Most people tend to wash their bed sheets once every two weeks. But, while most of us do this pretty regularly, can we say the same about washing our pillows?
Pillows come in such close contact with our faces and tend to accumulate the dead skin cells that we naturally shed, absorb our natural skin and hair oils, and breed bacteria.
Additionally, keeping your pillows hygienic will prolong its useful lifespan.
So it only makes sense that we should try to keep them as clean as possible – right?
While most pillows are generally machine washable, there are some that need extra care in cleaning. And with that in mind, this article is going to teach you how to wash your memory foam pillows without potentially damaging them.
So, let’s jump right in.
Memory foam pillows don’t go in the washing machine, therefore, you may think it’s going to be a huge hassle to keep them clean, however, this is actually a very easy process that you don’t have to make an entire ritual out of.
Here are two efficient ways to keep your memory foam pillows fresh and clean.
How to Wash Memory Foam Pillow using Spot cleaning Technique
When an accident involving liquids happens, you want to act fast. The key is to clean the small spot on your memory foam pillow and not allow the stain to spread and become larger.
Here are a few things to do when spot cleaning your memory foam pillows:
Spot cleaning tea, coffee, or milk from memory foam pillows:
- 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 blood and wine stains from memory foam pillows:
Blood and wine stains are a little bit tougher than some other mild liquids, therefore, you need to act very fast if you want to get rid of the stain efficiently. Here’s what you should do:
- 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 (it should take about 24 hours) before using it again.
Spot cleaning urine from memory foam pillows:
Urine can potentially ruin a memory foam pillow, therefore, the only thing that you can do to save your pillows is to remove the urine stain as soon as possible. Here’s what you should do:
- 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.
If you want more information on several different ways to efficiently remove urine stains from a memory foam make sure to check out our other article that explains that in great detail.
How to Wash Memory foam Pillow using Deep cleaning Process
Here are a few easy steps to follow when deep cleaning your memory foam pillows:
- Fill your bathtub or sink with lukewarm water and 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 press 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. You don’t want any detergent to stay stuck in your pillow.
- Turn the water off and slowly squeeze your pillow without wringing or twisting it. This may cause damage to your pillow.
- Allow your pillow to dry for approximately 24 hours before replacing the pillowcase and using it again.
- Memory foam pillows and mattresses must never be dried using a dryer as these often contain inflammable materials and memory foam is not designed to be used in extremely hot temperatures.
Cleaning Memory Foam Pillows using Baking Soda
Baking soda is used for removing odors from the memory foam pillows and you can remove the most type of odors easily with baking soda. Just sprinkle a little baking soda on your memory foam pillow and leave it untouched for a day.
After waiting for a day or so shake the pillow or vacuum it using a hand vac. Your pillow will be ready to use once all the baking soda has been removed.
Cleaning Memory Foam Pillow using Natural Sunlight
Exposure to sunlight can also help in removing odors easily. The best part is that this is a free procedure which doesn’t requires you to invest significant amount of time into cleaning or buying a cleaning agent.
Just put the pillow under sunlight for a day or two and you will notice that it smells fresh now.
What To Avoid When Washing Memory Foam Pillows?
Like everything else, memory foam pillows aren’t invincible, therefore, you need to handle them with care and avoid doing the following several things while washing your memory foam pillows:
- Wringing or twisting your memory foam pillows to squeeze the water out
- Using harsh chemicals, like bleach, to prevent memory foam from breaking down.
- Never place a memory foam pillow in the washing machine. The spin cycle in the washer is too rough and it can potentially damage your pillow.
- Never place a memory foam pillow in the dryer, unless specified. The heat from the dryer can melt the memory foam.
- Avoid hot water, since it will set the stain instead of removing it.
- Never use a memory foam pillow until it’s completely dry. The damp interior is the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew if the pillow is used before dried completely.
How To Make Your Memory Foam Pillows Smell Nice?
If you live in a hot climate or you are a sweaty sleeper, you probably need to be a little more diligent with keeping your memory foam pillow fresh and clean.
Here is how to remove the smell of sweat from your memory foam pillow:
- Remove the pillowcase and the protective pillow cover (if the cover is removable), and follow the instructions on the care tag to properly clean them.
- Lay the memory foam pillow on a flat surface, then sprinkle one side of the pillow with baking soda, covering well.
- Let it sit 1-2 hours with as much exposure to sunlight as possible. Using the upholstery attachment, vacuum the surface of the pillow and remove the baking soda.
- Flip the pillow over and repeat this process on the other side.
If you want your pillow to smell nice and fresh, you can also mix a drop of lavender, peppermint, or lemongrass essential oil in a bottle of warm water and sprinkle one side of the pillow, covering well.
Let it dry naturally with as much sun exposure as possible.
How Often Should Memory Foam Pillows Be Washed?
As a general rule of thumb, memory foam pillows should be washed once every couple of months.
Although memory foam pillows are built from higher quality materials than standard pillows, you still need to make sure to keep it fresh and clean as this is not only good for your personal health, but it also prolongs the lifespan of your pillow.
Therefore, you just have to set your own regular schedule and stick to it because any effort to keep your memory foam pillow clean is only a benefit to you.
How Often Should You Change Your Pillows?
While traditional pillows should be replaced every six months, memory foam has a longer lifespan.
That doesn’t mean that a memory foam pillow shouldn’t be replaced.
For a hygienic sleep environment, you should consider changing your memory foam pillow every 18-36 months.
Just like all materials, memory foam breaks down over time. Even if you treat your pillow well, the more you use it, the more it will disintegrate. To get optimal support, a replacement will be needed every so often.
We try our best to research and curate the best tips for you that will help you when picking your next memory-foam product. Our highly-rated product reviews and informative guides are crafted from our own personal experiences, user-generated content and scientific research (from various sleep-scientists online).