How to clean a mattress topper?

Last Updated on October 4, 2021

Mattress toppers are a great and inexpensive way to improve the comfort of your mattress. As they sit atop the bed, they can become exposed to spills, body oils, sweat, and other contaminants that can make them dirty. 

Many mattress toppers are crafted from memory foam, polyfoam, and latex, but there are options made with natural materials like feathers and wool. However, most of these materials can absorb moisture and cleaning products, meaning they need special care when being washed.

In today’s guide, we try to explain how to clean a mattress topper thoroughly and safely, no matter what materials it’s constructed out of. If you want to learn more on how to properly clean yours without damaging their interior components, continue reading. 

How to clean a mattress topper?

How to clean a mattress topper?

Different styles of care are required for the different types of mattress toppers on today’s market. In general, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best practice and care of your product.

Most mattress toppers are made from material that won’t stand up to a traditional washing machine cycle. There are situations in which a washing machine can be used to clean a mattress pad, but that can quickly wear it down or even break it.

Regular deep cleaning of mattress toppers isn’t required since they are usually protected by layers of bedding, just like your mattress. Typically, your regular maintenance should be spot cleaning and airing out your bedding. Since they are difficult to deep clean, it’s more important to prevent them from getting dirty. There are some general techniques for cleaning which include the following:

  • Remove sheets – The first step in your preparation for cleaning should be to remove all bedding from your topper and put it in a well-ventilated area.
  • Inspect  – After you have taken everything that was on top of your pad, it’s time to look for any stains, unpleasant odors, or signs of wear and tear.
  • Get rid of all debris – If you want to get rid of any loose hairs and particles from the mattress top, use a vacuum or hose attachment. If you don’t have a vacuum at home, try brushing and very gently shaking the topper in order to remove debris.
  • Treat stains – For the most part, stains on mattress toppers can be spot cleaned. You can do so by rubbing and spraying the stains with a gentle cleaning solution. After that, blot the liquid out with a hand towel or paper towels until the stain is removed.
  • Treat odors – Odors such as sweat can either be aired out or treated with powdered baking soda. If there are any leftover smells from spills or accidents, you might need a gentle scrubbing as if treating a stain. When it comes down to odors, it’s best to allow your toppers to air out regularly. 
  • Let it air-dry – Hang your topper in a well-ventilated area for a few hours until it’s completely dry, and never put it back on before that.

Some options are a little different from the well-known memory foam topper. Some are pads filled with cushioning material that is encapsulated or surrounded by a case of fabric. These toppers are typically made from natural materials like cotton or wool. The regular cleaning technique we mentioned above works well for this type of toppers, but they may have some additional care options, while third are machine-washable and drier-friendly.

What’s the best way to clean a mattress topper?

What’s the best way to clean?

Most mattress toppers come with removable, machine-washable covers. However, you should always read the care label and follow the instructions on it. Typically, memory foam and latex shouldn’t get wet, which is why toppers from these materials should be spot cleaned so that you don’t permanently damage them.

If your cover isn’t removable and you’re not sure how to clean it, we highly recommend you use a dry cleaning service since they are the safest method of caring for your topper. Plus, if your bed is big, your pad is also large, meaning it might not fit in your washer. Finally, some products can be thoroughly washed like ones with a down alternative or wool filling.

How to get rid of stains?

How to get rid of stains?

If there are already stains on your topper, you might need to find a different cleaning approach. First, you should select a cleaning solution, which we’ll discuss in detail later on. Then you’ll have to apply a small amount of solution to a clean cloth and gently blot the stained area. 

After that, you are going to take a separate cloth, dipped in cold water, to blot the stained area and repeat the process until needed. Next, you can draw moisture out of it by applying baking soda and letting it sit for at least 8 hours. Finally, you should vacuum the surface and let it air-dry. In general, there are multiple different cleaning solutions one can use to remove stains, and they are the following:

  • Enzyme cleaner – Commercial enzyme cleaners can be effective in cleaning biological stains such as blood, sweat, and urine. Enzyme cleaners can be found in most grocery stores and supermarkets near laundry detergents and other cleaning supplies.
  • Vinegar – A homemade remedy that can do wonders is vinegar. White vinegar, diluted 1:1 with water, is also quite effective at removing some stains and odours.
  • Dish soap – Adding a small amount of dish soap to the water you are using to spot clean can make a significant difference. You should get the mixture bubbly and use the foam that formed on top to clean it.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – A very difficult stain, such as blood, may respond better to a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. However, peroxide can bleach or damage memory foam, so we recommend you use it only when all other options have failed.

In some cases, you may need to try different cleaning solutions if you want to remove a tough stain. Ideally, you want to use a relatively small amount of cleaner and bolt instead of soaking it through.

If the spot you are trying to clean has set in, you might want to use more cleaner and allow the stain to soak in for a while. If you do go this route, you should make sure to have enough time for the mattress topper to dry. To prevent future spills and stains, we highly recommend getting yourself a mattress protector

When should you replace your mattress topper?

When should you replace your mattress topper?

There are a few factors that indicate it’s time to get a new mattress topper. The mouse evident on are signs of wear and tear such as holes, indentations, or wearing in the material of the topper.

Another factor is unpleasant odours. If there are persistent and strong odours after multiple tries of the techniques we’ve mentioned above, that may be a sign that your topper has gone bad. If there is a mildewy or mouldy scent, you should get rid of it immediately, as sleeping on mould can be bad for your health. 

There are other factors that show it’s time for a new purchase, like thinning of the material. Over time, the materials will thin out and eventually break down. When the topper becomes too thin to serve its intended purpose, replace it with a new one. Last but not least, if cleaning it is no longer an option, it’s time for your old pad to go.

Bottom line

It is not advisable to use a washing machine to clean mattress toppers as they will quickly wear out. Instead, vacuuming, spot cleaning, and deodorizing are usually all that’s needed to maintain a clean and fresh topper.

However, most of the work in keeping it clean doesn’t actually lie in cleaning itself. Protection, prevention and regular maintenance are needed to keep a topper fresh for a longer period.

Mattress protectors and sheets can be the extra layer of protection your bed needs. Generally, it would be best if you tried to keep them away from liquids and out of harm’s way. Also, it’s important to treat spills and stains as soon as possible without forgetting to wash sheets and other bedding regularly. Finally, inspect, clean, and air out your purchase regularly to keep it fresh and dry.

We hope we were able to answer the how and why when it comes down to ‘How to clean a mattress topper?’, and now it’s our turn to hear from you if any questions regarding the subject were left unanswered. If you want to share some information, we would gladly hear about it in the comments below.

Isabelle Harris
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