One of the most frequently asked questions at The Bamboo Pillow is how to care for a memory foam product. Memory foam resists bacteria and odours, but you still have to keep them clean.
Dead skin cells fall from your body on a daily basis. Since you spend several hours in one place – your bed – most of them stay there and get rubbed into your pillows and mattresses. Sweat happens naturally while you sleep. Your memory foam product can be soaking up as much as half a litre of sweat each night. Drooling is also common during sleep, especially for people who snore, because of the blockage that causes snoring. Furthermore, a memory foam product is a popular choice among snorers because it helps to to correct their head and neck positions to open their airways and prevent certain forms of snoring.
Accidents also happen, especially if you have young children or pets. Drinks and food and dirt can get onto a memory foam product. There’s also dust and other things that accumulate on a memory foam product over time, even if you have them nicely covered with mattress protectors and pillowcases. These are porous and will eventually allow pollutants through.
If you have asthma, allergies or other sensitivities, or if young children and babies are using a memory foam product, you need to make sure that it is always clean. Moreover, you will get a much better sleeping experience if you get to lay down to sleep on a fresh bed.
Spot-Cleaning Memory Foam Products
You usually won’t have to give a memory foam product a really thorough washing. If spills and smears happen, for example, you only need to spot clean that area. And you should do this as soon as it happens so germs from the spill don’t have a chance to spread and also so that a hardened stain doesn’t form.
Spot cleaning a memory foam product requires only a bit of baking soda and cold water. If you have an especially difficult spot on your memory foam product, you can add an equal portion of mild liquid soap to the mix.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the spot and let it stand it for about an hour to lift surface dirt and absorb odours.
- Remove the baking soda with a vacuum or sweep and dust it off into the sink or tub.
- Mix equal portions of baking soda and cold water (and mild liquid soap if needed).
- Use a cloth or sponge dipped lightly into the mixture and rub the spot in a circular motion. Spraying the mixture onto the spot also works well, especially if you need to let it sit for a bit before you start rubbing.
- Dab the area with a dry towel
- If the stain is not yet gone, repeat the process. Be sure to dry after each application of the mixture so you don’t soak your memory foam product. A solid pillow or mattress topper can take a while to dry, and you may not have time to sun it or wait for it to air dry.
Pillow and Mattress Maintenance
You should give your memory foam product a good cleaning every six months. The way to do this is different for a solid versus a shredded memory foam product. The methods are outlined below.
Solid Memory Foam Products
Never throw a solid memory foam product into the washer or dryer. The vigorous mechanical motion of these machines will separate and tear up the foam layers. This weakens the product’s integrity. It won’t not work as well as before and will quickly deteriorate. Instead, use the following maintenance routine to keep a solid memory foam product clean and fresh so you can enjoy using it for as long as it was intended to last.
- Remove the coverings from a solid pillow or mattress topper and sprinkle baking soda all over its surface.
- Cover the item and let it sit for about six hours – ideally the whole day. If the memory foam product has absorbed odours from prolonged use without cleaning, add more baking soda and let it sit for longer. Sprinkling some essential oil on your memory foam product will also help to make it stay fresher after cleaning.
- Uncover the product and remove the baking soda as above.
- If some stains remain on the memory foam product, do a spot clean as above. Remember not to let the products get very wet unless it’s a sunny day and you have time to wait for them to dry.
If you still think that you need to wash your solid memory foam product, you can do that in a sink or tub.
- Soak your solid memory foam product in warm water or run warm water over it.
- Gently squeeze and move the product around in the water so it can flow through the material. Drain and wash again as needed until the water runs clear.
- Add some mild liquid soap to the water for an especially dirty memory foam product, but be sure to rinse it thoroughly.
- Once clean, gently squeeze the product to remove excess water before drying it. This will allow it to dry faster, which is safer not to mention more convenient. Memory foam is resistant to mold and mildew, but a wet pillow or mattress will encourage fungal growth.
Shredded Memory Foam Products
A shredded memory foam pillow can be put in the washer or dryer on a low setting. This is the most convenient way to clean them. Washing a memory foam product by hand and drying it under the sun is still, however, the best way to preserve the integrity and durability of your product.
For washing in the washer:
- Add half a cup of baking soda to the wash water along with your usual amount of mild detergent. The baking soda will help remove any long-standing stains or odours.
- Run your product in the washer for about ten minutes, then let it soak for about thirty minutes. Wash again for another ten minutes and rinse.
If your pillow is badly stained, pre-clean it before washing to loosen the dirt. Sprinkle baking soda all over one side, let it sit for a day, then repeat on the other side. Then wash it as above.