How To Wash A Gel Mattress Topper

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Can You Wash A Mattress Topper – A Complete Cleaning Guide

There are so many different types of material you can get inside a mattress topper that as usual, it depends.

You can easily wash some mattress topper in the washing machine but other not so much.

Your first port of call is checking the label to see what it says, aside from that I’ve broken this article down into the different materials so you can find out the best way to wash your topper.

How To Wash A Memory Foam Mattress Topper


That will completely ruin the memory foam, you might just get away with it if it’s just foam and not memory foam but still not a good idea.

You need to spot clean it or take the whole thing outside and hose that thing down if it’s soaked through with something.

For spot cleaning you want to mix some detergent and water and just hit it with a sponge, not too much liquid but enough to get it damp then just scrub it out.

How To Wash Feather And Down Mattress Toppers

Most feather and down toppers are machine washable (check the label) and if they are you want to wash them in a large size washing machine which you might need to go to a laundry for.

Add about half the amount of detergent you normally would and put it on a delicate cycle. Rinse it twice through to get all the detergent out and then hang it out to dry, You can likely tumble dry it on a low setting before hanging it out to dry it faster but check first.

You don’t want to do this too often as down is a delicate material that gets ruined with excessive washing so only do this if you really need to.

How To Wash Polyester Mattress Toppers

Polyester and microfibre toppers are much more robust, you can wash them just the same as the above feather toppers.

Consider A Deodorizer

If it’s just starting to smell a bit off and you can’t get to an oversized washing machine then you can use a spray deodorizer to get the worst of the smell out. And it can remove stains.

I recommend the Envii Bed fresh for anyone who wants to try it. Not too expensive and it’s already in a spray bottle for easy application.

Other Ways To Clean Your Mattress Topper

Vacuum It

Plain and simple, get your vacuum cleaner up on top of the mattress topper (or put your topper on the floor first that’s probably easier) and give it a good hoover!

It’s easy enough to do and will get a lot of any possible dust out of it and other bits of hair and dead skin that find their way into your bed. And, as long as your gentle, it won’t cause any damage to the topper itself. Result!

Important note: Make sure your topper is dry before you vacuum it, this is to be done before you wash it.

Protect it first

Getting a mattress protector is always a good idea, you can get waterproof ones that don’t have that horrible plasticy feeling and will protect your topper from anything and everything.

And even a non-waterproof protector is a good idea, just something to protect, which if you’re looking to wash your topper I’m sure you now know the importance of.

What If It Can’t Be saved?

If your topper is too far gone and you need to replace it have a look at my top picks for mattress toppers here.

I have an affiliate relationship with some companies where we get a percentage of sales if you click over from our site. This is at no extra cost to you and how I pay the costs of running this site.

About Kieran

I’m Kieran an award-winning sleep blogger and I created The Dozy Owl, I believe that a lack of sleep is a national crisis and if we can master our sleep we can do anything.

How to clean a mattress pad

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Just because you don’t sleep directly on mattress pads doesn’t mean they don’t get dirty.

Between dust mites and dead skin, spilled food and drinks, bladder leaks (or worse), mattress pads collect some gross stuff. So how do we clean them? The fact is, since mattress pads come in an assortment of materials — cotton, plastic-backed, foam, egg crate, down — there is no universal way to do it. That’s why TODAY Home asked green-cleaning expert Leslie Reichert for advice on tackling this chore. Not only does she know the best way to clean, she keeps it eco-friendly.

How to clean a cotton mattress pad

"Most manufacturers recommend cleaning cotton mattress pads at least every two or three months, depending on use," said Reichert. "Always follow the instructions on the care label, but, as a general rule, machine wash on warm or cool using a mild detergent."

Tumble dry on the lowest temperature recommended, using wool or rubber dryer balls or a few tennis balls to keep the pad fluffy. If machine drying is not recommended, then air dry.

How to clean a vinyl-backed mattress pad

Always follow the instructions on the care label of the pad, but, in general, vinyl-backed mattress pads can be machine washed in cold or warm water on a gentle cycle using mild detergent. Never use bleach on these pads, cautions Reichert, as it may damage the backing. Also, to assure an equal distribution of laundry detergent, allow the machine to fill with water, add the detergent, swish to mix andthenadd the pad into it.

If machine drying is recommended, tumble dry on low heat only. High heat will damage the vinyl. Toss in a few dryer balls or tennis balls to help the pad dry more evenly.

If air drying is recommended, hang the pad outside on a clothesline. If you don’t have clothespins to fasten the pad to the clothesline, drape across the line with the vinyl side facing up. Once that side is dry, drape the pad across the line with the cotton side up.

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To avoid odors, mold or mildew, make sure the pad is completely dry before putting it on the bed.

Yes, you CAN fold a fitted sheet neatly

How to clean a foam mattress pad

Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning foam mattress pads because foam pads are more delicate than fabric versions. They can shred and tear in washing machines and melt when dried at high temperatures. "Your best bet is to spot clean them," Reichert said.

To spot clean, begin by vacuuming both sides of the pad. Next, clean stains with an enzyme-based cleaner, such as Oxi-Clean or a solution made from equal parts water, distilled white vinegar and lemon juice. To keep the stain from spreading, start applying cleaner on the outside of the stain and work in circles toward the center. Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the stain for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse by soaking a clean sponge in cool water and blotting water into the stained area. Remove water by blotting with a clean towel. Continue until most moisture is removed. Or, remove excess water using a wet/dry vacuum. Allow pad to air dry by laying it on a flat surface, turning occasionally so it can dry evenly.

If the entire pad needs to be cleaned, lightly spray with a solution of one part mild, low-sudsing detergent to two parts water, or use equal parts water, lemon juice and white vinegar. If extra cleaning power is needed, you can add an enzyme cleaner. Allow the solution to sit on the pad for 20-30 minutes. Rinse lightly in the tub or shower using a hand-held shower head. Squeeze — never wring out! — the extra water, or remove it by using a wet/dry vacuum. Lay the pad flat for several days, turning a couple of times a day, so it can dry evenly.

If you don’t have the space or time needed to dry a foam pad, consider spot cleaning or replacing the pad altogether.

How to clean an egg crate mattress topper

The first step to cleaning an egg crate is to vacuum it on both sides to remove dirt and debris. If the manufacturer’s care label indicates that the egg crate is machine washable, wash it only in a commercial or oversize washer because agitator-type machines may tear the foam, Reichert suggests. Use a gentle cycle and a small amount of mild detergent.

If machine washing is not an option, consider spot-cleaning the egg crate. Spray the stained areas with a solution made from equal parts water, distilled white vinegar and lemon juice. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse the stained areas completely in the shower. Fold and press the egg crate or use a wet/dry vacuum to remove excess water.

Lay the egg crate on a dry, flat surface to dry. To prevent mold, mildew and odors, do not place egg crate on the bed until it is completely dry.

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.

Spot Clean

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.

  1. Use a paper towel to blot up the excess moisture. (A paper towel will pull most of the liquid out)
  2. Do not rub the area, this can damage the mattress protector fibers and spread the stain further.
  3. 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)
  4. Agitate the detergent a little with your fingers to help awaken it. (Again, don’t scrub or rub)
  5. Use a clean cloth dipped in water to blot up the detergent
  6. Dip the soapy cloth in clean water and squeeze out the excess and repeat until there is no more soap on the mattress protector.
  7. Follow up with using paper towels to blot out any excess moisture to help your mattress protector dry faster.
  8. Allow it to air dry by hanging it up.
  9. 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.

​Machine Wash

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.

  1. Set your washer to the cold water and gentle/delicate cycle.
  2. Add in a bleach free laundry detergent or a ​natural one you can create at home. (Bleach can damage the waterproof backing)
  3. Place your mattress protector in the washer with your sheets or alone.
  4. Let the washer run through the entire cycle and skip the fabric softener, this will reduce the absorbency of the mattress protector.
  5. 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 Clean Foam Mattress Topper in 3 Easy Steps

Keeping your bedding clean is very important – not only because of hygiene but also to keep allergies at bay. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing pesky stains all over your mattress topper when you wake up in the morning. Given the delicate structure of the memory foam in the mattress topper, they cannot simply be tossed in the washing machine. They require a different approach because the centrifugal force of the washing machines can damage the fine structure of the foam and the foam can tear apart when soaked.

However, there are 3 easy ways to clean your mattress topper, so read on to find out how.

There are certain steps you should take before starting, so to begin with, make sure your topper is in the right position for the cleaning process. Depending on how bad the stains are, you may have to remove it from the bed and place it somewhere where you can clean and dry it easier.

In some cases, mattress toppers require a long time to dry so make sure to place it in a ventilated area so that it can dry completely. If you use the mattress topper when it is still damp, its structure will damage, so make sure that it dries completely.

Are you looking to find the best mattress topper available? Be sure to read our comprehensive guide.

Use Your Vacuum Cleaner Often

By simply cleaning it with you vacuum cleaner you will get rid of all the dust and grime and prevent micro-organisms from forming on its surface and possibly even inside its airy structure. Make sure your topper is placed on an even surface so that your vacuum cleaner can reach all the spots. Using water-based vacuum cleaners is also advisable, however, make sure to leave your topper to dry for several hours before using it. Vacuuming often will save you a lot of effort and time and prevents spills to become hard to clean stains. Once a week should be enough to keep it in excellent condition. Make sure to use the vacuum cleaner on both sides of the topper for best results.

Spot Clean With Ease with The Right Solutions

After you finish working on the stains with a vinegar and water solution, you can proceed using the same washing detergent used for clothes to clean the rest of it. It is up to you when it comes to using liquid or regular washing detergent. Mix it with water and gently apply it to the stained area. Make sure to dissolve the detergent with water as leaving tiny particles of it during the cleaning phase will damage the surface of your mattress topper. Again, use circular hand movements and rub the detergent so that it penetrates into the stain to dissolve it from the inside. Leave the detergent on the stain for about half an hour in order to chemically dissolve stains and other impurities. We generally advise working on the stains until the detergent dissolves them completely and repeating the process for best results.

Removing stains with baking soda

Baking soda mixed with water is another great natural solution for cleaning persistent stains. Baking soda is an essential ingredient in almost any situation when cleaning is needed so chances are you already have it in your pantry.

Start by mixing one part of baking soda with two parts of cold water and stir it until the baking soda dissolves and the solution gets a milky, white color. Start to work on the stains with gentle movements of your hand and repeat the process until you get as much of the solution as possible on the stain as well as the area around the stained area. Leave it for about half an hour to soak. Afterwards use a mildly damp cloth to remove the solution and then use a dry cloth or paper towel to remove the remaining water.

For more difficult stains and odors we recommend using a different approach because they will be harder to remove and take longer to do so. For blood stains or food and beverage spills we recommend using enzyme-based solutions. You might have seen that hydrogen peroxide is recommended for removing blood stains. This is completely wrong and it will cause damage to the surface of your memory foam mattress topper. Avoid it at all cost.

Enzyme cleaners are the most effective solution for dissolving and removing the more persistent organic-based stains. They work from the inside of the stain by breaking, their its structure and making them easy to clean up and remove.

Removing odors is easy with vacuum cleaners and a detergent/water mixture. It simply takes more turns to remove the bad smell from the topper completely. We also recommend exposing your topper to direct sunlight for short periods of time as the radiation of the sun and heat will remove most of the odor without you doing a single thing. We also advise you to keep your topper in the sun to remove all the remaining water that might have settled in during cleaning.

Use a Mattress Topper Cover For Effortless Cleaning

By using covers for your mattress toppers, you can keep them in perfect shape. Best of all, covers can be washed in the washing machine and this enables you to keep your toppers clean and in pristine condition. Unlike toppers, covers can be cleaned as often as necessary without the danger of damage. This saves you time. We suggest using cotton covers as they are soft and feel good under the skin. Covers are the best way to keep your bedding nice and clean with the least effort and time spent.

Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

How to Wash a Mattress Cover

Using a mattress cover is one of the best ways to keep your mattress clean and prevents allergens like dust mites from robbing you of a decent night’s sleep. Not only can mattress covers be washed in the washing machine, but they can also prevent stains from marring the surface of your mattress and are easier to spot clean. So what is the best method for how to wash a mattress cover that has stains?

Is this the same method you use when learning how to wash a mattress protector? Your mattress protector, cover, and topper, while all mainly perform the same task of covering the top of your mattress, actually serve different functions.

As a result, these covers are often made of different materials and can be cleaned using different methods. Almost all options allow you to use a washing machine, however. For specific care instructions, follow the guide below and use the three amazing tips for spot cleaning stains.

Do I need a mattress cover, topper, or protector?

Not everyone needs a mattress cover, topper, or protector, but they are convenient. So what is a mattress cover, and how does it differ from a protector or topper? While many often use these interchangeably, the primary purpose of a mattress cover is to keep stains from ruining your mattress.

Protectors work more toward preventing major issues like allergens, dead skin cells, and bed bugs, and toppers focus on comfort.

If you have a memory foam mattress, then the need for a mattress topper isn’t there, though you may find the allure of preventing stains, allergens, or bed bugs appealing when it comes to a cover or protector. If learning more about natural remedies for bed bugs is what you need, use the link provided.

Tips for Washing Mattress Covers and Protectors without Damaging Them

Keeping mattress covers and protectors clean is essential for overall health. There are several ways to do it.

Keep Your Mattress Cover Clean

  • Washing machine
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda

How to Wash a Mattress Cover in the Washing Machine

The crucial point to remember is that not all mattress covers can be machine-washed. Before you get started, double-check the care label and follow the care instructions for the best mattress cover cleaning method.

In most cases, however, there is little problem with using a washing machine, and you can clean your mattress cover the same way you would clean a fitted sheet. A mild detergent is perfect for spot cleaning before tossing it into the washing machine. When doing this, use a gentle cycle with either cold water or hot water.

The most caution to exercise when learning how to wash a mattress cover comes down to drying it. If you can air dry your mattress cover, this is the best option since high heat can cause significant damage to the cover’s protective qualities.

If you must use the dryer, use a tumble dry setting an add white tennis balls to expedite the drying process. This technique may seem a little odd, but a similar method is used for how to wash a pillow.

How to Wash a Mattress Protector with Hydrogen Peroxide

Washing mattress covers and protectors are relatively identical. Mattress protector care instructions typically involve cleaning a mattress pad that provides an added layer of protection from allergens and bed bugs. Similar to covers, these tend to be waterproof and can easily be damaged if not handled properly.

Following the appropriate washing instructions based on the material of the protector is essential, as well as paying attention to the heat setting used while drying. While laundry detergent and a delicate cycle are all you really need when cleaning your mattress protector, you may also need a tougher stain remover.

Using a bleach-free cleaner works best as bleach can strip down the properties of a waterproof mattress pad. Instead, use a cleaner like hydrogen peroxide for a spot clean. What is hydrogen peroxide used for? The question really is what isn’t it used for?

Peroxide is a fantastic cleaner, deodorizer, and sanitizer for mattress protectors and a variety of other household surfaces. Dry your mattress protector on a low heat setting in the dryer or let it air dry.

Hydrogen peroxide works very well to clean mattress stains, too. For drying, point a fan at the mattress.

How to Clean a Mattress Topper with Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you have a mattress topper or need to know how to wash a down comforter, they can be a little trickier to clean. Many are bulkier than mattress covers and protectors and don’t always fit so well in the washing machine. Often, a washer shouldn’t be used at all. Instead, the best process to use is the one similar to when you deep clean a mattress.

Start by vacuuming the mattress topper or comforter using an upholstery attachment to get in between the crevices. Sprinkling some baking soda over the top is a great way to deodorize it and remove mild stains or dirt. This option is especially great for memory foam mattress toppers, too.

Since memory foam is highly absorbent, using an excess of liquids creates a build-up of mildew in the material. Adding baking soda absorbs all moisture, including body oils and sweat, from the mattress topper without adding unnecessary cleaners.

For removing sweat stains from a mattress cover, let the baking soda settle and absorb stains and odor for approximately 25 minutes before using your vacuum cleaner to suck up the remaining powder.

If you must use a stain cleaner, however, a little bit of vinegar in a spray bottle is perfect for a spot clean. For regular mattress toppers or down comforters, lightly spray the area with vinegar and let it soak for ten minutes before blotting with a clean cloth.

For memory foam, spray a washcloth with the vinegar rather than applying the spray directly to the mattress topper. Afterward, rinse with warm water on a damp cloth and thoroughly dry when finished.

Sometimes, if your mattress has stubborn stains, you can apply some baking soda to the spots and rub it in with a cloth dampened with vinegar. This way, you get the extra cleaning power of a baking soda and vinegar cleaning solution that removes virtually all types of stains with just a bit of elbow grease.

If your mattress cover or topper has seen its share of use and you think it’s time for a new one, what can you do with the old one? You can recycle mattress and cover. Many community agencies offer recycling services. Check with your waste disposal organization to learn more.

Learning how to wash a mattress protector, topper, and cover is a relatively easy task to accomplish once you have mastered the “don’ts” behind its care instructions. Since most can be cleaned in the washing machine, the critical cleaning lesson comes from understanding the best way to protect the waterproof lining and any memory foam material.

Hopefully, you enjoyed these easy mattress cover cleaning tips. If you liked learning about cleaning mattress covers, remember to share how to wash a mattress cover, protector, and mattress topper with friends and family on Facebook and Pinterest.

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