When it comes to good bed hygiene, people often wash the sheets, pillowcases, and comforters regularly, but what about the comforting bed pillows? From absorbing sweat, allergens, dead skin, bacteria, and dust to mites, pillows do have to go through a lot, and so to keep them fresh, clean, and durable it is essential to wash them on time. Think about it, would you want to rest on a pillow that harbors countless germs and bacteria or is discolored due to lack of care and protection- you would never want your favorite bed pillows to be ruined and that is what makes washing them necessary using the best practices inevitable. Thus, you should also invest in the best washable pillows for bed.
Washing the bed pillows can enhance your overall health. This is because every single night, while sleeping, people inhale and exhale over a thousand times on the pillow, and keeping them clean and free from chemicals can have a positive impact on your well-being. Further, the usage of fresh pillows also decreases hair breakage problems and the frequency of acne. Even the loftiness of bed pillows remains protected when they are washed often, preventing the sleeper's head from sinking into the pillow.
That being said if you end up losing precious hours of sleep due to dirty and smelly pillows then your body might end up suffering from its consequences. Lack of proper sleep will provide less time for tissue repair, muscle growth, and other vital functions that can occur only when the body is asleep. In addition to this, sleep deprivation will affect appetite, thinking skills, and mood, increasing the risk of developing obesity, coronary diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Now, many are often taken aback thinking are bed pillows washable? Many consider it to be a tedious task but the reality is far from that. Washing bed pillows is simple and easy, only if you follow a systematic approach and make use of a few tips and tricks to get the best results. To help you know more, this article will explain the different steps that should be followed while washing pillows along with the things you must know about drying the pillows to perfection.
1. How to Wash a Pillow?
Most of the pillows are machine washable bed pillows and you can safely wash them in the comfort of your home using a washing machine. However, before you begin, a good practice is to check the label for special instructions that are specific to the type of bed pillows. This is because improperly washing the pillows can damage the materials and also affect their ability to support your neck and head properly.
As far as the frequency of washing is concerned, you don't have to wash the pillows as often as other components of the bedding arrangement. A golden rule of thumb is to wash them at least twice a year if you keep them well-protected. Proper protection primarily involves a covering of two-layer that includes a pillow case and a water-proof and anti-microbial protective cover. In case, if you use only a pillowcase to protect the pillows then you may have to wash the pillows more often, depending on their use and age.
Even the environment has an important role to play in determining the total number of washes your pillow needs in a year. For example, if you live in an area that is prone to a humid and hot climate, then you may have to wash pillows more often in comparison to those who live in colder regions. This is because, rise in temperature and humidity allows fungi and bacteria to thrive, causing excessive sweating and an unexpected flare-up of allergies.
Here is a step-by-step guide that will breathe a new life into your dusty, discolored, and washable bed pillows.
(1)Pre-Wash Checks for Your Pillow
Before washing, remove all the coverings such as pillowcases and protectors from the pillows and check the seams for signs of tears or holes. The filling of the pillow might escape from the damaged areas therefore performing a thorough pre-wash check is a must before loading the pillows into the washing machine. If you notice any damage, mend the affected area. After this, check for oil or wet stains and to get rid of them prepare a solution of mild detergent and dip a cloth to spot clean soiled areas present in the pillow, if any. Remember, it is vital to treat stubborn and tough stains using spot clean, as stains caused by wine, food spillage or drools, makeup, or body products may not be washed by the machine properly. Hence, as a part of the pre-wash check, you can perform a thoroughly targeted spot treatment on the affected area and then proceed with washing the pillows in the washer.
The best washable bed pillows can withstand being washed in the washing machine after the pre-wash check simply loads the pillows into your washing machine. In the event, your machine is large, you must consider washing two pillows at once, as this would offer much-needed balance to the load, ensuring detergent and water circulates across the pillows effectively. Before tossing the pillows into the machine, squeeze them to remove excess air. You can do this by pressing the surface of the pillows gently at least thrice. Moreover do not wash your pillows along with other clothes or bedding arrangements, as this can increase the risk of tear or damage to the pillows.
Since top-loading washing machines have agitators that can be rough for the pillows, it is often recommended to use warm water with a gentle cycle for about four to five minutes (or the shortest setting, if there is no option to control the time).
(3)Laundry Detergent Tips
Be cautious about the type of detergent that you use for washing the bed pillows. Avoid using harsh bleach or the usual go-to detergent product, as the chemicals can weaken the fabrics of the pillow, making them prone to wear and tear. Instead, invest in a mild detergent, which will not only reduce the chance of damage but remove accumulated dust, debris, and allergens properly. You can also make use of eco-friendly liquid detergents that have no hazardous chemicals.
A pro tip to accelerate the cleaning action of the detergent is you can add washing soda along with vinegar when the water is filling in the machine. This way, the soda will be gentle on the pillows, while removing lingering stains, discoloration, and allergens. Also, refrain from using fabric conditioners, as such products affect the quality of pillows and decrease the moisture-wicking ability.
(4)Best Machine Settings
When cleaning pillows in the washing machine, make sure the tumbler is free from the residue of previous washes and does not have any particles of either bleach or detergent. Now, select a gentle cycle (delicate/hand-wash) with a temperature not exceeding more than 40 degrees Celsius. For preventing the accumulation of detergent in the bed pillows, supplement the machine setting with an additional rinse cycle and then start the wash. This is because the fabric can be damaged by leftover suds of detergent, thereby reducing its lifespan to a dramatic extent.
Never fold the pillows when you place them into the washing machine. In top-loading machines, you can pause occasionally to press out air bubbles from the pillows. This will help in deep and effective cleaning. Once the machine finishes the cycle, straighten the fibers and carefully whisk the pillows to fluff them up.
2. What to Know About Putting Your Pillow in the Dryer?
The entire process of washing bed pillows is incomplete until they are completely dry and ready to use. For this, you can put the pillows into your regular dryer, however, never go for the automatic drying settings. This is because automatic settings can be harsh for the gentle fabrics, also the sensors present in the dryer may not detect the presence of moisture in the pillow, as a result of which you won't be able to dry them in the first place.
In general, dry the bed pillows in an air-cycle or moderate heat setting for as long as needed to ensure that there is no moisture left in them. Any form of dampness will trigger the growth of unwanted mold, and hence start the dryer with a 30 minutes time frame first, and then after every 30 minutes, examine the pillow for dampness, primarily the center and the deepest portion. You can fluff the pillows during this period, and repeat the 30-minute drying cycle until they are completely dry. On average, you may have to repeat this cycle about three to four times to dry the pillows with the help of the dryer.
An easy hack that can be used while putting wet pillows into a dryer is to cover tennis balls, preferably two balls in socks, and tie them so that the balls stay in place. Later, run these socks along with the pillows in the dryer. The balls essentially will hit the pillows, letting them run loose of the moisture trapped deep within the pillows. This will require a certain number of cycles to dry the pillows, and once they seem dry you can take a smell test to check if any moisture is still present in them.
3. Other Ways to Take Good Care of Your Bed Pillows
Washing pillows is one of the best ways to protect their lifespan while keeping them free from odor, bacteria, and dust. Apart from this, certain tips can be followed to provide long-term care after you have washed them, and these are:
- Always cover the dry pillow with a pillowcase that will safeguard it from dirt, dust, and stains while being used. The pillow tends to act as an absorber, so any allergens, food spills, or debris present in the bedding will affect the pillow and even trigger allergic reactions. Make sure that you wash the pillowcase after regular intervals, and ensure that the bedding arrangement is clean and fresh. If you are planning to store the pillows after washing them, then place them in properly sealed vacuum bags, or you can put them in their original packaging. In this way, the pillow will stay good as new for a long time and you can use them whenever required.
- Take a few minutes of your bedtime to re-fluff the bed pillows by shaking or whisking them. Thanks to this, the pillows will maintain their shape, get rid of accumulated particles, and remain comfy, supportive, and relaxing for a longer time.
- As explained earlier, washing the pillows is crucial, so never overlook the importance of washing bed pillows, as this provides them the care that they need and contributes to maintaining their integrity.
Bed pillows will accumulate dust, odor, bacteria, and stains with time. However, with proper washing and regular care, you can keep them in tip-top shape in a hassle-free way. When cleaning them using a washing machine, you will never be at the risk of damaging the pillows, if you adhere to the steps, along with the tips and tricks discussed here.
After all, worn-out, discolored, and dirty pillows can cause unnecessary back and neck pain, allergic reactions, acne, stress, and other challenges that would lethally affect your good night's sleep. Your body needs proper rest for keeping up with the hectic and volatile day-to-day lifestyle, hence always wash the bed pillows so that you can unwind those stressful thoughts and dive into a peaceful state of sleep.
Also, never forget that the best pillow care starts with high-quality and durable pillows. The right pillows provide a sense of calming and relaxing support while keeping you free from the worry of harmful allergens. Hence, if you find that your bed pillows have withered because of overuse then you can switch to new pillows for a better experience. Refreshing pillows and a good night's sleep will never be a dream, only if you make it a point to invest in the best pillows and wash them on schedule.