How to Deep Clean a Memory Foam Mattress
A soft and comfortable memory foam mattress is all you need to sleep like a baby. It alleviates back pain, reduces snoring, and promotes a great night’s sleep. I bought my first memory foam mattress when I shifted to my new home. All was well until Cooper spilled my coffee on it. This led to me extensively search for how to deep clean a mattress and I found some great tips.
To deep clean, your memory foam mattress, take it out to a well-ventilated area. Sprinkle some baking power over it (more on the wet areas) and let it sit for 30-45 minutes. Now use a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove baking powder and other dirt and debris such as pet hair, dead skin cells, etc. Leave the mattress in the sun or use a fan to blow dry completely before you put it back.
Just removing the moisture, dirt, and debris is not enough because your mattress may still smell like old socks. To enjoy a blissful night’s sleep, you also need to ensure that the mattress is well deodorized. Read on to get a complete breakdown on cleaning steps and tips on how to remove odor and make your mattress live longer.
Step-by-Step Deep Cleaning Of Memory Foam Mattress
Even Forbes knows that a memory foam mattress comes with tons of benefits. Not only are they super comfortable, but they are proven to improve sleep. Because of its memory foam technology, they adjust perfectly to any and all body types making it one of the most sought-after mattresses to date.
Even though it has the ability to take you to cloud 9, it can be extremely high maintenance. For instance, cleaning a memory foam mattress isn’t the easiest task. As it is made from materials that absorb everything, the cleaning process is very deliberate and detailed.
You will need two cleaning supplies to start the process and fortunately, they can be found in your cleaning closet:
1. Handheld vacuum
2. Baking soda
The first step to clean a memory foam mattress is vacuuming any debris that might be left in the mattress surface. Because it’s easy for dirt, dust and food crumbs to accumulate, you want to be sure to make sure your mattress is clear from all of it.
In the second step, sprinkle some baking soda evenly over the surface. It works as a drying agent to pull even the slightest of moisture element inside. You will want to make sure you get total coverage in order to get lasting results.
In the next step, let the baking soda sit on the memory foam mattress for about 30-45 minutes (for best results, leave it for an hour if possible). This will help the particles seep into the mattress and clean the cracks and crevices that are not visible to the naked eye.
After the drying agent has done its job, take the hand attachment and vacuum the baking soda. Be sure to take your time and assure that all the baking soda is properly vacuumed from the mattress.
Lastly, repeat these steps again if necessary. Also, remember to wash your mattress cover, pillow covers, and bed linens. Look for cleaning instructions in the tag to determine the wash cycle before washing covers.
How To Deodorize Your Memory Foam Mattress
I would like to share two (a bit gross) facts about an average person’s life. An average person spends one-third of his life lying horizontally on the mattress and perspires about half a pint of sweat each night. Add pet’s hair, saliva, baby vomits, bowels, and urine on top of that!
Clearly, your mattress will develop its own unique mix of aromas if you do not clean and deodorize it regularly. Here are some quick steps to get rid of an unpleasant odor coming out of the mattress:
Take vinegar in a container and add a few drops of lemon to it. Transfer the content into a spray bottle. You may use a citrus-based cleanser instead or make your own homemade cleanser.
To make a cleanser, fill a container with white vinegar and add orange/ lemon peels to it. Let the solution sit for two weeks and then strain out the peels. Use this solution to deodorize mattress, pillows, carpets, and rugs.
Spray this solution on the mattress without making it too wet (spray lightly). Now, leave the mattress out in the open air, on a porch or verandah and let bask in the sun. This will quicken the deodorization process and eliminate any bacteria trapped in the hems.
An important tip:
After you have vacuumed and deodorized your foam mattress, make sure you put on a cleaned mattress cover immediately. The cover will keep your foam mattress clean and nice for a long time.
If you prefer bed tea or coffee or own a pet that loves to snuggle with you each night, you may want to buy a waterproof mattress cover to save your high-quality foam mattress.
How To Remove Stains From Your Memory Foam Mattress
Let’s be honest – mattresses are prone to stains People fall sick, baby formula spills…stains do happen. As foam has the nature to absorb liquids, you need to be careful about the unforeseen mess that may create havoc. With these easy cleaning solutions, you can get rid of the unsightly stains on your mattress.
Before I tell you how to remove stains from a memory foam mattress, I would like to urge you to stay away from the chemicals and highly commercial cleaners such as bleach and ammonia. They can damage your delicate mattress in more than one ways. Always use a natural enzyme cleaner that can break down stains and remove odors.
Method 1 (using dishwashing liquid)
Make a mix of dishwashing liquid with water to form a bubbly mixture. Dip a clean sponge inside the foamy mix without soaking any solution and apply on the area of stains. Scrub gently in circular motion to remove the stains.
Method 2 (using enzyme cleaner)
Special Enzyme cleaners are available in the market (see Amazon) in both powder and liquid form to tackle the stains and bad odor. You can also use baking soda to further enhance the potential of enzyme cleaners. Take a spray bottle and fill it with an enzyme cleaner like this.
Spray the cleaner lightly on the stains and let the solution sit over the stain for 5-10 minutes. Now, scrub with a circular pattern to get rid of them. Remember to switch on the fan and open the windows to ventilate the room when using this type of cleaner.
After you have removed all stains, deodorize by following the instructions above to get a clean and fresh smelling mattress you will love to sleep on. If the stains are too stubborn, cover them with baking soda and let it sit for 18 hours. Then remove the baking powder with vacuum cleaner to get a spotless mattress.
Method 3 (Homemade Cleaning Solution)
If there are stains on the mattress, do a spot cleaning with the help of a mild fabric solution. To prepare the cleaning solution, mix half a cup of fabric cleaner with one cup of water. Shake the bottle to mix the liquid and spray over the stain to cover it completely.
Make sure you don’t spray more solution than you actually need. Memory foam is essentially made of the sponge so it can take a lot of time to dry. Just take a rag and scrub over the stain making small circular motion. Remember to not scrub too hard or you may end up pressing the cleaning solution deep into the foam.
After the stain is cleaned, wipe the area with a wet cloth to get rid of any excess soapy solution and let it air dry completely before putting a bedsheet on it. Remember that the faster you take care of the stains, the easier it will be to remove them so don’t let them dry on the mattress.
Method 4 (Use Vinegar To Remove Stubborn Stains)
If there are exceptionally stubborn and tough stains on the memory foam mattress, you may need to use something stronger to get rid of them without damaging the fabric. Vinegar comes across as an effective solution for such problems. Take a spray bottle and fill it with 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 3/4 cup water.
Shake this mixture well and use this solution to cover the stains. Use a rag cloth to scrub the stains gently and remove any extra solution. Allow the area to dry completely before putting the bed sheet back. Some people prefer using hydrogen peroxide on stubborn stains but this is slightly risky as the chemical can damage the fabric.
Method 5 (Removing Urine Stains With Vinegar And Baking Soda)
If you have a pet or potty-training toddler at home, accidents are bound to happen. As memory foam is highly absorbent, you need to act really fast to get rid of these stains. First, use paper towels to soak as much urine as you can and discard the saturated towels.
Next, prepare a cleaning solution by mixing vinegar and baking soda in a spray bottle. Sprinkle this solution over the urine stains to cover it completely. Let the mixture stand over the stains for at least 8-10 hours and then clean the baking soda using a vacuum cleaner.
Baking soda and vinegar not only clean the stain but also act as a deodorizer to remove any bad smell. If the mattress still smells bad, put it outside in the sun so that the sun’s radiation can purge out any bad smell.
Method 6 (Hydrogen Peroxide And Dish Soap)
Hydrogen Peroxide is an effective cleaning agent and when used with baking soda and dish detergent, it’s potential increases in manifolds. Prepare a solution by mixing 10-ounces of peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and a few drops of dish detergent.
Put the ingredients in a bowl and mix gently to avoid foaming. Now, put this mixture in a spray bottle and sprinkle to cover the stains. Switch on the fans and open windows to ventilate for at least an hour when you use a peroxide solution. When the mixture dries, both stains and bad odor will be gone.
Now that you know the different methods to deep clean a memory foam mattress, let’s take a look at some ways to extend the lifespan of your investment.
10 Ways To Make Your Mattress Last Longer
A good mattress does not come cheap hence it only makes sense that you take good care of what you have. Regardless of whether you have pets and kids at home or not, mattress go through usual wear and tear. Here are 10 ways to take care of your mattress in order to extend its lifespan.
#1. Always use a suitable and firm base support
You don’t need to buy an expensive box spring or fancy base. Just make sure your mattress has a solid support to maintain the integrity of materials and avoid any wear and tear. If the foundation has slats, they should be 10 to 15cm wide with gaps less than 5cm.
Having large gaps will damage the mattress and provides uneven support. King and Queen size beds must come with center bars for extra support. Make sure you check the bed’s support each year to ensure there are no broken slats or springs to spoil your mattress.
#2. Make sure you wash the linens regularly
Your bed linen gets a lot of beating in the form of sweat, body oil, shedding hair, skin cells, pizza crumbs and so on. They can get into the mattress layers and create a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and dust mites.
I recommend washing bed linens, blankets and duvet covers every week or once every two weeks depending upon the dust levels in your area. Even if you use a mattress protector, it’s important to wash linens regularly to maintain good hygiene.
#3. A mattress protector can add years to your mattress life
Using mattress protectors or covers is a simple and easy solution to increase the longevity of your mattress. The good quality mattress protector features waterproof protection to safeguard against accidents and spills. They also reduce dirt, dust, and debris soiling your mattress.
A protector keeps the inside material safe from any kind of damage and keeps sweat and oil out of the bed. It also keeps allergens like dust mites and molds out of your house. With a protector, cleaning becomes a breeze in case of an accidental spill. Some protectors even feel as comfortable as bed sheets.
#4. Separate beds for Cooper to snuggle
If you have pets at home, make sure they have their own comfortable beds to snuggle in. If you want to cuddle up with Cooper or Toby, spare the mattress for God’s sake! You can enjoy cuddling on the couch or sofa while watching TV.
No matter how well you groom your dogs, all of them shed some amount of skin cells and hair. If your puppy accidentally urinates or does shit on the bed, this may spoil an otherwise great mattress.
#5 Don’t forget to rotate regularly
Whether you have a memory foam mattress or a standard mattress, you can greatly benefit from rotating your mattress regularly. The material or size also does not matter much. Some manufacturers may say it is not needed but rotating adds years to your mattress and helps in even aging.
As a rule of the thumb, you need to rotate the mattress by a head to foot (180 degrees) in every two to six months. This is extremely important in the first few years when you are breaking in a brand new mattress.
#6. Handle mattress with care during a move
When moving your home, make sure you protect your mattress from any kind of damage. Encase it properly with a plastic over and prevent bending or folding of the mattress. Hire a reliable moving company that uses heavy-duty mattress bags to keep moisture and dirt off your bed. They also prevent scratches and scuffs.
During spring-cleaning or moving a mattress, always make them stand on their sides so that they don’t crease or sag. If the covers have handles, the manufacturer usually suggests not to use them for dragging the mattress.
#7. Protect your mattress from the unwanted ramblers
The bedbugs are one of the biggest enemies of your mattresses and they are difficult to get rid of as well. If the area where you stay has a lot of critters, you may use a bedbug-proof cover to protect your mattress from damage.
The bed-bug-proof covers differ from mattress protectors in the sense that they have impenetrable zippers. They enclose the bed properly from all sides to prevent the bugs from getting inside your mattress.
#8. Let the mattress get some light and air
Your mattress also needs to breathe and feel the sun! Leave it out in the open every month or two when it’s dry and sunny. Remove the bed sheet and cover, and let the mattress absorb the sun’s heat for several hours.
This not only removes any moisture buildup that may be hidden inside but also keeps the critters population in control.
#9. Keep it away from heat sources
Memory foam is heat-sensitive and that explains why it changes shape as per the contours of your body. Keep your mattress away from the strong heat emitting items such as electric bottles, electric blankets, heated iron, and so on.
Exposing your mattress to heat sources messes with the structure of the foam and also impacts the performance, which ultimately reduces the lifespan
#10. Follow cleaning instructions by the manufacturer
New mattress usually comes with a care tag that contains instructions on how to clean it. Don’t throw away this tag as you can refer to it anytime you do the cleaning. Some manufacturers also include directions for stain removal along with regular cleaning.
Follow the instructions carefully and your mattress will stay good and looking like new for 20 years or even more.
Is it okay to clean memory foam pillows in the washing machine
While it may seem like an easy solution to put the memory foam pillows in the washer, please abstain from doing so. Exposing memory foam to a lot of water can lead to the growth of bacteria and destroy the physical composition of foam.
How can you prevent any future stains?
Spills and accidents are bound to occur and you need to be extra careful to prevent future stains. Always use a mattress protector or encasement to safeguard the mattress. The protectors are made from fluid-resistant materials that allows breathability and protects the mattress from liquid and debris.
Can you get mold on your memory foam mattress?
Yes, your mattress has lots of air pockets in the inner foam core and these are susceptible to getting contaminated with mold spores. If you sweat too much at night or the humidity levels in your room is high, moisture can build up in the pockets and become a breeding ground for molds. To prevent this, cover your memory foam mattress with a breathable and waterproof protector.
How frequently should you replace a memory foam mattress protector?
To make the most of your memory foam mattress protector, make sure you replace it every 1-2 years. Even though this is very less than the life of a mattress, please remember that protectors come for a fraction of the price and changing them can save you money.
The Final Words
Don’t wait for Spring to knock at your door to clean your mattress. A dirty mattress can be a brooding place for a plethora of mild to serious health problems. You must deep clean your mattress regularly for it to last longer and improve your sleep quality. When the mattress is dry, stain-free, and odorless, you will wake up fresh and relaxed every morning!
You must remember to vacuum clean the mattress once in every 2-3 months to remove allergens, dust, and dirt accumulated on the surface. Baking soda acts as a drying agent to pull out any moisture trapped inside the mattress, so sprinkle it over the surface, and leave for about 30 minutes before using a vacuum cleaner.
For stains, you must do a quick spot-treatment using enzyme cleaner or dishwashing liquid. After treating the mattress with baking soda or cleaning solution, let it dry completely in a well-ventilated area before putting it back in place!