Can You Wash a Mattress Pad?

Do you have a mattress pad on your bed? It’s a neat addition to any bedroom, as it gives mattresses extra cushioning and helps keep dirt and unwanted bugs away.

However, it’s still liable to gather up dirt, debris, and sweat. That isn’t just a recipe for bad smells. Dirty mattress pads don’t last as long as those that are cared for.

With that in mind, giving your mattress pad a good wash every now and then is the most effective way to keep it fresh and long-lasting. 

Washing a mattress pad may seem like a daunting task, but with the right technique, it's actually quite simple. 

The key is to use the right washing machine settings. 

With a little know-how and some patience, you can wash your mattress pad with confidence, and enjoy a cleaner, healthier sleeping environment.

We’ll explain how to wash by hand and machine, and what you need to do to maintain it once it’s dry.

Check the Care Label and Follow the Manufacturer's Instructions

The manufacturer always provides guidance as to the best way to wash your mattress pad, and it’s best to follow those instructions to avoid shrinking or other damage. 

Typically, you can find the label along the edge of your pad. 

First, you should see if your mattress pad is machine washable. Some pads can only handle spot cleaning, hand washing, or dry cleaning, like foam and memory foam products.  

If your mattress pad is machine washable, the instructions also detail what temperature, cycle, and detergent to use.

Tips and Tricks for Washing a Mattress Pad in a Washing Machine

Machine washable mattress pads are surprisingly easy to care for, but here are a few tips and tricks to help. 

Remove any stains or spots from your pad first with a stain remover or mild detergent. 

Use a spray bottle or cloth to apply the solution to the affected area and then let it stand for a few minutes. 

Once you finish the pre-treatment, drop your pad in the washing machine, but make sure you add some extra items to balance the load. Overloading or underloading the washer can cause damage to either your pad or washing machine.

Use a gentle or delicate cycle with cold or warm water along with a mild detergent. 

If you notice your pad smells less than fresh, try adding vinegar or baking soda to the washer as a deodorizer and sanitizer. The combination can make your pad smell good without damaging it. 

Finally, avoid using bleach or fabric softener as they can damage the fibers of your pad. Bleach can weaken or discolor your pad, while fabric softeners cause your pad to feel sticky and attract dirt faster.

How to Wash a Mattress Pad by Hand: Step-by-Step Guide

Some mattress pads aren’t machine-washable, so they have to be thoroughly scrubbed by hand. 

Since mattress pads are so bulky, you might try using the bathtub to hand wash them. Fill the tub with lukewarm water and add a mild detergent. 

Keep an eye out on the temperature, as pads sometimes shrink or become deformed when exposed to hot water.

No matter how dirty your pad is, avoid bleach or fabric softeners. These will do more harm than good and can damage the pad’s material. 

Once the water is soapy, submerge the pad and gently squeeze out the dirt.

If you notice stains or spots, grab a sponge or soft brush and carefully scrub them. Take your time here, as rubbing too hard could damage the pad. 

Rinse your pad thoroughly with clean water until there is no remaining soap. Leaving soap residue on your pad can lead to skin irritation or aggravate allergies. 

Finally, wring out the excess water and lay it flat on a towel to dry.

Dry Your Mattress Pad Properly to Avoid Shrinkage and Damage

When it comes to drying, you might be tempted to increase the heat to speed things up. However, if your pad is dryer-safe, it’s best to use a low or no heat setting.

Add a couple of dryer balls or even throw in a tennis ball to help keep your pad fluffy. These balls increase air circulation to prevent the pad from sticking or compressing. 

As handy as a dryer is, there is a risk of shrinkage and damage if it is over-dried. With that in mind, you might want to pull the pad out a little early to let it air dry the rest of the way. 

Hang the mattress pad in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources. 

Store and Maintain Your Mattress Pad: Keeping It Fresh and Clean

Mattress pads, like any other part of your bedding, benefit from a long-term care routine. When they’re not being used, fold them up and store them somewhere clean, like a bag or box. 

Be careful here, though, as twisting could make the pad lose its shape and develop creasing or tears in the foam. That may lead to a saggy mattress pad full of lumps. 

As we’ve seen, washing works wonders for your pad when done properly. You won’t need to wash frequently - once every three months can be sufficient. 

However, if you have allergies or pets, you might want to reconsider the frequency. 

In between washes, try to stay on top of vacuuming to keep dust and debris from building up.  

Finally, flip and rotate your bed every couple of months. That will keep the pad from sagging and might even protect against further wear and tear.

Conclusion: Enjoy Your Clean and Cozy Mattress Pad

Can you wash a mattress pad? Yes, but you need to consider what kind of mattress pad you have and closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Ultimately, some pads, such as those made of memory foam, will need more care than others. 

So long as you take common sense precautions, keeping your pad looking clean and fresh will be a breeze. In turn, you’ll have a mattress pad that stays comfy and supports you for longer.

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