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How to Clean Pillows

11 Apr

  When it comes to bedding, you likely wash your sheets and comforter regularly, but how often do you wash your pillows? Pillows can house allergens and substances that can irritate our skin. You’ll want to give your pillows just as much attention as the rest of your bedding to have a fresh and healthy … Continued


When it comes to bedding, you likely wash your sheets and comforter regularly, but how often do you wash your pillows?

Pillows can house allergens and substances that can irritate our skin. You’ll want to give your pillows just as much attention as the rest of your bedding to have a fresh and healthy spot to rest your head at night.

Below, we’ll discuss how you clean bed pillows, how to wash all types in the washing machine and how frequently you should be cleaning this essential bedding component.

Can You Wash Pillows?

Many may be surprised to learn that you can — and should — effectively wash your pillows. There are many types of pillows you can place directly in your washing machine alongside your pillow covers and sheets. Others require a spot clean, such as memory foam and gel pillows.

Most of us can agree that getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for our physical and mental health. You’ll want to set yourself up for better rest by optimizing your bedding and washing your pillows regularly. Washing your pillows ensures they keep their structure and maintain their support so you can sleep through the night and wake up feeling refreshed.

Why Should You Wash Your Pillows?

Older pillows can accumulate allergens like mold, pet dander, fungus and dust mites. Sleeping near these allergens can cause a runny or stuffy nose and irritate your eyes and skin. An antimicrobial and breathable pillow can help prevent issues and hold up longer after frequent use. However, you’ll still want to wash your pillow regularly to protect yourself — especially if you’re prone to allergies.

Washing your pillow can also prevent acne breakouts. Your face and hair oils and sweat can build up on your pillow over time. These substances can clog your pores and cause acne breakouts or rashes for those with sensitive skin.

Frequently washing pillowcases and pillows with gentle detergent will give your pillow a pleasant smell and help it hold shape, giving you a clean, comfortable surface to sleep on.

How Often Should You Wash Your Pillows?

You’ll want to clean your pillow every few months to increase its lifespan and protect your health. Place your pillow in your washing machine and dryer if the instructions recommend doing so. Otherwise, you should spot clean your pillow in the same timeframe or every two months if you have allergies or sensitive skin. Also, remember to wash your pillowcase every time you clean your sheets so it stays nice and fresh.

clean your pillow every few months to increase its lifespan and protect your health

How to Spot-Clean Pillows

Most pillows can be machine washed, though you’ll always want to check the cleaning instructions on the label before placing it in your washer or dryer — you might have a pillow that requires spot-cleaning or dry-cleaning.

You can machine wash cotton, fiberfill, polyester, feather and down pillows just like the rest of your laundry. Your pillow is perfectly fine to air dry, though you can place most types in the dryer, as well — just remember to ensure the cleaning instructions on your pillow’s label allow it.

Memory Foam Pillows

Memory foam pillows are popular for their ability to form to your neck and head for maximum comfort. Protect your memory foam pillows’ lifespan by avoiding the washing machine and spot cleaning it instead. This way, you won’t break up the foam padding so it stays equally firm and soft for your liking.

To hand-wash your memory foam, use a vacuum cleaner to dust it off. Then, take a clean, damp cloth and blot away at any spots with a mild detergent. Lay it flat to dry — you should never place a foam pillow in the dryer because it can catch fire when coming into contact with heat.

If your foam pillow has a removable cover, you can machine wash it with the rest of your bedding.

Gel Pillows

Gel pillows are similar to foam pillows’ forming abilities, though their cooling properties work to regulate your body temperature for better sleep. Like foam, you’ll want to handle gel pillows with care by hand washing and air drying them.

An excellent method for washing gel pillows is using baking soda. A baking soda solution removes dampness and odor for a clean-smelling pillow that’s safe for your skin and allergies.

Start by diluting baking soda in water and letting the solution sit for a few minutes. Shake it a bit until bubbles begin to form. Then, take a brush and rub the bubbles into your pillow. Keep applying the solution to your pillow until any stains vanish, and lay it out to air-dry.

Washing Pillows in the Washing Machine

As stated above, most pillows are safe for the washing machine. Remember to read the care label before proceeding or look for the symbol on the tag to ensure it recommends a machine wash.

To wash your bed pillows in a washing machine, you’ll want to use a mild detergent and choose the water temperature based on the kind of pillow. For cleaning down pillows, use cool water. For polyester pillows, use warm water. Generally, opting for the gentle cycle on your washing machine is best for washing pillows.

How to Properly Dry Pillows

You can then air-dry your pillow or place it in the dryer. Remember to never put a foam or gel pillow in your dryer to stay safe. To dry your bed pillows in a machine, follow these steps:

  1. Add tennis balls or dryer balls to the machine to prevent clumping.
  2. Tumble dry your pillows on low heat for several cycles — use the no-heat air-dry setting for down pillows.
  3. Remove and fluff your pillow periodically during the drying process so it dries evenly.

A front-loading or top-loading washing machine without an agitator works best to wash pillows and prevent damage. That’s not to say you can’t wash your pillows in an agitator washing machine — simply place your pillows inside vertically and rinse for one to two minutes on a gentle cycle for best results. After washing, use the dry spin feature at least twice to remove moisture.

Keep Your Bedroom Tidy With Help From Rent Maids

Now that you know the best methods to clean your pillows, remember to wash them regularly to reap various physical and mental health benefits. A clean, well-maintained pillow promotes healthier skin and ensures a better night’s sleep.

For a tidier bedroom, hire Rent Maids. Our team will tackle every nook and cranny of your bedroom, and if you leave your freshly-cleaned linens out for us, we’ll make your bed to ensure you come home to a sparkling clean and comfortable bedroom. Get an instant quote and enjoy an easy process to schedule cleaning services at your convenience.

Use our online calculator to schedule professional home cleaning today!

keep your bedroom tidy with help from Rent Maids

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