I don’t know why I was surprised when I learned that I am supposed to wash my pillows – not just my pillow cases. I guess I always assumed that washing my pillow cases was enough! It does make sense that over time dust, sweat, and oil buildup will seep through a pillowcase and onto the actual pillow – enough to convince me that a twice yearly washing is necessary! Luckily it’s really easy to wash cotton, down and synthetic pillows in the washing machine.
Before placing into the washing machine, remove all pillowcases and read the labels on your pillows to make sure that they are cotton, down, or synthetic material. Memory foam pillows should be spot cleaned and if necessary washed by hand in a tub, rinsed thoroughly and air dried flat.
If your pillows are machine washable, it’s recommended to put two pillows in the washer at a time (especially if your washing machine is a top load style with a middle agitator) so that they aren’t spun around too aggressively. You can use your regular detergent for this but make sure your settings are on warm water with a second cold rinse cycle.
If your pillow is a bit yellow, I read in this article that setting your wash to the hottest setting and adding a combination of 1 cup of powdered dishwasher detergent, 1 cup of bleach, and 1/2 a cup of borax will do the trick.
When it’s time to dry, throw the pillows into your dryer with two tennis balls wrapped in white socks (to prevent the color of the tennis balls from bleeding onto your pillows). The tennis balls will help fluff the pillows back to their original shape.
No matter how you wash your pillows make sure that they are completely dry before returning them to their pillowcases.
Lastly, you can test for whether or not it’s time to toss your pillow by folding it in half. If the pillow bounces back open then it’s still worth hanging on to, if the pillow remains folded in half it might be time for pillow shopping.
Now we can all rest easy knowing our faces will be laying on clean, fluffy pillows!
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