How To Clean a Dorm Mattress Topper Like a Pro

Posted by Steven Van Alen on

There are many things to look forward to about college. This season of life offers a taste of freedom, the chance to meet new friends, and an opportunity to dive deeply into studies that interest you.

However, most college students aren't quite as enthusiastic about their on-campus housing arrangements. Dorm room beds can be uncomfortable at best, and you need a great night's sleep. 

Thankfully, a dorm mattress topper like ours can make a world of difference. Designed to make your mattress more plush and comfortable, it's a must-have accessory for anyone heading off to school. Yet, it's important to clean yours properly to make sure it stays in great shape.

Today, we're sharing the basic steps behind cleaning a dorm mattress topper, so keep these study tips handy!

Step 1: Choose the Right Topper

Before we dive into how to clean your mattress topper, let's cover an important first step. You need to choose a topper that comes equipped with a removable, washable cover.

This is where it pays to do your homework. There are many different brands on the market, and each one offers its own array of features. Both of our Sleepyhead Toppers include covers that you can easily spot clean, or remove and throw in the wash. 

This includes our Gel Topper as well as our Copper Topper. It might seem like an obvious addition, but you'd be surprised at how many mattress toppers don't offer this benefit. Always read the manufacturer's label and check the packaging to make sure yours does. 

If sanitation is of the utmost concern, then you may lean more toward our Copper Topper. This dorm mattress topper offers a range of features that help it repel germs and contaminants. It is:

  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Resistant to mites and bed bugs
  • Odor-eliminating

When you sleep cleaner, you stress less. In turn, you sleep better. That's why our Copper Topper is also brain-activating, allowing you to focus more on the things that matter, so you can drift off to dreamland more comfortably. 

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

All of the supplies you need to effectively clean your mattress topper are low-priced and easy to find. They include:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Handheld vacuum cleaner
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels or clean cloth
  • Cold water

While you might not need to use all of these at the same time, it's still a good idea to go ahead and keep your dorm room stocked.

Step 3: Try Basic Spot Cleaning With Baking Soda

If you only need to remove a small spot from your mattress topper, then you might not need to zip off the cover and wash it quite yet. 

Start by stripping the topper off of your dorm mattress. Then, place it on a flat surface. 

If the spot is loose, such as cracker crumbs, you can use a small, handheld vacuum to clean it up. Often, that's all that's needed for a quick refresh. 

However, if there's a lingering spot underneath the spill, then you may need to take a more thorough approach. Simply sprinkle baking soda over the spot, and allow it to sit there for at least eight hours (or overnight). It's best to start this process in the morning, so your mattress topper can soak all day and you can use it that night. 

Once that time has elapsed, use the same handheld vacuum to go back over the spot. The baking soda should have absorbed the visual evidence of the stain, as well as any lingering odors that may have found their way into your mattress topper. It will also absorb any excess moisture that may have been present. 

If the stain permeated all the way through the topper, you might find it necessary to flip it over and perform these same steps on the other side. 

You can perform these steps to freshen up your topper at any time, even if there isn't a stain or spot present. Cleaning with baking soda is inexpensive, simple, and effective. In other words, it's ideal for college students on a budget!


Step 4: Perform a Deep Clean With Vinegar

Sometimes, baking soda alone isn't enough to totally remove any sign of a deeply-set spill. If your topper includes a removable and washable cover (like ours), then now is the time to remove the cover. You'll wash it gently in the washing machine on the next step, but in the meantime, you need to make sure the topper itself isn't compromised. 

After you remove the cover, you might find that the spill has saturated all the way through, and is now on the topper  itself. If this is the case, then use a paper towel to blot up the moisture first. Keep turning the towel over, allowing the liquid to soak into a clean square with each rotation. 

Always blot carefully and never rub. Doing so could press the stain even deeper into the topper and could aggravate the fibers on top. Once you're confident that you've soaked up all the liquid, it's time to try a deeper spot cleaning solution. 

Again, the ingredients you need are wallet-friendly and easy to find. To remove set-in stains, all you need is cold water and distilled white vinegar.

Mixing Your Solution

In a spray bottle, mix equal parts water and vinegar. Spray the solution onto the removable cover that you've set aside, as well as any affected areas of the mattress topper. Allow it to soak in for a few minutes, then soak up any excess liquid with a clean towel.

Sprinkle baking soda over this spot and allow it to sit for at least eight hours. Then, vacuum it up. Do not put the topper back onto your mattress until it's fully dry, or it could harbor mold and mildew. You may need to take it outdoors or turn on a fan to speed up the process. 

Why Vinegar?

Worried about the stinky side effects of cleaning with vinegar? Don't be. While it might be a little off-putting at first, the odor actually goes straight to work neutralizing other, more potent odors. 

Plus, once you apply baking soda on top of the vinegar, it will neutralize that smell as well. This way, all you're left with is the clean, fresh scent of the soda. 

A Note on Stronger Solutions

Most college students will find that a simple baking soda and vinegar process is enough to remove even the most stubborn stains. However, if you do require something a little stronger, we suggest sticking with enzyme-based cleansers. 

These are specially designed to be gentle on materials, but it's still smart to read the label and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Some cleaners can damage or discolor fabrics. 

Step 5: Wash Your Topper Cover Separately

While you're waiting for your dorm mattress topper to dry, go ahead and spot-treat your removable cover. This is best to do if you don’t have access to a washer and dryer. If you have access, then it’s best to just throw the cover in the wash since our covers are machine washable. You can spot treat by using the baking soda/vinegar method mentioned above, or you may prefer an enzyme-based cleanser instead.

Another option is to gently blot the area with a small amount of dish soap, diluted with warm water. Add just enough soap to make the water sudsy, and then use that foam to clean the spot. 

Note that if the stain is very difficult or persistent, you can swap the dish soap for hydrogen peroxide. Like enzyme cleaners, however, hydrogen peroxide can also bleach or stain fabrics, including mattress toppers. It should only be used sparingly when other solutions have not yielded your expected results. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Dorm Mattress Topper?

Any time a stain or spill appears, you'll want to clean your mattress topper as soon as possible. The longer those spots are allowed to linger untreated, the deeper they will permeate and the more difficult it will be to completely remove them.

Even if you don't have any stains to remove, it's still smart to remove the cover from your mattress topper and wash it in the washing machine at least once a quarter. This can keep it feeling, smelling, and looking its best! You can also sprinkle the topper itself with baking soda, allow it to sit for eight hours, and vacuum it up to keep it fresh. Make sure that the topper is completely dry before fixing up your mattress, by doing so, you’ll prevent mold and mildew from forming.

Keep Your Mattress Topper Clean and Serene

With a clean dorm mattress topper, you'll be able to go to bed easier and wake up refreshed. Even if it's covered by your sheets, you'll still know when a pesky stain is present, and it can interfere with your sleep quality. 

With these simple tricks, you can be prepared to tackle any spill, no matter how extreme it might be. Both of our toppers come with removable covers, so we've taken care of most of the legwork for you!

To learn more about our products or ask a question, feel free to reach out to our team.

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