It Turns Out There’s A Right Way To Wash Your Pillows
Sure, you probably wash your sheets and pillowcases pretty often. But when it comes to the pillows themselves, how often do you give them a cleaning? If your answer is “basically never,” you’re not alone. But you should really get in the practice of washing your pillows every 6 months. And washing them the right way.
According to Carolyn Forte, Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, there is a right way to wash your pillows that will make them clean and last longer. Sounds pretty good, right? The first step in washing your pillows is to read the care label to find out what exactly is inside of them. Then, you’re ready to proceed.
Down and Fiberfill Pillows
If your pillows are down or fiberfill, you can toss them right into the wash. Carolyn recommends washing two of them at a time, so that the washer remains balanced. If your washing machine is an agitator-style top loader, it’s best to place the pillows in the machine vertically, so that there’s less chance of them getting wrapped around the agitator.
Unless your pillow’s label says otherwise, wash your pillows in warm water on the gentle cycle. Then, do an extra cold water rinse and spin cycle. Tumble dry the pillows on low heat, plumping and turning them often. You can also add some rubber dryer balls into the mix to do the work for you.
You can also machine-wash feather pillows. You only need to use a small amount of detergent, and you want to have the machine set to the delicate cycle. It’s also wise to put them through an extra rinse cycle.
For plumped pillows, add some tennis balls into the dryer. It’s also not a bad idea to take them out and plump them a few times by hand. If your pillows have a bit of a musty smell to them, Carolyn recommends letting them dry in the sun for a few hours.
You can’t put foam pillows in the washing machine. However, they generally come with a cover that you can just wash according to the cover’s label. Once removed from the cover, you can also vacuum both sides of the foam to remove any dust or debris.
Another option would be to tumble dry the foam itself on either a no-heat or air-only cycle for about 20 minutes. Carolyn suggests cleaning any stained areas with a cloth dipped in a mild soapy solution, rinsing with a damp cloth afterwards. Always allow all pillows to be 100% dry before putting them back on the bed.
Now that you know how to go about washing all different types of pillows, it’s important to note that you’ll need to replace them eventually. “If you fold the pillow in half and it doesn’t spring back into shape, plan for a shopping trip,” says Carolyn.
Makes sense! Now head to the washing machine and enjoy your freshly-washed, fluffy pillows!