Last Updated on April 9, 2020 by Elsie
If you’re feeling your shredded memory foam pillow has seen better days and might need a bit of a wash, you’re probably right. Over time, all pillows see a natural build up of sweat, make up, sunscreen, dust or drool (yup). I’ve just been through the process of washing my own pillows (and I’m a drooler, embarrassing!) and in this article I will share everything I’ve learnt.
So, I have good news, and kinda bad news…
The good news is, you may not need to wash your pillow! Hurrah! Most memory foam pillows only need to be deep cleaned once or twice a year (MAX!) and spot cleaned with a damp cloth as needed. Because it’s naturally hypoallergenic, memory foam isn’t prone to bacteria like many other materials. The bad news is, if you do need to wash it, more care does need to be taken when washing a shredded memory foam. It’s much more delicate and therefore more prone to warping, shrinking and crumbling. Washing must be done by hand only. The process cannot be rushed, and you should allow up to 24 hours for drying.
IMPORTANT: Always check the label or care instructions before cleaning on washing, as each individual pillow will be made slightly differently and have different requirements for cleaning. Below is just what worked best for me.
6 Steps For Washing Your Memory Foam Pillow
Here are the six steps for a super fresh, ultra clean, fluffy memory foam pillow…
1. Choose a Warm, Sunny & Breezy Day To Wash
It is best to select a warm and breezy day to clean shredded memory foam pillows. This will speed up the drying time. Because there is a lot of surface area in a shredded memory foam pillow, it can drastically add drying time on a cooler day.
CARE TIP: Memory foam pillows cannot be placed in a clothes dryer when wet. This will damage your memory foam by warping and crumbling.
Allow at least 24 hours for washing and drying if the pillows are drying inside. Humidity is also not your friend when it comes to materials that need to be air-dried. You’ll want to make sure your pillow is completely dry before use.
If drying in winter, or on a cooler day, use a portable fan to circulate the air and help aid in drying.
2. Hand Wash In Your Sink or Bathtub
A memory foam pillow should only ever be hand-washed. And I don’t mean the “hand wash” setting on your washing machine. Nothing is ever as gentle as doing it by hand.
You’ll want to fill your sink or bathtub with water, making sure the temperature is just cool to lukewarm. Add a small amount of a gentle detergent used for hand washing delicate items. Use about one teaspoon of detergent per gallon of water.
3. Suds Up!
Now it’s time to give your pillow a bath! Completely submerge the pillow in the detergent and water solution and squeeze it (very!) gently to move the cleaning solution through the foam. Do this two or three times
4. Give it a Gentle Rinse
After it’s clean, remove your pillow from the water and gently squeeze out the moisture, being incredibly careful not to wring or twist the memory foam.
5. Rinse & Repeat
Drain the soapy water and refill the sink with fresh water. Squeeze the foam gently to remove the suds. Drain and refill the sink several times with clean water until no more suds appear. Gently squeeze the foam to remove the water. No wringing! Wringing can break and warp the foam.
6. Dry Time
Allow the pillow to air dry on a flat, ventilated surface (like a clothes horse) away from direct heat and sunlight.
Do not use a clothes dryer because the heat can damage the memory foam and cause it to crumble.
To help speed up drying, use a portable fan to circulate air. Depending on the thickness of the foam, it can take up to 24 hours for a pillow to dry completely. Make sure it is completely dry before using it again.
Hot Tip: Shake our the foam every few hours to redistribute it and held aid in drying.
How To Spot Clean A Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
If you don’t have time to thoroughly wash a foam pillow (or you just noticed a few marks or sweat stains), spot cleaning can remove stains until it can be washed.
1. Mix a Cleaning Solution
Mix one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid into two cups of lukewarm water.
2. Treat the Stains
Dip a clean, preferably white, cloth into the solution and gently blot from the outside of the stain toward the center. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is transferred.
3. Rinse and Dry the Foam
Once the stain is gone, dip a clean white cloth in plain water and blot to remove any remaining soap. Allow the pillow to air dry completely. If you must speed the drying process, use a hairdryer set on cool to dry the cleaned area. Don’t be tempted to use a higher temperature setting – this could damage the foam.
4. Or, Freshen a Pillow With Baking Soda
If the foam pillow just needs to be freshened, begin by removing the protective cover and tossing it in the wash. Sprinkle the entire pillow with baking soda, covering it well. Allow the baking soda to sit on the surface for at least an hour and then vacuum it away using the upholstery brush attachment on your vacuum. This will help absorb odors and remove any dust mites or pet hair that might be on the pillow. Flip the pillow over and repeat.
Looking after your shredded memory foam pillow year in, year out
You may need to deep clean your pillow from time to time, but really, the key to a long-lasting relationship is taking care of your memory foam on a regular basis. A few points to know:
- Pillows tend to absorb oils from our skin, hair, dust, dirt, and other unpleasantries.
- I recommend washing your face each night, as well as showering to remove the day’s dirt and grime
- I also *highly* recommend a removable pillow cover/protector that is machine washable.
- The protector should be made from a breathable natural fibre like cotton, bamboo, or linen and always used in addition to your regular pillowcase.
- Wash it at least monthly (more often during hot weather or if someone is ill) and in hot water.
By using a pillow protector, your memory foam pillow should only need to be thoroughly cleaned once, maybe twice, a year unless there is a spill or accident.
This is much more effective in looking after your memory foam pillow and lessens the risk in warping or damaging the foam during washing.
I hope you’ve found this helpful in washing your own memory foam pillow. This is the exact process that worked for me. If you have any questions or experience any challenges along the way, let me know in the comments and I’ll see if I have any tips or tricks that can help you out.