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How To Wash a Mattress Cover in the Washing Machine

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Maintaining a clean and fresh mattress cover is not only essential for your comfort, but it also contributes to your overall health by reducing allergens and preventing the growth of bacteria. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the process of washing a mattress cover in the washing machine, providing you with detailed steps, important precautions, and tips to ensure your mattress cover stays in prime condition.


To wash a mattress cover in the washing machine, start by checking the care label for specific instructions. Remove any visible dirt or debris, and pre-treat any stains. Load the cover into the washing machine by itself, using a gentle cycle and mild detergent with cold or warm water. After washing, tumble dry on a low-heat setting or air dry. Always avoid using harsh chemicals and over-drying. Regular washing should be done every one to two months, or more frequently if necessary.

Preliminary Steps Before Washing

Before you toss your mattress cover into the washing machine, there are several steps you need to take:

  1. Check the mattress protector’s label: Every mattress cover comes with a label that provides specific care instructions. It’s crucial to follow these to the letter to avoid damaging your cover.
  2. Remove dirt and debris: Ensure the mattress cover is free from visible dirt or debris.
  3. Spot clean and pre-treat stains: If there are any stains, treat them with a detergent compliant with the manufacturer’s care instructions. A spot-clean solution made of baking soda and white vinegar can also be effective.
  4. Target lingering odors with baking soda: If the mattress cover has any unpleasant odors, sprinkle baking soda on the affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes before washing.

Washing the Mattress Cover

With the preliminary steps out of the way, you can now proceed to wash the mattress cover. Here’s how:

  1. Load the washing machine: Place the mattress cover in the washing machine on its own to ensure even cleaning and to prevent the washer from becoming unbalanced.
  2. Choose the right settings: Use a gentle cycle and a mild detergent. Wash the mattress cover in cold or warm water to avoid damaging the fabric and protective features. Avoid using bleach or overly hot water.
  3. Washing frequency: As a general rule, washing your mattress cover once every one to two months is sufficient. However, if you have pets, or if there are spills or illness, more frequent washing may be necessary.

Drying the Mattress Cover

After washing, the next step is drying. The method you choose to dry your mattress cover is crucial in maintaining its quality. Here are some tips:

  1. Tumble dry: If the care label allows, you can tumble dry the mattress cover on a low-heat setting.
  2. Air dry: Alternatively, you can air-dry the mattress cover by hanging it on a clothesline or drying rack. This method is gentler and helps maintain the cover’s shape and protective properties.

Precautions to Take When Washing a Mattress Cover

When washing your mattress cover, there are several precautions you should take to ensure it doesn’t get damaged:

  1. Check the care label: Always follow the specific washing instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  2. Use the right detergent: Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach or chlorine which can damage the fabric.
  3. Choose the appropriate cycle: Use the normal or bulky items cycle on your washing machine. The bulky cycle has a slower spin speed, which can help protect the fabric.
  4. Dry properly: Avoid over-drying as it can damage the fabric and cause shrinkage.

By following these detailed steps and precautions, you can keep your mattress cover clean and prolong its lifespan. Remember, a clean mattress cover not only provides a comfortable sleep but also contributes to a healthier sleeping environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use fabric softener when washing a mattress cover?

It’s generally not recommended to use fabric softener when washing a mattress cover. Fabric softeners can leave a residue on the cover, which can reduce its breathability and waterproofing capabilities.

What if my mattress cover has a specific stain, like blood or urine?

For specific stains like blood or urine, pre-treat the area with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap, and baking soda. Apply the mixture to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before washing it in the machine. Always remember to check the care label before applying any solution to your mattress cover.

How can I maintain the freshness of my mattress cover between washes?

You can maintain the freshness of your mattress cover between washes by using a fabric freshener spray or lightly sprinkling it with baking soda, then vacuuming it off after a few minutes. Regularly airing your mattress cover can also help to keep it fresh.

Can I iron my mattress cover after washing?

Most mattress covers should not be ironed. The heat from the iron can damage the waterproof layer and other protective features of the cover. Always check the care label for specific instructions.

What if the mattress cover doesn’t fit in my washing machine?

If your mattress cover doesn’t fit in your washing machine, you may need to take it to a laundromat with commercial-sized washers or consider hiring a professional cleaning service.

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