Enjoying a fuss-free good night’s sleep depends largely on how fresh-smelling your bed is. Clean mattress protectors help you achieve this. This protective cover wraps around your mattress to make sure it stays spotless. Over time, your mattress protector can accumulate sweat, dirt and debris — what we like to call the natural habitat of bacteria, fungi and dust mites.
Luckily, there’s no need to cry yourself to sleep trying to live with all these microbes. The good news is, a mattress protector is completely machine washable! There’s a secret to it, though. Read on to learn how to wash mattress protectors like a pro.
What is a mattress protector?
A mattress protector (or a mattress cover) is a thick piece of fabric with a waterproof layer. Use one to keep your bed sheet and mattress clean and free from dirt, dust mites and other tiny debris. The next time your mattress stays spotless after you accidentally spill something on your bed, you have your mattress protector to thank for.
You will need:
- Washing machine
- Tumble dryer
- Mild liquid laundry detergent
- Laundry bag
How to wash and care for a mattress protector
Step 1. Remove the mattress cover from the bed
Before you can wash a dirty mattress protector, it’s important that you remove it carefully from the bed. An encasement-style cover uses zippers to secure it in place, while a fitted sheet is fastened on the corners of the bed using elastic bands.
If your mattress has a mattress topper, make sure to remove this first layer before proceeding to remove the mattress cover. Mattress toppers are placed on mattresses to make them more plush and comfortable — we recommend exercising the same care in handling them as when you’re handling your mattress cover.
Step. 2 Add laundry detergent in the soap compartment of the washing machine
Add your preferred laundry detergent into the soap slot of your washer. We prefer using an eco-friendly biodegradable detergent — not only is it kind to the environment, it smells even better than regular laundry soap!
Step 3. Load the mattress protector in the washing machine
Gently place the mattress protector in the washing machine. When it comes to huge pieces of laundry, we prefer using a front-load washing machine over a top-load. The reason is simple — it makes for easy handling and there is less wear-and-tear on the fabric.
Step 4. Program the washing cycle
Time to wash your mattress protector!
Wash mattress protectors on a normal cycle for heavier fabrics (wool or terry) or a delicate cycle for thinner fabrics (polyester or rayon). Use a low temperature — too much heat can destroy the waterproof layer of your mattress cover.
Wash your mattress protector using the rinse cycle then proceed to tumble dry.
Step 5. Tumble dry after washing
Once the washing cycle is complete, run your mattress cover in the dryer using low heat and the low tumble setting. Allow it to fully air dry before using.
Make laundering your mattress cover more effective
How often to wash a mattress protector
To be sure, wash your mattress protector at least once every two months. There may be times when you need to wash the cover more frequently, however.
In principle, the washing schedule depends on how dirty your mattress cover can get, and how sensitive you are to dust and dirt. If you have allergies or have pets sleeping on your bed, we recommend washing your mattress protector more frequently.
For a more effective laundering, make sure that you also clean your washer. Our step-by-step guides on how to clean a front-loading washing machine and how to clean a top-loading washing machine will show you how.
How to clean a mattress protector if it says no wash
You can still clean mattress protectors that are not machine washable. Spot clean spills on the mattress protector with absorbent paper towels. Refrain from scrubbing to prevent paper towel fibres from spreading on the surface. For larger stains, clean with cold or lukewarm water. Allow the mattress protector to air dry.
If you’re still unsure on how to go about cleaning your no-wash mattress pro, you can call the manufacturer.
How to wash a waterproof mattress protector
Before you put a waterproof mattress protector in the washer, check the care label for instructions on what temperature and cleaning method to use. Run the cover on a delicate or low cycle setting, and remove immediately once the washing cycle is done. Use a mild detergent when washing your mattress cover to prevent further wear and tear on the fabric.
Washing tips straight from the pros
Read the instructions on the care label before washing
Before laundering, always read the fabric’s care instructions and washing machine manual. Washers have similar ways of operating, but your washing machine may require a step that’s specific to the model. When it comes to appliances, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
On that note, it pays to learn about the manufacturer’s instructions for the mattress protector as well. Always make sure that your mattress protectors are machine washable before putting them in the washing machine. Some fabrics are also heat-sensitive and shrink or get distorted when subjected to high temperatures. A low heat setting or washing with cold water is always recommended.
First time wash
Does your mattress cover feel stiff and rough to the touch? Break your mattress protector in by washing it first. Giving your mattress protector an initial wash softens the fibers of the fabric. This also rids the cover of any factory smells that may still be clinging to the material.
A plant-based mild detergent smells great, is good for the environment, and usually comes in hypo-allergenic formulas — perfect for when you have babies (or anyone sensitive to regular soap) at home. It’s definitely worth giving it a try when washing your bed sheets and mattress protector!
No worries if this is your first time washing your mattress cover and aren’t feeling too confident about throwing it in the washer. It’s completely understandable.
Give your mattress protector an added layer of protection when washing by placing it inside a laundry bag. The laundry bag will lessen the wear and tear on the material by acting as a buffer during the wash cycle.
Say no to wrinkles
Don’t let your mattress protector — or any other laundered items, for that matter — stay too long in the dryer. To prevent wrinkling, remove the mattress protector from the dryer immediately when it’s ready.
This isn’t the time to use your washer’s ‘wrinkle-guard’ feature (if yours has one), either. Best to turn this off when washing the mattress cover. You won’t be needing the additional spins — these will only contribute to wear-and-tear.
Ironing is a no-no
Tempting as it sounds, don’t dry clean or iron your waterproof mattress cover. Doing so will damage the plastic layer of the fabric and render it useless against spills.
Hit two birds with one stone with this time-saving hack. While you’re running the mattress cover on its wash cycle, use the pocket of time to clean your mattress. This method will remove any bed bugs, dead skin cells, and dirt on the mattress surface.
Sprinkle bicarb soda on the material and let it sit for 30 minutes. The baking soda will deodorise your mattress and leave it smelling fresh. You can infuse the bicarb soda with tea tree oil for added fragrance and antibacterial action. Once the 30 minutes are up, vacuum the mattress and spray the surface with a disinfectant.
Save on electricity bills
To save energy, wash your mattress cover with other bedding. In all likelihood, your bed sheet, blanket, and other linen are made of a similar fabric or have similar care instructions. Remember to launder gently using a mild detergent and to run the items on a low to normal cycle.
Have the ultimate snooze-worthy home
When it comes to getting your zzz’s, nothing beats a spotless and clean-smelling bedroom to lull you to sleep. Take it a step further and give your whole home an intensive cleaning. You can easily achieve a sparkling and well-maintained home even if you have a busy schedule — simply avail of a regular house cleaning service and let the pros take care of the rest.
With a stellar house clean and the tips above, all you need to do is play relaxing instrumental music, fluff up your pillows, and dive under the covers. We guarantee you, you’ll be dozing off in no time!