How to Wash a Pillow to Keep It Smelling Fresh


I was perusing the internet over coffee, when I came across an article put out by the consumer report that I would like to share with all my readers.  Washing my pillow and pillow care has been a monthly routine chore of mine.  I enjoy washing my pillow and performing pillow care as I do enjoy sleeping on a fresh pillow with no smells or odor.  During a nightly routine of a clean face and applying moisturizer, it can also penetrate to your pillow case and to your pillow during your sleep cycle that you may not be aware of.   Oil penetrated into your pillow over time smells.  The sweat and body odor from your head is also another factor that can penetrate on to the pillow, together with saliva dribbled from your mouth if you have that problem.  All of this can lead to bacteria and over time affect your overall sleep well being.

(Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.)

Step 1: Air It Out

Air out your pillow putting them in your dryer without heat.  The new brands of driver can give you specific options on how to do this but if you have an older model you can use the option that is heat free.  This will enable the smells and odor to be eliminated and leave your pillow fluffy.

Step 2: Wash It Gently

Laundering a pillow is relative simply.  As I mentioned above the newer versions of washers may have instructions for washing pillows that you can follow.  Please pay attention to the washing label on your pillow before you wash your pillow and follow those instructions.  If it is not clear then use your good judgment.
Front loaders are great for this purpose and you can wash two pillows at a time as it helps to balances things out during the washing cycle.

Here are some directions for specific types of pillow fills posted by the

Down or feather: Wash with a small amount of mild powder detergent or a product designed to launder down, on warm and delicate. A liquid detergent that is not completely rinsed out will leave sticky residue, and this causes clumping. So massage the pillow in the detergent solution if you can, to ensure that the down is thoroughly wet. When drying, unless you like the smell of singed feathers, use the no-heat air-dry setting (it will take a while) and dryer balls or tennis balls to break up clumps.

Memory foam or latex: Unfortunately, neither can be washed, nor should they really be steamed, which is generally a good alternative for items that can’t be laundered. The best bet is to spot-treat any stains, preferably as they happen, and to use a pillow cover to extend its life.

Polyester: Wash with warm water on the gentle cycle, preferably a few at a time to balance the load. Be sparing with the detergent. Use about 1 tablespoon of liquid soap.

Buckwheat hulls: Empty the buckwheat filling onto a large cookie sheet or wide, shallow bowl. Set the buckwheat out in the sun, which will eliminate odors, and wash the shell casing using cold water and a mild detergent.

Step 3: Dry It Thoroughly

It’s crucial to get the pillow completely dry—otherwise you risk mildew. Skip the auto-dry setting on your clothes dryer because the sensors will detect only surface moisture, leaving you with a pillow that’s still damp on the inside. Instead, dry the pillow for a good hour on moderate heat. Adding a couple of dry towels will speed things up. Toss in two fresh tennis balls, as well, and they’ll keep the filling from clumping as they bounce around the drum.

It is highly recommended to use pillow covers to protect pillows from substances such as sweat, body oils, and face cream. Launder both the pillow cover and the pillowcase regularly, say, once a week, along with your sheets.  If you have not ever washed your pillow before, I personally recommend you start and let me know your experience and your thoughts.

Stay beautiful – Zimah Collection

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