Some of the best pillows are memory foam pillows, but unfortunately, they are not machine washable. Pillows get soiled with dead skin, sweat, and bacteria daily, which leads to unpleasant odors and mildew. You spend several hours of every day with your face pressed up against your pillow, so it’s no wonder that you’re inquiring how to clean a memory foam pillow.
Initially invented by NASA, memory foam or temper foam quickly became a favorite among consumers. This durable material contains polyurethane and provides pressure relief and support to the body and head for both back and side sleepers. Memory foam is dense with an open cell structure and has a longer lifespan than many other materials.
Your bed pillows go through a lot of use. Using a pillowcase keeps excess dirt from the solid foam material of your pillow, but it does not give it 100% protection. If not cleaned regularly, they become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.
How to Wash a Memory Foam Pillow
It’s not enough to regularly change the linens on your bed. You need to know how to clean bed pillows and your mattress, too, to eliminate stains and smells.
Can you wash a memory foam pillow? The answer to that is both yes and no. Throwing your pillow into the washing machine is a big no-no because the machine agitator weakens and breaks up the padding of the foam.
The good news is that there are several ways to sanitize and spot clean memory foam materials, including a memory foam mattress and pillow. Regular cleaning of your bedding is essential for good hygiene, and this also includes the mattress and pillows.
You spend approximately eight hours of every day in your bed, leaving behind skin cells and sweat, so your bed pillows need a deep cleaning. We’ll show you how to wash a memory foam pillow to remove dirt, stains, and bad odors, and prevent dust mites.
Can You Wash a Memory Foam Pillow?
The best way to wash memory foam pillows is to perform the washing by hand. So, the answer to the question, can you wash memory foam, is yes. However, it requires a different form of cleaning than a traditional washing machine to prevent damage. Here is how to deep clean an entire memory foam pillow.
Before soaking your pillow, read the care label for specific cleaning directions. Fill a large tub with cold or lukewarm water since hot water tends to set-in stains. Add a couple of squirts of mild detergent and agitate the water to form suds.
To enhance the scent of your pillow, add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil to the solution, which also helps you to sleep more peacefully. If you do not have a large enough container to accommodate your pillow, use a bathtub to clean it.
Remove the pillowcase and submerge the pillow in the soapy water. Squeeze the pillow in the water to allow the soapy solution to penetrate the solid memory foam. Empty the soapy solution from the tub and fill it with cold water.
Let the water run over the pillow for extra rinsing. Squeeze the pillow in the clean water to flush out soapy residue. Do this several times to allow the clean water to rinse away dirt until the water runs clear.
Remove the pillow from the tub and squeeze out the excess liquid without wringing it. Continue pressing on the foam to get as much water out as possible. Place it on a flat surface for air drying.
If it’s a warm day outside, lay the pillow in the direct sunlight, otherwise, give the pillow air by placing it indoors near a fan. Make sure to flip the pillow occasionally to speed up the drying process. Do not use a clothes dryer or hair dryer to dry the pillow.
How to Clean a Memory Foam Pillow with Spot Cleaning
Can foam pillows be washed? The good news is that memory pillows are hand-washable. The bad news is that washing them in the washing machine damages the foam.
The same principle applies to body pillows. Can you wash a body pillow? Of course. It’s often better to spot clean the large item rather than trying to stuff it in the washing machine.
Fortunately, it’s easy enough to clean sweat stains, urine, and other accidental stains from memory foam without damaging them. Clean yellow pillows and remove both stains and odors with this simple solution.
For removing everyday stains from your pillow, get a sponge wet with cold water and add a couple drops of mild dish detergent to the surface. Use the sponge to rub the stain away using a circular motion.
Rinse the sponge in fresh water and wipe away all residue from the foam surface. To remove blood or wine from your pillow, pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stained area.
Allow the solution to bubble as the peroxide breaks down the proteins of the stain. Lightly spray the area with cold water and use an old toothbrush to scrub away the stain. Blot the stain away with paper towels.
For urine stains, combine one cup of hydrogen peroxide, two tablespoons of baking soda, and one tablespoon of white vinegar in a bottle sprayer and shake well to mix. Spray the solution directly onto the urine stain and let it sit overnight. Blot the area thoroughly with a clean, damp cloth in the morning. If the smell persists, repeat the process.
Removing Odors from a Memory Foam Pillow
While regularly washing memory foam pillows usually keeps them smelling fresh, there are times in between cleaning when they need a little deodorizing.
While fabric freshening sprays make the pillow smell good, it’s only temporary since the scent is masking the original odor. Instead of tossing your pillow, try using baking soda to remove odors.
If you have a new pillow that has a funny smell, this is the result of off-gassing, which is the build up of harmless gasses while packaging. It’s easy to get rid of this odor as well as many other bad smells using sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda is an absorbent that not only lifts bad smells from materials, but it neutralizes them as well.
Remove the pillow cover and place your foam pillow on a clean, flat surface. Sprinkle a decent amount of baking soda over the entire surface of the foam. Flip the pillow over and repeat on the other side.
Let it sit for three hours, and then use the brush attachment on your vacuum to suck away the odor absorbed baking soda. After vacuuming, consider laying your pillow out in the sun for one hour. Sunshine is an excellent tool for disinfecting your pillow due to the ultraviolet radiation.
How Often Should I Clean and Replace My Memory Foam Pillow?
These are both excellent questions when it comes to memory foam pillows. You already know how often to clean and replace your bedding and pillowcases, but when is a good time to clean or replace your pillows?
Cleaning and Replacing Memory Foam Pillows
The rule of thumb for cleaning a memory foam pillow is generally once every two months. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. Accidental spills or stains require immediate cleaning.
It’s also a good idea to clean them if you’ve just recovered from a virus. You can also follow these guidelines as the best way to clean sofa cushions and throw pillows. Periodic cleaning is important both for aesthetics and overall health.
The critical thing to remember to ensure that your pillow lasts you as long as possible is to clean up spills immediately. Blot up stains right away using a paper towel and follow up by using a spot cleaning solution.
A good practice to follow to keep your pillow smelling fresh in between cleaning is to utilize the power of baking soda. Try sprinkling baking soda on the surface of your pillow each time you change the bedding.
Following this routine is also a great way to ensure that you do not have bed bugs or dust mite allergens in your pillow. Just remember to vacuum the powder away with an upholstery cleaner before putting on clean pillowcases.
We’ve talked about memory foam but can you wash polyester pillows in the washing machine? Yes, poly pillows clean well in the washer.
However, note that an inexpensive polyester filled pillow only lasts about six months before needing replacement – a memory foam pillow lasts a lot longer. Generally, the memory foam filling breaks down anywhere from two to three years after purchase.
It comes down to how well it is maintained and the amount of use it gets. The same holds for a memory foam topper on your bed. If you plan on replacing your old bed, the best way to dispose of a mattress is to donate it to a charity.
Just because you cannot wash a memory foam pillow in the washing machine doesn’t mean that you can’t clean it using gentle cleaning solutions.
It’s easy to clean away sweat stains, pet urine, mildew, and other nasty dirt by applying simple ingredients such as baking soda, mild detergent, and hydrogen peroxide. Use these simple cleaning solutions regularly so that you can enjoy a germ-free, good night’s sleep.
Now that you know how to clean a memory foam pillow to remove germs, bacteria, and dust mites, why not share our memory foam cleaning tips with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest?