Considering we spend 7 to 8 hours in bed, a lot of our dead skin cells, sweat, and body oil gets accumulated on mattress toppers. The skin cells and body fluids invite dust mites, bacteria, fungi, and other allergens to your bed. Dust mites feed on your dead skin cells and thrive in the warm and humid atmosphere of your bed. They can trigger symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat, breathing difficulties, and skin rashes.
It’s best to clean your memory foam mattress topper regularly to avoid allergic reactions. In this article, we discuss general rules to clean your memory foam topper and how to extend its life.
Steps to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress Topper
While you can toss your bedsheets and pillow covers into the washing machine, you cannot clean your memory foam mattress topper the same way. Memory foam gets damaged or ripped in the washing machine. There are different cleaning processes for your memory foam mattress topper. Use any one or more of the following steps depending on the situation.
Before vacuuming your mattress topper, remove it from your bed and place it on the floor. Placing the topper on a hard and flat surface, such as the floor, makes it easier for you to reach all the corners. Vacuum clean with a soft brush attachment because a harder brush can damage the fabric cover of the topper.
Use circular motions to gently clean all dust particles and grime accumulated on the topper. Powerful, handheld vacuum cleaners or water-based vacuum cleaners are effective in cleaning your mattress toppers. Once you’re done vacuuming one side, make sure you flip it over and vacuum the other side.
If you use a water-based vacuum cleaner, ensure your topper is completely dry before putting it back on the bed. The topper may take anywhere between 10 to 24 hours to dry depending on its thickness. Memory foam mattress toppers may be between 2 to 4 inches thick.
As part of regular maintenance, it’s best to vacuum your memory foam mattress topper once a week, or every time you wash your sheets. Frequent vacuuming prevents the accumulation of dust and debris.
Spot Clean Stains
Sometimes you may notice some stains on your memory foam mattress toppers. These can be caused by sweat and body oils, or stains due to accidental spills. Spot cleaning the stains as soon as you notice is crucial to avoid set stains.
Use a light-colored, clean cloth to remove the stains, because darker colors may bleed when dipped in the cleaning solution. There are general rules to remove stains but we recommend reading instructions on the care label before you use anything to clean your memory foam mattress topper.
Use a mild liquid laundry detergent diluted with water to clean your memory foam mattress topper. Avoid low-quality or powder detergents because they may affect the texture of the fabric cover or discolor it.
Mix detergent and water in equal parts in a bowl. Dip a soft cloth in the solution and rub it on the stain in circular motions. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Then take another damp cloth to wipe off the solution. Gradually rub the damp cloth over the stain a few times, ensuring there’s no detergent residue on the topper. Use a clean dry towel to blot the area.
Even if you don’t have any stains on your memory foam mattress topper, you can still use laundry detergent to deodorize and clean your mattress after vacuuming. Mix one part detergent with two parts warm water in a spray bottle.
Gently spray over the topper, avoiding excess water on the foam. Keep moving the bottle, as you spray throughout the entire surface of the topper. Excess water may damage the structure of memory foam and it also delays the drying process. Wait for the topper to dry completely before placing it on your bed.
Baking soda is a good stain remover and odor neutralizer. To remove stains, mix one part baking soda with two parts of cold water. Rub this milky solution on the stain, letting it sit for half an hour. Later dip a dry cloth in clean water and remove the residue of the solution. Once cleaned, blot the area with a clean dry towel or paper towels. Alternatively, sprinkle baking soda directly onto the stain and vacuum it up after 8 hours or overnight.
To deodorize your mattress topper sprinkle baking soda all over it and let it rest for 8 hours or overnight. Later vacuum the surface, ensuring there are no baking soda particles remaining on the topper.
Distilled White Vinegar
Mix equal portions of distilled white vinegar and water in a bowl. Take a soft piece of cloth and dip it in the solution. Gently rub the solution onto the stain in circular motions, moving inwards. This minimizes the chances of spreading the stain. Keep repeating the process until the stains disappear.
Once the stains are gone, wipe off the vinegar solution with a cloth dipped in clean water. Pat dry the area with a clean towel or paper towels.
Moisten the stained area with clean water and then sprinkle boric acid on it. Dab and blot the stain with a sponge or soft cloth using circular motions, until the stain is gone. Avoid scrubbing, because scrubbing may set the stain further.
Wipe the area with a clean, dry towel. Once dried, vacuum the topper, ensuring there are no boric acid residues on it.
Drying your topper completely is a crucial part of its maintenance and care. If there are traces of moisture in the mattress topper when you place it back on the bed, you will notice mold and mildew growth on it. This damages your memory foam mattress topper.
Memory foam takes some time to dry. Keep it in a well-ventilated room with fans on, to speed up the drying process. You may expose your topper to direct sunlight for 30 to 40 mins during the morning hours. The heat absorbs moisture and eliminates odors as well, without you having to do anything. Avoid direct sunlight at noon or afternoon because the high heat may damage the structure of memory foam.
Ways to Extend the Life of Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
High-quality memory foam mattress toppers usually last about three to four years but with proper care, they may last longer. Their durability depends on their thickness, as the thinner ones wear out faster. You may use fitted sheets and mattress protectors to prolong the life of your mattress toppers.
Sometimes, fitted sheets have deep enough pockets to accommodate your mattress topper along with your mattress. For example, a 12-inch tall mattress and a 4-inch tall topper will easily adjust in a fitted sheet with more than 16 inches deep pockets. Measure the depth of your mattress and topper, before buying a fitted sheet to accommodate both. The thinner toppers are usually firm, while the thicker toppers feel plush.
Fitted sheets prevent the accumulation of dead skin cells, dust mites, and other indoor allergens on your mattress topper. Wash them frequently to avoid a buildup of debris.
Use a mattress protector to avoid stains from accidental spills. They are made of waterproof material, offering an easy safeguard against liquid spills. Mattress protectors can be machine washed using a mild detergent.
Can I use hydrogen peroxide to remove stains on my memory foam topper?
Hydrogen peroxide is an effective stain remover, but it may discolor the fabric cover of your topper. Some stubborn stains may need a different approach for removal, as the regular household items may not be effective enough. In such cases, it’s better to use an enzyme-based stain remover, available in the laundry section of any general store.
Can I put memory foam in the washer?
No, machine washing memory foam spoils its structure. The strong agitation may rip the foam, making the topper unfit for use. Avoid putting memory foam in the dryer as well.
Why do foam mattress toppers turn yellow?
A build-up of sweat and body oil can cause yellow stains on your memory foam mattress toppers. You can remove these stains by using baking soda or vinegar on them. It’s best to tackle them as soon as you notice.
Which is better: a memory foam or gel mattress topper?
It depends on your preference. If you want a cooling feel on your bed, opt for gel mattress toppers. They are a good option for hot sleepers. While choosing a mattress topper, make sure you find your preferred firmness option whether it’s a memory foam or gel foam.
What is the difference between mattress topper and a pad?
Mattress pads are thinner than mattress toppers. They are used to soften the feel of your bed, while mattress toppers can soften or firm up the feel of your bed. Some mattress pads can be machine washed in cold or warm water on a gentle cycle using mild detergent.
Memory foam mattress toppers play an important role in enhancing your comfort in bed, but cleaning them can be challenging without proper knowledge. Once you know the general rules of cleaning mattress toppers, it’s convenient to maintain them. Most of the items required for cleaning are usually easily available in all households. Read the instructions on the topper’s care label to learn what should be avoided while cleaning them.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.