How To Wash Memory Foam Pillow (5 Effective Ways)

We all spend hours with our faces pressed up against our pillows every day, so it’s important to know how to wash memory foam pillow and also learn how to keep them clean properly!

Choosing a pillow be it a bed pillow or baby pillow is a personal thing. While some may prefer a solid foam pillow because it offers neck support others may prefer a shredded foam pillow that is soft and squishy.

Well, whichever type you decide to buy, your bed pillow is one of the most often used pieces in your home and should always be kept clean.

In this article, we share with you effective ways to keep your pillow clean, how to wash memory foam pillow, and things to avoid when washing a memory foam pillow.

What Is Memory Foam Pillow?

When you want to shop for a foam pillow, you’ll find out there are two types of foam: latex foam and memory foam. Latex foam has been in existence since 1929. It is usually called foam rubber since it is produced from the sap of rubber trees.

Naturally, latex foam is hypoallergenic and anti-fungal. Pillows can often be a solid block of latex foam or filled with shred latex foam.

Memory foam was first created by NASA in 1966 to help lessen the takeoff impact for astronauts. This foam has gone through three generations of development to improve breathability, temperature, and odor control.

Memory foam is often found in mattresses and pillows. A memory foam mattress is built with a top comfort layer of memory foam with a support layer of polyurethane or poly-foam.

Memory foam pillows can either contain a solid memory foam piece or shred-filled memory foam.

5 Effective Ways To Keep Your Memory Pillow Clean

how to clean a memory foam pillow

Things You’ll Need:

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Baking Soda
  • Large sink or tub
  • HE Gentle Detergent
  • Small bowl
  • White cloths
  • Sponge
  • Vacuum

Practice Good Pillow Hygiene

Before we dive into the basics of cleaning your pillow, we have this question for you — do you practice good pillow hygiene? Dirt, grease, pollutants, and other bacteria can accumulate on your pillowcase quicker than you might think.

If you’re prone to breakouts, try changing your pillowcases daily or every two days to see if you notice any improvement.

However, if the thought of changing your pillowcase every day proves difficult for you, experts recommend changing your pillowcase once a week at the very minimum.


How To Clean A Spill:

Most liquid stains can be removed easily with the following steps. But for tougher stains like blood or wine, the spot cleaning method is best advised.

  • Firstly, remove the pillowcase.
  • Then get a clean cloth and use it to absorb any excess liquid.
  • Mix a gentle laundry detergent (like tide) with water until it reaches a bubbly consistency; afterward, dip the sponge in the soapy solution.
  • In a circular motion, gently rub the spill until the stain is removed.
  • Let the pillow air dry, or speed up the drying process with a hairdryer.


How To Deodorize A Memory Foam Pillow:

If your memory foam pillow is brand new, it might have a funny smell due to off-gassing. Off-gassing is normal in memory foam products, and it’s due to harmless gas build-up during the packaging process.

If you’re uncomfortable with the smell, allow your memory foam pillow air off outside or near an open window! If you still perceive a strange smell from the pillow, here’s how to eradicate a strange odor from your pillow!

  • Remove the pillowcase and position your pillow on a flat surface.
  • Then get a baking soda and sprinkle it over a memory foam pillow and leave it in direct sunlight for 2-3 hours.
  • Now thoroughly use an upholstery attachment and vacuum pillow. Upholstery attachments can help take off hairs and other almost invisible detritus that can cling to your pillow.


How To Wash Memory Foam Pillow:

Knowing how to wash a memory foam pillow will help you to clean them and keep them clean over the long term properly. Since memory foam pillows cannot be put in a washer, fortunately, they can still be washed.

  1. Firstly, fill up your sink or bathtub with lukewarm water and a small quantity of gentle detergent. You can also add a drop of lavender oil if you like the scent!
  2. Carefully submerge your pillow under soapy water. Squeeze it gently to allow the soapy water to penetrate beneath the surface for about 10mins. Repeat twice.
  3. Now drain soapy water and refill the sink with clean water. Squeeze the pillow several times, allowing the clean water to remove suds or wash away any remaining dirt until the water runs clear.
  4. Gently squeeze your pillow to remove excess water, but do not wring or rigorously squeezing the foam to avoid breaking the foam.
  5. Leave to air dry on a flat, ventilated surface preferably in direct sunlight or outdoors. If neither of the options is available, you can leave your memory foam pillow under a ceiling fan.
  6. If desired sprinkle with a drop of lavender oil if!

Spot Cleaning

How To Spot Clean And Keep A Foam Pillow Fresh:

If deep cleaning your foam pillow is proving difficult for you, spot cleaning can remove stains until they can be washed.

  • To do this, simply mix a cleaning solution in a small bowl. Then add one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid in two cups of lukewarm water.
  • To treat the stains properly use a clean white cloth by dipping it into the solution and gently blot from the outside of the stain toward the center. Continue moving to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is moved.
  • Once the stains are eliminated, rinse and dry the foam, dip a clean white cloth in freshwater, and blot to remove any remaining soap.
  • Leave to air dry on a flat, ventilated surface preferably in direct sunlight or outdoors. If you want to speed up the drying process, use a hairdryer set on cool to dry the cleaned area.
  • Finally, use baking soda to freshen your foam pillow. If your foam pillow needs only to be freshened, start by removing the protective cover and tossing it in the sink for the wash. Then sprinkle the entire pillow with baking soda, and then cover it.
  • Let the baking soda sit on the surface for at least one hour afterwards vacuum it away using the upholstery brush attachment on your vacuum. This will help absorb odors and eliminate any dust mites or pet hair that might be stuck on the pillow. Flip the pillow over and repeat the process.

Here is a video showing how to wash memory foam pillow


Whether you decide to buy a latex or memory foam pillow, one of the best things you need to do to help maintain a clean pillow is to use a removable pillow cover that is machine washable.

The material of the pillow cover should be made from a breathable natural fiber such as cotton, bamboo, or linen and always used in addition to your other pillowcase.

Also, they should be washed at least once a month using hot water and more often during hot weather or if someone is ill.

By using a pillow cover, your memory foam pillow should only need to be thoroughly cleaned once or twice a year unless there is a heavy spill or accident.

Additionally, it is best to select a breezy, warm day to wash your foam pillows to hasten the drying process. This is necessary because they cannot be placed in a cloth dryer.

Allow at least 24 hours for washing and drying if the pillows are drying indoors or just spot-clean the pillow.

Related Post: How To Wash a Squishy Pillow

Pillow Care Instructions:

Always vacuum your memory foam pillow each time you change your bedsheets. This is ideally done once a week. Try spot cleaning your pillow once a month to eliminate sweat residue, and do a deep cleaning every two months.

Before you start, you must familiarize yourself with the simple rules of cleaning memory foam!

  • Do not place a memory foam pillow in a washer, even in a front load washer or top load washer with no center agitator. The movement, especially the final spin, can be too harsh on the pillow which can cause the foam to break.
  • Always wash by hand but do not scrub or treat the pillow roughly. Memory foam pillows are known to be delicate.
  • Always use gentle cleaning detergents; stay away from anything too harsh.

How Often To Clean Memory Foam Pillow?

It is a good idea to deep clean your memory foam pillows especially if you or a loved one has recently been sick. Otherwise, it’s best advised to wash your pillows every two months.

When changing your bed sheets sprinkle some baking soda on your memory foam pillow and leave it in the sun for a few hours while the other things make the rounds through the washing machine.

Regular vacuuming can suck up dirty dust mites living on the surface. Sunlight and baking soda can restore your pillow, absorb smells and leave it feeling fresh!

Related Post: Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow?

Other Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Replace My Memory Foam Pillow?

A standard and economical polyester pillow should be replaced every six months. A memory foam pillow lasts far longer, but you might be surprised to find out that you should still replace your memory foam pillows every 18-36 months.

In the long run, the filling will begin to break down — regardless of whether we take care of them! Like never before, we’re putting additional stress on our necks, thanks to computers and smartphones.

Make sure you take good care of your pillows and your neck! Sleep experts suggest using a firmer pillow on Thursdays and Fridays when you need some structured sleep after a week at your workplace! Now you’ve cleaned your pillows, learn how to clean a baby pillow next!

What To Avoid When Washing A Memory Foam Pillow?

Cleaning a memory foam pillow or baby pillow is easy, but you should avoid certain things to extend your pillow’s life span and make sure it performs the same as it did before you washed it.

Memory foam is a delicate material, and if not handled properly, you could end up looking for a new pillow.

  • Do not use harsh chemicals, like bleach, to prevent memory foam from breaking down.
  • Do not place a memory foam pillow in the HE washer unless specified, even if the HE washer has an agitator. The spin cycle in the washer is too rough and can damage the memory foam.
  • Do not place a memory foam pillow in the dryer, unless specified. The heat from the dryer can destroy the memory foam.
  • Rigorously squeezing or wringing the pillow can damage the memory foam.
  • Do not use hot water, since it will set the stain instead of removing it.
  • Do not use a memory foam pillow until it’s completely dry. The damp interior is a perfect breeding environment for mold and mildew if the pillow is used when not dried completely.

How Long Does A Memory Foam Pillow Last?

Memory foam pillows can last for as long as 1-3 years. To confirm to see if it’s time to change your memory foam pillow, fold the two long sections together— if it doesn’t immediately return to its original shape, it’s time to get a new pillow.

Can Memory Foam Get Wet?

The only possible period memory foam can get wet is if it’s being cleaned. Even then, memory foam should be allowed to air dry before usage to prevent mold and mildew buildup.

Can Memory Foam Pillows Be Washed In The Washing Machine?

No, it is not advisable to put memory foam should in a washing machine unless it’s specified.

Memory foam is like a sponge, when you put it in a washing machine, it becomes waterlogged and damaged. If you need to wash your memory foam pillow, do a spot-cleaning first.

Can Beg Bugs Invade Memory Foam? 

Yes. Bed bugs can invade any type of pillow. The only way by which you can protect your pillow is through a protective cover that shields the pillow against bed bugs.

How Do I Get The Odor Out Of A Memory Foam Pillow?

Memory foam usually has a chemical odor, known as “off-gassing.” Although this should fade away within a few days of opening your new pillow, if it does not, air it out under a fan or take it outside to air it out in the sun for a few hours.

If this method doesn’t work, sprinkle it with baking soda, to absorb the smell. Then vacuum the baking soda after it rests on the pillow for a few hours.

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I hope this article has given an in-depth discussion to answer the question, how to wash memory foam pillow. As you should know memory foam pillow is a delicate material.

If not properly handled, it can be damaged easily. By practicing the necessary steps to clean your memory foam pillow will keep it fresh, prolong its lifespan, save money and help you get better sleep.