How Do You Wash Pillows? A StepbyStep Guide

How Do You Wash Pillows?

To wash pillows, it is important to consider the type of pillow you have.

Feathers, down, and polyester fiberfill pillows can be washed in a washing machine and then tumble dried.

Foam pillows, like memory foam or solid latex foam, should only be washed by hand and should never be put in a washing machine.

For bed pillows used regularly, it is recommended to wash them at least three times a year, while pillowcases and covers should be changed and washed weekly.

Decorative pillows require less frequent cleaning, unless they are used frequently.

For decorative feather or polyester fiberfill pillows without removable covers, placing them in an automatic dryer on a no-heat, air-only cycle for 10 minutes can remove dust and hair.

However, solid foam pillows should not be put in the dryer.

Throw pillows can be included in the laundry routine when washing bed pillows, following the cleaning instructions on the care tag.

Additionally, it’s important to note that many decorative coverings for throw pillows are typically dry-clean-only.

Key Points:

  • Different types of pillows require different washing methods.
  • Feathers, down, and polyester fiberfill pillows can be machine washed and tumble dried.
  • Foam pillows should be hand washed and should never go in the washing machine.
  • Bed pillows used regularly should be washed at least three times a year, while pillowcases and covers should be washed weekly.
  • Decorative pillows require less frequent cleaning, unless they are used often.
  • Decorative feather or polyester fiberfill pillows without removable covers can be placed in an automatic dryer on a no-heat, air-only cycle for 10 minutes.

Did You Know?

1. Did you know that pillows can be home to thousands of dust mites? Regularly washing pillows can help eliminate these microscopic critters.
2. Not all pillows are created equal! Different types of pillows should be washed in different ways. For example, memory foam pillows should never be submerged in water, as it can damage the material.
3. Adding baking soda to your pillow wash can help eliminate any odors and refresh them. Just make sure to thoroughly rinse the pillows afterward to remove any residue.
4. Believe it or not, washing your pillows can actually extend their lifespan. By regularly removing sweat, oils, and dirt, you can help prevent the gradual breakdown of the pillow’s materials.
5. Feather pillows require special care. To wash them, it’s recommended to use a gentle laundry detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics to avoid damaging the feathers.

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Importance Of Washing Pillows Regularly

Pillows play a significant role in providing comfort and support during our sleep. However, they can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, sweat, oils, and other bodily fluids. It is essential to regularly wash your pillows to maintain their freshness and cleanliness, ensuring a comfortable and hygienic sleeping environment.

Often, pillows endure accidental abuse such as being tossed on the floor or enduring drooling during deep slumber. Additionally, pillows gradually accumulate sweat and oils from our bodies. Without proper cleaning, these factors can lead to yellowing, unpleasant odors, and the growth of harmful allergens.

Washing Instructions For Different Types Of Pillows

When it comes to washing pillows, it’s essential to consider their composition. Feathers, down, and polyester fiberfill pillows can usually be safely washed in a washing machine. Be sure to check the care label for any specific instructions. Place the pillows in the machine, adding a small amount of mild detergent. Select a gentle cycle and use warm water. To ensure thorough rinsing, it’s advisable to run an extra rinse cycle. Afterward, tumble dry the pillows on a low heat setting or a delicate air-dry cycle.

On the other hand, foam pillows, such as memory foam or solid latex foam, require more delicate care. They should not be washed in a washing machine, as the agitation can damage the foam. Instead, these pillows should be washed by hand. Fill a sink or bathtub with lukewarm water and mild detergent. Gently submerge the pillow and squeeze out any dirt or grime. Rinse the pillow thoroughly and squeeze out excess water. To aid in drying, press the pillow between towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Finally, leave it to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area.

  • For feathers, down, and polyester fiberfill pillows:
  • Check the care label for specific instructions.
  • Machine wash with mild detergent on a gentle cycle and warm water.
  • Run an extra rinse cycle for thorough rinsing.
  • Tumble dry on low heat or delicate air-dry cycle.

  • For foam pillows (e.g., memory foam or solid latex foam):

  • Do not wash in a washing machine.
  • Hand wash in lukewarm water with mild detergent.
  • Gently squeeze out dirt or grime.
  • Rinse thoroughly and remove excess water.
  • Press between towels to remove moisture.
  • Air dry completely in a well-ventilated area.
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Frequency Of Washing Bed Pillows And Pillowcases

Bed pillows, which are used nightly, should be washed regularly to maintain hygiene. It is generally recommended to wash bed pillows at least three times a year. However, if excessive perspiration occurs during sleep or if the sleeper falls ill, it is advisable to increase the frequency of washing. Pillowcases and covers should also be changed and washed weekly to prevent the accumulation of dirt, oils, and allergens.

Cleaning Tips For Decorative Pillows

Decorative pillows, primarily used for aesthetic purposes, have different cleaning routines compared to bed pillows. Unless they are used daily for activities such as couch naps or footrests, decorative pillows can be cleaned less often. Feather or polyester fiberfill pillows without removable covers can be freshened up by placing them in an automatic dryer on a no-heat, air-only cycle for approximately 10 minutes. This will effectively remove dust and hair that may have accumulated on the surface. However, it is crucial to remember that solid foam pillows should never be put in the dryer as it can damage their structure.

Cautionary Note About Dry-Clean-Only Throw Pillow Coverings

Many decorative coverings for throw pillows come with care instructions that indicate they are dry-clean only. It’s crucial to follow these instructions diligently, as washing them in a machine can cause shrinkage, fading, or damage to the fabric. If your throw pillow coverings are dry-clean only, take them to a professional cleaner to ensure they are properly handled and maintained.

Note: Dry-clean only care instructions should be followed to avoid any potential damage to the decorative coverings of throw pillows.

In conclusion, washing pillows is an essential part of maintaining a clean and healthy sleep environment. Using the appropriate washing method for each type of pillow and adhering to recommended frequencies will help prolong their lifespan, remove allergens, and provide a fresh and comfortable experience for a peaceful night’s sleep.

  • Follow care instructions diligently
  • Avoid machine washing to prevent shrinkage, fading, or damage
  • Take dry-clean only throw pillow coverings to professional cleaners
  • Regularly wash pillows to maintain cleanliness and a healthy sleep environment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to wash pillows in the washing machine?

Yes, it is generally safe to wash down pillows in the washing machine, as long as you use cool water and a mild detergent to avoid damaging the down. On the other hand, memory foam or latex pillows should be hand-washed instead, as the agitation in the washing machine can break up the foam. Taking proper care during the washing process will help preserve the quality and longevity of these different types of pillows.

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How do you wash pillows without ruining them?

To wash pillows without ruining them, begin by checking the care label on your pillow for specific instructions. If machine washing is recommended, use a mild detergent and select a gentle cycle with warm water. Ensure that the water temperature is at least 140°F to effectively eliminate any dust mites. After the washing cycle, opt for an extra spin cycle to remove as much moisture as possible. Finally, dry your pillows on low heat or air-dry them thoroughly by laying them flat on a clean surface.

What is the best way to wash bed pillows?

The best way to wash bed pillows is to start by removing the pillowcase and any protective covers. Next, place two pillows into the washer, ensuring that they are evenly distributed to maintain balance. Set the washer to a gentle cycle with cold water to preserve the pillow’s shape and avoid potential damage. However, if you only need to wash a single pillow, you can add two or three heavy cotton bath towels to balance the load and prevent the washer from becoming unbalanced during the cycle. By following these steps, you can effectively clean your bed pillows without compromising their quality or structure.

How often should you wash pillows?

The frequency of washing pillows depends on various factors, such as the pillow type, personal habits, and usage patterns. Regular pillows, if washable, should be laundered at least twice a year. However, additional factors may necessitate quarterly washing, such as eating in bed, having pets, or experiencing excessive sweating. Special pillows, such as body pillows or throw pillows, require cleaning every 3 to 6 months, depending on their usage, location, and frequency of use. Adhering to a proper washing schedule ensures cleanliness, hygiene, and longevity of the pillows.

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