How to Clean a Mattress Topper?

Published
by Max Stevens
mattress topper on king size mattress
hoto by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels.

Wondering what you can do to your smelly and stained mattress topper? Your mattress topper is a valuable asset to a good night’s sleep, and we’re guessing you don’t have the guts to just lay down to a topper that doesn’t just look bad but also smells bad.

Let’s be honest. No one will lay down on a bed with green and yellow stains and an unpleasant odour, right?

On top of that, if you continuously experience sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and nasal congestion when you lay down on your bed, you may want to schedule a medical consultation as dirty (and dust-mite infected) mattress toppers are linked to the development of allergies and asthma.

Talk about a 1-2 punch combo of unsightly stains, unpleasant odours, and allergic symptoms.

So if you want to make your mattress topper look and feel good as new, continue reading below to learn how to properly clean and sanitize your mattress topper!

Materials You Need

Before we head to the cleaning steps, you need to gather this cleaning paraphernalia first. But don’t fret because most of these materials are readily available on your home or your local market’s shelves:

  • White vinegar
  • Paper towels or cloth towels
  • Fan (for drying)
  • Spray bottle
  • Enzymatic cleaners such as Nature’s Miracle and Simple Solution
  • Baking soda
  • A vacuum cleaner with brush attachment (for fabrics)

How to Clean a Mattress Topper?

Cleaning a mattress topper is an easy but time-expensive task. So prepare at least an hour for the actual cleaning process and several hours for the mattress topper drying period.

And don’t forget to gather the materials we’ve listed above so you can start the cleaning process as soon as you can once you’ve read the steps we’re about to cover below.

For simplicity, we will divide cleaning mattress toppers into two: basic mattress topper cleaning and mattress topper deep cleaning. With basic being the easiest and fastest, deep cleaning is the most intensive mattress topper cleaning.

Basic Mattress Topper Cleaning

Basic mattress topper cleaning covers fresh stains and easy to remove stains such as sweat and urine stains. For this, you’ll need the following materials:

  • White vinegar
  • Tap water
  • Baking soda
  • Paper or cloth towels
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Spray bottle
  • Fan

Step 1: Mix white vinegar and tap water in a spray bottle, following a 1:1 ratio. Shake the mixture well.

Step 2: If the stain is still wet, dry it with paper or cloth towels to remove excess liquid.

Step 3: Spray a generous amount of the water and vinegar solution and leave it as is for a few minutes.

Step 4: Dry the site by patting it dry with paper or cloth towels (and be careful not to put too much pressure since you’ll push the liquids deeper into the topper).

Step 5: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda in the stain site, covering the stain completely. Leave for at least 7 hours.

Step 6: Vacuum the excess baking soda and dry the mattress topper using an electric fan. Be careful letting it sun-dry as it can damage memory foam mattress toppers.

Step 7 (Optional): Spray a good amount of fabric freshener to give the mattress topper a pleasant scent.

Mattress Topper Deep Cleaning

Mattress topper deep cleaning covers the dried and difficult to get off stains such as bloodstains, spilt drink stains, vomit stains, and bed bug stains. You’ll need the following materials for deep cleaning your mattress topper:

  • Enzymatic cleaner
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Cloth or paper towels
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Spray bottle
  • Fan

Step 1: Spot clean the stain by spraying a generous amount of enzymatic cleaner and leave it for a few minutes.

Step 2: Once the stain has been removed, but pure white vinegar in a spray bottle. If the stain persists, you can repeat step 1 until the stain is virtually removed.

Step 3: Spray white vinegar on the entirety of the mattress topper (hence, deep and thorough cleaning), and leave for a few minutes.

Step 4: Pat dry the excess white vinegar using cloth or paper towels.

Step 5: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda, covering the entire mattress topper. Leave for at least 7 hours.

Step 6: Vacuum the excess baking soda and let the mattress topper dry using an electric fan (careful letting memory foam mattress toppers sun-dry as they can be damaged).

Step 7 (Optional): Freshen your mattress topper by spraying a good amount of fabric freshener

Notice the only difference between basic and deep cleaning is that deep cleaning uses enzymatic cleaners and pure white vinegar.

Enzymatic cleaners work by virtually breaking down stain particles in your mattress topper by eating them away. In layman’s terms, enzymatic cleaners work like an acid that eats away dirt and bad odour.

On the other hand, white vinegar is a total cleaning wonder when used pure. Acetic acid (the main component of vinegar) is a potent acidic ingredient that kills bacteria and odour.

Mattress Topper Cleaning Mistakes

So far, we’ve taught you how to properly clean a mattress topper. We’ll be teaching you how NOT to clean a mattress topper. These mistakes can make or break your mattress topper, so do take note of these mistakes we’ve listed below.

Washing Machine and Dry Cleaning

Using a washing machine or dry cleaning machine to clean your mattress topper can damage the structural integrity. Especially if your topper is made of dense materials such as memory foam.

Wool and down mattress toppers can be washed using a washing machine or dry cleaning since they are easy to fold and are like a normal blanket.

But if you have a memory foam or synthetic latex foam mattress topper, forget about washing them in your washing machine or sending them to a dry cleaning shop. They shouldn’t be folded to fit inside the machine. Doing so will create creases, a tell-tale sign of major mattress topper damage.

Sunlight or Sun Drying

Avoid drying them out in the sunlight after you clean your mattress topper, especially if your mattress topper is made out of memory foam or synthetic latex foam.

This is because these foams are notoriously heat-sensitive, and they can melt under the heat of the scorching sun.

Dry them out by using an electric fan instead, or the outdoors where there is a good amount of shade and wind.

Blow Drying

You may have thought of blow-drying your mattress topper after cleaning it out, but before you do so, let us warn you: don’t do that.

The reason for this is the same as we’ve mentioned above: the heat sensitivity of certain mattress toppers, memory foam and synthetic latex foam, to be exact.

Though you may reason that your blow dryer has a cool air function, we know that you know it would take you decades to dry your mattress topper out if you do that.  

Use an electric fan instead, or dry it out outside with sufficient cool wind and shade.

Why do Mattress Toppers Get Stained?

Mattress toppers get stained because of sweat, body oil (sebum), spilt drinks, blood, urine, vomit, and faecal droppings of bed bugs, seen as small black spots on your topper and mattress.

Regarding yellow and green stains, yellow stains are usually caused by urine and sweat. In contrast, green stains are typically caused by spilt drinks, sweat, and urine left behind for several weeks, if not months, leading to mould growth.

It’s also good to know that stains are either fresh or dried. Fresh stains are easier to clean off since they are new. In contrast, dried stains are usually challenging to get off. They may require several repetitions of the cleaning steps we tackled above.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Mattress Topper?

The question of how often depends on certain factors. For example, if you have a habit of eating and drinking in your bed, then chances are, food and drinks will be spilt, and you’ll have to clean them out.

Another thing worth mentioning is that people called “hot sleepers” sweat profusely, leading to mattress topper staining. If you are this type of person, don’t worry because you now know how to properly clean a mattress topper, albeit you have to do it more often than others.

A general recommendation is to clean them out once every three months. Still, people who constantly get their mattress toppers stained may need to do it once a month.

Why Clean Your Mattress Topper?

Cleaning your mattress topper regularly has so many benefits. For one, the unsightly stains and unpleasant odours will be a thing of the past, and you’ll be enticed, excited, and ready to go to bed every single time.

Another major benefit is the health benefit cleaning brings out. Dirty mattress toppers are linked to allergies and asthma, as we’ve said earlier. Isn’t it good not to sneeze a lot during bedtime and sleep peacefully?

Cleaning your mattress topper is definitely a part of personal hygiene and sleep hygiene, so keep it clean and tidy to reap its benefits.

When Should You Replace Your Mattress Topper?

Mattress topper manufacturers generally recommend replacing mattress toppers within a 3-5 year timeframe. Still, really it depends on how you maintain your topper and some tell-tale signs that you need a new mattress topper to include:

  • Wear and tear in the form of permanent dents, small and big holes, and uneven surfaces.
  • Thinned-out material is prevalent in worn-out memory foam and synthetic latex foam mattress toppers.
  • Resistance to cleaning in the form of irremovable stains and odour.

How to Protect a Mattress Topper?

Protecting a mattress topper is a piece of cake, and it’s usually just a combination of human ingenuity and pure, tender loving care. Here are some tips to protect your mattress topper:

  • Use a mattress topper protector. These covers are usually waterproof, making your mattress topper safe from the incidence of bedwetting, food and drink spills, vomit, blood, and more.
  • Avoid eating and drinking in bed. Eating and drinking in bed increase the chances of you spilling them on your bed. If you can’t stop this habit, buy a bed table instead.
  • Always look for manufacturer’s labels. Just like clothes, mattress toppers have tags and labels. These labels are intended to educate you about properly caring for your mattress topper.

Conclusion

Overall, cleaning a mattress topper is an easy and fulfilling task, although you may need to pour in your time. But since it’s a sleeping tool and asset we’re talking about, it’s all worth it, right?

We mean the good, relaxing sensation of lying in a bed whose mattress topper is as white as snow and smells good like flowers. Not to mention the guarantee that you won’t be sneezing your way all night long since your topper is clean and healthy.

So, as always, we wish you happy cleaning and enjoy your clean and good-smelling mattress topper afterwards!

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AUTHOR

Max Stevens

Chief Editor here at The Sleep Checklist. Suffered from a seemingly infinite knot in my thoracic area (between the spine and shoulder blade) due to my lifelong side sleeping habits. With my girlfriend, we look to provide the most relevant and best mattress advice.