How to Wash Pillows

How to Wash Pillows

Your pillow doubles in weight over a span of time just because it’s absorbing so much from us, a poll asking how many people have cleaned their pillows in the past however long and 53 percent said they didn’t even know they had to clean their pillow. So in this article i’m going to teach you everything you need to know about how to clean your pillow and some tips for how to keep it clean and lasting you for a good long time.

Why do I need to Clean my Pillow:

It doesn’t take a global pandemic for your pillow to gain weight, your pillow just naturally gains weight because each and every night it’s absorbing dust, dead skin cells, pet dander, body oils, sweat and essentially anything else that’s floating around in your room in some way shape or form will eventually land on the pillow and get absorbed in, your pillow is like a sponge on your bed.

Sleep Hygiene:

When we talk about sleep hygiene especially for me i’ve really been struggling with sleep lately every little thing has to be just so in order for me to get a good night’s sleep and any health practitioner that you talk to chiropractor osteopath anyone who works on the bod is going to be able to tell you how important it is to have a good quality pillow so that you can get a good night’s sleep and part of that is taking good care of it and making sure it’s clean and also knowing when it’s a little too ripe for use.

The Pillow test:

I remember when i was growing up i had a pillow that just got progressively more flat and it felt good i guess but i didn’t really know the beauty of having a loftier pillow a couple things you want to look out for that will tell you when your pillow is kind of past the point of no return. Depending on the type of material you have in your pillow if it’s sort of clumpy and the clumps cannot be broken up that might be a good indicator for you. If it’s discolored or stained and then maybe you can get rid of it as well. The best way though you can test a pillow to see if it’s still worth its salt is by doing the fold in half test, you just fold it in half and if it springs back it’s good to go, but if you see the pillow struggles to flip back that tells us that this pillow is kind of past the point of no return and average lifespan of a pillow is about two years.

How to wash a Pillow:

As with anything you are ever going to wash in your life it is always important to understand the material and the wash instructions or the care label, it’ll tell you how to wash and care for your pillow. There are generally five different types of fillers that you’ll see in pillows feather pillows, gel pillows, memory foam pillows, silk pillows and synthetics. What you need to know first and foremost is the material and sometimes you’re not even going to be allowed to machine wash your pillow which is why it’s so important to check first.

If you have a memory foam or a gel pillow or a silk pillow you cannot machine wash them you will have to follow separate instructions. Let’s get into the general washing instructions, so if you have a nasty looking pillow with yellow stains first thing you can do is treat them with a stain remover and you can use something that’s gentle but really effective and basically what this is it’s body oils and sweat that’s what those coffee looking stains are.
Stain remover treatment would be ideal just give it a spritz and then put it in the washing machine, now if you have a top load washing machine with an agitator which is that central bar that kind of turns everything around you will need to wash your pillows in pairs, that way you’re not putting an uneven load on one side of your machine or another. If you have a front loader top load machine with no agitator pop in as little or as many as you can safely fit in. You’ll want to use gentle detergent ideally scent free i prefer scent free for something like this because you’re going to be sleeping on the pillow and you don’t want that scent to kind of overwhelm you as you’re trying to go to bed. Next you can use warm water when you’re doing this this is again general instructions i’ll just remind you to check your care label and just make sure warm water is safe. You’re going to run it through on a regular cycle and then you’re going to throw in an extra spin cycle it will just help to spin out any extra moisture which is going to make dryer time a lot shorter and that’s where things can get really tricky with pillows.

Now once it comes out of the washing machine all good you’re going to move them over to the dryer, put every single dryer ball you have on your property in the dryer it’s going to be really important to get these dry and even and to get the lumps out. If you don’t have dryer balls you can take tennis balls and stick them in sports socks and just tie them. Now you don’t want a wet pillow that is where mold can start to grow so it’s crucial that your pillow is entirely dry, so when you take your pillow out of the machine the first time what you’ll do is you’ll hold it up to your face and you’re gonna breathe in, and if you breathe in and you sense moisture in your mouth then you know you have to put it back in the machine but if you breathe it in and it feels nice and crisp and clear great your pillow is done it’s dry you’re good to go.

Pillow Maintenance tips:

If you notice that your pillow is a little bit smelly you can add half a cup of baking soda to your washing machine while it is running through and that will just help break down any additional odors. When you have a pillow and you sleep on it all night you kind of create a groove and if you fluff up your pillow you’re actually redistributing the loft, meaning your pillow will feel good and last longer.

Don’t go to bed with a wet head, i know sometimes it’s a cool kind of hairstyle hack that you can do where you sleep with like wet braids but what you’re actually doing is you’re putting moisture into your pillow which creates mold and that’s where you get some of that staining from that i was showing you earlier. Use two clips and hang them off a balcony and let the sun just stream in and that helps as we know to deodorize and also lighten any fabric so hey if you have some sunshine go for it.

Using a pillow protector is crucial because they protect the pillow itself, so when you go to launder your pillowcase you can actually remove your pillow protector and wash that as well and that will not only act as a moisture barrier but as a dust barrier and a barrier from pretty much any other thing you don’t want getting into your pillow.

A quick note on Memory foam:

Memory foam is a very dense cellular structure, it looks like a piece of sponge cake or sponge, it’s got a lot of tiny little holes that once moisture gets in it really can never get out so please never wet your pillow if it’s a memory foam pillow use a stain remover on it, so when you get your memory foam pillow and then at the exact same time you get a pillow protector, you’ll never have a problem but if you have one and you don’t have a pillow protector go get one now and don’t use any moisture on the pillow.

Thanks so much for reading and we’ll see you next time.

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