The last thing you want is a dirty, smelly pillow to crash on after a long day’s work. Basically, if it has been more than six months since you last washed them, it is high time you dump them in the washing machine. Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, has some advice to give when it comes to cleaning your pillows the right way. Follow along.
Down and fiberfill
This trick will help expand the pillow’s life span. If possible, go for machines without an agitator. It’s the large wheel in the middle of machines that rotates the clothes. If that’s the only one you’ve got, though, don’t worry. Just put the pillows vertically inside the machine. That way they won’t get trapped in the wheel and ruin themselves.
Most of the instructions you’re bound to find on the label of your pillow. If you’re like me and you cut the tag off the first thing after purchase, all you have to do is use warm water and go for the gentle cycle. After that, go for cold water rinse and spin cycle. Use low heat while drying them and make sure you turn them around often.
With feather filler in the pillow, you have to be very careful that there is no slit. It is recommended that you wash only two pillows at a time. Just add a little detergent and put it on delicate rinse. Rinse once again.
For drying, you might want to add some clean tennis balls for good fluffing. In case you discover the pillow is forming clumps, just remove it occasionally and fluff using hands. If the dampness doesn’t go away after drying (which it probably won’t, considering pillows take longer to dry than a heap of clothes), lay them out under the sun.
Since you cannot put these into the machine, you can vacuum them with a cushioning tool to remove dust. Use the lower suction level to make it easier and safe.
Something else that you can do is toss the pillows in the dryer and set it at no-heat or air-only mode for about 20 minutes. Wherever you see spots, just clean them with a cloth dipped in soap solution. Rinse once again with a damp cloth. Let it dry completely. A word of caution: foam tears easily. So if you’re hand washing it, read the instructions carefully and be gentle.
Pillow Health Check
Pillows should normally be washed once every month to keep them clean. But even after regular cleaning, there comes a time when you must part with them. When is the right time, you ask? You can know it by trying to fold the pillow in half. If it springs back, you’re good for a while. If not, buy a new one.
This story originally appeared at Do You Remember by Zack Walkter.