Hello Droppers! We’ve got a quick How-To for you today all about pillows. While most people are quite diligent with washing sheets and pillowcases, our pillows can often get overlooked when laundry day comes around. Brian Sansoni, Senior Vice President of Communications, Outreach, and Membership at the American Cleaning Institute, recommends washing them at least every three months (four times a year) to ensure that your pillows are consistently in their best shape!
Perhaps you feel overwhelmed, not knowing what types of pillows can and can’t get tossed in the machine! While it’s always smart to check the instructions on your pillow’s label, we’ve got some rule of thumb guidelines for you to share today.
For polyester or down and feather pillows:
- Choose the gentle cycle on your machine. Use warm water, and if you have the option to add an extra rinse with cold water, do so!
- Use a small amount of detergent. Our Small Loads Detergent Pods are perfect for this!
- Once you pop your pillows in the dryer, make sure you choose to tumble dry on low heat. To help keep pillows plump, toss in a few tennis balls or Wool XL Dryer Balls!
For foam pillows:
- Remove the pillow covers or pillowcases and wash according to the care tag.
- The foam part of the pillow cannot go into the washing machine! Not to fret, though, you can use a vacuum to get rid of any dust, or choose the tumble setting in the dryer on the no-heat or air-only cycle for 20 minutes.
- Spot clean any soiled areas with a cloth dipped in a mild soap solution. Lightly rinse with a damp cloth. ( Note: wet foam tears easily, so be gentle!)
- Allow the pillow to air dry completely before putting it back on the bed or couch.
- Washing two pillows at a time will help keep the washer balanced, ensuring a thorough clean.
- While any washing machine will do, front- or top-loading machines without an agitator (a.k.a. the large spindle in the middle of some machines) is your best bet. If an agitator-style top loader is your only option, place the pillows in the tub vertically to lessen the chance of them getting damaged by the agitator.
- It’s crucial to get the pillow completely dry—otherwise you risk mildew. Skip the auto-dry setting on your clothes dryer because the sensors will detect only surface moisture, leaving you with a pillow that’s still damp on the inside.
- Musty smells may arise! Pillows take much longer to dry than a normal load of clothes. If you face this issue while washing your pillows, you can set them in the sun for a few hours to get rid of the stench.
Sure, knowing how to clean your pillows is great! But perhaps you’re wondering when it’s time to give your pillow the ol’ boot? Our sources say that if you fold the pillow in half, and it doesn't spring back into shape, that’s your sign that the pillow has aged out of it’s “glory days”. Time for a younger pillow!
We hope you feel empowered to give your pillows a quick refresh, with these new tips in your pocket. Happy washing!