It might come as a surprise to even seasoned spring cleaners that proper sleep hygiene also requires you to learn how to wash pillows.
You use your pillow every day, so it’s important to teach yourself the proper techniques for washing it well. Learning how to wash pillows is a lot less intimidating than it seems, and with the right tips and tricks, you can keep them looking and lasting as fresh as possible, all with minimal effort.
Most pillows can be washed from the convenience of your home - a select few might require dry cleaning, so be sure to check up on label instructions before you get started. Not sure where to get started with figuring out how to wash your bedroom pillows?
Here’s a simple guide that takes you through everything from why you need to wash pillows in the first place, to how to do it with ease:
Pillows can end up collecting a lot of the debris that comes with falling asleep since you place your head directly on them. This can include oil from your hair, saliva, dirt, bacteria, as well as more dangerous substances such as fungi or mold.
Using a mattress protector can help prevent this from becoming too much of an issue with your bed, but with your pillows, consistent cleaning is a must. The problem with letting these substances accumulate is that they can eventually end up breaking down the fill in your pillows, causing odors or unpleasant smells, and eventually making them lose shape, get lumpy, and cause an unpleasant sleeping experience.
While it goes without saying that you need to wash all your bedding, including your pillowcases, around once a week, your pillow is a slightly different story. If you use a pillowcase and pillow cover and wash both of these frequently, once in six months is enough to keep your pillow clean (though memory foam pillows are slightly different - more on that later) without compromising on its shape or comfort levels.
The way you need to clean your pillow depends on the type you own. Here’s a handy overview:
The Puffy memory pillow has been engineered with ease of cleaning in mind. With a zip-n-wash cover, it is made of hypoallergenic materials that work to repel dust and dust mites from your bed. While you should routinely hand vacuum your memory foam pillow to lift off any dead skin or external debris that gets trapped into it, this doesn’t mean neglecting to learn how to wash pillows too.
Most experts recommend cleaning memory foam pillows once every two months and washing them by hand. If you’re wondering how to wash pillows made of memory foam, don’t worry - the process is actually pretty simple.
Start with a bucket or sink full of lukewarm water. For a secret sleep hack, try using a detergent that is lavender scented for some calming aromatherapy the next time you use your pillow. Submerge your pillow underwater, and gently squeeze the foam to help work the soap into a lather. You might need to refill your sink or bucket with fresh water if you find it’s getting dirty.
Once you repeat this process a few times and the water runs clear, you can now squeeze any excess liquid from your pillow, and air dry it in the sun.
Learning how to wash pillow covers is just as important as knowing how to wash your actual pillows. Pillow covers are pretty simple when it comes to upkeep.
Most pillow covers can be cleaned using a washing machine, though there are a few exceptions. If you have any throw pillows made of suede or even leather, remember you cannot use a washing machine for cleaning - rely on spot cleaning instead.
In the case of cotton or bamboo sheets, a washing machine in a delicate wash cycle will work great to extend the life of your pillowcases while keeping them clean. A gentle cycle and warm water allows your pillow covers to retain their shape and extends their life. Try not to use any harsh-smelling soap when doing this part of your laundry, since it might actually disrupt the quality of your sleep.
While learning how to wash pillows is an art in and of itself, the drying stage can be equally important.
Whether you have a memory foam pillow or not, there are a couple of quick tips that are going to help you ensure you’re keeping your pillows as fresh as possible. These include:
It is possible to learn how to wash pillows without using a washing machine, but most can be cleaned just fine using one. Using a gentle cycle with warm water is important to prevent any permanent damage.
Most pillows can be put into the dryer on a low heat setting, but memory foam pillows are better air-dried. Be sure to check the care instructions when you’re trying to figure out how to wash your pillows, as this can provide helpful information.
Learning how to wash pillows with ease is simple - simply use a mild detergent, and place it into your washing machine on a gentle cycle. Be sure to check for any extra care instructions that come with your pillow.
Experts recommend you wash your pillows every three to six months for a good night’s sleep. Clean pillows are an essential part of healthy sleep hygiene, which is why it is so important to learn how to wash pillows properly.
It’s best not to put your pillows in the dryer on high settings, since this can damage the form of some materials. Learning how to wash pillows efficiently will ensure your bedding remains germ-free.
Your pillows make up an integral part of your sleep setup. When you’re shopping for one, be sure that it meets your criteria for comfort, as well as ease of care. The best pillows should take cleaning into account for you - that means removable covers, hypoallergenic materials, and production processes that you know you can trust. After all, you do spend around 121 days of your year resting your head on one.
Learning how to wash pillows, your bedding, and your mattress can feel like a chore, but finding a rhythm and making it a quarterly habit is going to help you sleep and feel a lot better. With spring cleaning season right around the corner, these tips are going to help you tick washing your pillows off your list with ease. Happy cleaning!