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Memory foam mattresses are an investment that can endure for many years with the proper care. For example, can you steam clean a memory foam mattress to keep it healthy for a good night’s sleep? Also, the stains should be cleaned up right away to keep them from setting in permanently.
It is possible to steam clean a memory foam mattress using common household items like baking soda, white vinegar, and dishwashing soap. For those, who want to stay away from harsh or toxic chemicals, these items are good alternatives.
When the volatile organic material of the foam and air come into contact, gases are released, which have a foul odor. This is the reason manufacturers usually advise opening memory foam mattresses in well-ventilated areas so that the odor may be scattered before you use the mattress for sleep. To avoid stains and the accumulation of garbage on the bed, a person should make it a habit to clean their mattress regularly. Keep in mind that if you do not keep your mattress clean, the unpleasant smell can cause painful headaches and immediate respiratory reactions, especially in people who have allergies or asthma.
Besides this, many accidents happen on your mattress, which can make your beloved memory foam mattress dirty. Seeing a stained mattress can be irritating; thus, mattress cleaning is important to bring your dirty mattress back to life. Even though it can be a time-consuming procedure, steam cleaning a mattress can make your life easier and enhance the lifespan of your mattress.
What is a Memory Foam?
Memory foam was initially designed for airline passenger seats. However, with the passage of time, memory foam gained popularity because of its remarkable flexibility and structural memory, as it can be repeatedly folded, bent, or deformed while still regaining its original shape.
Composition of Memory Foam
Memory foam is composed of visco-elastic polyurethane, which is a synthetic material created from crude oil products. This material reacts to pressure and body heat. It conforms to the curve of your body, offering support and comfort that are unique to you.
Sensitivity of Memory Foam
Memory foam can retain liquids and is sensitive to moisture, which makes it vulnerable to mold, mildew, and odor if not cleaned correctly. Therefore, it is important to use the right cleaning methods.
Characteristics of Memory Foams
The Memory foam’s capacity for cocooning is due to its low resistance, slow response time, and other characteristics. Many people with arthritis or back discomfort, as well as anyone, who spends a lot of time in bed, will find this mattress to be beneficial because it harnesses the body’s heat to soften, supports weight uniformly, and removes pressure points.
Regular cleaning is crucial to preserve the quality of the memory foam and extend its longevity. Unlike washing a typical mattress, steam cleaning a memory foam mattress calls for extra caution to prevent damage to its distinctive structure.
What is Steam Cleaning?
Steam cleaning is a hassle-free and mess-free cleaning method. You should go to steam clean your memory foam in particular. This method employs a chemical-free, hygienic method of mattress cleaning. This is the best method to remove bacteria, dust mites, dirt, etc. by penetrating the vapor molecules into the pores of the surface. This method is used in different industries to clean machinery, but you can also use it to clean your mattress foam, especially if you have difficult stains and a bad odor.
While sleeping, we shed dead skin, and our bodies also sweat, all of this is absorbed into our memory foam mattress, providing a habitat for germs. A study confirms that a mattress may have almost 1 to 10 million dust mites. Steam cleaning mattresses can take care of such issues by killing all the germs and cleaning your mattress.
The most prominent benefit of steam clean your memory foam is that it keeps memory foam supple and fresh smelling while eradicating dust mites and germs that cause odors. Start by positioning the steam mop’s nozzle a few inches above the mattress and steaming the stain in a circular motion. Avoid soaking a single area with steam, as this will encourage moisture to collect in the mattress and lead to mold. After you are done, dry-wipe the mattress and let it air out.
Steam Clean a Memory Foam Mattresses Safely
The answer is yes, as steam cleaning can kill dust mites as well as odor-causing germs by keeping the elasticity of the memory foam intact and making it smell fresh. As long as care is taken to avoid overwetting the mattress, the majority of experts concur that steam cleaning is generally safe for mattresses. However, you need to do it very carefully if the user’s manual allows it. Keep in mind that some mattresses are built of materials that can be harmed by high heat and moisture. Therefore, always read the manufacturer’s directions before steam cleaning a mattress.
Pros of Steam Cleaning
Here are some of the reasons and benefits that make steam cleaning seem like a good idea:
- Steaming will retain the elasticity of your memory foam mattress, which can provide better support to your body.
- Keeping the foam clean with the help of steam cleaning is really a useful tactic. The steam is extremely effective at eliminating dust mites, germs, and other pests because it reaches a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- It can remove stains from perspiration, urine, and grime. Moreover, it can also kill bed bugs.
- As it simply uses heat and water to clean the foam; therefore, it is a natural, chemical-free method. In other words, you can say it is an environmentally friendly method of cleaning a mattress.
- It can eliminate bad odors efficiently.
- Moreover, by keeping your foam clean, you can stay away from allergies that may cause by a dirty mattress and enjoy healthy sleep.
- Steaming can keep your mattress fresh and clean.
- Steaming provides sanitization for your memory foam mattress.
Concerns about Steam Cleaning
There are some concerns that you should focus on if you are planning to clean your memory foam by steam cleaning:
- If you are steam cleaning a mattress without letting it completely dry, it may retain too much moisture, which will result in mildew and mold. Besides this, the excessive moisture in the mattress will also damage the foam.
- If you do not follow the cleaning guidelines provided by the mattress manufacturer, it can harm the mattress. Therefore, it is always recommended to follow the instructions of the manufacturer to ensure safe steam cleaning.
How to Prepare for the Steam Cleaning?
Here are a few tips, which you should consider for preparing for the steam cleaning of your mattress:
- Pick a day when you will not be using the bed for at least four to five hours.
- If you have a regular sleep schedule at night, begin the cleaning early in the morning.
- Improve the bedroom’s ventilation by opening windows, switching on the fans, or using an overhead fan.
- To steam clean the mattress, pick a day that is clear, windy, and dry.
- If the mattress is still wet at the time to go to bed, then make plans to sleep somewhere else.
9 Steps to Steam Clean a Memory Foam Mattress
As we previously stated, you must read the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning instructions for your mattress before considering this method of cleaning. If approved, then you must follow the steps mentioned below for safe cleaning:
Step 1: Select a Steam Machine as Per Your Budget and Requirements
The best steamer to use will be the one that can heat the water to a minimum of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. For cleaning purposes, you can use a clothes steamer or a household steam cleaner. A large commercial renter can also be used for cleaning purposes.
Step 2: Take off the Mattress Cover
Start by getting your mattress uncovered by taking the cover off its protective cover. Take off all the layers of bedding and covering that you have on your mattress. Get the steam cleaner started by plugging it into the socket beforehand to get it heated properly.
Step 3: Vacuum Cleaning
Vacuuming is a very important part of mattress cleaning, as it can help you get rid of all the germs, bed mites, etc. Vacuum cleaning needs to be done systematically. Start by brushing the entire mattress, then remove the large residues so that they do not get stuck in the vacuum. Lastly, vacuum the entire bed carefully. Make sure that you cover all the edges, sides, and corners of the bed cautiously. After Vacuuming your bed thoroughly, remove the dirtbag from the vacuum and dispose of it.
Step 4: Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions for Using The Steamer
The majority of steamers come with a water tank, a wand to apply the steam, and a motor to provide heat. You simply switch the machine on and let it heat up after filling the tank with water to the recommended level in the instructions.
Step 5: Use your Steamer Properly
Keep your hands off the mattress. Use 2-foot strokes to run the steam at the mattress’ left upper corner. Then, in straight rows, move to the right and downward positions until the hot steam covers the entire mattress.
Step 6: Run the Steamer on the Mattress’s Sides
For deep cleaning, run the steamer on the sides of the mattress from top to bottom. You can kill as many mites, germs, and bed bugs as you can by steam cleaning the sides.
Step 7: Remove Stubborn Stains
Mattresses tend to retain some stubborn stains that are harder to remove. However, by using detergent, you can clean your memory foam mattress. Note that memory foam mattresses require more gentle care than other foam mattresses. Therefore, use a delicate detergent. Dab the detergent solution on the stain and rub it to remove the stain; after that let it sit for five to ten minutes and then dry it off. Remember not to over-apply the solution, as it can ruin your memory foam mattress.
Step 8: Steam it off
Now, we have to steam the mattress. After cleaning and removing the stains, now we need to steam clean the mattress with a steam mop. Make sure to keep it at least 6 inches away from the mattress surface, as steaming closely can cause moisture to build up in the mattress. This will lead to mold buildup on the mattress. Further, try to spend no more than 10 seconds on a particular area and steam closely throughout the edges and corners. after steam cleaning the mattress, dab a dry towel over the mattress to soak remaining moisture.
Step 9: Let it Dry
Last but not least; allow your memory foam mattress to dry completely. It will take at least 2 to 4 hours for drying completely.
Potential Warranty Implications If the Mattress Is Not Cleaned As Per Guidelines
Maintaining the warranty coverage for your mattress will help it last longer. This includes rotating or flipping your mattress in accordance with the terms of the warranty. Some mattresses need to be rotated and flipped frequently to ensure that the layers wear uniformly. Other mattresses should not be turned over based on how their comfort layers and support core are made. To guarantee proper maintenance, read the manufacturer’s suggestions and the warranty’s guidelines.
Following the manufacturer’s guidelines will ensure that the mattress is supported properly and is eligible for coverage. This could be a platform bed, box spring, or some other kind of basis. Following the instructions given by the mattress manufacturer will guarantee that the mattress is supported correctly and qualifies for coverage. In many cases, causing liquid damage to a mattress voids its warranty.
How Often Should I Steam Clean a Mattress?
As it keeps your sleeping environment clean and healthy, deep cleaning your mattress is crucial for good hygiene and wellness. If your mattress is soiled or you have just done any interior remodeling, steam clean it every six months. You might need to reduce the gap to every three months if you have children or animals. You will not need to steam clean your mattress as frequently if you take care of it by regularly vacuuming it and removing stains as they appear. Remember, a clean mattress can enhance your health, your sleep, and the overall environment of your room. However, it is always recommended to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and care instructions to get the best results for your product.
Precautions for Steam Cleaning the Mattress
If the mattress manual says that steam cleaning is acceptable for the mattress, then here are a few points, which you should keep in mind to keep the warranty of the mattress intact. These precaution points are as under:
Use Low and Dry Steam
Steam cleaning a mattress is not complicated. It just needs planning, timing, and patience to ensure that the mattress dries completely. Germs can be killed, dust can be removed, and stains can be cleaned by steam cleaning that is heated to between 212 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is suggested to use a low and dry steam cleaner with adjustable heat settings to clean a mattress. This will minimize moisture exposure to the foam and enable you to get rid of dirt, dust, and other allergies. Materials required for proper steam cleaning of a mattress include a Vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment, a steam cleaner having low and dry steam settings, Clean and dry microfiber towels, and a mattress protector (optional).
Spot Testing on an Inconspicuous Area
Before steam cleaning the mattress, it is advisable to examine the stain carefully and spot test on the small area to analyze the output. The best areas for this purpose are either corner or edge of the mattress. For regular cleaning, take a mild detergent and warm water and spray the solution on the stain. Do not rub it, as it will damage the foam. For steam cleaning, you can apply the vacuum, steam on the inconspicuous areas first, and then apply on the entire mattress. Detailed steps for spot testing on an inconspicuous area of a mattress by a steam cleaner are as under:
Identify the stain on the mattress and blot it.
Prepare a cleaning solution of mild detergent and warm water. You can also add baking soda or vinegar to it for better results. Apply it on the foam and then steam that area. Blot it again and repeat the entire procedure if needed.
Allow Sufficient Drying Time
It is always recommended to allow sufficient drying time to the mattress. The more time you have, the better will be drying. Open the windows, switch on the fans, and let the mattress dry for at least three hours.
Any moisture, which is trapped inside the fibers, should be removed completely. Place a dry paper towel on the surface and apply some pressure to see if the mattress is entirely dry or not. If moisture is found, it means that the drying process will take longer.
Alternative Cleaning Methods for Memory Foam Mattresses
A memory foam mattress needs to be cleaned carefully without harming the foam or adding too much moisture, which will result in mold or mildew. Alternative cleaning techniques are as follows:
Vacuuming memory foam can be the best alternative cleaning method to get rid of dust, dirt, and other surface debris. Using a portable handheld vacuum with a brush attachment for thorough cleaning is recommended. Always use mild pressure and do not push the vacuum into the foam firmly to enjoy the following benefits of vacuuming:
- An easy and budget-friendly method for stain removal.
- Helps in removing dust, bed bugs, and allergies from the mattress.
- Minimizes your allergic reactions, improves the air quality of your room, and gives you better sleep.
- Increases the lifespan of the mattress.
- Prevents the development of bad odor.
Spot Cleaning with Mild Detergent
A mattress can be spot cleaned with a light detergent to get rid of stains while brightening the surface. Following are the steps with which you can spot-clean your mattress:
- To make the cleaning solution, combine warm water and a little amount of mild liquid detergent in a bowl or spray bottle. Use roughly 1 teaspoon of detergent per cup of water as a basic rule of thumb. Avoid using too much detergent because it could leave a residue.
- Before using the solution on a mattress’s visible region, test it on an inconspicuous region to ensure that it works well.
- Use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to vacuum your mattress. This will help in clearing the surface of dirt, dust, and debris.
- Damp a clean, white cloth or a piece of paper with the diluted detergent solution and apply it to the stained area. Be careful not to soak the mattress; instead, gently dab the stained spot. Blotting aids in removing the stain without penetrating it into the mattress.
- Keep pressing down on the stain gently while wiping it with a damp cloth. Do not rub it to avoid discoloration and harm to the mattress’s fiber.
- Lightly dab the area with a clean towel to remove any detergent residue.
- Repeat the steps if required.
Deodorizing with Baking Soda
The process of getting rid of odors caused by stains, spills, allergies, sweat, grime, and dust mites is called deodorizing. You should deodorize your mattress with baking soda at least once every six months is a smart idea. You can deodorize your memory foam mattress with baking soda by following these simple steps:
- Sprinkle the baking soda over the surface of the mattress.
- Let it stay there for at least two hours to neutralize the acidic odors.
- Vacuum away the baking soda with the help of the vacuum cleaner.
- Repeat the process if required.
Maintaining a Clean Memory Foam Mattress
Understanding how to care for a memory foam mattress will help it last longer and offer a clean and healthy sleeping environment. Focus on daily maintenance of your mattress. Flip it and change its position once a week. To prevent a stain from setting into the mattress, you must clear up spills as soon as possible. Try to keep your pets away to keep your mattress clean. The best approach is to use waterproof mattress covers and protectors on your mattress to protect it from possible damage. Remember, it is best to clean your mattress thoroughly after every six months.
Conclusion To Steam Clean a Memory Foam Mattress
Steam cleaning your memory foam mattress is a great idea, as it ensures cleanliness and sanitization. It can help you in removing stubborn stains from your mattress and make it look new. However, you must look for the instructions given for the cleaning of the mattress before steam cleaning it, as if you use this methodology in the wrong way, it will ruin your mattress instead of cleaning it.