How to Clean a Memory Foam Pillow: A Step by Step Tutorial

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Everyone washes their bedsheets. Actually, most of us do so pretty regularly, but how about our pillows?

We spend about a third of our time in bed and while asleep, the air we breathe circulates around our pillows. During this time, these cushions also accumulate the dead skin cells that we naturally shed. So, it only makes sense that we should try to keep them always clean, right? Additionally, keeping a pillow hygienic will prolong its useful lifespan. Most types of pillows are generally machine washable. However, some need extra care in cleaning.

With this in mind, one would naturally ask – can memory foam be washed? This article will explain how to clean a memory foam pillow using several different techniques. Thus, you can extend the usefulness of your pillows and breathe easily on a clean surface while you sleep.

Can You Wash Memory Foam Pillows in a Washing Machine?

a child putting some towels in a laundry basket

If you are wondering how to wash foam pillows in the washing machine, the answer is don’t! Unless of course they are filled with shredded memory foam. A solid memory foam pillow should not be placed in the washing machine because the material is too fragile to be tumbled and spin. Although this may come as a surprise since memory foam is often known for its long-lasting durability and support in bedding. However, this doesn’t apply when the material gets wet or is continuously twisted and bent.

By now you are probably asking yourself, can you put a memory foam pillow in the dryer? The answer is the same – no, except for shredded memory foam pillows. Still, make sure you only use a low heat setting. Solid piece memory foam pillows are better off air-dried.

If you accidentally washed memory foam pillow before finding this information, don’t worry. It’s not the end of the road for your pillow, just let it air dry. You may also speed up the drying process using fans or sunlight, and don’t toss it in the machine again.

How to Clean Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

Shredded memory foam pillows are often machine washable with a mild cleanser. It can also be placed in a dryer to re-fluff the memory foam material. However, some shredded memory foam pillows are more fragile than others and not all companies recommend using a washing machine. Hence, you should double-check with the manufacturer’s care instructions before proceeding with this option and only use this method for cleaning sparingly.

Step by Step: Cleaning Memory Foam Pillows

How Do You Spot Clean Memory Foam Pillows?

Accidents happen and when they do, you can easily clean a small spot on your pillow using different ingredients and methods. Some are better suited to certain kinds of spills but if you don’t have the materials readily on hand, use what you have.

Spot cleaning a mild spill like tea:

  • Remove the pillow casing and blot the spill with an absorbent towel.
  • Mix warm water with a small amount of mild dish detergent until it becomes bubbly.
  • Use a sponge or clean cloth to dab the soap and water directly on the spill.
  • Using light pressure, rub the sponge in a circular motion until it appears clean.
  • Allow the pillow to dry completely before using it again.

Spot cleaning tough stains like blood or wine:

spilled wine

  • Remove the pillow cover and blot a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on the stain with a clean cloth until it stops bubbling upon contact.
  • Using a spray bottle or a sponge, apply a small amount of cold water to the affected area.
  • Using an old toothbrush, gently rub the stain with a small circular motion until the stain is removed.
  • Let the pillow dry completely before using it again.

Spot cleaning stains with a strong odor like pet urine:

  • Remove the cover and blot the stain with an absorbent towel to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • Mix a solution with 1 cup hydrogen peroxide, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, as well as 1 teaspoon of white vinegar.
  • Apply the solution directly to the stain with a spray bottle, cloth, or sponge.
  • Allow the pillow to sit for about 8 hours while the cleaning solution works its cleaning magic.
  • Repeat the previous 2 steps several times until any hint of odor has evaporated.
  • Blot with cold clean water.
  • Make sure your pillow is completely dry before using it again.

How Do You Deep Clean a Memory Foam Pillow?

So you can’t put your stained pillow in the washer, but you can still give it a nice deep cleaning in your bathtub or a large sink. You can do so anywhere just as long as it can hold the pillow without forcing it to bend or twist. If you’re still wondering – ‘how to clean a memory foam pillow?’ deep cleaning is another method worth trying as well.

Deep Cleaning Method:

  • Fill your bathtub with some lukewarm water then mix in a little amount of mild laundry detergent.
  • Place your pillow in the tub and gently press on it until it is completely submerged.
  • Gently squeeze the pillow in various places so the water can enter the solid structure easily.
  • Drain the water out of your tub.
  • Hold your pillow under a gentle stream of clean running water while you carefully squeeze it again.
  • Continue this until the water runs clear.
  • Turn the water off and slowly squeeze your pillow without wringing or twisting it to avoid unnecessary damage.
  • Allow your pillow to dry for approximately 24 hours before replacing the pillowcase and using it again.

Memory Foam Pillow Quick Refresh

If you want to learn a different strategy other than customary ways on how to wash memory foam, we have one more option for you. The fact that it’s rather a quick solution and doesn’t entail an extended drying time might interest you.

Quickly refresh your memory foam pillow:

  • Remove the pillowcase and lie the pillow flat.
  • Sprinkle baking soda across the surface and allow to sit in the heat of direct sunlight for a couple of hours.
  • Vacuum the baking soda up using an upholstery brush attachment with bristles.
  • Flip the pillow and repeat the process on the other side.

How to Dry a Memory Foam Pillow

Air drying your memory foam pillow after you wash it is the easiest option, but it definitely isn’t the quickest. To speed up the process, try one or more of these alternatives:

  • Placing the pillow in direct sunlight will contribute enough heat to hasten the drying process.
  • Use a hairdryer to target wet spots on the pillow created by spot cleaning.
  • Place the pillow in front of a fan and rotate frequently.

How Often Should You Clean Your Memory Foam Pillow?

Now that we know how to clean our pillows, the next thing is to determine is how often we ought to do the routine. Considering that a deep clean may leave us pillowless for one night, it’s normal to ask if these cushions need frequent washing.

In a perfect world, we would all vacuum our pillows every week when we change our sheets, spot clean monthly, and deep clean every 2-4 months. However, this may prove to be unrealistic for everyone. Therefore, you’ll just have to set your own regular schedule and do what you can. Besides, any effort made to keep your pillow clean will provide you with positive results.

Time to Clean!

With all these simple steps, we hope you were able to learn quickly how to clean a memory foam pillow. It’s wiser to take this newfound knowledge and use it as regular as possible. Whether you sought out this article due to an accidental spill or just for general information, you won’t regret learning to clean your memory foam pillow and improving the air that you breathe each night.

Additional Resources

Emily Alexander
Emily Alexander

Emily Melynn Alexander was born on the east coast of the USA but has called Colorado home since 2000. She has a degree in English and Political Science from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She enjoys sleeping in locations all around the world.

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