How to Wash a Memory Foam Pillow

Getting a good night’s sleep sometimes depends on the quality of your bedding—including your pillow. Memory foam pillows are designed to help ease neck and back pain but as with other pillows, they’ll also need frequent cleaning.

If you own a shredded memory foam pillow or a solid memory foam pillow, you might face some stains and buildup of dirt at some point, so it’s important to keep it clean. We’ve got you covered with some expert advice on how to wash a memory foam pillow easily and effectively.

It’s important to keep your memory foam pillow clean because when we sleep, dead skin cells can accumulate onto a pillow. This can form staining and bad odours, not to mention poor hygiene. In order to keep your pillow in the best condition, it’s important to give it a wash and refresh every so often.

Can Memory Foam Pillows be Put in the Washing Machine?

It can be tempting to place your bed pillow in the washing machine, but doing so can damage the foam and destroy its viscoelastic structure. Moreover, memory foam is designed to mould to the shape of your neck and head, so a spin cycle (even on a low setting) can distort the foam.

Cleaning Your Memory Foam Pillow

If you wish to clean your memory foam pillows, we offer a variety of techniques that can effectively eliminate dust mites and dirt. Follow these steps for clean white pillows. Bear in mind, these may not be applicable if you have a shredded memory foam variety.

How to Remove Stains From a Memory Foam Pillow

Firstly, remove all of the cases and covers from the memory foam pillow. Then, use a dry, clean cloth to blot any stains with spot cleaning. Continue by mixing lukewarm clean water and a small amount of gentle washing softener or dish detergent.

Then, dip a clean cloth into the mixture and gently rub it onto the stain in a circular motion using spot cleaning. Repeat this process until you can’t see the stain. You might need to switch to another cloth halfway through to ensure that you’re using clean materials. Allow the pillow to air dry completely.

How to Get the Sweat Smell Out of Your Memory Foam Pillow

During sleep, our bodies perspire, which can result in memory foam pillows developing an unpleasant sweaty odour. For a cleaning solution to this conundrum, begin by removing all the pillow casing. Sprinkle baking soda onto one side of the pillow and leave it in the sun for a couple of hours.

Next, use an upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove any particles of baking soda. Flip the pillow and repeat.

How to Deep Clean a Memory Foam Pillow

There will be times when your memory foam pillow requires deep cleaning. You might want to consider a deep clean if the above methods don’t get you the result you’re looking for, or maybe you want to get into a routine of cleaning it every few months.

  1. Fill a large sink or bathtub with cold water and a gentle detergent.
  2. Remove the memory foam pillow case and submerge the pillow into the water. Gently squeeze without wringing and gently apply a clean cloth to any stubborn stains.
  3. Once you notice that the stains have disappeared, remove the excess water from the bath.
  4. Refill with fresh water, and until the water runs clear, gently squeeze the pillow. Make sure that you’re gentle when squeezing the pillow to not damage the delicate memory foam fibres.
  5. Place the pillow onto a dry towel and roll several times to remove excess water.
  6. Using an air-drying process, leave the memory foam pillow on the towel for up to one day (away from direct sunlight).

Removing Tough Stains

There might be some occasions where you’ll need to know how to clean a memory foam pillow that has stubborn stains, such as spillages from wine or pet urine.


Remove the cover and add a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the affected area with a clean cloth. The solution should begin to bubble when making contact with the stain. Follow by using a spray bottle of lukewarm water onto the stain. Use a toothbrush to gently rub the area, using a circular motion.

Remember to allow the pillow to air dry naturally before placing the cover back on.

Pet Urine

If you thought removing pet hair from pillows is hard enough, pet urine is even more difficult. Remove the pillow cover and blot the stain using a clean, absorbent towel. Then, create a solution of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and white vinegar. Apply this directly to the area using a sponge or spray bottle. Leave the pillow for around eight hours so the solution can sink in. Blot with clean water and let the pillow to dry naturally.

If the stain is dry then you can skip the first blotting step.

Is It a Problem if Your Memory Foam Pillow Gets Wet?

When a memory foam pillow becomes wet and is not left to dry out thoroughly, it can destroy its compact construction. This can also lead to mould growth, which can become a hygiene issue and is particularly difficult to remove.

How Often Should You Wash Your Memory Foam Pillow?

There’s no one definitive answer for everyone since not everyone uses a pillow at the same frequency. There are many factors to consider, such as if you shower before you go to bed and how much you sweat during the night.

young woman vacuuming bedding But, as a rule of thumb, we recommend vacuuming the surface at least once a week. Doing so will remove any dead skin cells, hair, and other particles from the pillow. Best of all, it’ll prevent any grime from transferring to the clean pillow cover.

Clean your memory foam pillow using the spot-clean technique once a month. Doing so will maintain a clean and hygienic pillow as dirt can build up over time, impacting your sleep health.

Furthermore, change your pillowcase and bed sheets once a week. This is an adequate amount for improving your sleep quality and supporting a hygienic bed routine.

Important Things to Avoid When You Clean Memory Foam Pillows

a lady laying in bed

  • Don’t use harsh chemicals, such as bleach. You might think that you’re burning through bacteria, but this will break down the memory foam and damage the pillow.
  • When you wash memory foam pillows, don’t use a washing machine, unless the care instructions specify that they are machine-washable. A washing machine’s spin cycle is too damaging for your pillows.
  • Avoid using hot water, but opt for warm water for stubborn stains or cold water for general cleaning maintenance.
  • Don’t use foam pillows unless they’re completely dry. A damp interior can breed mould and mildew, so make sure you dry it completely first.
  • Allow the pillow to air dry completely. Never place it against direct heat or in a tumble dryer, as doing so can melt and damage the delicate memory foam.
  • Avoid wringing out the pillow, as this technique can also damage the foam.

Final Thoughts

Wash memory foam pillows regularly so you don’t have to engage in a vigorous routine. Keeping on top of cleanliness is better than a lengthy cleaning session.

Do you have any tips on how to wash a memory foam pillow and keeping them clean and dirt-free for sleepers? Let us know your recommendations and suggestions in the comments.

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