most important cleaning memory foam mattresses. If you keep the mattress with waterlogged in it, you might end up causing a foul smell after a few days of using the mattress. Your sleep quality will depend on how well the mattress dries. You would rather give away a few hours to let the mattress dry completely rather than suffer many nights of discomfort.

Drying memory foam mattress

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It is important to focus on the wet spots with more stains because they probably have more waterlogged in them. If you have a hairdryer, you are in luck because now is a good time to put it to use. You can use the hairdryer by moving it in a circular motion over the spot until the patch is dry to the touch. This way, you can ensure that all the water has dried out and the mattress is ready for use. Your cleaning process will be close to complete when you do this.

If you are unlucky enough not to own a hairdryer, you have other options at your disposal that you can use. For example, you can use a fan by bringing it close to the wet spots, ensuring the spots you cleaned with a damp cloth dry before putting the mattress to use.

Ways of Caring for Your Memory Foam Mattress

Caring for your mattress

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Before you start looking for the empty spray bottle or the steam cleaner, there are ways of keeping the mattress clean and always protected. Learning how to clean your memory foam mattress is a great way to get started if the mattress gets dirty. However, these practices will make your work easier when it gets to the point of cleaning your mattress.

  • If you wish for your memory foam mattress to be clean at all times, you should look into and install the best mattress topper. A memory foam mattress topper is great because it will take one for the mattress every time you want it to. A memory foam topper and mattress protector should be on your list of things you have to get.
  • Before you learn how to deep clean memory foam mattresses, you can have good habits, including avoiding foods and drinks on your mattress.
  • Place your mattress in direct sunlight whenever you can to keep it fresh. Polyurethane foam absorbs a lot of sweat, and sunlight helps with that. This will improve the air quality in your bedroom.
  • Avoid using an excess solution of vinegar or any harsh chemicals when cleaning.
  • When cleaning spots, use a clean cloth or a damp rag to keep the memory foam mattress clean.
  • Ensure the memory foam mattress cover is machine washed and make changes every time you can.
  • When cleaning, use a soft brush attachment and other mattress resources to get to the tricky crevices.
  • Let the mattress air dry in the last stages of cleaning.
  • Turn the mattress over periodically so as not to hide stains.
  • Have multiple mattress protectors.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress

How to clean a memory foam mattress

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1. Can I wash a memory foam mattress?

It is possible to wash a memory foam mattress safely. After vacuuming, you can use laundry detergent and lukewarm water to clean the mattress. To do so, gently spray the cleaning solution over your mattress but don’t get it too wet to avoid damaging the memory foam.

2. How do I deep clean a memory foam mattress?

To deep clean a memory foam mattress, mix equal parts water and liquid laundry detergent. Spray the solution on the mattress and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Rinse off the cleaning solution by wiping it with a damp rag. You can repeat the spraying and rinsing until the mattress is clean. Then, towel dry with a fresh towel by pressing it on the mattress to remove excess water and let the spot sit to fully dry. 

3. What is the best way to clean a memory foam mattress topper?

Just like a memory foam mattress, a memory foam mattress topper can’t be tossed in the washing machine and instead should be vacuumed, spot cleaned, and fully air-dried. Follow the regular vacuuming steps and the cleaning guide in this article to remove any dust, dirt, or stain from your memory foam mattress toppers

4. What do you clean a memory foam with?

To efficiently remove dust, dirt, and debris, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner or an upholstery attachment. However, these items cannot suffice in removing stains. So for deep cleaning and stain removal, you should use a cleaning solution. You can use a dishwasher liquid, a fabric cleaner, or a mild detergent. Also, for tougher stains, you can use a vinegar solution.

5. How often should I clean My memory foam mattress?

Estimates differ for how often you should clean your memory foam mattress. However, it’s recommended that you give your mattress a thorough clean every six months. But you can clean your mattress as often as you feel comfortable, and you should do it more frequently if you have allergies or notice odors. You can use at least a vacuum cleaner whenever you change your bedding to remove dust and debris. 

6. Can I put my memory foam mattress in the washer?

Do not put your memory foam mattress in the washer. Memory foam mattresses should be hand washed because machine washing can cause them to tear and damage since they are delicate. You can use a vacuum cleaner or careful handwashing to wash your memory foam mattress.

7. How do I protect my memory foam mattress from spills?

You can use a mattress protector or cover, preferably an encasement covering all six sides of the mattress. However, not all mattress covers and protectors are waterproof, so look for waterproof ones. Also, you should use a protector that protects against dust mites and bed bugs.

8. How do I keep my memory foam mattress clean?

After cleaning your memory foam mattress, you should keep it fresh and clean for longer. Here are some tips to work with:

  • Vacuum regularly to get rid of any hair, dust, and dirt
  • Open the windows for ventilation to eliminate any odors
  • Wash your bedding and mattress cover regularly
  • Don’t eat or drink in bed to avoid any spills
  • Avoid letting your pets on the bed

9. Can I steam-clean a memory foam mattress?

No, you shouldn’t steam clean a memory foam mattress. Steam cleaning uses liquid in the steam form to wash the memory foam mattress, and the moisture can saturate your mattress, leaving it soaked and nearly impossible to dry. This can damage the construction and integrity of your memory foam mattress. Extremely wet memory foam can also develop an odor, mold, bacteria, or mildew growth.

Steam cleaning could also affect your memory foam mattress warranty.

Final Take on How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattress

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Every medical professional and certified sleep coach training personnel will tell you how important cleaning a memory foam mattress is. You spend close to half your life asleep. If you don’t take care of your sleep environment, you will miss out on staying healthy and happy. Good sleep is related to many advantages, including a stress-free life. Therefore, your memory foam mattress deserves the best care it can get.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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