Last Updated on June 22, 2021
As with all pillows used and slept on every night, your memory foam pillow goes through a lot. Although we may not notice it, our body heat, body oils and dead skin cells can affect and spoil memory foam pillows with every night that passes.
Adding to this are bed bugs and dust mites, as those little insects love to live on any pillow’s materials and can affect your sleep quality.
So, how do you avoid all this? The answer is good pillow hygiene! This is the topic we will cover today and will focus more specifically on how to wash a memory foam pillow.
How to Clean a Memory Foam Pillow
What You Should Know
First of all, memory pillows are elastic pillows made from special materials designed to promote better sleep for everyone.
Before you you start to wash memory foam pillows, here are few pointers to be aware of. For starters, a common mistake many people make is that they wash memory foam pillows in the washing machine. Sadly, to clean your memory foam pillow, most cannot be machine washed.
This is because a memory foam pillow is made of materials damaged by the circular motion, especially during the machine’s final spin. Moreover, the cold or warm water rinsing through the entire pillow is not good for the pillow’s material.
Even though memory foam can be made with numerous materials, such as latex foam, gel-infused memory foam, shredded memory foam, solid foam and more, you will find that most pillows can’t be placed in a washing machine without getting damaged.
Your Memory Foam Pillow Cleaning Options
Although the most convenient option of washing your memory foam pillow is now crossed off the list, do not despair. You can clean a memory foam pillow using other methods. To help you find the one most suitable to your needs, we’ve summarised a handful of options for you below:
Machine Washable Memory Foam Pillow Covers
One way that you can keep your memory foam pillows clean is by using a protective cover. Some memory foam pillows already come with a protective cover; you may have to buy an additional cover for others. If this is the case, you can easily buy a normal bed pillow cover to use your memory foam pillow. Just check that the measurements suit your pillow size. We also recommend choosing a naturally hypoallergenic option, as this can also help against bed bugs and dust mites.
Using a cover is good for many reasons. For example, if you spill or drop anything that leaves a stain or a mark on your memory foam pillow, it will be easy to clean as it will only affect your cover. What’s more, using a cover on your memory foam pillow means that it will be more protected from any bodily dirt.
To clean the cover on your memory foam pillow, follow these steps:
Step 1: Remove the Covers of Your Memory Foam Pillows
The covers should easily slide off or have a zip or button mechanism so that you can remove the case.
Step 2: Put the Covers in the Washing Machine
Before putting the covers into the washing machine, check the label attached to the cover. This will tell you which temperature and setting the pillow cover will be properly cleaned without being damaged. For example, this tag might use a gentle detergent on a cold cycle for the best results.
Step 3: Dry the Covers After Washing
After your memory foam pillow’s cover is fully clean, you need to dry it. Here, you have two possibilities. The first way is to let your memory foam pillow’s cover air dry on your clothes horse or washing line. The second way to dry your memory foam pillow’s cover is to put it into a drying machine. If you choose the latter, we recommend you recheck the cover’s label, as different materials may require different heat settings or may not be suitable for tumble drying.
Step 4: Put the Covers Back to the Memory Foam Pillows
Once the covers are fully dry, you can put them back on your memory foam pillows.
Although using a cover on your memory foam pillows is easy and convenient, the sad truth is that a cover won’t deep clean your memory foam pillows and only provides a superficial clean. You may find that your solid foam pillow needs to be deep cleaned frequently.
Here is an easy-to-follow guide on how to wash memory material pillows.
Step 1: Find the Right Cleaning Solution
One of the easiest and most widely available cleaning solutions is baking soda. You can find this in the baking aisle of most supermarkets and can be used for cleaning various items in your household. It is even great at eliminating odours which why it’s a good choice for pillows and will leave your memory material pillow smelling fresh.
Step 2: Sprinkle Baking Soda Onto the Memory Foam
Ensure to do this step while resting your memory material pillow on a flat surface to ensure that you achieve an even sprinkle of baking soda.
Step 3: Let It Sit
Allow your memory material pillow to sit with the baking soda for at least an hour. We recommend letting it sit for longer, if possible.
Step 4: Remove the Memory Foam Pillow
After you’ve let the baking soda work its magic for at least an hour, it’s time to remove it from your memory material pillow. This can be done in a few ways. First, you can use a clean, lightly damp cloth to wipe down your memory material pillow gently, or you can blow your memory material pillow clean with a hairdryer. The easiest and least messy method is the option where you attach an upholstery brush to your vacuum cleaner and suck up all the bicarb.
In this way, you can eliminate any nasty odours from your memory foam pillow. If you have any larger stains on your pillow, we recommend first using this bicarb method, followed by the spot cleaning method, which we will cover next.
As previously said, a cover on your memory material pillow will help prevent spills and marks from staining your memory material pillow. However, sometimes certain substances can seep through the cover and may create unpleasant looking or smelling stains. If this happens to you, don’t worry. You can practice spot cleaning your memory material following these easy steps.
Step 1: Find the Stain
First, locate the stain on your memory material pillow. As previously mentioned, this is now a good time to apply some baking soda so that any lingering moisture and odours can be absorbed before you start the real spot cleaning process.
Step 2: Prepare a Clean Cloth and Some Detergent
Once you’ve removed the bicarb, grab a gentle detergent as well as a clean cloth. If you don’t have a mild detergent available, another option is to use regular detergent and dilute it with lukewarm water.
Take your dry towel or a clean cloth and dampen it with the cleaning solution. Ensure you squeeze out any excess liquid, as you don’t want to drench the pillow during this deep clean.
Step 3: Remove the Stain
Using your damp cloth, carefully wipe over the stain in a circular motion. You might need to rinse and gently squeeze out the cloth a few times and repeat the gentle rubbing several times until you see a difference.
Step 4: Leave It to Dry
Once you’re satisfied with the level of stain removal, let your now clean memory foam pillow air dry. This drying process might take a few hours.
Sometimes mistakes and spills happen, and if you find yourself trying to clean up a tough stain or have left it too long in between memory foam pillow cleans, you have two options.
First Option: Find a Replacement
If you really cannot get the stain out of the pillow or feel that it’s about time to exchange it, your first option is to find a replacement. The best way of doing this is to seek advice from a certified sleep coach. Of course, you also have the option of buying the same memory pillow as your previous one.
However, the chances are that certain factors – such as your sleeping posture – will have changed. Therefore, you may want some additional advice on what would suit you. You can buy a new pillow at many different locations for a suitable price, and you’ll find that sleep coaches can help you pick the best memory material pillow for you according to your needs.
Second Option: Clean With Water and Soap
If you have a really dirty memory material pillow, the second option is to clean it in a large sink with cold water and soap. Beware, however, as any foam gently reacts to any substance and any amount of water by losing its contouring properties. If you seriously need to clean your memory material pillow this way, here are a few tips to keep an eye out for:
- Tip 1: When cleaning your memory material product in a large sink, ensure that your sink is spotless and thoroughly cleaned before filling it with water. Use cold water and ensure that you use a very gentle soap.
- Tip 2: Once your memory material pillow is wet, make sure that you very gently squeeze out any extra water. Do not let your memory foam pillow sit soaking in water for more than a few hours.
- Tip 3: Make sure that your memory material pillow can fully dry after you have washed it. You can let your memory material pillow air dry completely or gently squeeze it between two towels to remove any excess moisture. The best way to ensure a dry pillow is to use an upholstery attachment with your vacuum and gently go over it.
Keeping It Clean
From spot cleaning to deep cleaning, those are a few ways you can keep your memory foam pillow clean. Using a pillowcase, which you can remove and wash separately, and doing the occasional spot clean are the best ways to keep your pillow clean and make it last for as long as possible.
Do you have any cleaning tips and tricks up your sleeve for cleaning memory foam? Let us know in the comments below!