So you have just purchased a spanking new pillow and it came nicely packaged inside a bag. While it does look clean enough, the million-dollar question is – Should you still wash the new pillow as a precaution?
But that said, some pillows may accumulate funky smells and possibly… other stuff if they sit in a dusty warehouse for too long. So there’s really no harm in washing a new pillow; We will walk through how to wash a pillow and a couple of hygiene tips in this guide – Read on!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|Machine Wash||Hand Wash||Tips & Bits|
HOW TO MACHINE WASH
Can we throw pillows into a washing machine!? Yes, we can, but it depends on the material. Let us walk through the steps in this section.
STEP 1) CHECK IF MACHINE-WASHABLE
Hold your horses before you stick the pillows into a washing machine. Not all pillows are washable, and you may ruin it if you do so. Most washable pillows should have a washing instructions label attached – Just follow the instructions and it should be just fine.
If not, check with the good old Internet. In general, wool, cotton, feather, and fiber pillows are safe for washing. Avoid putting memory foam, gel, latex, and pillows that are marked “dry clean only” into a washing machine.
STEP 2) SOAK PILLOW IN WARM WATER
This step is kind of optional, but if your pillow is very dirty, you might want to soak it in a tub of warm water with detergent for about an hour first. That should get rid of most of the “goodies” before the machine wash.
Hint: Use anti-bacterial detergent if you want to remove the bad stuff, use “odor removing” detergents to remove funky smells.
STEP 3) PLACE PILLOW INTO WASHING MACHINE & ADD DETERGENT
Next, is pretty much the “usual laundry wash”. Remove the pillowcase (Captain Obvious), put it into the washing machine, add detergent. There is no “secret detergent formula” to making the pillow great again. But if you want to restore a yellow pillow to white, just add a little bit of bleach into the mix.
Depending on the size of your washing machine, try not to put more than 2 pieces of pillows at once. This will allow more room for better circulation, better wash, and not overload the machine. Finally, remember to turn the washing machine into the “bulky/large” cycle (gentle, slow spin, warm water).
STEP 4) RINSE CYCLE
After the wash cycle, it is good to run the pillows through another cycle of rinsing. Just use plain water, no detergent. This will flush out any remaining detergent, and ensure the bad stuff is gone.
STEP 5) DRY THE PILLOWS
Once the pillows are washed and cleaned, it is time to put them into a dryer. For pillows that are feather-filled, use the air, fluff, or the no heat setting. As for synthetic pillows, set the dryer to low heat.
Finally, check if the pillows are dry – If they are not dry after one cycle, put them back into the dryer and run another cycle. It is important that the pillows must be completely dry to prevent mildew (fungus) from growing.
P.S. Throw small towels and cotton balls into the dryer to help the pillows dry faster.
HOW TO HAND WASH PILLOWS
Don’t feel safe with machine wash? Let us walk through how to wash the pillow by hand in this section.
STEP 1) PREPARE THE TUB
When it comes to memory foam pillows, we cannot machine wash, or risk destroying them in the process. So the only way is to hand wash it with love. Start by preparing a tub big enough to fit the pillow inside.
Fill it up with lukewarm water, and add a little bit of light detergent inside – Remember that we are hand washing the pillow. Don’t use hot water to burn yourself, or add bleach to peel your own skin off.
STEP 2) MANUAL WASHING
Next, remove the pillowcase (Captain Obvious) and soak the pillow inside the tub. Gently squeeze the foam to remove the “goodies” stuck inside the pillow. Do not twist the foam with vengeance, and break it in the process. Repeat the soak-and-squeeze a few more times until the pillow is considerably clean.
STEP 3) MANUAL RINSING
After the pillow is cleaned, pour out the dirty water and refill the tub with clean warm water – Do not add any detergent inside. Repeat the above soak-and-squeeze to rinse out the excess soapy water inside the pillow.
STEP 4) DRYING
When you are satisfied with the results, pour the water away and squeeze the pillow dry. Finally, leave the pillow on a flat surface and allow it to dry. This is also the best time to spray some pillow mist or deodorizer if you want. Again – It is important that the pillow is totally dry before using it… Or funky smells will stick to the pillow fast.
P.S. A bit of baking soda can also help to soak up the dampness and remove funky smells.
TIPS & BITS
Before we end, here is the last section on a couple more tips and bits.
HOW OFTEN TO WASH PILLOWS & CASES?
Don’t just wash your new pillow once and be done with it for the next 10 years. Health experts actually recommend changing the pillowcase at least once every 2 weeks and washing the pillow once every year. Even more often if you live in a warm and humid climate.
The key point being – Pillows absorb dust, dirt, oil, sweat, dead skin, saliva, and all kinds of “goodies” over time. You have to be your own judge, wash the pillow whenever it starts to become “funky”.
HOW TO KEEP PILLOWS CLEAN LONGER
There are 2 easy ways to help keep your pillows stay clean longer, and not have to regularly wash them as often.
- The first and obvious way is not going to bed dirty. Try to take a bath (or shower) before sleeping, at least change into fresh clothes. This will help to keep the bed clean and help you to sleep better as well.
- The second way is to always use a pillowcase as an added layer of protection.
These may sound like a hassle, but they do help to keep your pillow last longer; It is much easier to wash a pillowcase than to wash the entire pillow.
WHEN TO REPLACE PILLOWS?
Unfortunately, new pillows are not going to last forever even if we clean and wash them regularly. It is best to replace a pillow once every three years but it really depends on the condition of the pillows. So just check the state of your pillows to see if they need to be replaced.
- One way to test is by folding the pillow in half. If the pillow does not spring back to its original shape, that means that the pillow has to be replaced.
- Pillows that are flat as a pancake will not provide adequate support for the neck and back.
- Another way is to look for misshapen lumps or if the pillow has lost its fluff.
- Sniff the pillow. If it has a dirty, old, moldy, musty smell even after washing – It is time for a replacement.
Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this guide. We hope that it has been useful to you. Hope you have better nights of sleep, and stay healthy!