Pillows are a breeding ground for germs, dirt, sweat, bacteria, and mold and often hide them disturbingly well. The accumulation of these substances can cause an unpleasant odor, health issues, and pillow deterioration. With just about one-third of our lives spent sleeping, the cleanliness of where we spend that time is important.

Why is it Important to Wash Your Pillows

While you sleep, your pillow absorbs oil, skin cells, sweat and allergens. Dust mites, bed bugs and fleas can also take residence in your pillow, which can cause allergies and asthma as well as uncomfortable bites. It is recommended that you wash your pillowcase every week so it is easy to disregard the pillow part. In reality, this bacteria makes it past your porous pillowcase and into your pillow, where it can live until you wash the entire pillow.

Signs it is Time to Clean Your Pillows

Discoloration or the smell of a slightly sour or musty odor are the first signs that your pillows require immediate attention or care. If your pillow has lost its “fluff,” a wash can help revive and refresh it. Other indicators of a pillow that needs washing are experiencing worse allergy symptoms and acne breakouts. Physical stains on your pillows, if left for long, can become permanent.

Guide to Washing Pillows

Washing your pillows incorrectly can permanently damage the material and prevent them from actually doing their job – supporting your head and neck. Not every pillow is created equally! Although we can’t give a one-size-fits-all fix to a dirty pillow, we can give you some suggestions to help you clean your pillow properly. Pillows can generally be washed easily, either in the washing machine on a gentle setting or by hand, with a careful reading of the cleaning instructions. It may be easy to disregard the importance of cleaning your pillow. After all, you use a pillowcase, so it shouldn’t matter, right? Wrong! Cleaning your pillows is just as important as cleaning the bed sheets. 

How Often Should You Wash?

If your pillow can be washed, it should be washed at least twice a year. If you eat in bed, have pets, or sweat a lot, you should wash pillows quarterly. Special pillows like body pillows or throw pillows should be cleaned every 3 to 6 months. Pillows that are not in use or aren’t used frequently don’t need cleaning but would benefit from airing out every once in a while.

How to Wash Synthetic Fiber and Down Alternative Pillows

Most pillows can be washed on a low heat and gentle cycle using a washing machine. Carefully remove pillowcases and coverings such as pillow protectors and liners before washing, and use the warmest water temperature and gentle cycle. Ensure to adhere to the instructions on the pillow’s care tag. Only use a tablespoon of detergent to prevent excessive soapy water and detergent buildup inside the pillow. The washer should not be overloaded, and the load should be balanced by washing two pillows in a load. Select the “bulky” cleaning setting if your washer has it. For drying, use low heat and throw in dryer balls to keep the pillows from bunching up.

How to Wash Feather and Down Pillows

Most feather and down-filled pillows can be machine-washed and dried. Although powder detergent can leave a residue, it is best to use a small amount of liquid detergent. Depending on the space available in the washer, perhaps there is enough space; you can wash two down pillows at once.

Use cold water and a mild detergent. Run an extra rinse cycle to remove excess soap and protect the feathers from heat. Use the no-heat or air-fluff dryer setting or go to the dry cleaners. If you’re uncertain about washing feather and down pillows at home, most dry cleaners offer a specialized pillow cleaning service. 

How to Wash Memory Foam and Latex Pillows

Pillows with a structured fill can not be put in the washer. For memory foam and latex pillows, hand-washing is your best bet. Use a small amount of detergent and lukewarm water. Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and a tablespoon of detergent, submerge your pillow and let sit. Periodically massage and circulate your pillow. Remove your pillow and rinse gently until the solution is out. Air dry your pillow.

How to Keep Your Pillows Clean

Washing your pillows or having them professionally washed can improve sanitization and quality of sleep. Maintaining the cleanliness of your pillows between washes can help make these benefits last until the next wash. Avoid eating and drinking in bed, fluff your pillow often, and use two pillowcases. One important tip to preserve freshness is to air out your pillows.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a pillow cleaning service, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Davis Imperial Cleaners at (866)-436-0257.

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