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One of the most important pieces of furniture in your house is your bed. A good night's sleep affects so many facets of your health, so spending the money on a great mattress will always be a good investment. But once you finally treat yourself to that perfect bed, it's important to maintain it to extend its lifespan—and the right mattress can even last a decade.
If you own a memory foam mattress, you can enjoy it for years to come with the right maintenance and cleaning. The key to proper care is knowing exactly how (and how often) to do it. We talked to experts Natalie Barrett and Katie Brown to get the lowdown on cleaning your memory foam mattress, and the good news is that you don't need many materials or much time to do the job.
Below, read on for expert tips to clean your memory foam mattress with ease.
Meet the Expert
How Often Should You Clean Your Memory Foam Mattress?
Plan to deep clean your mattress twice per year, and set aside about an hour each month for faster, simpler cleanings to keep it fresh between major scrubs. Now, it's time to strip that bed and get to work.
Things You'll Need
- Baking soda
- Laundry detergent
- Boric acid (optional)
How to Clean Your Memory Foam Mattress
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
The first step is to gather the supplies you'll need to get started. According to Barrett, it's important to do deep cleans regularly: "Maintaining your memory foam mattress in good hygienic condition is essential if you want to avoid allergic reactions, skin irritation, and other unpleasant scenarios," she says. "Dust mites and other bacteria may lead to sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, a running nose, and so much more."
If you're doing your first deep clean, have the full list of supplies on hand. If you just need to clean up a few spots, laundry detergent or vinegar will do the job.
Step 2: Vacuum Your Mattress
If you're doing a deep clean, vacuum your mattress before it gets wet from any cleaners. Brown recommends vacuuming your mattress at least once a month. Using a soft brush attachment or a handheld vacuum, gently go over your entire mattress (both sides!) to remove any dirt and debris. Regular vacuuming keeps your bed fresh between deep cleans, and it also helps reduce unpleasant odors.
Step 3: Reach for the Laundry Detergent
Barrett recommends using a mixture of two parts water to one part laundry detergent to give your whole mattress a clean. "Powder detergent is not a great idea, as the texture could be ruined or the mattress discolored," she notes. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and spray a small amount across the bed, being careful not to soak the whole mattress. Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes to absorb the cleaner into the material before gently dabbing the surface with a clean cloth or sponge. You can use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to speed up the process if you're left with any dampness come bedtime.
Step 4: Spot Clean ASAP
According to Brown, "Regular maintenance will help prolong the life of your mattress." This means that if you spill something, the time to address it is ASAP. First, try to absorb as much of the liquid as possible using a towel. Then, using a mixture of water with either laundry detergent or white vinegar, spray the stain and gently dab the area until it disappears. Let the entire area dry before you put your clean sheets back on.
Tips to Keep Your Memory Foam Mattress Clean Longer
Now that your memory foam mattress is clean, it's time to keep it that way. According to Barrett, one of the easiest ways to extend the life of your mattress is to use a mattress protector. This way, you can easily remove the protector and clean it without worrying about stains left behind on the memory foam itself.
How to Get Rid of and Prevent Smells on Your Memory Foam Mattress
Whether you're doing a monthly refresh or spot cleaning stains and spills, the last step should be to reduce odors left behind on your mattress. Barrett recommends sprinkling baking soda on your entire mattress (or just over the soiled stain) and letting it sit for up to eight hours. This will allow the baking soda to penetrate into the stain and lift any residual smells. Once it's sat long enough, vacuum up the baking soda before making the bed with clean sheets.
No baking soda? Barrett also recommends boric acid for the same odor-fighting capabilities. Follow the same steps above, and ensure you sweep up any remaining powder before remaking your bed.
It's also important to ensure you never sleep on the bed when it's still wet from cleaning. If your memory foam mattress needs a good, deep clean, you should aim to do it first thing in the morning so it's fully dry before you head to bed.
"If you sleep on [a mattress] while it’s damp, you will prevent it from fully drying, which will lead to unpleasant smells and the chance of mold or bacteria growth," says Barrett.