One question that we get a lot about our memory foam products is how to care for them. Memory foam is bacteria and odour-resistant, but at a certain point, you are still going to want to clean them.
Your body sheds dead skin cells on a daily basis. They fall and get rubbed into your pillows and mattresses, even if you have them nicely covered with mattress protectors and pillowcases. Everyone sweats while they sleep. Your memory foam products can be absorbing as much as half a litre of sweat, and that’s every single night. Drooling also commonly occurs during sleep, especially for those who snore. And snorers form a large segment of the population that uses memory foam products to correct their head and neck positions to prevent the blocked airways that cause some forms of snoring.
And of course, accidents happen. If you enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of milk at bedtime, you may spill some from time to time. There’s also crumbs and dust and other things that collect on memory foam products over time.
Particularly if you have asthma, allergies or other sensitivities, or if babies and young children are using these memory foam products, you will want to make sure that your memory foam products are always clean. And let’s face it, nothing feels better than lying down to sleep on a fresh bed.
Spot-Cleaning Memory Foam Products
Most of the time, you won’t really have to give your memory foam products a thorough washing. If something has spilled, for instance, you only need to spot clean that area. Spot cleaning should be done immediately as well so that germs from the spill don’t spread and so that whatever you spilled doesn’t soak in and harden.
To spot clean memory foam products, all you need is some baking soda and cold water. For especially difficult spots, you can also use some mild liquid soap.
- Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and leave it for at least an hour. (The baking soda will work to lift surface dirt and odours.)
- Vacuum up the baking soda.
- Mix equal portions of baking soda and cold water (and an optional portion of mild liquid soap).
- Dampen a cloth or sponge with the mixture and rub it onto the spot using a circular motion. You can also spray it onto the spot and then rub.
- Press the area dry with a towel.(Do not skip this part even if the spot is not yet clean. You don’t want the material to get soaked, especially if it’s a solid pillow or mattress topper, unless you are prepared to sun it or wait for it to air dry.)
- Repeat until the stain is gone.
Pillow and Mattress Maintenance
Every six months, you should give your memory foam products a good cleaning. The method varies for solid and shredded memory foam products, which is outlined below.
Solid Memory Foam Products
Your solid memory foam products should never go in the washer or dryer. The vigorous motion will tear up the foam and displace the layers, weakening the product’s integrity. It will not work as well as before and quickly deteriorate. Instead, be sure to employ the following maintenance routine to keep your solid memory foam products clean and fresh so you can enjoy using them for longer.
- Strip your solid pillows and mattress toppers and sprinkle baking soda all over them.
- Cover them and leave them for about six hours - ideally an entire day. If your memory foam products have developed an odour from prolonged use without cleaning, you really should leave the baking soda on for longer. You can also sprinkle some essential oil on your memory foam products to make them just that much fresher after cleaning.
- Uncover the products and vacuum up the baking soda as above.
- If you see some stains that were not lifted by the baking soda, spot clean them as above. Remember not to soak the products unless you have time to wait for them to dry. For best results, you will want to let them dry under the sun.
If you really want to wash your solid memory foam products with water, you can do so safely in a sink or tub.
- Use warm water to soak your solid memory foam products or run warm water over them.
- Move the products around and gently squeeze them so the water can get all through the material. Repeat as necessary until the water runs clear.
- You can add a bit of mild liquid soap to the water, but make sure you get it all out before you hang your product out to dry.
- Gently squeeze the product to remove excess water before you let it dry so it can dry faster. (Memory foam is resistant to mold and mildew, but a pillow or mattress topper that remains wet for days is going to encourage fungal growth.)
Shredded Memory Foam Products
Your shredded memory foam pillows can safely be washed in the washer and dried in the dryer on low. This makes cleaning them much more convenient. Drying memory foam under the sun is still the best way to preserve the integrity and durability of your product, however.
For washing in the washer:
- Add half a cup of baking soda to the wash water to help remove any long-standing stains or odours.
- Let it soak after washing for about ten minutes, then wash again for another ten minutes.
If your pillow is very stained, do pre-cleaning before washing it. Sprinkle baking soda all over one side, let it sit for a day, then do the other side. Then you can throw it in the washer as above.