The Benefits Of Washing Your Pillows

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:

  1. Detergent: Buy a good laundry detergent without toxic chemicals. Molly Suds, Seventh Generation or Meliora.
  2. 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.
  3. Down or Feather stuffing: Use only powder detergent on a warm gentle/delicate cycle. Again only non toxic detergents without abrasive chemicals.
  4. 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)
  5. Polyester: These can be washed with warm water on the gentle cycle.
  6. 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.
  7. Pillow Covers: Always use pillow covers to protect the pillows from bodily substances, face cream, makeup, oils etc..
  8. 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.

Click here to see Guru recommended pillows, pillow covers and other ‘sleep’ related items in our store.


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Simple Tips On Reading Food Labels

How Do You Know If The Food You Buy Is Healthy?

Get out those readers (or magnifying glass) and read your food labels.
It may be hard to identify ingredients that you want to reduce in your diet to keep healthy. What do all those words mean? How do you know if something has a lot of sugar? How do you know if it’s healthy or not? Here are some basic tips.

1. Do not be fooled by the front label as they will try to lure you into purchasing products by making health claims. Research shows that adding health claims to front labels makes people believe a product is healthier thus affecting consumer choices. I know I have been fooled before and always have to keep reminding myself to get out those readers!(or magnifying glass 😀) Or – take a picture and zoom in. I do this when I forget my glasses.

2. Lookout for these words and be careful and question any product that uses them:

  • Natural
  • Healthy
  • Light
  • Multigrain
  • Made with whole grains
  • Low fat – the fat has been reduced at the cost of adding more sugar and sodium to enhance the flavor. Low fat is not always good.
  • Fruit flavored – The product may not contain any fruit — only chemicals designed to taste like fruit.

Many marketing terms are associated with improving your health and are often used to mislead consumers into thinking that processed foods are good for them.

3. Be weary if the list is quite long and loaded with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Most likely these are highly processed foods and more unhealthy ingredients or highly processed ingredients that remove natural components.

If the first ingredients include a type of sugar, refined grains or hydrogenated oils, you can almost assume that the product is not very healthy.

4. Know your sugars: There are so many other words used for sugar. Here are some to be on the lookout for: high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, honey, molasses and words ending in “ose” (think glucose, fructose, maltose and galactose).

In summary, many healthy foods are ‘organic’, ‘whole grain’, or ‘natural’, but just because a label makes certain claims, doesn’t guarantee that it’s healthy for you. Read your labels! 🔎❤️👓


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5 Tips To Keep Our Pets Safe From Toxic Chemicals

Our pets largest organ on their body is their skin. It absorbs chemicals that are in products and the environment. Our pets also can ingest chemicals from their food, from inhaling toxins from paints, from the outgassing  of plastics and  flea/tick medicine. Their little bodies can only handle so much. Some chemicals can possibly cause cancer, diarrhea, nausea, breathing problems and a long list of other issues. Here are five things that you can do to limit their exposure to toxic chemicals:

1. Rethink using pesticides on your lawn. After lawns are chemically treated it takes 48 hours for them to be absorbed in the grass and soil. Meanwhile your pets are breathing, walking, eating and playing in the chemically treated grass. The chemicals get on their bodies and they can easily be ingesting them into their system.

2. Look at the ingredients in the food that you are feeding them. There is very little regulation on pet food. Look at the ingredients and see if they have MSG, ethoxyquin, corn syrup, by-products, propylene glycol, BHA/BHT, artificial flavors and colorings. Here is a book I highly recommend you read. It really opened up my eyes to the health concerns of pet food.

3. Get a blood titer. This will show the level of vaccinations in your dog so you are not over vaccinating them. We had a yellow lab that was over vaccinated and went into a seizure which opened up my eyes to the world of vaccinations. 

4. Stop using air fresheners that are made with synthetic chemicals. They produce pollutants that can affect pets and some are known carcinogens.

5. Use nontoxic laundry detergent and dog shampoo.  Look for ones with no dyes, fragrances, chemical preservatives, artificial brighteners or synthetic fragrances.

Click here to see what dog food brands and products we recommend from our Guru Store

“They too, are created by the same hand of God which created us. It is our duty to protect them and to promote their well-being” Mother Teresa


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