How to clean a memory foam mattress

It is possible to safely clean a memory foam mattress and this can help extend its lifespan. Keeping a mattress clean is important for hygiene and health.

Memory foam mattresses are an investment that, if properly cared for, can last for years. People should clean stains when they appear to prevent them from becoming permanent.

Cleaning a mattress is possible with everyday household items such as white vinegar, baking soda, and detergent. These products are great options for people who want to avoid harsh or harmful chemicals.

A person should make a habit of cleaning their mattress regularly to avoid stains and debris on their bed.

When cleaning mattresses, including memory foam mattresses, it is important to use as little water as possible. If you use too much water, the fabric will not dry properly and mold or mildew will grow on it.

A person can properly clean a mattress by:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to clean the entire surface to remove any loose material and debris
  • Make a cleaning solution – with two parts warm water and one part fabric cleaner, dish soap, or some other gentle detergent – and pour the solution into a spray bottle
  • Spray a small amount of the cleaning solution on the stain or stained area, being careful not to saturate the mattress, then pat it off with a clean rag or paper towel
  • Use a blow dryer on the low setting to blow-dry the mattress (this may take a few minutes) or use a fan to apply a constant movement of air for several hours

For stubborn or odorous stains, a person can try using a mixture made up of three-quarters of a cup of water and one-fourth of a cup of white vinegar. Scattering baking soda on an odor-causing stain like urine or a milk-based product can help remove the odor.

A person should aim to clean their mattress when changing their sheets or when it is necessary.

A person should avoid certain cleaning methods so that they do not damage their mattress. These methods include:


Steam is useful as a cleaner and disinfectant. It works well on floors or other hard surfaces with stubborn stains, but isn’t as good for cleaning mattresses.

When a person steams their mattress, the water in the steam clings to the mattress, potentially soaking it, and causing damage or persistent moisture that can take several days to dry out. This moisture can lead to the formation of mold or mildew.

Immersion in water

A person should avoid putting their mattress or part of their mattress in the water. The mattress can easily absorb the water and become soaked, which can lead to damage and moisture.

Strong detergents and cleaning agents

A person shouldn’t use bleach or other harsh detergents on their mattress. These can cause more stains or possibly damage the foam in the mattress.

What to do when cleaning doesn’t work may depend on the stain and the person’s preference.

If the mattress has a bad smell and is difficult to sleep on, a person could try one of the following methods to help deodorize their mattress:

  • Spray a solution of equal parts water and vinegar until the surface is damp but not soaked, then allow it to air dry
  • Add cornstarch and a few drops of water, let it sit for 5 minutes, then vacuum or add baking soda (a natural odor neutralizer) to the cornstarch to help deodorize it as it cleans the stain
  • Sprinkle a layer of baking powder on top, leave for 30 minutes to 24 hours and then vacuum off the powder
  • with the vinegar solution and then apply baking soda
  • Add 10–15 drops of essential oil to baking powder, leave to rest for 30 minutes to 24 hours and then vacuum

If an odor or stain persists, a person may need to consider replacing their mattress. A person can dispose of old mattresses or, in some cases, recycle them.

Find out how to recycle a mattress here.

You should also consider using a mattress protector when purchasing a new mattress to prevent stains, spills, and odors.

The cleanliness of a mattress is an important part of years of care. People should clean their memory foam mattress when they change their bedding and use at least one vacuum cleaner to remove dirt like dead skin.

For stains, a person can avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive water. Instead, they should make solutions that contain mild detergents or natural products like vinegar to remove stains and odors. Baking soda and essential oils can also help with odor removal.

If all else fails, a person can consider swapping out their mattress and adding a mattress protector when they buy a new one.

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