How To Clean A Memory Foam Mattress?

Updated On

Written by:

Max Stevens
How To Clean A Memory Foam Mattress

How To Clean A Memory Foam Mattress?

Are you stressing about stains on your memory foam mattress? Have you noticed discolouration after removing your beddings?

Knowing how to clean a memory foam mattress saves you from this stress.

Even if you have a hypoallergenic memory foam mattress, it’s not exempt from dust and dust mites. It depends on the mattress’s:

  • age
  • cleaning schedule
  • and bedroom cleanliness

Stains and bad smells top it all off. If you don’t use the right materials, then nasty smells may remain. Memory foam’s dense but comfortable structure makes it harder to clean than other mattress types.

But don’t worry.

Our tips on cleaning and maintaining your memory foam mattress cover different stains you might encounter and how to deal with them.

Different Stains You May Have to Deal With

We spend a third of our day on our bed, which leads to all kinds of dirt and stains from:

Don’t worry. We cover each of these in some form below!

What Cleaning Goods Do You Need?

To clean a memory foam mattress, like most mattress washing routines, will need the following:

materials needed for cleaning memory foam
  • Water
  • Mild detergent
  • Small bowl or container
  • Clean cloth x2
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Enzymatic cleaner


  • Empty water sprayer
  • Vacuum cleaner (on low setting)
  • Hairdryer (on a cool setting)

8 Steps To Clean A Memory Foam Mattress?

To clean your mattress, this routine takes anywhere from 1-2 hours to 24-48 hours depending on time needed to dry. It deals with all surface debris, stains and ensuring you have a fresh-smelling mattress to lay down on at night. This routine applies to both memory foam and hybrid mattresses so let’s get started.

Step 1: Wash and clean beddings

bedding being washed on a machine

First, we need to clean the beddings and mattress cover. If you’ve been using bed sheets, it should mean most of the noticeable dirt is dealt with in this step.

If you have a removable mattress cover, that’s great. This means we can give the mattress a deep clean. If not, this is your chance to get out a vaccum.

Step 2: Cover mattress with baking soda

baking soda being sprinkled on mattress

This is the first step to making your memory foam smell fresh instead of stale sweat. You want to sprinkle a generous amount all over your mattress and leave it overnight or at least a few hours.

Without getting too science-y, the baking soda reacts with and converts bad smells into more neutral smelling particles. This is why it’s best to gently massage the baking soda into any spots in desperate need of a clean.

Step 3: Vacuum clean (First Time)

handheld vacuum being used on mattress

Any vacuum which has a handheld attachment is going to work here. The goal is to clear all the dirt, dust, baking soda, and allergens from the mattress surface.

Depending on your mattress type, you’ll want to pay special attention to underneath buttons or seams.

Since memory foams are soft, use the lowest setting on your vacuum cleaner. This reduces any accidental damage to the memory foam mattress surface.

Step 4: Use Enzymatic Cleaner For Spot Cleaning

spraying mattress with cleaner

An enzyme cleaner can help you clean nasty stains from your memory foam, including urine, sweat, vomit, faeces, and blood.

There are wide varieties of enzyme-based cleaners on the market, from powder-based such as happyzym to liquid-based such as Simple Solution.

We’d recommend using your empty water sprayer, following the instructions on the cleaner itself, and then apply to a small area of your mattress. If everything goes well, use a circular motion which helps do the job on the bigger areas.

Tip: Hydrogen peroxide is an effective stain remover when mixed with water. Or, f you have any essential oils laying around, this is a good chance to use a few drops in your water sprayer. It’ll evenly cover your mattress, keeping it smelling great.

Step 5: MORE Baking Soda! (And Maybe Vinegar)

If the enzymatic cleaner didn’t remove all the spot stains, or you still notice a nasty smell, then it’s time to repeat steps 1-4.
If there is a particularly stubborn stain, it’s time to get out the vinegar. When baking soda and vinegar are combined, the acid in the vinegar breaks down the baking soda, producing carbon dioxide gas that can help remove stubborn stains.

To use baking soda and vinegar in cleaning:
1) Sprinkle over the stained area.
2) Leave the for 30 minutes to an hour.
3) Dab small amounts of vinegar on it. The mixture will bubble as a result of a chemical reaction.
4) Wipe clean with cloth.

If you’re not using vinegar, then simply let it sit for an extended period of time.

Step 6: Vacuum Time (Second Time)

It’s time to vacuum everything up, but this time, you’re going to want to double-and-triple-check you’ve covered all the nooks and crannies on the memory foam. It’s best to do this with an empty vacuum.

Step 7: Steps On How To Dry Your Memory Foam Mattress

Oversaturation can harbour mould and mildew growth. To ensure your memory foam mattress is completely dry after cleaning or water spilling, use the following methods:

1) Air Dry or Sun Dry – Heat and UV rays can accelerate the drying process of the memory foam mattress. UV rays also kill bacteria in the mattress, and this removal of smell-causing bacteria helps with deodorisation but be careful as too much heat can damage the foam.

2) Use A Hairdryer, Fan, Or Reverse Function Of A Vacuum Cleaner – make sure to use only the cool setting of the hairdryer to avoid heat damage to the memory foam. If your vacuum cleaner has a reverse function, you can also use this to blow air on your mattress and help speed up drying.

3) Method 3: Use Baking Soda – Aside from its cleaning properties, baking soda can absorb moisture on your memory foam mattress. To do this, sprinkle baking soda on the wet area of the memory foam and leave it as long as possible for maximum absorption.

Step 8: Flip Mattress And repeat

Now it’s time to flip and repeat steps 1-7 on the other side of the mattress. It’s also important to clean the sides of the mattress too! At the end of cleaning, you can leave your mattress this way round (if it allows, pillow-tops normally don’t).

This will help ensure the fillings spread out evenly and prevent sagging.

How To Clean Memory Foam Mattress After Bedwetting?

Bedwetting is more common than you think, and enzyme cleaners are great for dealing with fresh or old urin stains.

One out of 100 adults still wet the bed at night because of accidents and health problems. Even if that’s not you, your child, or your pet may have caused the accident. To clean urine on the mattress using enzyme cleaner,

  • If the urine is still fresh, use a paper towel or dry cloth to dab as much of the liquid up as possible.
  • Once dried, address the stain and smell using an enzyme cleaner.
  • Refer to the instructions provided by the enzyme cleaner for correct application.
  • For best practices, start by using small amounts and only on small areas first.

How Do You Get The Sweat Smell And Deodorise Memory Foam? 

White vinegar is an ingredient we swear by for deodorising anything, especially sweat smells. Sounds crazy as vinegar itself has a pungent smell! The acetic acid in the vinegar bonds and neutralises odour-causing molecules. White vinegar like Golden Swan or Jocker Woods will work in deodorising your mattress. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Use vinegar without diluting. If the vinegar smell is too strong for you, mix equal parts of distilled vinegar and water.
  2. Use an empty water spray to apply the vinegar to your memory foam mattress. If you don’t have one, dab small amounts where the source of the smell is.
  3. Make sure to not oversaturate the mattress.

Will Vinegar Make My Memory Foam Mattress Smell Bad?

No, the vinegar smell will dissipate within a few hours. If the vinegar smell is too strong, opening windows for additional ventilation helps.

3 Ways To Keep Memory Foam Clean

Aside from doing the steps above on regularly cleaning your memory foam mattress, here are some extra tips to keep your memory foam mattress clean:

1. Avoid Too Much Moisture

Now you know how hard and tiresome it is to dry a wet mattress, avoid wetting the memory foam mattress by doing the following

  • Don’t sleep on your memory foam mattress with damp hair.
  • Don’t let pets stay in bed
  • Don’t eat or drink in bed.

2. Use A Waterproof Mattress Protector or Mattress Topper

We love our pets, and most of the time, we want to let them stay in bed. If this is also you, use a waterproof mattress protector like this one, which is waterproof and machine washable.

If you don’t think there will be too many accidental spills then get a memory foam mattress topper which will help keep your mattress clean while enhancing comfort.

3. Open Windows For Ventilation.

Opening your windows will allow enough ventilation in the room. This will avoid having a moist and humid environment that moulds love to thrive on. You can open your window every morning after waking up.

Benefits Of Cleaning Your Memory Foam Mattress

There are a few benefits to maintaining a clean mattress, including:

  • Improved air circulation and preventing buildup of allergens and dust mites.
  • Prolongs the lifespan of the mattress by preventing wear and tear
  • Keeping the mattress fresh and hygienic, reducing the risk of odors and stains
  • Helps rejuvenate the comfort layer to improve the overall comfort and sleep experience.

Can You Leave Baking Soda On Your Mattress Overnight?

Yes, you can leave baking soda on your mattress overnight. But, you will have to sleep on a spare bed, a sofa or the floor. There is no definite time for how long you should leave baking soda on the mattress; the longer, the better. This will not cause an adverse reaction to your mattress and, more likely than not, leads to better results. 

Can I Use A Carpet Cleaner On My Memory Foam Mattress?

It is not recommended to use carpet cleaners on memory foam. The scrubbing brush and strong vacuum suction can be too harsh and cause damage to soft mattress surfaces like memory foam.

Can you use boric acid to clean a memory foam mattress?

Boric acid should not be used to clean a memory foam mattress as it may damage the foam material. It is best to use a mild laundry detergent, enzymatic cleaner or baking soda in place of boric acid.

Can You Use A Steam Cleaner On Your Memory Foam Mattress?

No, you should not steam clean your memory foam mattress as it can can damage the foam mattress. Per the experts at Tempur, extreme heat can damage the memory foam’s lifespan and integrity by softening it beyond its intended capacity.

Another thing is that steam cleaning can introduce too much moisture to your mattress. We know what that can do! If you’re wanting to give it a go, check the care label if steam cleaning is allowed, or it may void the warranty.

What Causes Yellow Stains On Your Memory Foam?

Aside from the stains mentioned above, memory foam mattress owners also commonly report yellow staining on their mattresses. Two reasons can cause yellow stains on your memory foam mattress:

  1. discolouration caused by oxidisation
  2. urine, body oil, or sweat

Start Cleaning Your Memory Foam Today

Memory foam mattresses are resistant to dust and dust mites because of their dense structure. This makes cleaning easier since the dirt doesn’t infiltrate the foam. It is crucial not to oversaturate the memory foam mattress in any cleaning method because it can lead to mould growth if not dried properly.

Just remember that yellow discolouration in a memory foam mattress is:

  • normal
  • irreversible
  • does not affect the quality of the mattress

Written by:

Max Stevens