Pillows can double in weight over time from absorbing dust, mold, bacteria, sweat, body oils, allergens, dust mites, and dead skin. I know, a tad gross! Washing pillows may not be glamorous, but it’s something we probably should all be doing more often. Now that we are home during the Covid-19 pandemic, this is a good time to start.
Unless your pillow says ‘dry clean only’, your pillows can be washed. Washing will also help prolong the life of your pillow and as my husband Tom says, “I sleep much better on a clean pillow!” It is a good idea to wash your pillows 2-3 times a year. I wash ours every spring and fall. I also make sure all of our pillows have covers on them and we change the pillow cases often. Check to make sure they are not marked ‘dry clean’ only.
How to wash your pillows:
- Detergent: Buy a good laundry detergent without toxic chemicals. Molly Suds, Seventh Generation or Meliora.
- Washing: Wash 2 pillows at once to help with the balance of the load. If you have a top load washer, put the setting on ‘gentle’ cycle as the agitator can be hard on the pillows. Front load machines are good on any setting.
- Down or Feather stuffing: Use only powder detergent on a warm gentle/delicate cycle. Again only non toxic detergents without abrasive chemicals.
- Latex pillows or Memory Foam: These cannot be washed. You can vacuum them and also put them in the dryer on ‘no heat’ for 20 minutes. I also don’t recommend memory foam ever as I feel they are not healthy. We have had family members use them with bad reactions.(More on this another time)
- Polyester: These can be washed with warm water on the gentle cycle.
- Drying: It is crucial to get the pillow completely dry. Do not use the auto dry setting because the sensors will not be able to detect inside moisture. I usually dry them for 2 hours on a medium setting. Use the low setting for feather pillows. Tip: Place dryer balls and/or dry towels in with them to keep them from forming clumps. In warm weather you can also put your pillows out in the sun and let them air out.
- Pillow Covers: Always use pillow covers to protect the pillows from bodily substances, face cream, makeup, oils etc..
- Replace your pillow?: A good quality pillow can make a world of difference in your quality of sleep. It will offer ample support to your joints and neck, while a pillow that has seen better days might give you a crick in the neck, a bad back, or poor posture. Consider it as a good investment.
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