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How to wash a memory foam pillow

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How to Wash a Memory Foam Pillow: a Step-by-Step Guide

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Do you want to know how to wash a memory foam pillow? You’re at the right place!

At Polysleep, we know that cleaning your memory foam mattresses and pillows isn’t always the fun part. But don’t worry, because it doesn’t need to be that complicated. 

It is, on the contrary, rather easy to keep memory foam clean if you use the proper techniques.



1 - Why Should You Clean Your Memory Foam Pillow?

Can you wash a memory foam pillow

Why? The answer is “because it can become dirty over time”. Even if your pillow is made of memory foam  (you know, the futuristic foam developed in 1966 for NASA), it can become dirty. 

Your pillow, like your bed, can be invaded over time by allergens, dust mites, and other stuff (no need to let our imagination wander too much). 

It is, therefore, necessary to take care of it by cleaning them from time to time.  However, memory foam pillows require certain precautions when you wash them. 

2 - If You Can, Clean the Pillow Without Washing It!

It’s pretty simple: If the manufacturer tells you not to wash your memory foam pillow, do not wash it

Because if you do and you’re not supposed to, it may lose its density and may experience a loss of support from the foam. 

But, then, how to clean a memory foam pillow if we want to avoid bad smells and you can’t properly « wash it »? 

Nothing could be simpler, there are many ways of doing it: 

  • The « Tennis player’s rage » technique: where you hit your pillow with a tennis racket until the dust is completely removed. This technique is perfect to eliminate dust (and let go of unwanted tensions in your body).

  • The « Keep on shining » technique: where you expose your memory foam pillow directly to sunlight. Because if you didn’t know, UV rays kill bacteria. Therefore, letting your pillow under the sun for a tanning session can help clean it.

3 - To Clean a Stained Memory Foam Pillow: Use Water and Do It by Hand

The key is to brush your pillow while avoiding submerging it completely in water

To do this, use a soft bristle brush or sponge to lightly impregnate the foam on your pillow with mild soap and water, or foam wash. 

If water doesn’t seem enough, use a solution like a gentle detergent. Make sure to use something that is bleach-free and rub gently on the surface. Soda crystals, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, or dishwashing liquids may also be used for that purpose. 

But keep in mind to avoid any washing product containing bleach and to make sure that these methods are valid and suitable for the specifics of your pillow and the manufacturer's recommendations first and foremost.

We, at Polysleep, are in favor of maximum softness for the maintenance of this type of pillow. This is why we recommend avoiding the washing machine altogether.


4 - If Your Pillow is Yellow Because of Sweat: Use Baking Soda

How to clean pillows with baking soda

If your memory foam turns yellow over time, don’t worry. These are stains caused by sweat secreted during your sleep that penetrated the foam. 

To wash it, simply cover both sides with baking soda and let it rest for several minutes

Then retrieve the powder with a vacuum and you're done!

Your memory foam pillow should be all clean again.


5 - Completely Dry the Pillow

Once all this is done, finish the job by vacuuming it and drying the memory foam pillow outdoors on a nice, dry, sunny day to take advantage of the UV purifying role. If necessary, get rid of excess water with a gentle squeeze, but don't put too much pressure on the pillow.

The most important thing is to make sure that the humidity does not remain in the foam. Because this could cause mold in the pillow and we do not want that.

That’s why, when washing memory foam, you should try to use as few liquids as possible. But if you really need to clean it using water, hydrogen peroxide, or a bleach-free detergent; make sure that it’s been properly dried.


6 - Learn That the Best Defense Against Stains Is Prevention

Memory foam pillow case

In short, the best way to clean a memory foam pillow is to prevent rather than cure. 

Think of adding a waterproof pillowcase to your pillow. This way, it is less likely that you’ll need to wash it often.

Also, make sure that the pillowcases can still allow air to pass through. One of the disadvantages of regular memory foam is that it doesn't evacuate heat well. To counterbalance this, make sure you have a pillowcase that allows good ventilation, especially in the summer. 

It's during the hot season that you risk sweating more at the neck and head, which could lead to the creation of humidity in the foam, which is a perfect source for the proliferation of all kinds of bacteria!

So, How to Wash a Memory Foam Pillow (a little recap)

  1. Make sure by reading the manufacturer instructions that you can wash your memory foam pillow.

  2. If you can, clean your pillow with dry methods. Rub it using a soft brush and tap it using an object (could be a tennis racket) to remove the dust and allergens. Avoid using wet stuff to clean it.

  3. But if you need to use wet stuff, try to limit it to water and use as little as possible. Rub gently on the surface. If water doesn’t seem enough, you can try using soda crystals, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, or dishwashing liquids. Make sure that any liquid you use is bleach-free. 

  4. If your pillow is yellow because of sweat, pour baking soda on both sides, let it rest for 30 minutes/1 hour, and remove it.

  5. Vacuum your memory foam pillow and let it dry under the sunlight.

  6. Remember that prevention is better than reaction: protect your pillow with a good, well-ventilated, and waterproof pillowcase.


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