At a Glance:
Washing your sheets is an easy way to enjoy clean bedding, but what about the other items on your bed? Some people go months (or even years) without washing their pillows because they don’t realize they need to or they simply don’t know how. While your pillowcases and duvet covers do a great job of blocking the spread of dirt and dust, grime eventually reaches the cushions underneath.
Spring is a great time to wash your pillows and comforters. Follow these tips to effectively wash difficult items and to learn why you should.
If you are on the fence about washing your pillows and comforters, this section might send you running for the laundry room. Most people don’t realize how gross their pillows really are.
Your pillows collect a variety of bodily fluids as you sleep. This includes sweat, drool, and natural oils on your face and skin. These liquids will eventually seep into your pillows after passing through your pillowcase.
Your pillows and comforter also store a variety of microparticles like bacteria, dust, dirt, pollen, dead skin cells, and dust mites – which are tiny bugs that feed on this waste. It’s estimated that after two years, one-third of a pillow’s weight is made up of dead skin, dust mites, and poop from those dust mites.
The dirt in your pillows and comforters escalates if you sleep with pets. You can also add drool, fur, and pet dander to the mess that accumulates in your bed.
All of this is not meant to scare you or make you feel like a bad homeowner. Everyone sweats and has dead skin cells and lives with dust mites – even the cleanest individuals. However, it is important to mitigate the presence of these unwanted particles by cleaning your pillows and other difficult items.
Instead of worrying about the dirt and microorganisms that live in your pillows, focus on the positive reasons to wash your bedding on a frequent basis. There are several benefits of removing all of these items from your sleeping space.
First, you can potentially reduce your allergy symptoms by keeping pollen and pet dander out of your bed. Even if you change your clothes when you get home, you can track in pollen on your hair and skin. This will eventually float through your house – and even into your bedroom.
Clearer sinuses and less itchy eyes can improve your sleep. Clean bedding and clean air can help you fall asleep faster, which can help you wake up feeling rested.
Think about washing your pillows as an opportunity to improve your bedroom and enjoy a more luxurious sleep experience. You are caring for your health and creating a safe space in your home.
So how do you wash pillows anyway? Can you wash pillows just like any other items and just pop them in the washer? That depends on your pillow. Most cotton, feather, and down pillows can go in the washer. Do not put foam pillows in the washer. Check the tag on the pillow for washing instructions or look up the brand online.
Here are a few washing tips to keep in mind:
- Pre-treat your pillows with a stain remover if you notice they are yellowing. This could be caused by sweat or drool.
- If you have a front-load washer or a top-load washer without an agitator, you can wash your pillows normally. If your top-load washer has an agitator, place them vertically in the appliance.
- Use a gentle detergent to wash your pillows. If you are refreshing your pillows in-between deep washes, you can use white vinegar instead.
- Run your machine on a basic cycle. Use the spin dry feature at least twice to get the water out. It will take more time to remove the moisture from your pillows.
- Dry your pillows on low heat. You can add tennis balls to the dryer so they won’t get lumpy.
If you have foam pillows, you can clean them by using a vacuum detachment to suck the dirt or dust from the material. You can then spot-treat the pillows with a light detergent and a small washcloth. If you wash foam pillows in the washer, you will likely break them apart because of the agitator.
Washing a comforter can be easier than cleaning your pillows. You can follow the same process as washing your sheets. However, the main thing to consider is that comforters are made with insulation materials that may take longer to soak and dry. Here are a few things to consider:
- Spot treat your comforter. Look for any stains or discoloration to soak before you put it in the washer.
- Make sure your washer can handle the comforter. If you have a king-size bed, you will need a large-capacity washer to fit your comforter. Otherwise, you risk overloading your machine.
- Use a gentle detergent and run it on a delicate cycle. Just because your comforter seems durable doesn’t mean it can handle heavy-duty pressure. A high-power cycle with a bulky comforter could also overload your machine.
- Run an extra spin cycle to get the moisture out of your comforter.
- Dry your comforter on medium heat. Some laundry experts take out the comforter every 20 minutes to redistribute the fluff throughout. The tennis ball trick won’t work with this option – the comforter is too big.
Keep running your dryer until your comforter is dry. You can then return it to its rightful place on your bed.
Even if you want to learn how to wash pillows in a washer, your laundry system might not be up for the job. Appliances are given load limits for a reason. Your washer could shut down or fail to complete its cycle if you overfill it with bulky pillows and comforters. If you have a lot of pillows that need to be washed, consider upgrading to large-capacity models instead. Here are a few options.
This washer and dryer set by LG is ideal for washing king-size comforters and large pillows. The washer is a front-load model which means there isn’t an agitator to block the cycle. Your pillows can move around the drum without getting stuck. The dryer is also a large-capacity unit that can effectively dry your bedding so this chore doesn’t take all day.
You don’t have to buy a front-load washer if you prefer to keep a top-load model in your house. This Samsung washer comes with a matching large-capacity dryer and can upgrade your laundry experience. The washer comes with Vibration Reduction Technology+, which means even if you add pillows or a comforter to the drum, the appliance won’t rock, vibrate, or disrupt your household.
How often should you wash your pillows?
There is good news if you don’t wash your pillows as frequently as you would like: most experts recommend washing your pillows only twice per year. You can also wash them quarterly (every three months) if you are worried about allergens or pet dander.
What are some common mistakes when learning how to wash pillows?
Two of the most common mistakes include washing foam pillows (which can destroy them) and washing pillows on high settings. You don’t want to break apart your pillow or get it stuck in the agitator. Wash and dry your pillows on medium to low settings so they retain their shape.
How often should you replace your pillows?
Most experts recommend replacing your pillows every two years. They will start to break down over time and won’t provide the support your need. Cleaning your pillows and caring for them might help them last a little longer.
Since 1973, Spencer’s TV & Appliance has grown to 10 locations throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The secret to our longevity is simple: personal service. Customer satisfaction has always been the focus of our business, and throughout the years, we have been able to work hard with our suppliers to bring you the best prices. After all, getting customers the best price and personal attention is how we compete with big-box stores, day in and day out.
Not only do we offer top-rated appliances, name-brand electronics, and the best mattresses on the market but we also provide water treatment solutions and perform kitchen design services. Stop by your nearest Spencer’s and see what you’re missing!
Shop Laundry Appliances at Spencer’s
At Spencer’s TV & Appliance, we provide high-quality, name-brand products at great prices — check out our catalog to shop laundry units online today. Your friends in the business are always happy to help you find the best appliances if you want to learn how to wash pillows. Call us, or better yet, stop by at one of our locations in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale regions. Visit us today!