How to Wash Pillows

Nothing helps you get a great night's rest quite like a comfortable pillow. Unfortunately, no matter how soft and supportive your pillow is, it could contain dirt, allergens, and other crud you don't want touching your face. Keeping your pillows clean is a must – and it's simpler than you might think. Here's how to wash pillows the easy way.

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Benefits of Washing Pillows

Sleeping is far more active than most people realize. Throughout the night, as you toss and turn, your pillow is continually exposed to sweat, saliva, dead skin cells, hair, beauty products, and more. Even worse, as this material is absorbed into your pillow over time, it helps create an ideal environment for dust mites, bed bugs, bacteria, and other allergens to thrive.

Cleaning your pillow helps remove all this unwanted debris, reducing allergies and minimizing contact with any potential skin irritants. But that’s not the only benefit of a clean pillow. Buildup changes the structure and weight of a pillow. Wash pillows regularly to improve their ability to properly support your head and neck.

The Best Way to Clean Pillows

You can wash feather pillows and down pillows in the washing machine. For best results when washing pillows in a washer, use a front-loading machine, as the agitator in the middle of a top-loader can potentially shift the filling or tear the fabric. Wash two pillows at the same time. Two pillows help ensure the machine stays balanced during the wash, allowing water and detergent to flow evenly. To wash down pillows, use cold water with a mild detergent.

Don’t wash memory foam pillows in the washing machine. Instead, clean memory foam pillows by vacuuming them and then spot cleaning with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Wash throw pillows and decorative pillows in the same way. Typically, you don’t want to wash decorative pillows in the washing machine, as doing so can tear any embroidery, lace, or other delicate fabrics.

Dry pillows thoroughly after washing. Otherwise, mildew will form. Polyester pillows can dry on moderate heat in the dryer. Feather and down pillows can also go in the dryer, but use a no-heat setting. Also, placing a few tennis balls in the dryer helps keep each pillow’s filling evenly distributed.

The Best Products to Clean Your Pillows

Most of the products you need to clean down pillows are fairly inexpensive and common. You might already have everything necessary to clean feather pillows, but if not, here’s what to look for:

Use pillow protectors to help prevent bed bugs, mites, and other allergens from making themselves at home inside your pillow. A set of two protectors typically costs between $20 and $30. AllerEase Pillow Protectors are a popular choice. Reviewers like how they not only protect against bacteria and allergens but also help keep pillows cool.

Wash pillows in the washer with a gentle detergent. For synthetics, a specialty product such as Miele Down provides deep cleaning.

However, most reviewers have no issues washing feather pillows with any traditional laundry detergent, which should cost you around $12 to $20 for a two-pack. Use a mild detergent such as Charlie’s Soap to clean throw pillows, decorative pillows, and memory foam pillows. Gently rub the detergent into the pillow with a damp cloth.

Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder

Fragrance free hypoallergenic deep cleaning washing powder detergent. Biodegradable laundry detergent that is eco-friendly, safe, and effective.

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Clean pillows improve your quality of sleep, reduce nighttime allergies, and enhance your overall health.

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