How Often Do You Need to Wash Your Mattress Pad?
You do lay on it eight hours a night, after all.
There’s nothing that ruins the feeling of just-cleaned sheets like realizing that your protective mattress pad is looking a little. yellow. We all know you’re supposed to wash your sheets every one or two weeks, but what about this pesky thing under your sheets? Our expert is here to share her wisdom.
But first things first, when we say mattress pad, we mean a traditional protective covering like this. Pillowy toppers are a different story since they come in so many varieties (consult the care label for the best washing instructions), and the foam versions can’t be washed at all. You’ll want to replace your topper when they’re not comfortable or supportive anymore.
But here’s the scoop on mattress pads:
You should wash your mattress pad every couple months.
"It’s only necessary to wash your mattress pad several times per year," says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. "Sheets generally take more wear and tear than a mattress pad which is why they are washed more often."
This makes sense: You lay directly on top of the sheets, so they’re the first line of defense against body oils and dust getting to your mattress. Your mattress pad bears of that brunt, too, but not quite as much.
Forte recommends following the care label for specific cleaning directions, but in general, most mattress pads can be machine-washed in warm water and tumbled on low to dry.
But there are some exceptions.
If you have allergies, or let your dog or cat sleep in your bed, you might need to clean your pad more often. Gauge how much you should increase the frequency by considering the severity of your symptoms or how much your pet sheds. By trial and error, you might find that it’s necessary to wash the pad as often as weekly.
And if you spill food or drink, notice a stain, or find that it’s stretched out, wash the pad immediately.
Earn bonus points if you clean your mattress while the protector is in the wash.
It’s not everyday you have a bare mattress, so Forte recommends using this time to vacuum up dust (sprinkle the mattress with a little baking soda first to absorb odors). You can also spot-treat any stains, or spray the mattress with Lysol to kill bacteria. Just allow it to dry fully before making the bed again.
How to Wash a Mattress Protector and Topper
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When it comes to protecting our mattress, using a mattress protector is a must. However, do you know how to wash a mattress protector and how often you need to?
Can You Wash a Mattress Protector?
First of all yes, you can definitely wash a mattress protector like you would your new set of sheets. That is the main reason for having one, since you are unable to wash your mattress.
While sleeping, we lose fluid, skin cells and any dirt on our bodies will rub off in the sheets. These tiny particles will push tough the fibers as we toss and turn, eventually making their way down and into the mattress.
Once inside of the mattress, it is almost impossible to pull it all back out, even with spot cleaning and vacuuming the top of your mattress.
Instead of having to worry about what’s falling through the cracks of your mattress and degrading its lifespan, opt to own and use a mattress protector.
A mattress protector is a thin fitted sheet that goes on your bare mattress and sits underneath your fitted and flat sheets. Most of the top rated mattress protectors are 100% waterproof and can hold more than a liter of liquid before you need to change it.
They are also engineered to be breathable through a cotton/terry blend that absorbs yet allows air to flow through so that you are not sweating due to the extra layer underneath you.
How to Wash a Mattress Protector
Whether you need to spot clean or completely launder your mattress protector then follow these steps to take care of spills, stains and regular refreshing.
If you catch spills or accidents in time, you can spot clean your mattress protector instead of having to wash it between scheduled washes.
The best way to be able to spot clean is to do it as soon as the accident occurs or as soon as you notice it. Putting off spot cleaning may result in set in stains or permanent yellowing of your mattress protector and needing to wash it instead.
- Use a paper towel to blot up the excess moisture. (A paper towel will pull most of the liquid out)
- Do not rub the area, this can damage the mattress protector fibers and spread the stain further.
- Mix a little mild detergent with water to make it thinner and pour it in a spray bottle. (always use a spray bottle for spot cleaning since it controls the flow and keeps you from over soaking a spot)
- Agitate the detergent a little with your fingers to help awaken it. (Again, don’t scrub or rub)
- Use a clean cloth dipped in water to blot up the detergent
- Dip the soapy cloth in clean water and squeeze out the excess and repeat until there is no more soap on the mattress protector.
- Follow up with using paper towels to blot out any excess moisture to help your mattress protector dry faster.
- Allow it to air dry by hanging it up.
- Once fully dried replace and continue to use
It is important to control how much water you are using to spot clean. You don’t want to over soak the area with detergent or water, this won’t clean it any better and will take a longer amount of time to dry.
Less is better, because you can always work up to using more if needed. You cannot work backwards from over soaking the area or adding too much soap.
Also spraying too much detergent or not watering it down a little can cause too much soap residue to get into the fibers and be difficult to remove it all. More soap does not mean cleaner, it just equals out to more work needed to rinse it.
You should strive to wash your mattress protector once a month. You can stretch it to once every two months if your sheets are changed regularly and you don’t have many spills or accidents.
Your mattress protector needs to be laundered regularly due to the buildup of dirt, dead skin cells, dust mites and odors. Washing your mattress protector will also restore the freshness of it to keep allergens under control.
- Set your washer to the cold water and gentle/delicate cycle.
- Add in a bleach free laundry detergent or a natural one you can create at home. (Bleach can damage the waterproof backing)
- Place your mattress protector in the washer with your sheets or alone.
- Let the washer run through the entire cycle and skip the fabric softener, this will reduce the absorbency of the mattress protector.
- For the best drying results hang up your mattress protector to dry. If you need it quicker then you can place it in the dry on a no heat or low heat setting. (place damp towels in with it to help dry and fluff it up.)
The best thing you need to remember about washing your mattress protector is that you need to avoid high heat settings. Similar to washing wool, and other sensitive materials, washing or drying with heat can damage the waterproof backing, shrink it and reduce it’s ability to protect your mattress.
Can You Wash a Mattress Topper?
If you have a mattress topper, it is a little different from a mattress protector. A mattress topper, sometimes referred to as a pad, is a padded cushion that fits on your mattress like a fitted sheet would.
The main difference between the two is that a topper is used to add a layer of cushion to your mattress where as a mattress protector adds little to no cushion and offers waterproof protection.
A good mattress pad will make your night’s sleep a lot better. It doesn’t provide any protection for your mattress though.
You can wash most mattress toppers. Cotton and polyester blends are able to washed and dried following the same instructions as above. Since it is a thicker version of a mattress protector it may need to be dried a little longer.
If you have a memory foam or egg crate mattress topper then you may not be able to wash it as easily. You can vacuum the top to pull out any debris or dust and spot clean as needed
Now that you know more about how to wash a mattress protector and the best schedule for taking care of it, you can begin to work it into your cleaning routine. Keeping your mattress protector clean and functioning will help extend the life of your mattress underneath since it is catch all of the daily wear and tear.
How to Wash and Care For a Mattress Cover and Pad
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You are keeping your mattress clean by using a protective cover, but how often do you need to wash a mattress cover? This guide will help you learn how to wash a mattress cover and show you how often you need to clean it for the best results.
Can You Wash a Mattress Cover?
Yes, you absolutely can wash a mattress cover. It is recommended you regularly launder it due to the buildup of skin cells, liquids and other allergens.
Things to Consider Before Washing a Mattress Cover
Before you toss it into the wash there are a few things you should know before you wash a mattress cover.
Consider the temperature you wash your bed cover at… do not wash it on high heat. Just like washing a mattress protector, you can clean a cover in the washing machine. However, you should only do it on lukewarm or cold temperatures.
Most people are aware that hot water can kill bacteria. But, you do not want to use any hot water on your mattress cover and pad.
The materials that compile your mattress cover can be damaged or weaken the waterproofing when you use water that is too hot. Even the best made mattress covers will break down from really hot water. This is the same for when washing new sheets.
You also should only use a mild detergent or a natural cleaner you can make at home when cleaning your mattress cover.
It may be considered really dirty when you think about everything the mattress houses over the time between washes. Using a harsh chemical cleaner such as bleach will end up ruining your mattress cover instead of cleaning it.
If you would like to add a little more oomph to your machine wash, add in a half a cup of white vinegar. Vinegar is a naturally acidic choice and gentle in the wash.
The high acidity levels in vinegar are able to kill and remove various odors, bacteria, and even some stains. It’s even good for cleaning carpet and flooring.
Finally, create a schedule for washing your mattress cover. Since you use sheets on top of it, you don’t need to wash the mattress cover as regularly as you do your sheets.
Instead, opting to wash your mattress cover once every two months is a more practical approach. You will want to wash it to clean any residue which has soaked into it and also to deter your mattress cover from yellowing due to sweating or potential bacteria growth.
Now that you know the basics of washing a mattress cover you can clean your mattress pad without worry. If you ever have a question about laundering your mattress cover, let it tell you what it needs by reading the fabric care tag.
How to Clean a Mattress Cover
Not all mattress covers are made with the same material. While most of them can be easily washed, there are a few that might not make the washing machine cut. That doesn’t mean you can’t still wash them. It just means you will have to wash them another way.
Materials that Can Be Washed
Cotton, vinyl, and down mattress covers are almost always able to be cleaned in the washing machine. Always make sure to read the fabric care label to make sure your bed pad is okay to machine wash. Follow all the required settings, such as cold water only and low heat to dry.
Foam Based Covers
More complex mattress covers are those made from foam (the egg-crate variety). You don’t want to wash foam based mattress covers in a washing machine.
This is because a washing machine can agitate them and cause the foam to tear. All is not lost though. There is still a way to keep these more comfortable and cushioned mattress covers clean.
Steps for Cleaning Your Mattress Cover
- First, remove any dust and dander by vacuuming the foam pad. It is easier to use a vacuum attachment or a handheld smaller vacuum, so you can better control and direct it.
- Next, if there are any stains, spot clean them. Use a mild detergent or an enzyme based cleaner to penetrate any stains and clear them. Another great option is to make your own cleaner with vinegar. Spot cleaning is an essential step prior to cleaning to make sure you don’t go to hard on the entire cover for a small problematic spot. This goes the same for cleaning all other materials, including carpet.
- Let the solution sit for about ten to twenty minutes and rinse it by blotting up the cleaner with a sponge filled with clean water. You don’t want to squeeze and soak the foam. Instead, lightly apply a blotting with the sponge so a little water is worked into the stained area.
- Finally, get up as much water as you can by blotting the area with a clean and lightly colored towel. Using a dark towel can sometimes cause dye bleeding into your foam mattress cover.
Make sure the spot is fully dry before you place it back on your bed and cover it up with a sheet. If left wet or damp, it can grow mold or bacteria.
How to Wash a Mattress Topper
If you are trying to find out if you can wash a memory foam mattress topper, you will be pleased to know you can. Since it is memory foam, it may not be able to be traditionally washed in a machine as easily as a cotton-based mattress topper.
Make sure you read the care label to see if there are any special instructions or guidelines before you begin the next step.
The best way to wash a memory foam mattress topper is to do it by hand. You can use a mild detergent or use baking soda.
Using Baking Soda
This cleaning method takes the least amount of time since you do not need to get the mattress topper wet. The baking soda will penetrate into the fibers and cling to any dirt or dander and help pull it up when you vacuum up the baking soda.
Baking soda will also neutralize any lingering odors. Just make sure you leave the baking soda sitting on the mattress topper for at least fifteen minutes to make sure it is able to work.
For a powerful one-two punch, spray vinegar onto the mattress cover before applying the baking soda.
Baking soda can also clean a whole multitude of things, that includes cleaning showers, drains, and also materials like wool.
Using a Detergent to Clean
Similar to the spot cleaning, if you need to wash your entire mattress topper, you will want to follow the instructions for spot cleaning. The easiest way to accomplish this task is to put your cleaning solution into a spray bottle and lightly spray the mattress.
You do not want to soak the mattress topper, because then it will take longer to rinse and dry.
Also, to make it a less daunting task, split your mattress into sections such as quarters and work on cleaning each section before moving onto the next.
Since you now have the entire foam mattress wet or damp, you will need to allow it to dry for a few days. Using forced air such as a blow dryer can ruin its shape and damage the foam. It is best to put it in a well-ventilated area to dry.
Flip it onto the other side multiple times a day if it is soaked all the way through.
Now that you know the ins and outs of washing a mattress cover, you can keep your bed clean and your mattress protected for many years of good night sleeps.
How to Wash and Dry a Waterproof Mattress Cover
How to Wash and Dry a Waterproof Mattress Cover
- 1 Sealy Tempur-Pedic Memory Foam Mattress Care Instructions
- 2 Does a Memory Foam Mattress Need a Protective Covering?
- 3 Use a Duvet Cover as a Blanket
- 4 Keep Mattress Covers on Beds
Waterproof mattress covers keep spills and leaks away from your bed, but they’re not impervious to getting dirty. Regularly wash your mattress cover to get rid of dirt and odor. Most waterproof covers have a cloth top and vinyl backing, so they’re typically safe to clean in the washing machine.
Waterproof Mattress Cover Care
Launder your waterproof mattress cover in the washing machine in cold or warm water, on a gentle or delicate setting. Use a bleach-free laundry detergent — bleach can damage the waterproof backing of some covers. After washing, tumble-dry the cover on a low-heat setting. It’s safe to dry the cover with other items, such as sheets or clothing. Don’t use high heat; doing so damages the vinyl. Do not iron the cover or have it dry cleaned. If your waterproof mattress cover is new, wash it before using it for the first time. Laundering helps remove packaging odors and softens the cover.
How do you wash mattress cover
How to Wash a Mattress Cover
Perhaps the dog has tracked mud all over your mattress cover. Or you’ve spilled wine while watching a late-night movie. Maybe your toddler has used your cover as a giant canvas for their latest masterpiece. Or, your mattress cover is simply overdue for a wash.
Regardless of the situation, your mattress cover needs to be cleaned!
Can I Wash a Mattress Cover?
The first question you need to ask is if the cover is even washable! There are some types which can’t be cleaned at home, and have specialized filling or coating that will be damaged by your washing machine. Your mattress cover will have a tag that will tell you if it is washable or not. If it is not, then you will need to take your cover to a dry cleaner.
It’s important to note that Vinyl and Waterproof covers cannot be dry cleaned. The waterproof coating will be damaged in the process, and will no longer be effective after dry cleaning.
How Can I Wash My Cover?
So, you’ve determined that your Microfiber Mattress Pad is washable and it’s time to toss it in the washing machine. But wait! There’s a bit of prep you’ll need to do before you hit ‘Start’.
- First, you’ll need to tackle any stains. Apply pre-wash product or stain remover prior to laundering. Follow the directions on the container for best results. It’s important to allow the product to sit for the recommended time, which is usually between 15 and 30 minutes.
- Find out what the highest recommended temperature is for your specific cover. You will find this information on the handy tag inside the seam.
- Add mild detergent to the laundry load. If your cover is stained, now is a good time to add more stain remover.
- Set the washing machine to the highest recommended temperature as indicated by the tag inside your cover, and let your washer work its magic!
Drying Your Cover
When the cycle is done, it’s time to get drying. You can pick from several options, depending on what works best for you.
- Hang dry. This is a great option for people who have a tight mattress cover such as our Zippered Fabric Mattress Cover, as it results in minimal shrinkage!
- Set the dryer to a medium setting and add some white tennis balls. They might be noisy, but they’ll help your mattress cover dry faster!
- Set the dryer to a low setting and dry along with a few other items. This helps reduce shrinkage.
Make sure to avoid using high heat! The temperature will shrink your mattress cover. It can also damage any special coating inside the fabric, decreasing the lifespan of your cover.
But I’ve got a Waterproof Mattress Cover!
Don’t worry! Even though they are waterproof, mattress covers like our Zippered Vinyl Mattress Cover can be washed. The process is much the same as with a regular, washable cover. Waterproof covers just need a more delicate touch. Give your waterproof cover the care it needs regularly, and it will last you for years!
- The most important thing is that you’ll need to use a bleach-free detergent! The bleach can destroy the waterproof lining of your cover, and void any warranty your cover might have.
- Make sure to follow the temperature directions as indicated by the tag inside your cover.
- Set your washing machine to a delicate cycle, set it on to wash, and then sit back and relax!
Drying a Waterproof Mattress Cover
Hang drying is the best option for a waterproof cover, as heat can damage the waterproof lining.
If hang drying is not an option for you, set your dryer to the lowest setting available and add a few other items. The additional items will help diffuse the heat, and prevent your cover’s lining from being damaged.
Do not dry clean or iron a waterproof cover. The heat can seriously harm the waterproof lining and reduce its effectiveness.
Washing a mattress cover – whether waterproof, specialized, or standard – might seem like a daunting task. It just requires a couple of extra steps! By caring for your cover now, you’ll have a reliable bedding accessory for years to come.