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Sleep Well With These Pillow-Cleaning Tips

I believe the key to a good nights’ sleep is a great pillow. If your pillow is too big, too small, too hard, too soft, or too anything, it can impact your sleep. If you have found the perfect pillow, you are in luck! Now the challenge is keeping it clean. 

We regularly wash our pillowcases, but what about the pillows themselves? Research has shown that after two years of use, one third of the weight of the average pillow is composed of dead skin cells, which are food for dust mites. Here are some tips on how to ditch the dust mites and keep your pillow clean.

Wash your pillows every three months. 

Put a reminder in your calendar so you won’t forget.

Before washing your pillows be sure to read the care instructions. 

Special pillows

Memory foam and latex pillows cannot tolerate the washing machine or steamer. Spot clean these with baking soda and follow the instructions to the letter.  They are there for a reason.  Don’t risk ruining a perfectly good pillow with your good intentions.

Machine washing pillows

Fortunately, most pillows are machine washable, which will you’re your life much easier!  Wash pillows one at a time.  I usually put a couple of towels in with them to balance the load. Use your favorite detergent (preferably one with antibacterial properties) and wash in warm water on gentle cycle.

Dry on the lowest possible heat setting with two tennis balls.  This seems silly but is the secret sauce to reducing drying time. You may want to take the pillows out periodically to give them a fluff and even out the filling.

Hand washing pillows

If your pillows don't fit into your washing machine, hand washing is the way to go. Fill a tub with warm water and slowly mix in a mild detergent, using as little as possible to save you a ton of rinsing time.

Allow the pillow to soak then gently squeeze to distribute the soap all the way through. Repeat until you are sure that soap as penetrated the entire pillow. Drain the soapy water and continue to squeeze the pillow under tap water to help rinse out the soap. Resist the urge to wring as this will cause the pillow to clump and lose shape.

To dry, hang on a clothesline or lay flat on a clean, dry surface.  Remember to make sure it dries completely. A damp pillow is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Smell the pillow and check for dampness and moisture before slipping into a fresh pillowcase. 

Keeping pillows clean

The most obvious way to keep your pillow clean is to go to bed clean. Don’t track an entire day’s worth of dust, dirt, and grime into your bed with you. Always take a shower or wash your face before lying down and never lie on your pillow in your daytime clothes.  You never know what you are bringing in from the outside.

Cover your pillow with the duvet after making your bed to protect it from dust and never share your pillow with pets. 

When to replace your pillow

There will come a time when washing your pillow simply isn’t enough. They aren’t meant to be kept forever. Replace your pillow when you can fold it in half and if it doesn’t spring back to flat. Pancake-flat pillows do not offer enough support for your neck and need to be replaced as well. Finally, if your pillow smells old even after washing, it is time for it to retire.

A good pillow can make a world of difference in your quality of sleep.

A down feather pillow will last the longest while synthetic pillows having the shortest life span.

Sleep well!


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Categories:  Organizing Tips
Keywords:  Organizing Tips

About the Author

Jennifer Snyder

Jennifer Snyder

My name is Jennifer Snyder CPO, Chief Executive Organizer of Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts, a Waco-based company of Professional Organizers that is not only focused on organizing the clutter in your home or office but also clutter of the heart and mind. 

I am happy that you are taking an interest in the benefits of getting your home and life organized.  Living an organized life is for everyone!

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