How to Clean a Memory Foam Pillow (in 3 Easy Steps!)

We spend a lot of time on our pillows, and we often neglect to think about the cleanliness of them. Think about all the sweat and dead skin that builds on and in your pillow. You need to tackle this problem with a high-quality wash every now and then.

Learning how to wash a memory foam pillow will help you to clean them and keep them clean over the long-term properly. In this article, we’re talking about how to wash a memory foam pillow and the steps you need to take.

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  • The Amerisleep Comfort Classic is our choice for the best memory foam pillow of 2019. The Comfort Classic is a comfortable, supportive memory foam pillow with ventilation built in the core to help you sleep cool throughout the night.
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1. Setup Your Pillow Bath

First things first, you want to fill your sink or bathtub with warm water and add a small amount of gentle detergent; anything harsh may damage the pillow. You can even throw it an essential oil or something else to add a fresh scent.

2. Start Cleaning Your Pillow

Take your pillow and dunk it in lukewarm water and squeeze it as you would a sponge. When you squeeze the pillow, you’re allowing the water to get into the pillow and flush out any dirt, skin particles, or dust mites. Follow this process at least twice, and you’ll start to notice the color of the cleaning water changing to a murky color.

Once you’ve cleaned the pillow, you’ll want to drain the water and replace it with clean water. Squeeze the pillow a few more times in the freshwater to wash away any leftover soap or surface dirt and keep repeating this process until the water is clear.

When the water runs clear, perform one last squeeze to get all the water out of the pillow. Don’t try wringing the pillow, or else you might crack it.

3. The Drying Process

Leave the memory foam pillow out for a few hours to dry. We recommend putting it outside in the sun because the air drying will leave your pillow smelling fresh and odor-free. Make sure it’s not too hot or humid outside when you do this.

How to Keep Your Pillows Clean

While knowing how to wash a memory foam pillow is great, what if the above steps aren’t working? Sometimes stubborn stains or long-term buildup can cause larger issues. Here are some tips for keeping your pillows neat and tidy all year long.

One of the most important things to consider is good pillow hygiene. You should be changing your pillowcase at least once a week because of the grease on our skin. When we sleep for six to eight hours a night, all grease, dirt, and sweat from our skin soak into our pillows.

You should get in the habit of changing your pillowcases once per week and vacuuming the memory foam pillow when you change the case. Removing the pillow cover and cleaning it often will help make the deep cleaning process that much easier.

Spot Cleaning Your Memory Foam Pillow

Sometimes those pesky stains can leave us feeling hopeless. No one wants to sleep on a dirty pillow, and things like blood or urine can be extra challenging to get out. A good spot clean takes care of the job.

For blood, use hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain and blot it with a clean cloth until the peroxide stops bubbling. Spray it with some cold water and brush it with a small brush.

For urine, take hydrogen peroxide and mix with a teaspoon of white vinegar and baking soda. Apply the mixture lightly to the stain and leave it to sit for a few hours. After the time is up, you can blot it with a damp cloth, and it should remove most of the stain and eliminate the odor.

Deodorizing Your Memory Foam Pillow

Speaking of odors, like a memory foam mattress, memory foam pillows have an off-gassing problem due to harmless natural gas from the packaging. Many people need to let their pillow air out before using it, but if you need to get your head on it right away, there are a few things you can do.

Sprinkle baking soda on the pillow and let it sit out for a few hours. Use a vacuum hose and suck up all the baking soda and invisible packaging hairs that may cause the smell to worsen.

How to Treat Stubborn Spills

What about those spills that seem like they’ll never come out?

Maybe you spilled soda or coffee on your pillow. Breakfast in bed can get kind of messy, but there’s a cleaning solution for every mishap.

Take the pillowcase off your pillow right away and soak up any excess liquid using a clean towel. Take a dish detergent like Dawn or upholstery cleaner and mix it equal parts with water. Using a sponge, soak it with the mixture, and rub the spill until it starts to go away. This process should work for most stubborn spills.

Allow your pillow plenty of time to dry or use a hairdryer to shorten the time. Not drying the pillow properly may result in mildew.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you clean a memory foam pillow?

There are a few different parts to this question. First, if anyone sick has rested their head on the pillow, you should deep clean them immediately when they feel better. Germs will build up quickly in the foam and cause someone else to get sick. We would recommend deep cleaning your memory foam pillows at least once every two months. Other than that, you should vacuum them and leave them outside for fresh air every other week or when you change your sheets.

How often should you replace a memory foam pillow?

How often you replace the pillow depends a lot on how much money you spent on it. If you purchased a high-quality memory foam pillow, they should last at least two or three years. A basic pillow should get replaced once per year. Having the best and most comfortable pillow possible is essential to neck and back health.

Can you put a memory foam pillow in the washing machine?

You should never put a memory foam pillow in the washing machine or dryer. Doing this is harmful to the pillow, and it will almost always damage it. The movement inside is too rough, which will cause the pillow to start tearing. Using a washing machine actually doesn’t perform the job as well as the steps we’ve outlined above. You need to squeeze and release the dirt and germs inside the foam for the process to work correctly.

How often should you replace your pillow?

We tend to keep pillows for a long time. Maybe a good pillow becomes a sort of safety blanket. But even the best pillows will break down or get dirty within a few years. If possible, we recommend switching your pillow out every 2-3 years.

Does a side sleeper need a special pillow?

Just like with a mattress, side sleepers have different needs than back sleepers. The best pillows for side sleepers are thick enough to help support their head throughout the night. If the pillow is too thin, it’ll put pressure on your spine and could lead to aches and pains.


Now that you know how to wash a memory foam pillow, you have an excuse to go around your house and take away everyone’s pillows! Remember, we rest our heads every night in the same place, and while it’s essential to clean your sheets and change them out, it’s equally important to clean your memory foam pillow.

If you follow all the steps we’ve outlined and the tips provided, you’ll never have to worry about sleeping with a dirty pillow again.

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