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How to clean your pillows
07 Mar 2006
You snuggle close with them when you want to get comfortable, yet how often have you given thought to cleaning your pillows. Not only is a dirty pillow unsightly, research has shown that they pose health risks. Your pillow comes with ‘care instructions’ on its label, copy the instructions and keep them where you can consult them easily: on the washroom wall or in a linen closet. If your pillow is old and you cannot read the instruction, you have two options: throw them out and buy new pillows or use the cleaning instructions below.
If you decide to just go out and buy some new pillows here is some inspiration - our own Pinterest pillows board.
For those who to chose the cleaning path, please continue reading.
Let’s get to cleaning those pillows:
- Buy pillow protectors; these are handy for minimizing exposure to dust and dirt.
- Use pillowcases to help keep your pillows clean. They protect against sweat and dust as well.
Now for the real stuff, washing your pillows to make them really clean and get rid of what the protector and pillowcases could not keep out. This is safe for most pillows:
- Set your washing machine on the ‘delicate’ or ‘gentle wash cycle’
- Use a gentle liquid soap
- Include a few drops of bleach. If your pillows are not white, use color-fast bleach.
- Toss in a few sheets of fabric softener or follow the manufacturer’s instructions if using liquid fabric softener.
- Rinse more than once to remove all soap residues.
- Use the spin dry feature two or three times to get the pillows as dry as possible.
- Transfer the pillows to the dryer. During the dry cycle, periodically turn the pillows and give them a couple of punches to fluff them. One cycle will not get them dry, so be prepared to run more than one cycle. When you are satisfied that the pillows are dry, remove them from the dryer.
If you do not want to use a washer for your pillows, do the following:
- Fill a large tub with lukewarm water, add detergent and a few drops of bleach
- Place the pillow in the water and cover; let it stand for about thirty minutes.
- Squeeze the pillow a section at a time to wash
- Rinse in clean water three or more times to remove soap residue
- Place pillows on a flat surface to drain off excess water
- Place in a dryer with some tennis balls to ensure fluffiness; set to air dry.
Now, they may smell nice and clean, but your pillows are not quite ready for your bed as yet. Even though your pillow may feel dry, the inside may still be wet. You need to get this dry as well so as not to provide a breeding ground for mold.
Remove the pillows from the dryer and hang in a moisture-free environment for a day or two to get them completely dry. Once dried inside and out, your clean pillow is ready for you and your bed once again. Make cleaning your pillows a monthly activity.