How to Clean Your Memory Foam Mattress

Keep your memory foam mattress in pristine condition with our top cleaning tips. Find out how to effectively remove stains and odors, avoiding damage.

Dr. Ifran Saddique

Memory foam mattresses are an absolute pleasure to sleep on and can offer unparalleled comfort, but they also require proper care and TLC to ensure they remain as clean and fresh as they were the day you bought them.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the exact steps on how to clean a memory foam mattress, tackling everything from regular maintenance to deep cleaning.

Follow these tips to extend the life of your mattress, create a healthier sleeping environment and get one step closer to becoming a seasoned memory foam mattress cleaner.

Key Takeaways

  • Regular cleaning preserves the quality of your memory foam mattress.
  • Troublesome stains can be completely removed with the proper cleaning techniques.
  • Odors are manageable with simple, natural solutions.
  • Deep cleaning should be performed periodically for a thorough refresh.
  • Prevention is key – use mattress protectors to avoid future issues.

How to Prepare for Cleaning Your Memory Foam Mattress

Before we jump into this helpful guide, we'll review some of the most common issues you'll likely be facing and gather the most essential products and tools you'll need. As you'll discover in this article, knowing how to wash memory foam is only part of the puzzle. Whether it's routine maintenance, tackling stubborn stains, or learning how to get sweat smell out of your memory foam mattress, doing the right prep work ensures a smoother, easier cleaning experience and will get you on your way to a professional-grade memory foam mattress cleaning.

Identifying the Issue

Can I clean my memory foam mattress every day, or should I do it once a month? Cleaning your memory foam mattress can range from simple vacuuming to more intensive spot treatments or deep cleaning. Common issues include dust accumulation, stains from spills or bedwetting, and lingering odors. Understanding the specific problem will give you a better picture of which approach you should ideally take and how often.

What Tools and Products You Will Need

Gather the following items to effectively clean your memory foam mattress:

  • Vacuum Cleaner: Essential for regular maintenance to remove dust and debris.
  • Baking Soda: A versatile cleaning agent for absorbing odors and freshening the mattress.
  • White Vinegar: Effective for stain removal, neutralizing odors and removing bacteria due to its antibacterial properties
  • Laundry Detergent: For general cleaning and stain removal.
  • Water: A crucial component in many cleaning solutions.
  • Mattress Protector: Invest in a quality protector to prevent future stains and damage.

How to Vacuum Your Memory Foam Mattress

Regular vacuuming is a fundamental step in maintaining a clean memory foam mattress. Follow these steps for effective vacuuming:

1. Remove Bedding

Strip the mattress of all bedding, including sheets and mattress protectors.

2. Vacuum Surface

Use your vacuum cleaner's upholstery or brush attachment to gently vacuum the entire mattress surface. Pay extra attention to seams, crevices and any gaps where dust may gather.

3. Flip and Repeat

If your mattress is flippable, flip it over and repeat the vacuuming process on the other side, too. Make sure to be just as thorough.

4. Vacuum Edges

Clean the edges of the mattress to ensure all dust and dirt particles, and bacteria are removed.

5. Baking Soda Boost

As a bonus step, you can sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda over your mattress’s surface. Let it sit for a few hours to absorb all those nasty odors before vacuuming again for an extra boost of freshness.

How to Get Stains Out of Your Memory Foam Mattress

Pesky stains on your bedding can definitely make it look ugly and unwelcoming, especially if you are planning to have guests over. Luckily, we are here to tell you that a solution is at hand. So, if you've ever asked yourself how to clean or get stains out of your memory foam mattress after spillages or accidents like bedwetting, then this step-by-step guide for various types of stains is just for you:

Common Stains and Their Solutions

Liquid Stains (Coffee, Wine, etc.)

  • Blot excess liquid with a clean cloth.

  • Mix equal parts water and white vinegar.

  • Dab the stain with the solution using a cloth or sponge.

  • Blot it with a clean, dry cloth to absorb any excess moisture.

Blood Stains

  • Use cold water to avoid setting the stain.

  • Apply a mixture of cold water and mild laundry detergent.

  • Gently blot the stain until it's removed.

Urine Stains (Bedwetting)

  • Blot excess moisture with a towel.

  • Create a mixture of equal parts of both water and white vinegar.

  • Lightly spray the stained area.

  • Blot the area with a dry cloth until it is completely dry.

General Steps for Mixed Stain Removal

  • Blotting:
    • Start by blotting the stain with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb excess liquid.
  • Preparation:
    • Mix the appropriate cleaning solution based on the type of stain.
  • Application:
    • Apply the new mixture to the stain with either a sponge or cloth. Avoid soaking the mattress.
  • Blot Again:
    • Blot the treated area with a dry cloth to absorb moisture and cleaning solution.
  • Drying:
    • Allow the mattress to air dry completely before placing the bedding back on.

How to Remove Odors from Your Memory Foam Mattress

Nasty and unwanted odors and smells can be a nuisance and a common occurrence, especially if liquid spillages or accidents have occurred over a long period. The good news is that you can follow these steps on how to get a nasty smell out of your mattress:

Common Odors and Their Solutions

Sweat Smell

  • Mix water and a few drops of mild laundry detergent.

  • Gently clean the affected area using a cloth.

  • Allow the mattress to air dry thoroughly.

General Odors

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the mattress surface.

  • Let it sit for a few hours or even overnight if possible.

  • Vacuum the mattress to remove the baking soda.

Steps for Odor Removal

  • Preparation:
    • Identify the source of the odor to choose the appropriate cleaning method.
  • Baking Soda Application:
    • Sprinkle a plentiful amount of baking soda over the affected mattress area.
  • Waiting Period:
    • Allow the baking soda to sit for at least a few hours or, ideally, overnight.
  • Vacuuming:
    • Use the vacuum cleaner to thoroughly remove the baking soda.
  • Sun Exposure:
    • If possible, place the mattress in direct sunlight for a few hours to naturally freshen it.

How to Deep Clean Your Memory Foam Mattress

Deep cleaning is recommended every few months to maintain optimal hygiene. Follow these steps on how to remove stains from your memory foam mattress and more for a thorough, deep clean:

1. Remove Stains and Odors

  • Address any existing stains or odors using the methods we mentioned earlier in this article, such as baking soda.

2. Create a Cleaning Solution

  • Mix a small amount of mild laundry detergent with water to create a gentle cleaning solution.

3. Spot Cleaning

  • Dip a clean cloth into the cleaning solution and spot-clean any remaining stains for a touch-up.

4. Air Dry

  • Allow the mattress to air dry completely. Ensure it is placed in a well-ventilated area for maximum coverage. Just be sure not to leave it out too long, as prolonged exposure can lead to discoloration and yellowing of your precious foam mattress.

5. Mattress Protector

  • Consider using a mattress cover to prevent future stains and spills. A protector like this is especially useful if you have children or pets around the house. Try to get one that is breathable and waterproof, as it will act as a natural barrier from unwanted food and drink particles, keeping nasty bacteria at bay. On the flip side, be sure you’re up to date with the best tips on how to wash your mattress protector.

Tips on Keeping Your Memory Foam Mattress Fresh and Clean

  • Use a Mattress Protector:
    • Invest in a quality mattress protector to create a barrier against spills and stains. These can be especially useful if you are one to drink coffee or tea by your bed or if you have animals and children at home who are very likely to consume food and drink near or even on top of your mattress.
  • Regular Vacuuming:
    • Vacuum your mattress at least once a month to prevent dust buildup.
  • Rotate Your Mattress:
    • Balance is key, so If your mattress is reversible, rotate it regularly every now and then so that wear is gradual on each side. This will help you slow the process down.
  • Air Out Your Mattress:
    • On a sunny day, allow your mattress to air out by placing it in direct sunlight to keep those pesky odors at bay.
  • No Harsh Chemicals:
    • Harsh cleansers and chemicals should be used sparingly (or avoided completely if possible) as they can damage the memory foam’s sensitive surfaces. You may ask yourself, “What can I spray on my mattress to kill fleas?” In such cases, we highly recommend a safe mix of water and tea tree or eucalyptus oil, known for its anti-flea properties.
  • Prompt Stain Treatment:
    • Address stains as soon as you see them to prevent them from setting into the mattress. Especially when it comes to bedwetting, learning how to get yellow stains out of your mattress as soon as possible is your best option. The faster, the better!
  • Avoid Steam Exposure
    • Can you steam clean a memory foam mattress? Actually, it is generally not recommended to expose memory foam to excessive moisture, and this includes steam. It’s much better to stick to dry cleaning methods such as the ones mentioned in our guide or, at the very most, a slightly damp cloth for spot cleaning.


In the end, cleaning and maintaining a memory foam mattress involves a combination of regular upkeep and targeted cleaning, depending on the cause. Hopefully, by applying and memorizing all our tips, you will never again wonder “How do you clean a memory foam mattress?”. Remember, for a more thorough cleaning, knowing how to wash memory foam properly is crucial to avoid damaging your mattress’s sensitive material and ensuring a deep clean. By following our step-by-step guide, you too can enjoy a fresh and comfortable slumber and sleep like a king (or queen) for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for memory foam to turn yellow?

Yes, it is perfectly normal for memory foam to turn yellow over time. This unfortunate discoloration can happen due to the exposure to air and light. For this very reason, knowing how to dry a mattress is really important, so always be sure to limit your air drying, especially on very sunny days, as direct sunlight can be a major offender. Additionally, using a mattress protector can help slow down or minimize the yellowing of your mattress.

How many years does memory foam last?

On average, a top-of-the-range memory foam mattress could roughly last 8 to 10 years with proper care and maintenance, especially if our tips and tricks are followed. On top of that, as long as you buy the mattress from a high-quality and reputable source, you should be well set for a long-lasting mattress.

How do you know when your memory foam mattress needs replacing?

Signs that it’s time to say your goodbyes to your favorite bedding include sagging, visible wear and tear, discomfort, and persistent odors that cannot be eliminated. If you are up to speed with the best way to clean your memory foam mattress, have taken all the steps in this article, and the condition of your mattress has not improved, then it’s unfortunately time to replace it.

What are the disadvantages of memory foam?

Despite being beloved worldwide for their amazing comfort and longevity, memory foam mattresses do, unfortunately, come with some downsides. These can include potential off-gassing (a temporary chemical odor), heat retention (a pain for those who sweat easily), and the initial smell that can be present when the mattress is new. Thankfully, these flaws are few and far between, and the benefits far outweigh these minor shortcomings in the bigger picture.

How often should you clean a memory foam mattress?

The key to keeping your mattress clean is routine and consistency. A thorough vacuum should be done at least once a month, whereas, on the other hand, a deeper cleaning can be done more sparingly on your precious mattress, ideally every three to six months. Of course, spot cleaning should be done whenever needed, such as just after any spillages or accidents. Learning the proper techniques on how to get yellow stains out of your mattress is especially key here. With the right amount of TLC, you'll be amazed at how long your mattress will last.

Dr. Ifran Saddique

Dr. Ifran Saddique


Dr. Saddique completed his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from the Combined Military Hospital Medical and Dental College between 2012 and 2017. His rigorous medical training has provided him with a solid foundation in medical sciences and clinical practice. He has held the position of Medical Doctor at St. Bartholomew Hospital, Barts NHS Trust since May 2023, where he has been actively involved in delivering high-quality healthcare services. Prior to that, he served as the Deputy Medical Superintendent at Children Hospital. Moreover, Dr. Irfan specializes in medical content writing and has provided his knowledge and expertise on many blogs and articles on health and fitness, behavioral health, and medical issues.

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