How to Clean a Foam Pad

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner with hand-held hose attachment

  • Liquid clothes detergent

  • Warm water

  • Cleaning cloth

  • ½-cup vinegar

  • Sweater rack (optional)

  • Shower curtain rod

  • Clothesline (optional)


Polyurethane foam should be spot-cleaned only.

How you clean a foam pad depends mainly on the size of the pad. For large foam pads, such as mattress pads, work outside with your garden hose. Other foam pads can be cleaned in the bathtub or even the kitchen or bathroom sink. Use a liquid clothes detergent and work the product into the foam, rinsing thoroughly. The best way to dry a foam pad is to allow the pad to air-dry on a sweater rack or over a shower curtain rod.


Cleaning a Small to Medium Foam Pad

Step 1

Vacuum your foam pad with a hand-held vacuum cleaner hose to remove dust and debris.

Step 2

Spot clean the foam pad by applying a tablespoon of liquid clothes detergent directly to the soiled area and scrub the stain or spot with a wet cleaning cloth until the area is clean. Use a clean, detergent-free wet cloth to "rinse" the detergent. If your foam pad is stained or is retaining odors, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3

Place your foam pad into the kitchen sink or bathtub and add a capful of liquid clothes detergent to the water, forming a lather. Don't use soap. Soap leaves a residue and is hard to get out.


Step 4

Squeeze the lather into the foam with your hands. When the foam pad is thoroughly clean, let the water out of the sink or tub and rinse the foam pad with clear, cold water until the lather runs clear and there are no suds. If the suds aren't coming out, fill the tub with clear, cold water and add a half-cup of vinegar, squeeze it through the foam and then let the water out. Rinse again with cold water. If your foam pad is too large to fit into the bathtub, proceed to Section 2.

Step 5

Squeeze as much water from the foam pad as you can with your hands. Allow the foam pad to air-dry. Place the foam pad onto a sweater rack or hang over the shower curtain rod to dry. Don't dry the foam in the direct sunlight, which causes the foam to discolor and deteriorate.


Cleaning a Large Foam Pad

Step 1

Take the foam pad outside and lay it across a chair or clothesline. Wet the foam pad with the garden hose until the pad is saturated.

Step 2

Use your hands to squeeze liquid clothes detergent into the wet foam. Rub the foam against itself to create a lather.

Step 3

Use the garden hose to rinse the foam, squeezing it until all of the detergent runs clear and there are no more suds.

Step 4

Squeeze, with your hands, as much water from the foam pad as you can. Allow the foam pad to air-dry out of direct sunlight.



Louise Harding

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.