Tips for Cleaning Mattress Pad in the Dorm Room

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The mattress you inherit for the year is not likely to be the most comfortable thing you’ve ever slept on.  One of the most crucial components of your bedding will be the mattress pad.  In addition to giving you extra cushioning and back support, it will also provide a barrier between you and the mattress, which may not be the newest or cleanest. In addition to washing your twin XL sheets (once a week, but no less than twice a month), it is recommended you clean your mattress pad from time to time. Obviously, the type of mattress pad you own will determine the cleaning process.  Here we will cover two types of mattress pads – the standard, plush cotton mattress pad and the specialty memory foam topper.

Plush Cotton Mattress Pad

These mattress protectors have plastic-backed pads to provide an extra layer of protection.  They also contain some type of water-resistant feature that can be damaged or compromised if washed incorrectly.  Before cleaning, check the tag for any specific cleaning instructions.  Most traditional mattress pads are safe to go into the washer and dryer.

  1. Fill the washing machine with warm water and add the appropriate amount of laundry detergent.
  2. Place the mattress pad into the washer along with other linens of similar colors.  Run this through a normal wash cycle, but you may want to run it through the rinse cycle twice to be sure that no detergent remains.
  3. If your mattress pad does have the water-resistant feature without the additional plastic backing, avoid using fabric softener here, as it will damage the coating.
  4. You can place your mattress pad into the dryer along with the other linens and set the dryer on low to medium heat.  To keep the pad from getting clumpy, place a tennis ball in a sock and throw it in the dryer with your pad.  This will help to “fluff” the pad by distributing the filler evenly.
  5. Once dry, place back on your bed.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper

This is one of the most popular and comfortable mattress toppers you can go with.  Unfortunately, spillage and dirt are slightly trickier to remove than your traditional mattress pad.  But do not be discouraged – you can still clean memory foam efficiently on your own.

  1. Take the pad off the bed and place on a hard surface in a ventilated room or near a window.  You may want to place something beneath the pad such as a tarp to avoid getting water on the floor.
  2. Remove dust and debris from the pad with a hose attachment from a vacuum.
  3. Next you will need to spot clean your mattress pad.  You can do this by mixing a small amount of mild detergent with warm water and applying the solution with a clean cloth.  Simply dab at the areas that need cleaning.
  4. Fill a spray bottle with one part laundry detergent and two parts warm water.  Spray the solution generously on the surface of the mattress pad, however you do not want to completely soak it.  Allow this solution to sit for a couple of hours.
  5. To remove the detergent, dab the foam with a clean, damp, cotton cloth.
  6. Flip the pad and repeat steps four and five.
  7. Lay the foam pad flat to dry for at least 24 hours.

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Katherine Carpenter

Katherine Carpenter

Hi I'm Katherine! I love DIY projects, especially ones that I can use to make my dorm room pop! My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip, especially when it's on a cone. I love hanging out with my sorority sisters and giving back to the community. Always remember to live, laugh and love!