Skin cells, dust mites, germs and the lot find a home on your pillows every single day. If you’re interested in cleaning them, all you need are two appliances. If you silently argued that cleaning your pillowcases was enough to keep your ears, nose and mouth away from danger, you are about to learn why you are wrong.
Did you know that the weight of a pillow could potentially double over the course of its lifetime due to sweat, dust, pollen, bacteria, dead skin cells, mold, mites and other things? All these items swirl dangerously near your respiratory tract and that’s why it’s important to keep them clean.
Most pillows come with care labels that direct you on how to wash them. Generally, putting them in the washing machine with hot water and a mild soap will do the trick. Great advice is to put in two pillows at a time to balance out the drum of the washing machine.
If you’ve got silk-filled pillows, there is nothing wrong with washing by hand. The critical part with any pillow is the drying. Several websites recommend stopping the drying cycle to beat out pillow inners that have clumped together.
This website was brilliant in publishing a test to tell if you should chuck away your head rester or if it can be salvaged: Fold the pillow in half. If it doesn’t bounce back immediately, it’s probably best to pitch the pillow and buy a new one. If it springs back with a bit of life still in it, then toss it in the washing machine.
So, now that you have clean pillows what’s the big deal about drying it? Well, for starters, if you don’t dry your pillow well, you run the risk of mould or bacteria to breed again. Pillows must be thoroughly dry before being used again. Usually, this requires two or three cycles in a tumble dryer.
Here’s when you should not put a pillow in the washing machine… when it’s a latex or memory foam pillow. A waterproof pillow protector is your best bet here because foam absorbs water and it’s unlikely that you’re going to get all of it out.
Getting a pillow protector also extends the lifespan of your pillows. If it’s waterproof, it can be deodorised with baking soda, a mild soapy wipe, or even a light spraying of white vinegar. It can also be left to air dry and be placed in the sun.