How to Clean A Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

by Max Stevens

Are you looking at your dirty memory foam mattress topper in disgust? If you are, then you might be wondering how to clean a memory foam mattress topper and make it good as new. After all, mattress toppers are an excellent asset to a night of good and healthy sleep.

Does your memory foam topper has a terrible smell and/or ewww-looking yellow or green-coloured stains. Do you really want to be sleeping on a dirty mattress topper?

To make the situation worse, did you know that dust mites reside within 30%-80% of households? And dirty mattress toppers are the prime real estate for them.

A foul smell and an unsightly stain just scratch the surface of the potential problems caused by a dirty mattress topper. Dirty memory foam mattress toppers can also trigger health problems such as:

  • Asthma
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Sinusitis (infected sinuses)

In fact, anywhere from 65 to 130 million people around the world are affected by dust mites allergies. Yikes.

So if you want to make your memory foam topper look welcoming and smell fresh and new, read on to learn tips you can do to quickly and effectively clean your topper!

Materials You Need

These materials are readily available in your household, but in case you don’t have them handy, pop over to your local supermarket as they’ll stock them

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

Different Types of Stains You’ll Encounter

Before you prepare to clean your memory foam mattress topper, it’s good to know the different stains you’ll encounter first. But don’t worry, the materials you need for these different types of stains are covered above.

The most common stains you’ll encounter are the following:

  • Coffee stains
  • Red Wine stains
  • Bloodstains
  • Urine stains
  • Food and drink stains
  • Bed bug stains
  • Vomit stains
  • Sweat stains

The factors above that commonly cause yellow staining are urine, sweat, vomit, and some yellow-tinted food and drinks. When your mattress topper is left behind while damp, it can also develop yellow or green-coloured moulds.

Yellow staining can also occur when the memory foam is exposed to sunlight, and the material will go from white, to off-white, and eventually yellow.

Mould often grows when there is an accumulation of body oil, sweat, and excessive moisture in your topper, so it’s best to keep your bed clean and free of moisture.

For coffee, wine, blood, food and drink stains, you can use an enzymatic cleaner to clean them up nicely and efficiently. Note that these stains are hard to clean using the vinegar-baking soda combo that we’ll talk about later, so enzymatic cleaners are recommended.

Enzymatic cleaners work by breaking down the hard particles attached to your mattress topper. Think of it like acid where it eats away dirt and impurities deep-seated in your topper.

You can use the all-natural and the most famous combo of vinegar and baking soda for the rest of the stains we mentioned. These ingredients also deodorise your mattress topper afterwards, leaving it clean and smelling fresh and new.

How Do You Deep Clean a Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

Deep cleaning a memory foam mattress topper is easy but takes a lot of time (possibly several hours), so it helps to plan accordingly beforehand. Here are the deep cleaning steps:

  1. Remove your bedsheet and blanket. If they’re stained, throw them in the laundry.
  2. If there is a substantial amount of urine, wine, coffee, or other liquids, dab them using a towel or paper towels.
  3. Prepare vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, enzymatic cleaner (for difficult to remove stains), and a vacuum cleaner with a fabric attachment.
  4. For yellow stains from urine, sweat, mould, and vomit, spray vinegar on the site, leave for a few seconds, and blot them with a towel.
  5. For tough stains such as dried blood, wine, coffee, and other food and drink stains, use dish soap first and if ineffective, use an enzymatic cleaner.
  6. Dab the site for any excess liquid from the dish soap or enzymatic cleaner
  7. Pour baking soda into the site and leave for at least 8 hours.
  8. Vacuum the excess baking soda
  9. Repeat steps 5-7 if stains and odours are still there.
  10. Dry the topper by using a fan or the outside air

Vinegar and baking soda can eliminate almost every stain and odour effectively. Still, if this combo doesn’t work, you can proceed to use enzymatic cleaners to break down the hard stains.

Here are some frequently asked questions we’ve got from our readers:  

Can You Steam Clean a Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

No, you should not steam clean your memory foam mattress topper. Mattress topper manufacturers also discourage steam cleaning memory foam toppers because of the risk of damage.

Since memory foam toppers are made of polyurethane foam, there is a risk of damaging the foam structure during the steam cleaning. This will likely void the warranty of your mattress topper.

Can I Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Remove Stains On My Memory Foam Topper

Yes, but again, we don’t recommend it. Hydrogen peroxide is known to cause discolouration and damage the foam’s surface.

For spot cleaning, especially hard to remove stains, you can use enzymatic cleaners to break down the hard stain.

How To Clean Fresh or Dry Urine From A Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

Have your or someone close to you had a night-time accident? Follow these steps to effectively clean your mattress topper:

  • If the urine is still wet, get paper or cloth towels and dab the area to remove excess liquids
  • If the urine has dried, proceed to the next step
  • Gather white vinegar and water and mix them to a 1:1 ratio and put the solution in a spray bottle
  • Give the bottle a shake and spray on the site with a generous amount of the vinegar-water solution, leave for a few minutes
  • Remove the excess solution from your topper using paper or cloth towels
  • Sprinkle a good amount of baking soda, covering the area generously
  • Leave the baking soda for at least 7 hours or overnight if you can
  • Vacuum the baking soda

If the stain and urine smell is still there, you can repeat the steps again to effectively clean and remove the urine smell and stain from your mattress topper.

How to Deodorise Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

Vinegar and baking soda have smell-busting properties. So, if you want to deodorise your topper, use one or both.

To deodorise your memory foam mattress topper, do these:

  • Mix water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio, and put it in a spray bottle
  • Spray the solution to your mattress topper generously
  • After a few minutes, dab the excess solution
  • Sprinkle baking soda sparingly and generously
  • Leave the baking soda for a minimum of 7 hours
  • Vacuum the excess baking soda and you now have a deodorised topper

You can also use fabric sprays, though they only mask the smell and do not remove it. To get around this, remove the smell first with vinegar and baking soda, and then spray with a fabric freshener afterwards.

If you’re worried the vinegar solution will smell afterwards, rest assured that the deodorising action of baking soda will remove the vinegar smell as well.

How Do You Get The Sweat Smell Out of A Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

If you or someone you love are hot sleepers, you may have pondered about how you get the sweat smell out of your memory foam mattress topper.

Anywhere from 10% – 41% of people are hot sleepers. If you’re a hot sleeper and experiencing those deadly night sweats then we’ve got you covered.

But don’t worry, the smell of sweat and sweat stains from your topper can be removed easily. To do that, you can use the vinegar-baking soda combo as these ingredients effectively eliminate the bad odour from your mattress topper.

To eliminate the smell of sweat, you can:

  • Spray white vinegar and leave it for a few minutes
  • Soak the excess vinegar with towels and sprinkle a decent amount of baking soda
  • Leave the baking soda for at least 8 hours before removing the soda from your topper

Can A Memory Foam Mattress Topper Be Washed?  

No, memory foam mattress toppers can’t be washed as they won’t fit in a washing machine. They’re too thick and dense to fold.

If you try to fold the memory foam then it’ll most likely cause damage and decrease the longevity of your topper.

Memory foam can also lose its memory function once immersed in water since it will absorb liquids that weaken the foam and ‘glue’ between its layers. So, when we say don’t clean it in a washing machine we really mean it.

What can you do? Use the vinegar-baking soda method above to remove stains and odours from your topper.

Can Mattress Toppers Be Dry Cleaned?

No, memory foam mattress toppers cannot be dry cleaned.

Dry cleaning, simply put, is like putting your clothes in a washing machine but without the use of water. Rather, a solvent is used in place of water. And since they certainly wouldn’t fit inside a washing machine, they would most certainly not fit in a dry cleaning machine.

Dry cleaning also uses heat which can damage your mattress topper since it is made with polyurethane foam. Another issue with dry cleaning and memory foam mattress toppers is the potential damage between the solvent used and the foam material itself.

Mattress toppers made from cotton are almost identical to the everyday blanket. If you want to dry clean it feel free!

When To Replace Your Mattress Topper?

A general recommendation among mattress topper manufacturers is that you replace your topper within 3-5 years.

Some manufacturers do have 5-year warranties such as PlushBeds and Tempur-Pedic memory foam mattress toppers.  

Should You Flip A Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

No, you shouldn’t flip your memory foam mattress topper. The memory foam layer is only on one side, so flipping it can lead to damage.

Flipping damages your topper due to the constant pressure of your body weight.

How Do You Know When a Memory Foam is Worn Out?

You will know your memory foam mattress topper is worn out when it doesn’t provide the comfort it offered years ago.

Suppose you wake up with sore muscles, back pain, or shoulder pain that you didn’t experience years ago. In that case, your memory foam is likely worn out and needs replacement.

You can also know by checking if there are permanent dents in the foam. Permanent dents are caused by your topper’s constant wear and tear, leading its memory function to practically stop.

The Takeaway

In summary, cleaning a memory foam mattress topper should be a breeze. And all you need is a few readily-available household items. No cost, no fees, just a few cleaning hacks and several hours of your time and you’ll have a fresh-looking and smelling topper.

Carefully note the answers to your frequently asked questions and do the tips we mentioned above and we assure you’ll be able to remove unsightly stains and unpleasant odours from your memory foam mattress topper. Happy cleaning!

Photo of 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.