Can I wash latex mattress cover?

lmrinc_gwMarch 14, 2012

We have a latex mattress and it has an organic cotton, wool and latex topper. it's about an inch thick. I have a Miele FL washer. I would really like to clean it but I don't want to mess it up. would I just have to spot clean it?

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By latex do you mean foam? Or a very thin fabric with latex in it so it stretches? Many toppers have memory foam in them - 1-4 inches thick. If you can remove the cover it can be washed but the foam cannot - in a machine anyway. You may be able to wash it in a tub or outside with a hose. May take forever to dry, though.

We need more info to really help you.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 5:22PM
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It's pure latex. But it is thin about 1 inch and it's attached to the wool and cotton..

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 6:10PM
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Most of these kinds of things have a tag attached with cleaning instructions? Does yours have one?

Is that latex foam or impermeable sheet-like characteristic?

I have two queen mattress pads containing foam (or some kind of plasticized foam-like stuff) that I've washed several times at 95-100F with excellent results. Dryer very low-temp or just spread out after washing. Drying does take a while for them. They do have tags attached with printed instructions....which is why I do them that way.

Also, failing all else, I'll bet a call to mfgr. would set you right about it.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 7:21PM
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THe problem is that there is no tag for instruction. I can't even remember what the manufacturers name is to call them. Maybe I'll just spot clean it with bac- out

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 8:52PM
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In general terms, my thinking about clothing and bedding of almost any kind goes like this.......

I perspire into these fabrics. Obviously, then, they must be designed to endure that. Therefore, in general, they should be able to endure at least gentle laundering with 98.6F water and at least open-air dry.

How big a mistake can you make?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 12:30AM
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Asolo - I totally agree with you that they should be washable. However, if it is foam and it is too thick it can absorb water in the washer and become VERY heavy. I remember a post here a long time ago about someone who destroyed their machine by washing a foam pad of some kind. I think of that post every time I am tempted to overload my washer.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Certainly your judgement trumps. However, my Duet is very similar to your Miele and I've had no trouble with my foam-like items....which, like yours, do indeed soak up the water and become heavy. Nonetheless, they always spin out just fine. The machine seems not to care at all. I suspect your machine likely superior to mine and would likely do at least as well.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 1:00PM
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PU (polyurethane foam) can be washed, but latex toppers are rather delicate and can tear. We wash the wool topper, but not the latex - ours are separate. I would check with where you bought the topper.

FloBeds has this info for latex mattress care:

If you spill something on your latex mattress, the latex can be washed with a mild soap and water. Dry first by compressing latex with towel to absorb excess moisture and then air dry with a fan for several hours.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 8:31PM
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If you really need to wash it, I would let the wool component's needs be the controlling criteria: wool needs gentle, short agitation, scarcely more than lukewarm temps (not over 100F), wool-friendly detergents (I would use Perwol if you have that) and a very short overall cycle. Wool can take surpringly strong spinning to extract water, but I would avoid too much of that because of the latex component. Although not all that good for wool, I would use extra high water levels, and possibly extra rinses to saturate and then rinse the latex component. Since the wool is probably an interior, captive layer some of the damage that high water sloshing can wreak on wool will be avoided and the latex really needs extra water. The cotton parts will be mostly happy with anything you offer, except it might not have been pre-shrunk which could cause some shrinkage. In general cotton shrinkage happens at mid to high temps, particularly in a dryer, though in some cases even cold water will cause it.

During this first try at washing I would stay close to the machine and monitor it carefully.

Baby this item, and err on the incomplete cleaning side, at least for the first time. You can always re-wash, but can never repair damage from too-vigorous treatment. Pre-spot any really dirty place in order to lighten the need for overall cleaning.

One final caveat: I would not rely on machine drying, even at very low temps (because of poss. damage to wool and/or latex), so only do this when and where you can as rapidly as possible air dry it, preferably outdoors on a breezy day. And be sure it is absolutely dry before putting back on the bed or storing. The latex will be reluctant to give up all its moisture and slightly damp wool will get foul quickly.

Lightly steam press the visible surface with a very cool iron and then allow to dry flat until even that moisture is gone.

Good luck. I would be interested to read about how it turns out if you decide to go ahead. I know I would probably do it, FWIW, as clean bed components are critical to me, and I have great faith in my Miele machines.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 10:51PM
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I was afraid of that with our 2" memory foam topper so I just got a cotton filled heavy matress pad and put it on over both the topper and matress. When it needs it, it can go into the washer at any temp (never tried sanitize).

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 7:52AM
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