How to Clean a Mattress Pad


Beth asked: Can I put a mattress protector that has one fabric side and a plastic backing in the dryer? It’s a fitted fabric cover that you put over the mattress and under the sheets. One side is fabric, the other is plastic. It is one that I purchased at Target, so it isn’t a specialty product. It just has no wash/dry instructions. Thanks!

Mattress protectors provide an excellent barrier between the mattress and any dirt or moisture that may occur during use. The plastic-backed pads provide an extra layer of protection that is especially useful for a child’s bed. Most mattress pads have some type of waterproof or water-resistance feature that can be removed with improper cleaning.

You Will Need:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Washer and dryer

Steps to Wash the Mattress Pad:

  1. First check the care tag on the pad for any specific cleaning instructions. There are a few mattress pads that are dry clean only, but those are typically specialty items and filled with a non-washable filler. Traditional mattress pads are usually safe to wash and dry with no adverse effects.
  2. Fill the washing machine with warm water and add the appropriate amount of laundry detergent.
  3. Place the mattress pad along with other linens into the washer and run through a normal cycle.
  4. Mattress pads should be dried on low to medium heat along with other linens.
  5. If the mattress pad is waterproof, but has no additional backing (such as the plastic backing), do not use fabric softener during the wash cycle or dryer sheets while drying. The fabric softener will damage and/or remove the waterproof coating that is on the surface of the pad.
  6. Once dry, replace the mattress pad over the mattress for use.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • It is recommended that sheets be cleaned weekly and mattress covers to be cleaned bi-weekly or monthly depending on the soil level.
  • Did you know that most mattress warranties are void if there are ANY stains on the mattress? A good quality mattress pad/protector will not only keep your mattress clean, it will keep the warranty valid.


  1. Canary says:

    How do I clean a fitted plastic sheet that is on our child’s bed for when he wets the bed?

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