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Bedding Care: How to Wash Your Pillows Properly

how to wash pillows

Lucas Lu |

When dealing with bedding, you might diligently launder your sheets and comforter, yet it's easy to overlook the cleanliness of your pillows. While pillowcases effectively shield your pillows from accumulating allergens and debris, their protective power has its limits.


Over time, perspiration and natural oils from your skin can accumulate on and within the pillow, eventually making their way through the pillowcase to the filling. This not only results in an unpleasant odor but also compromises the pillow's support. Regularly cleaning your pillows every few months is crucial to keep them fresh and free from germs. Follow our guide to master the art of washing pillows, maintaining their cleanliness, and knowing when it's time to replace them. These tips are your go-to for ensuring your pillows emerge from the wash not only clean but also refreshed and fluffed.

How to Wash a Regular Bedding Pillow?
Washing a regular bedding pillow is a straightforward process. While these pillows may appear large, cumbersome, and somewhat challenging to launder, the process of washing and drying them is more straightforward than it may initially seem.Here's a step-by-step guide to help you clean your pillows effectively:


Materials and Equipment Needed:

Mild detergent
Washer and dryer
Drying balls
Mild detergent
Soap flakes (optional)
Borax (optional)
Baking soda (optional)
Stain remover spray
Pillow protectors (optional)


Step 1: Check the Care Label:

Before washing your pillow, check the care label for specific instructions. Different pillows may have different care requirements, and it's important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations.


Step 2: Remove Pillowcases and Protectors:

Take off any pillowcases and protectors and wash them separately according to their care instructions.


Step 3: Spot Clean Stains (If Necessary):

If there are visible stains on the pillow, spot clean them before washing. Use a mild stain remover or a mixture of water and mild detergent.


Step 4: Load Balancing:

Wash two pillows at a time to balance the load in the washing machine. This ensures proper cleaning and prevents the pillows from becoming lopsided during the wash.


Step 5: Choose the Right Detergent:

Select a mild detergent to avoid damaging the pillow fibers or fill. Harsh chemicals can break down the materials over time.


Step 6: Machine Wash on Gentle Cycle:

Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with warm water. Avoid using hot water, as it may cause clumping or damage to certain pillow fills. If your pillow is made of down or feathers, consider adding a small amount of white vinegar to the wash to help remove any odors.


Step 7: Extra Rinse and Spin:

After the wash cycle, run an extra rinse and spin cycle to ensure all detergent is thoroughly rinsed out. This step prevents any detergent residue that might cause stiffness in the pillows.


Step 8: Drying Process:

Tumble dry the pillows on low heat. Adding a few clean tennis balls wrapped in socks to the dryer can help fluff up the pillows and prevent clumping. Ensure the pillows are completely dry to prevent mold or mildew growth.

How to Wash Your Heated Pillows?
Different from regular pillows, heated pillows, also known as electric pillows, contain electrical components like heating elements and wiring within the pillow to provide warmth. Here are the key points for washing heated pillows:


Washing: Many heating pillows are not machine-washable due to the electrical components. Submerging them in water can damage these elements. Some may allow spot cleaning for specific areas, but it's crucial to check the care label and the manufacturer's instructions.


Drying: Heating pillows typically cannot be tumble dried because the heat can damage the electrical wiring. Instead, they may need to be air-dried or laid flat to dry.


Disconnecting Electrical Components: Some heating pillows have detachable controls and cords. If your heating pillow allows for it, you may need to disconnect these components before any cleaning process.


Testing Before Use: After any cleaning or washing, it's essential to check that the heating elements are functioning correctly before using the pillow. This ensures safety and confirms that the electrical components were not damaged during the cleaning process.

How to Wash Your Cooling Pillows?

To care for your TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) cooling pillow and keep it working well, you'll need to clean it carefully. Here's a simple, clear guide on how to do it:


What You Need:

Mild detergent
Lukewarm water
Soft cloth or sponge
A spot to air dry


Steps to Clean Your TPE Cooling Pillow:


No Machine Washing: Remember, you can't machine wash a TPE cooling pillow because of its special material.


Removable Cover: If your pillow has a cover, take it off and wash it as per the instructions on its label.


Spot Cleaning Stains: Got stains? Use a soft cloth or sponge with a bit of mild detergent to gently clean them off. Don't use strong chemicals – they can harm the material.


Wiping Down the Pillow: Gently wipe the whole pillow with a slightly damp cloth or sponge. Be gentle and don't soak it.


Air Drying: Skip the dryer. Let your pillow air dry in a spot with good air flow, but keep it out of direct sunlight and away from strong heat.


Mind the Heat: TPE doesn't like extreme temperatures. So, when you're drying it, avoid places with lots of heat or direct sunlight.


How to Maintain Pillows So They Stay Clean Longer

Whether you're using a regular pillow, a heated pillow, or a cooling pillow, keeping your pillow fresh and clean for a longer time is important. Here are some guidelines to help you maintain your pillow in great condition:


Invest in a Pillow Protector:

Get a high-quality, washable pillow protector. Place it under your pillowcase to add an extra layer of defense against sweat, oils, dust, and other contaminants.


Regularly Clean Pillowcases:

Wash your pillowcases weekly. This prevents skin oils and sweat from seeping into the pillow, ensuring a cleaner sleeping environment.


Daily Fluffing:

Fluff your pillow every day to maintain its shape and remove dust. This simple habit also helps circulate air within the pillow, reducing moisture buildup.


Air Out Your Pillows:

Each time you change your sheets, air out your pillows in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. This helps eliminate moisture and keeps your pillows fresh.


Rotate and Flip:

Regularly rotate and turn your pillow to ensure even wear. This can help maintain the pillow's support and comfort.


Keep Pets Away:

If possible, keep pets away from your bed. Pet dander and hair can easily stick to pillows, contributing to allergens and odors.


Replace When Needed:

Pillows have a lifespan. If you notice lumps, persistent odors, or if the pillow doesn't regain its original shape after fluffing, it's time for a replacement.

By incorporating these easy steps into your pillow care routine, you can prolong the life of your pillow and create a healthier and more hygienic sleep environment.

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