How to Wash Your Memory Foam Pillow

So you bought yourself one of those lovely memory foam pillows, you sleep like you’ve never slept before, and it feels like it’s time to give it a wash.

But how? And, more importantly, should you?

Memory Foam

You’ve been told, in no uncertain terms, that you never, ever toss one in the washer. Why? Because the memory foam tends to keep in moisture like a sponge, and if it’s subjected the rigors of a washing machine it will break into pieces and chunks. No more comfy pillow.

For something that makes you feel as wonderful as it does when you are falling asleep, these polyurethane pillows are very delicate and need a tender touch when it comes to caring for them. No washers, no dryers, no scrubbing, only cool water …it’s like taking care of a baby! But a baby who helps you sleep like, well, a baby. There are those who state that you can hand-wash your pillow in lukewarm water, but why take the chance?

Wash Your Memory Foam Pillow

One suggestion, right off the top, would be to use two pillow cases, so you can protect the pillow from your hair gel, leftover makeup, and, yes, drool. Then you can toss the cases in the wash, and the pillow stays nice and fresh! Or, if you’ve the money, purchase one of those pillow cases that are liquid-resistant. Then nothing will mess with your pillow, regardless of what happens to it.

If something does spill on your pillow, grab some towels and press them against the pillow as hard as possible so they draw out the moisture before it sinks into the pillow. Then set the pillow where it can air dry, even in front of a fan if possible, so that it completely dries before you use it again. Wet pillows can start to grow mold and bacteria deep inside, causing a nasty odor eventually. So you want to make sure it is really, really dry before you pop it back on the bed. If you squeeze it hard enough, you can feel whether or not it’s still damp inside.

If your pillow is a bit stinky from the spill, simply mix some mild soap and water, dip in a towel, wring it out well, and dab at the stain. It works best if you start at the outside of the stain and work in. Repeat until you can no longer see/smell the stain, and then whisk it over to that circulating air to dry. Make sure you really wring the towel out, because you don’t want to add more water to the problem.

Still not odor free?

Baking soda is your friend. Sprinkle it on the pillow (you could even put the pillow into a pillowcase and then add baking soda and shake to make sure it covers the entire pillow), then let it sit until you can’t smell anything. Usually a day or two will take care of it

Alternately, you could set it out in the sun and let the heat and air take care of the odor. Plus, it will smell wonderful afterwards!

If you have pets, every once in a while one can get a little frustrated and take it out on your bed. If this happens, and your pet has decided to christen your pillow with urine, you can go one of two ways: a mix of water and vinegar (50/50) or an enzymatic cleaner. The vinegar and water solution can work quite well, and you simply spray the pillow with the mixture – again, do not soak the pillow – and let the mix sit for about 5 minutes or so. Blot it until it feels dry, and then sprinkle it with baking soda. Remember the pillow case and fan trick, too. If you’re not using a pillow case, make sure to set the fan on low or you’ll have powder everywhere. You could also place it in the sun, as above, and that extra heat will really help. The next day, vacuum or shake off the baking soda and it should be fine.


If that doesn’t do the trick, then an enzymatic cleaner may be the way to go, and you apply it in the same way you do the vinegar and water solution.

Your memory foam pillow will last you a long, long time if you keep these methods in mind.