How to Wash a Pillow? Get a Guide!

How to Wash a Pillow

If you’re one of those strange persons who don’t have at least one pillow in their beds, sorry, this article is not for you. The others, welcome to our ultimate pillow cleaning guide. Here we tell you the essential things you need to know about how to wash a pillow.

No matter how you prefer to use your pillow – for sleeping or for hugging, no matter how many of them you possess, no matter shape or size, here are your pillow washing instructions.

  • How to Clean Pillows
  • How to Wash Pillows in Washing Machine
  • How to Clean Pillows with Your Hands
  • How to Keep Your Pillow Clean 
  • When You Should Replace Your Pillow

Your pillow is dirty!

One horrible thing you need to know about your pillow – it is dirty! Yes, that’s right. You can’t even imagine how dirty your pillow is. Though you might be changing your linen, sheets and pillowcases every three days like in the best hotels, that’s clearly not enough to keep the pillow clean. How often do you actually think about changing the pillow itself? There’s only one answer: not enough!

Even the smallest pillow can contain lots of dust, bacteria, litter, dirt and even tiny dead bugs, not visible by humans.

How to wash a pillow hack

Now imagine how much time your head spend every night with such a company. And here’s more than this to add to your pillow – oil and sweat coming from you. Yes, your precious pillow is absorbing everything. Are you already shaking with disgust? If not yet, picture yourself putting the face on the pillow and inhaling all these every night. The mere thought of this is enough to make a person sick – well, in fact the dirty pillow can make you sick! 

Dirty pillow

Risks having dirty pillow

Going to bed every night when our head finally touches the pillow we expect to have a good rest and to wake up fresh and peppy in the morning. Sometimes something goes wrong as we are experiencing some problems with falling asleep, we may sneeze or wheeze, our nose runs and worst of all, we wake up in the middle of the night because it’s hard to breathe. The reason of all these unpleasant conditions may be your dirty pillow!

The members of your family, especially children, are also affected by this soft criminal. Their immune system is not strong enough to fight the dust mites and (that’s gross but you should also know it) dust mite droppings. As a result they may suffer from numerous respiratory diseases like asthma and allergies.

Why pillow gets dirty?

Wondering how those dust mites manage to live in the pillow for a long time? Well, human skin cells is the best source of food for them, and they are basically everywhere on your bed. Within several years of its use a pillow might comprise dandruff, body fluids, fungi, oil and even feces. Human beings are not sterile, no matter how much you care about your cleanliness. The scientists say we spend approximately one third of our life in bed, so your pillow might be severely contaminated. Are you already thinking of the ways how to wash pillows? Read our detailed guide to make your life better and healthier by learning how to clean down pillows.

How to Clean Pillows

Regularity is the key for keeping your bed neat. You should wash your pillows at least twice a year. The first step is very simple. Find the label and read the care instructions. Most pillow-making brands provide care instructions for every kind of their products. And they are there for a reason!

Memory foam pillow

For example, memory foam or latex pillows are quite delicate when it comes to cleaning them. Don’t try to wash or steam them, otherwise your pillow would be ruined. The best way to clean such delicate pillows is spot cleaning. To remove stains or marks you may use baking soda. But firstly, not to damage the pillow you should carefully follow the washing instructions. They answer the question how to wash a pillow better than anyone else. If you fail to find the label, the best way is to examine your pillow and find out its compound. The composition will give you’re an idea of the best possible way how to wash feather pillows or every other kind of pillows. Keeping your pillows clean will help you to prevent numerous allergies and skin irritations.

How to Wash Pillows in Washing Machine

Pillow in washing machine

There’s good news for lazybones: most types of pillows can be washed in a washing machine. First, check the type of your machine – a top loader or a front loader. It might be a bit more complicated to use the top loader, because the pillow would be floating on the top. No worries, it will do the job anyway.

Using a front loading machine is way better though. You way wash one or two pillows at a time, if your machine is big enough; you may use your favourite cleanser (give preference to the mild cleansers with antibacterial properties).

Take off the pillow cover or sham, load pillow into the machine, add warm water and start the cycle on a gentle setting. That’s how to wash pillows in washing machine. After rinsing you may also tumble dry them. The machine drying is perfect for cotton, synthetic and down pillows. Set the dryer of the lowest setting possible.

For decreasing the drying time there’s a simple advice – put two tennis balls inside the washing machine.

How to wash a pillow hack

To make sure your pillow is drying evenly you should stop the cycle from time to time, take the pillow out and fluff it with your hands. For drying a foam pillow just keep it spinning until the foam is no longer soaking wet. This was the easiest method of how you wash pillows.

How to Wash a Pillow with Your Hands

For some pillows too big to fit the washing machine or for people who prefer to be extra delicate with their things there’s another method how to clean a pillow from its dirt. Hand washing!

To wash your pillow you should first fill a tub with warm water. Choose a mild cleanser (delicate to your arms but with antibacterial properties) and slowly add it into water.

Remember that pillow contents absorb everything. The less amount of cleanser you use, the better. Otherwise, you may spend hours trying to rinse it out of your soapy pillow. Put the pillow into the tub and let it soak for a while. Then start squeezing the pillow, so the water goes through every part of it. Once you are sure your pillow is soapy enough, drain the water and repeat squeezing until lather comes off your pillow.

Get rid of the soap

The easiest and the fastest way to get rid of the soap is to put a pillow under the tap. When finished, drain the water again. Now you need again to squeeze your pillow to make sure there’s no more excess of clean water. Be gentle this time, as you might accidentally twist the pillow, cause clumps and destroy its original shape.

Dry the pillow

To dry the pillow just put it on a flat clean place. An important thing here is to make sure the pillow has dried completely. A damp pillow might attract even more mold than a dirty one, so your efforts would be in vain. Double check the moisture of hand-washed pillow before returning it in its rightful place. This is how to wash a pillow with your own hands. It might be long and tiresome, but the result (your health and good sleep) is worth it.

When You Should Replace Your Pillow

Replace your pillows

Even when you regularly follow the rules of how to wash a pillow, there will be always a time to let it go. There’s no universal truth of when to change the pillow itself, so the best you can do is to examine it. Use your subjective judgment to describe the state of your pillow.

Look at your pillow

Does it look like a flat pancake? Did it lose its fluff? If the answer is ‘yes’ for both questions, then you should get rid of the pillow. It won’t longer support your head, neck and back, it will only cause you health problems.

Sniff your pillow

How is it? Do you smell mold? Old pillows often smell oddly even after a recent washing. That means it has served its purpose, time to let the smelly pillow go. Check for clumps and lumps, the pillow that has lost its shape is no longer a good one. Try to fold the pillow in half. Does it come back to its form? If not, it has to go too.

Synthetic pillows

Keep in mind that synthetic pillows have shorter life, so they have to be replaced more frequently than other kinds of pillows. A feather or a down pillow will last a bit longer. To get them back to shape you just fluff them with the hands and shake. But keep in mind, all the pillows have to be replaced anyway. Throw them away once don’t feel comfortable or rested after the night. And don’t get too attached to decorative pillows; there will come time to get rid of them too.

Choose a new pillow as you choose a friend

Okay, not that thoroughly, but be very serious. A good pillow may completely change the quality of your sleep. The best pillows offer you a support for neck and back, so your body will lie in a correct position during the whole night.

Memory foam pillows will be your best investment into the long life, health and well-being. It will become individually shaped for the size of your head and shoulders. Remember that you spend one third of your life on a pillow, so you’d better choose wisely.