How to Wash Pillows (2019 Cleaning Guide)
So, you strip the sheets, clean your duvet, change your pillowcases, but do you wash your pillows? Like cleaning your mattress, washing your pillows is not always included in your spring cleaning routine. But, it should be!
Home to both critters and debris, your pillow acts as a perfect home for dust mites that feed on your dead skin cells. Gross! Although dust mites don’t spread disease, they pose asthmatic and allergy risks. So you can see why washing and replacing your pillows is essential to maintaining a healthy sleep.
How Often To Wash Your Pillow:
Night after night you lay your weary head down to rest on those pillows. After a few weeks, you would be shocked and utterly disgusted at how much build up is in there.
Pillows accumulate dust mites, their feces, dirt, body oils, fungi, bacteria, dead skin, and mold. In fact, after about two years of use, a third of the weight of your pillow can be attributed to those nasty and unwanted things in there.
You should try and wash your pillows every 3 to 6 months. A good trick to remember is to wash them every change of season.
Know Your Fiber Fill:
Before you get started, read the quality and care label on your pillows. If your pillow has detailed instructions, follow them!
If you cut off the tags, try and determine the fill of your pillow. Use warm water and a gentle cycle, being sure to add an extra rinse cycle so there isn’t any detergent residue left over. Tumble dry with some tennis balls and you should be good to go.
If it’s a down or feather pillow, or has synthetic stuffing, you’re all good to machine wash. If your pillow is made of memory foam or latex, you are going to want to hand wash to keep it in tip top shape.
How to Wash Your Pillow:
If your washing machine can handle it, wash two pillows at a time to keep the washer balanced. On a gentle cycle with warm water, use just a little bit of mild laundry detergent (1 tbsp will do). Make sure to add an extra rinse cycle so there is no leftover sticky residue from the detergent.
To hand wash your pillows, fill a tub with warm water. Mix in a small amount of mild laundry detergent (about 1tbsp). Place your pillows in and gently squeeze them to get work in the soap and water. Repeat this until you are satisfied with the saturation and thoroughness. To rinse, we recommend running the pillows under running water, or refilling the tub with clean water. To rinse, gently squeeze the pillow to rid of the soap. Avoid wringing the pillow out, as it can damage the shape of it.
To spot clean first vaccum both sides of the pillow to remove any dust buildup in there. To tackle and soiled areas, use a cloth dipped in mild sudsy water and dap to remove the stains. Using a clean damp cloth, dap at the area so no soapy residue remains. Air dry before replacing them back on the bed.
How to Dry Your Pillows:
If you machine washed your pillows, you should be able to place them in the dryer. On a gentle tumble dry, use only low heat or none at all. Put one/two rubber or tennis balls inside clean white socks in the dryer with the pillows. This will ensure to break up the filling throughout the dryer process, keeping your pillows fluffy and not matted.
To air dry your pillow, lay it flat to dry. Sunlight will also do wonders, but be careful as placing it outside may allow it to recollect dirt and allergens.
When it comes to drying, patience is key. The filling will take a bit of time to dry thoroughly. If the pillow seems dry but still smells moldy or musty, allow it to dry until it smells clean.
When to Replace Your Pillows:
To extend the life of your favorite pillow, invest in some liners. A good liner will not only protect it, but it will do a better job at keeping out the gunk that causes allergies. Cleaning them is quick and easy, so it’s a win-win.
It will eventually come time for you to part with that perfect pillow and search for a new one. Some experts say at least every 2-3 years it is time to toss. If you fold your pillow in half and it doesn’t spring back into shape, that is a clear indicator that it has served its purpose.