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How to Clean Memory Foam Mattresses, Toppers, and Pillows

How to Clean Memory Foam Mattresses, Toppers, and Pillows


Aoife O.
Jun 24, 2020

If you’ve been enjoying your memory foam mattress, topper, or pillow for one year it’s time to give it a refresh. Cleaning your memory foam removes bacteria, dust mites, and allergens that can cause skin problems, allergies, and diminish the durability of your memory foam.

If you’re wondering can you wash foam in the washing machine? It’s important to note that memory foam must be treated differently to other types of foam. For cleaning memory foam, it’s advisable to use as little water as possible. Memory foam smell removal is also possible using household items from your pantry.

In this handy guide, we’ll review:

  • How to clean and dry memory foam mattress
  • How to clean and dry memory foam pillows
  • How to clean and dry memory foam toppers
  • How to keep your mattress, toppers, and pillows clean
  • The best way to remove stains

If you’re wondering how to clean other mattress types, learn here.

When cleaning memory foam, use as little water as possible to get the job done.

Can Memory Foam Be Washed?

Anything can be cleaned - with the right know-how and attention to the care label, your memory foam mattress can be cleaned. However, it’s not as easy as taking it to the dry cleaners, it needs to be cleaned by hand and you’ll need at least one day to complete the task. Washing memory foam is a delicate process but the results are worth it, to sleep on a fresh clean mattress.

Can You Put Memory Foam in the Dryer?

Washing memory foam requires a little time and gentle hands but what about drying? Although memory foam is a strong material, it’s not able to withstand the high temperature of a dryer. If your tumble dryer can be set to no-heat tumble dry, this may lower the time needed to dry your memory foam. Always check the care instructions first.

Despite this, it’s advisable not to put memory foam into the dryer as the chemicals within the foam are flammable and could cause a fire. Air dry your memory foam in the sun, direct sunlight acts as a natural antibacterial agent, assisting in your memory foam cleaning, thanks sun!

How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress

This deep cleaning method is only advisable if you have a few days to allow your mattress to air dry. It is inadvisable to soak a memory foam mattress with water and this method requires a lot of water. Therefore, use this method only if you can dry your memory foam mattress in the fresh air for some days. Otherwise, try these methods for a quicker, spot cleaning approach.


  • Vacuum with a brush attachment
  • Rubber gloves
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Electric fan (optional)
  • Tarp (if cleaning outdoors)
  • Woolite fabric cleaner
  • Water


  • 1) Vacuum the entire mattress
  • 2) Put the mattress in the bathtub or outside on the tarp
  • 3) Mix 1 part Woolite with 2 parts water into the empty spray bottle
  • 4) Stand the mattress on its side and spray the entire mattress with your Woolite mixture
  • 5) Let stand for 30 minutes
  • 6) Using a light spray of water, rinse down the mattress
  • 7) Gently fold the mattress with your gloved hands to rinse excess water
  • 8) Allow standing in the fresh air to air dry or place in front of an electric fan to speed the process
  • 9) Ensure the mattress is completely dry before putting back on the bed, placing a damp mattress on the bed will harbor mold which could make you sick
  • 10) Once you’re satisfied it’s completely dry, cover with a mattress protector to prevent further stains

How to Dry a Memory Foam Mattress

To dry your memory foam mattress allow to sit in direct sunlight and fresh air if possible. However, if indoors is the only option you can place the mattress by an open window. Put the mattress on its side by the open window until it’s fully dry. Alternatively, an electric fan could speed up the drying process indoors.

How to Clean a Memory Foam Pillow

If you’ve accidentally washed memory foam pillow in the washer you’ll be greeted with a lumpy mess! It’s best to use the method above for cleaning foam mattress. However, take great care to dry the pillow fully before using it, you don’t want mold to develop where you rest your head at night.

How to Dry Memory Foam Pillows

The same method applied for drying pillows as drying a mattress. You want to air dry in direct sunlight if possible. Or you can place the pillow by an open window, the fresh air will freshen your room as it dries the pillow. Alternatively, place the pillow on a towel in front of an electric fan until fully dry.

How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Thankfully, mattress toppers are typically wrapped in a zip-off cotton cover, this makes cleaning super easy. Simply remove the cover and place in the washer, take note of the temperature on the care label.

How to Dry Memory Foam Toppers

Consult the care label and only dry your mattress topper cover in the dryer if the label says so. When dealing with delicate fabrics, air-drying in the sun may be the best option as it will care for the fabric better than a hot dryer.

How to Remove Stains from Memory Foam

Baking Soda Method


  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Clean cloths


  • 1) Remove all sheets and bedding
  • 2) Mix the water and baking soda in a bowl
  • 3) Apply to stain by dabbing, not rubbing
  • 4) Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes
  • 5) Dab the stain again with a damp cloth
  • 6) Vacuum excess residue (take this opportunity to vacuum the entire mattress, bed base, and under the bed)
  • 7) Allow the excess water to air dry completely before dressing the bed

Vinegar and Baking Soda Method


  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloths
  • Vacuum


  • 1) Remove bed sheets and bedding and wash as soon as possible
  • 2) Using a 50/50 mixture, put vinegar and water into the spray bottle
  • 3) Using one of your dry, clean towels, blot the excess urine without scrubbing as this will push the urine further into the mattress
  • 4) Spray your vinegar/water mix over the stain while blotting out the excess liquid
  • 5) Sprinkle your baking soda over the stain and allow to sit for as long as possible (8 hours recommended)
  • 6) When ready, vacuum the stain to clean the baking soda off the mattress, use this opportunity to vacuum the entire mattress and base, don’t forget under the bed too
  • 7) Repeat process if necessary

How to Keep Your Bed Clean

  • Vacuum the mattress regularly, including the base and under the bed
  • Use household items to remove stains and act fast on the stain because it’s more difficult to remove when they’re dried in
  • Always use a mattress protector—it keeps stains at bay and could prolong the lifespan of your mattress

Tips and Reminders to Clean Memory Foam

  • Vacuum the mattress regularly
  • Spot clean as soon as the stain occurs
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia
  • Be gentle with your memory foam, it may seem like a sturdy material but put under too much heat or handled too harshly can damage the foam


Always take great care when cleaning memory foam, it seems like a harsh material but requires a gentle hand. Above all, ensure the memory foam is 100 percent dry before putting it back on the bed. A damp mattress, pillow, or mattress topper could harbor mold which could make you sick.

Although some methods can be time-consuming, a fresh clean bed is a real treat, you’ll sleep clean and prolong the lifespan of your mattress too.

Disclaimer: Nolah does not provide medical advice. All resources on the Nolah blog, including this article, are informational only and do not replace professional medical counsel. Talk to your doctor about any health, mental health, or sleep-related issues.

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