Learning how to clean a foam mattress is easier than you might think, and you’ve come to the right place to do it! At Leesa, we’ve been dedicated to providing the highest quality foam mattresses for over 30 years—and we know exactly how to care for our products.
It’s important to know how to clean foam mattresses because improper care can damage them. The health of your mattress can impact your quality of sleep, and ultimately your overall health, so learning to protect your mattress can also protect you and your loved ones.
In this article, you'll learn how to clean a foam mattress properly so that it will last longer and continue to give you restful sleep every night. But of course, you may be wondering, if all I am doing is sleeping, why is my mattress dirty in the first place?
Let’s examine what causes mattress stains and odors before diving into the details of how to clean a foam mattress correctly.
Why is my Memory Foam Mattress Dirty?
Over time, dust, mites, skin cells, sweat, bacteria, and much, much more can build up on your mattress. So even if you haven’t spilled anything on your mattress, it is bound to pick up stains and odors eventually.
Of course, there are also accidents. Urine, blood, coffee—you name it—can cause unsightly stains on your memory foam mattress. But once you know how to clean a foam mattress properly, those stains will be a thing of the past.
Are you ready to learn how to clean foam mattresses? Let’s get started!
9 Tips on How to Clean a Foam Mattress Properly
Here are our top tips on how to clean foam mattresses:
1. Spot clean spills immediately
Accidents happen, but when they do, it’s up to you to act quickly. As soon as possible, blot up spills by dabbing the spot with a clean towel or cloth to absorb any excess moisture.
But DO NOT RUB THE STAIN.
Rubbing or scrubbing your mattress cover or memory foam mattress topper will only serve to spread the stain. It can also damage the foam, making cleaning overall more of a challenge.
If you still have a stain after dabbing, there are plenty of ways to remove it with household items you have on hand. Just keep reading to learn what they are.
2. Try not to let stains dry
When learning how to clean a foam mattress, one of the most important things to remember (besides not rubbing the stain) is to tackle the stain while it’s still wet. Once a stain dries, it becomes much more difficult to remove.
3. Avoid using harsh chemicals
Rule number three when learning how to clean a foam mattress: Put those chemicals away!
Harsh chemicals can damage the foam in your mattress. Avoid using bleach, ammonia, or other harsh cleaning solutions when deciding how to get stains out of memory foam mattresses.
4. Add a dash of baking soda
So now you might be wondering how to clean a foam mattress if you aren’t allowed to reach for cleaning solutions. The answer? Baking soda!
Household products like baking soda or vinegar are your best bet when learning how to get stains out of memory foam mattresses.
Baking soda can be used to remove a surprising amount of stains and odors from your memory foam mattress. Whether you have sweat stains, blood stains, or pet odors, this simple cleaning solution can help. Here’s how!
How to clean a foam mattress with sweat stains
- Combine three tablespoons of baking soda and one drop of liquid dish soap in a large spray bottle. Add 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide.
- Spray the stain lightly. Allow the solution to sit for five to 10 minutes. (Don't leave the solution on for too long, as the hydrogen peroxide solution can bleach your mattress.)
- After about 10 minutes, dab away all the baking soda and moisture with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel.
How to clean a foam mattress with blood stains
When it comes to blood stains on your mattress, it's important to remember you need to act quickly before the stain sets. Avoid using hot water because it will set the stain.
Blood is a protein stain (like any bodily fluids, vomit included). The trick to treating protein stains is to apply a solution that breaks down protein. The recipe below contains baking soda. It alkalizes the blood, helps loosen the stain, and ultimately removes it.
- Mix one part baking soda and two parts cool water to form a paste.
- With a cool, damp cloth, apply the paste to the stained area of the mattress and lightly dab, working the paste into the stain.
- Let the paste dry for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the process with a cool, damp cloth. The water must be cool. Warm or hot water will cause the stain to set, making it more difficult to remove.
- Lightly dab and press to remove as much of the baking soda mixture as possible.
Repeat this process if the stain isn't gone. Allow the area to dry completely before reapplying. If you have baking soda residue left over, vacuum your mattress cover with the upholstery attachment of your vacuum.
5. Treat urine stains with vinegar
Learning how to clean foam mattresses with urine stains can seem daunting. But don’t worry! Even though you have to take an extra step or two to avoid odors, urine stains are still easy to tackle.
- Take care of the stain as soon as possible. Use a dry cloth or towel and dab to absorb as much liquid as possible.
- Lightly spray the area with distilled white vinegar, and let the vinegar solution sit for just a few minutes.
- With a clean, dry towel or paper towel, dab the excess solution to dry as thoroughly as you can.
- Sprinkle the damp area liberally with baking soda and wait. (And wait some more.) In general, letting the baking soda sit overnight is best to dry the cover and mattress completely. The baking soda will help draw the vinegar and urine odor from the mattress.
- Vacuum with the upholstery attachment of your vacuum cleaner.
- Repeat if needed.
6. Let your mattress air-dry
After cleaning your mattress, you should always try to let it air-dry. Air-drying will prevent it from being damp for a prolonged period of time. It's important to make sure it's completely dry before putting any bedding back on.
7. Use your vacuum cleaner
Over time, dust mites and dirt build up, not only on your bedding but also on your mattress and memory foam topper. That's why you should vacuum your foam mattress a few times a year. If you have pets, you may want to vacuum more frequently.
As with most foam mattresses, your Leesa mattress is naturally less prone to harboring allergens and dust mites. However, to keep your bedroom clear of allergens and mites, it's recommended you strip your mattress and vacuum the whole surface with a HEPA-rated vacuum cleaner every 3 to 6 months.
When vacuuming, make sure to use the upholstery attachment to protect your mattress from harsh bristles.
8. Deep clean with a steamer
If you need to deep clean your mattress, do it with a steamer! You can use a hand-held or full-size steam cleaner. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and to let your mattress fully dry afterward.
9. Focus on prevention
Of course, cleaning foam mattresses is much easier if you prevent stains from happening in the first place. Taking proper steps to keep your mattress clean is important—before accidents occur.
So let’s take a look at how spring-cleaning memory foam can prevent unwanted mattress stains and odors.
How to Prevent Stains and Odors on a Memory Foam Mattress
Here are our top tips for preventing stains and odors on your Leesa mattress:
Use a mattress protector
We highly recommend that you purchase a mattress protector for your memory foam mattress. A mattress protector provides a barrier between stains, spills, dust, and dirt—so they don’t touch your mattress. Using a mattress protector will ensure your mattress lasts longer.
Change your sheets weekly
As a general rule, you should clean your bedding once a week. These are your sheets, pillowcases, and any other item you come in contact with during the night.
Your sheets collect dust, dirt, dead skin cells, sweat, body oils, and pet dander (if your furry friend is allowed in your bedroom) while you sleep. If once a week seems excessive to you, try not to leave the same sheets on your bed for more than two weeks.
Rotate your mattress
Another rule of thumb is to regularly rotate your memory foam mattress. You may be wondering: “How often should I flip or rotate my mattress?”
We recommend you rotate your mattress 180 degrees every 3 to 6 months. When you rotate, it’s also a good idea to vacuum or steam clean your mattress. Spring-cleaning memory foam will keep it fresh and functioning properly.
Note: Your Leesa mattress is built from the bottom up and not meant to be flipped! When it's time to rotate your mattress, please take this opportunity to deep clean it. You can use a handheld vacuum cleaner if you want or wipe it down with a clean cloth.
Avoid smoking in bed
Smoking can cause stains and odors on your mattress, so if you are concerned with how to clean a foam mattress, not smoking in the bedroom is a great way to start!
Ventilate your bedroom
Keeping proper airflow in your bedroom will help prevent moisture from building up. Excess moisture is one of the culprits for stains and odors, so try to keep your bedroom well-ventilated.
Enjoy that Restful, Stain-Free Sleep
Now you know how to clean a foam mattress and are armed with our top tips on keeping your memory foam stain and odor free. With proper care, your memory foam mattress will be your favorite sleep companion for years to come.
How do you deep clean a memory foam mattress?
Spring cleaning memory foam is a good idea, but before you deep clean your memory foam mattress, read the label to determine if it's safe to clean non-professionally. If it is, you can follow the steps below.
Put your mattress in a well-ventilated area. This will make sure the memory foam dries completely. Moisture can lead to molds and allergens.
Spot-clean the deep stains with a steamer. Use a steam cleaner to extract deep stains from the mattress. You can choose to add a tablespoon of vinegar and lemon to the steam cleaner solution to neutralize any odors and keep your mattress smelling fresh.
Dry your mattress. Prop your memory foam mattress up and make sure it dries completely. Depending on the size and weight of your mattress, you might need help propping it up.
Can I remove my mattress cover and wash it?
We don't recommend removing your Leesa mattress cover to wash it. Use a mattress protector (and wash it often) and spot-treat your cover with a fabric cleaner or mild detergent as needed to keep your Leesa mattress clean and fresh. There's no need to use harsh chemicals.
How do you clean a memory foam mattress that has been peed on?
There are different cleaning processes for how to clean a foam mattress. How to get stains out of memory foam mattresses will differ depending on whether the urine is fresh or dried.
For fresh urine stains
- Dab the area dry with a towel or paper towels.
- Try to soak up as much liquid as possible.
- Fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar and spray the area.
- Dab the area as dry as you can. Sprinkle baking soda and wait for a few hours until the area is dry.
- Vacuum the area.
For dried urine stains
- Make a solution using: 8 ounces of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons baking soda, and 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid. Don't shake the spray bottle.
- Spray the area with the dried urine stain until it's saturated. Let stand for an hour.
- Take a damp rag and rinse the area until it's no longer bubbly. Take a dry cloth and dry the site as much as possible.
- Leave the mattress in a well-ventilated area until it dries.
Can I wash a foam mattress?
While you can spot-clean your memory foam mattress with a steam cleaner, it's not advisable to wash it. Memory foam products are made of several layers of foam, which can trap water. If you wash your memory foam mattress, it might not be able to dry completely. If that’s the case, it can develop mold and mildew, rendering it unusable.
Does water ruin a memory foam mattress?
Yes, water can ruin a memory foam mattress if it stays inside the mattress for more than 24 hours. That’s why it’s so important to know how to clean foam mattresses.
Memory foam is made from polyurethane and is very porous. Its porosity makes it difficult for moisture to escape. This is why a memory foam mattress can look dry on top but still be wet inside.
It's essential to pay attention to the drying process of your memory foam. But don't worry, memory foam mattresses are very forgiving when it comes to liquid, so as long as you get it dried as soon as possible, it should continue to be a fantastic mattress.
How often should you clean foam mattresses?
Generally, we recommend cleaning your memory foam mattress every 6 months or so. Of course, if you spill something on your mattress, you should clean it immediately!
What is the best way to wash a foam mattress?
As discussed in depth above, it’s best to blot up excess moisture and use a gentle cleaning solution made from household items that is targeted for the specific type of stain. You can also deep clean using a steamer, just make sure your mattress fully dries afterward.
How do you clean a smelly foam bed?
Just like your sheets and bedding, your mattress can develop an unpleasant odor. Whether it's from cuddling with pets or your sweaty partner, you'll want to get rid of the smell for a fresh, clean bed. Vacuuming will immediately help with how to deodorize a mattress. Here are a few other odor-fighters to keep your mattress smelling fresh:
- Distilled white vinegar (in a spray bottle)
- Baking soda (sprinkled onto the memory foam mattress, vacuumed up)
- Corn starch (best for urine stains and smells)
- A mattress cover or protector (to protect your mattress from dirt, stains, and all things stinky)