Why Does Memory Foam Turn Yellow? How to Get Yellow Stains Out?

Memory foam is a viscoelastic polyurethane foam that is a very soft, moldable material used chiefly for all bedding accessories- mattress, pillow, topper, etc. It offers exceptional cushioning and is highly responsive.

Memory foam conforms to the body and acts effectively in pressure relief. Naturally, you may be owning one or more products made out of memory foam as it is a popular choice as a bedding staple.

However, over time, you may have noticed the discoloration of memory foam in your product – from white to yellow. It may raise the alarm in your mind.

Does it mean the product has gone wrong or something? Should I do away with the product? How to get yellow stains removed from my beddings? Etc.

Need an answer to the questions mentioned above? You are at the right place. Read on.  

Why Does Memory Foam Turn Yellow?

While it’s natural for many of you to have these worries, but relax. Firstly, you don’t need to be alarmed, as slight discoloration of memory foam is natural and something that’s part of memory foam’s aging process. It is not harmful and toxic in any way.

Several factors contribute to the change in color in memory foam. A memory foam turns yellow mainly due to oxidation. Factors such as exposure to UV light, pollution, emissions, etc., are responsible for expediting the oxidation process of all foam.

Further high temperatures also lead to oxidation in the basic components of memory foam. One more reason for the discoloration can be attributed to the presence and use of flames retardant chemicals during the construction of products made out of memory foam.

Some other reasons for the appearance of yellow stains on memory foam products include food or drink spillage, sweating and body oil, vomit or urination by a child, pet dander, molds/ mildew, dead skin, dust mites, etc. Most of such causes may leave a lingering smell.

Usually, the changed color of memory foam is permanent, and the whole process of oxidation takes time. Although this natural process can’t be withdrawn, it is possible to slow it down.

Again, some DIY tricks can also help us to get the yellow stains out of the foam if the cause is other than oxidation.

How Do You Get Yellow Stains Out of Memory Foam?

There are several ways and tricks that can be used to remove yellow stains from a memory foam mattress as well as toppers.

1. Vacuum/Steam Cleaning

The most convenient way to clean and care for a memory foam mattress, pillow, topper etc., is through vacuum cleaning with a soft upholstery hose attachment.

The process is easy and cheapest to remove any dirt, dust, debris, and dead skin cells on the surface of the mattress, topper or pillow. In this way, you stop any molds, dust mites from building up and causing stain marks on the foam.

Required Material:

Steps by Step Process 

  • Place your memory foam on a hard and flat floor.
  • Use a dry vacuum cleaner to clean all nooks and crannies, and sides of your bed. Dead skin and dust build-up are excessive in these areas.
  • If you are using a water/steam cleaner to sanitize the memory foam mattress, don’t forget to dry the mattress entirely before placing it on the frame.
  • Don’t forget to vacuum the underside by flipping or rotating it every 3-4 months. 

2. Making Use of Kitchen and Home Essentials

There are many everyday items available at our home that can remove the stains on our mattresses, pillows and toppers. These are readily available and inexpensive ways to keep the mattress clean and hygienic. 

Some of them are suitable odor neutralizers and a good stain cleaner. For instance, baking soda and gentle liquid detergents can be very effective when combined with water and other materials to form a paste.

Required Material:

  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Bowl
  • Clean cloth
  • Sponge
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Detergents

Steps by Step Process to remove Fresh Yellow Stains:

  • Just sprinkle the baking soda directly on the spot. 
  • Rub it gently.
  • Leave it for 6-8 hours.
  • Vacuum it afterward. Ensure that no particles are left on the mattress or pillow or topper.

Steps by Step Process to remove Old Dark Stains:

  • Spray vinegar and water mix on the affected area. 
  • Blot out excess liquid.
  • Then mix twice the baking soda with salt/dishwasher in cold water to make a paste. ( You can sprinkle only baking soda on the foam mattress or topper or pillow as mentioned above if the stain is fresh)
  • Rub this solution on stains in a circular motion.
  • Allow it to dry for 20-30 mins.
  • Take a sponge or damp cloth to clean the area. Make sure there is no residue on memory foam. 
  • Vacuum it afterward.

3. Using Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

Hydrogen peroxide is a colorless chemical used as laundry & bathroom cleaning and personal care products such as dyes and bleaches. It is available as water concentrated solution and can be bought from pharmacies and other online portals.

Required Material:

  • Chemical Hydrogen Peroxide In Spray Bottle
  • Gloves
  • Sponge


  • With a gloved hand and sponge, take some amount of hydrogen peroxide
  • gently dab the area of the stain with gloved hands or sponge in a circular motion
  • Wipe clean with a dampened washcloth 
  • Vacuum the entire memory foam mattress or topper or pillow

4. Using Stain Remover/Cleanser

There are various types of stain removers’ sprays & powders,/enzyme removers pens,/ available online. You can buy them and remove the deepest stains on your memory foam products.

Required Material:


  • Directly spray from the bottle or run the pen onto the affected area, starting outside the rim and working towards the center.
  • Wait until the liquid gets saturated and penetrates deep into the fibers.
  • Gently rub the spot into a lather to remove the stain.
  • Wait for a few minutes or until the stain is gone.
  • Repeat for set-in stains
  • Allow the area to dry naturally.

Tip: There are certain things to keep in mind while using any chemical solution. After you apply any solution, do not try to scrub the spot very forcibly. Be gentle; otherwise, the stain will deepen, thereby making it more difficult to remove. Also, there are chances that you may damage the mattress as force and acid will create dents on the memory foam mattress.  

Important Tips to Prevent Memory Foam Turning Yellow

We have already discussed how to remove yellow stains from memory foam beddings. However, it is always better to prevent the problem than its occurrence.

We can slow down the natural process of yellowing your memory foam mattress and prevent other causes that lead to discoloration.

Some ways can prevent your memory foam products from turning yellow

1. Using waterproof Mattress Protector

Buying and using a mattress protector on any mattress is the best way to extend its life. A waterproof mattress protector saves the mattress from those occasional spillages, peeing, and others.

Otherwise, you can use a large waterproof fitted bedsheet. It will help you cover the whole bed easily. Using such waterproof and washable covers & protectors prevent your memory foam mattress or topper from getting wet.

2. Evade direct exposure to sunlight

Ensure that the memory foam is exposed to direct sunlight. If you have to dry/air the mattress or pillow or topper, keep it outside under a shade and not more for 5-6 hours—direct exposure with quicken the oxidation process.

Also, exposure to light will compromise the lifespan of memory foam as it may damage the internal structure of the material.

3. Regular cleaning of Your Memory Foam

Improper cleaning of memory foam products can cause yellow stains on foam. Body Oil, sweat, dead skin, and mold can develop in these circumstances.

At times the spots will get strong if left untreated. Avoid eating on your mattress. Eating on the bed will lead to dropping food and cause yellow stains.

4. Opt for certified memory foam products

While buying a memory foam product, especially mattresses, it is recommended to check the certification. Buying a CertiPUR-US ensures its premium quality.

A certified Memory Foam has to undergo severe testing and is non-toxic. They are free from any harmful flame retardants. In such a case, the performance of the foam product will remain as is, even in the middle of noticing discoloration.

Final Words:

Cleaning memory foam can be challenging without the proper information. Following instructions/ rules of cleaning and maintain memory foam bedding is thus very important.

Proper upkeep of memory foam beddings enhances its performance and its durability. It is advised to read the care instruction provided by the brand for care and maintenance of the products. It saves you from the risk of unknowingly ruining your memory foam.

Most of the items required to clean the foam and remove yellow stains are conveniently found either in your house or online. What is crucial is not to neglect the lightest stains; otherwise, the spots can become permanent. 

One important fact that everyone should remember is that the discoloration of your favorite memory foam product will not have any negative consequences either on the quality of its performance.

Hope we were able to solve all your concern about your memory foam turning yellow. If you further have any queries, you are more than welcome to write back to us. Our experts will attend to your issues with utmost priority.

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