If you ask everyone on the internet they will have varying ideas of how often you should wash your mattress protectors/cover/encasement. Some say you should clean your mattress protectors every week and others will say once a year.
It really comes down to your needs. If you suffer from allergies then once a week cleaning or even once a month might be your best option. If you don’t suffer from allergies you’ll be okay with every 3 months or once a year.
There is a lot of other little details for when it comes to caring for your mattress protector that I want to let you in on below.
How Often to Clean Mattress Protectors
We covered above that you should clean your mattress protector based on your needs. If you suffer from allergies then once a week cleaning or once a month will do. If you don’t suffer from allergies like dander or dust mites, you could be a little lazier and do it every month, 3 months, or yearly depending on your level of cleaning.
No one is going to make fun of you for not cleaning your mattress protector as often as you should. In fact, you’re pretty smart to be using a mattress protector in the first place. Far too many people don’t use one and let their mattresses get dirty and never do anything about it.
The most significant tip I can give you is to buy your mattress protectors in pairs. The reason for this is that it can take time to clean a dirty mattress protector and then dry it. When waiting for your mattress protector to dry it can hold up making the bed, and the more friction something is, the less likely you’ll do it. Plus, if you do spill something it’s always at the worse times, and you really don’t want to be bothered so having a spare mattress protector ready to go makes it less of a hassle.
I use the SafeRest Mattress Protector, here is a review and spill test I did on it.
If you’re lazy like me, you could buy a replacement mattress protector every year instead of cleaning it. Its actually not that bad since the prices on them are affordable so long as you buy online and avoid the high markups at the mattress stores. I like doing it this way as the care instructions are different for each one and I often lose or forget how to do it a few months later. I often find other uses for my old mattress protectors like using it as a tarp when painting something, so it ends up being a win-win for me!
How To Make Sure You Change Your Mattress Protector
The hardest part of changing your mattress protector is remembering to do it.
The best advice I can give you is to use Google Calendar to set you a reminder at times you need to clean your mattress protector. You can even set it up to email you or text you, here is a video that goes into how to set that up here.
How To Clean Mattress Protectors
Every mattress protector is different for how you clean and care for it, so its best to follow the care instructions for it. But the general rule or the idea is that too much heat is bad for them.
Too much heat can destroy the protective layer of the mattress protector. If this happens, you’ll be happy you have your spare mattress protector, so you know not to do that again.
Generally, it’s best to wash in cool/warm water and then tumble dry on low/no heat.
You can dry your mattress protector in the sun, but some will turn yellow which is normal. Drying in the sun is not always ideal if you live in an apartment or if it’s cold, so a tumble dry on cool can often simulate this.
Never use any cleaner with bleach in it and never iron it (too much heat = bad). You should never take it to the dry cleaners as their chemicals can also damage your mattress protector.
Can You Put a Mattress Protector in the Dryer?
Many mattress protectors can be placed in the dryer, but you must avoid high heat. It’s best to tumble dry with towels to soften the blow of bouncing around.
You should only dry on low/no heat setting.
Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets as it can damage the mattress protector too.
Wash Before First Use?
Yes, you will want to wash your mattress protector before you first use it. Many manufacturers will coat something on the mattress protector to protect it from shipping and to make it look good in the package.
Not every manufacturer does a coating, but you should still clean it to get the dust and germs it gets from shipping.
Tip: One thing I like to do when I get a new mattress protector is to spill some water on it over the sink before I clean it. I like to make sure its protective layer is good before I use it. Plus, I’m going to wash it anyway, so it’s no big deal to test it before I use it.
What to do if you Spill Something?
No need to over think it, If you spill something on your mattress protector place it in the washing machine to clean it. The sooner, the better – don’t wait for it to dry.
There’s an Odor?
I’ve seen it many times – their cat peeing on their mattress protector and they can still smell it there on the mattress.
Many mattress protectors will stop liquids but allow odors and air to flow through to help with cooling. It’s no big deal as long as the protective layer of the mattress protector is still good no liquids should have gotten through. It’s just an odor, or gas that is hanging around and a simple odor remover* will work for that.
You will find many people recommending to get rid of the odor with baking soda and then vacuum it up. Don’t do that. Vacuuming up baking soda or any fine particles can damage your vacuum cleaner motor and short it out over time.
Mattress Protector and Dog Nails?
It’s best to have your pet’s nails trimmed when it comes to a mattress protector as it can put holes in it. At least consider a comforter made with pets in mind, we have a post on that here.
Which side goes up on the mattress protector?
The soft terry cloth side should go up.