How to wash and clean pillows

Most people clean their bed sheets every 1-2 weeks, washing the doona’s and pillows less often as it’s a more time-consuming task – it takes up a lot of room in the washing machine or might even require hand washing.  Pillows collect sweat, drool, germs, dust, dirt and more. To think we lay our head on this every night for a restful nights sleep, they deserve a little attention and cleanliness! If you haven’t cleaned your pillows in a while, don’t worry, I’ve got some simple steps below to follow to help you freshen and clean your pillows.

If you have not cleaned your pillows for a very long time, this may repulse you. There are legitimate health ramifications to dirty pillows, contributing to lost sleep and heightened allergies from the dead skin, bugs, proteins in the waste and decomposed dust mites that are hiding in your pillows.

  Clean every 3-6 months

HOW TO CLEAN PILLOWS IN TOP LOADER WASHING MACHINE

  1. Start by checking the tags on your pillows to make sure they can be washed in the washing machine.
  2. Remove pillow case and pillow protector (we use dust mite pillow protectors).
  3. Set washing machine to the longest gentle/delicate cycle, fill with hot water.  As it’s filling add in your regular washing detergent and 10 drops of tea tree essential oil.
  4. Once detergent has dissolved, place pillows in the washing machine, submerging in the water.  Leave the lid of the machine open for 1-2 hours to allow the pillows to soak.
  5. To balance out the load for the machine, make sure you wash two pillows at a time.
  6. Close the lid and let the machine run through its cycle.
  7. Dry outside laid over the clothesline in the sunshine for extra precaution to kill all dust mites.

HOW TO CLEAN PILLOWS IN FRONT LOADER WASHING MACHINE

  1. Start by checking the tags on your pillows to make sure they can be washed in the washing machine.
  2. Remove pillow case and pillow protector (we use dust mite pillow protectors).
  3. Place pillows into the washing machine.  To balance out the load for the machine, make sure you wash two pillows at a time.
  4. Add detergent and 10 drops of tea tree essential oil to the detergent dispenser.
  5. Set the washing machine to the longest hot water gentle/delicate cycle.
  6. Close the lid and let the machine run through its cycle.
  7. Dry outside laid over the clothesline in the sunshine for extra precaution to kill all dust mites.

COMPLETELY DRY PILLOWS

Ensure you completely dry each pillow as lingering dampness could revive mildew, bacteria, and dust mites you’re trying to kill. I prefer to dry my pillows in the sun as it helps to kill the allergens, however, if you don’t have this option you can dry in a clothes dryer on low, checking them regularly to ensure even drying.

IF PILLOWS CAN’T BE MACHINE WASHED

I sleep on a foam pillow, which can’t be machine washed. Instead, I sprinkle it with bicarb soda, let it sit for an hour, then using my handheld vacuum I vacuum up the bicarb then place in the sun for the remainder of the day (4+ hours).

USE PROTECTIVE PROTECTORS

Mattresses and pillows require protection from moisture so that it does not become a breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites which are common causes of asthma and hay fever. I wash protectors monthly in hot water. 

Easy non-toxic dust mite remedies to help relieve and minimise allergies around your home.

WHEN SHOULD PILLOWS BE REPLACED?

Some say every year, however, I replace our pillows every 2 years despite cleaning them regularly.

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