How You Should Wash Your Pillows

Ask yourself this: Did you wake up feeling refreshed this morning? Or you felt groggy from hours of tossing and turning? Clocking quality sleep every night is just as important as maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle. No doubt, a comfortable mattress is the secret to a good night’s sleep. However, the right bed pillow is also vital for optimum support and comfort, as sleeping on an ill-fitting headrest can be a real pain in the neck. Be honest – can you recall the last time you got your pillows cleaned (besides the pillow cases)? If you can’t, perhaps it is time to take the plunge. 

Pillow cases are not enough to protect your pillows from everyday grimes. Not only it’s gross, sleeping on unclean pillows could pose health risks. Think accumulated dirt, oils, dead skin cells, and critters like dust mites coming in contact with your skin. Ick! These nasty stuff will eventually break down the fill in your pillows and cause them to lose support. Ideally, you should toss your pillows in the washing machine at least twice a year to keep them fresh and clean.

Before you start laundering your pillows, check the tag for care instructions. While most pillows are machine-washable, some pillows are marked “dry-clean only”. If your washing machine fits, wash two pillows simultaneously to balance the load. As the agitator on top-load washers may be rough on pillows, agitate them on gentle cycle for the shortest time possible. Knowing your pillow fillings matters too, because each type may have special care requirements. 

  • Down or feather: Clean it with a mild powder detergent, as liquid detergent may leave sticky residue behind if not rinsed thoroughly – thus causing clumping. You can break up the clumps with dryer balls or tennis balls. Apply no-heat air-dry setting for drying.
  • Memory foam or latex: Pillows with these fillings cannot be machine-washed. Got stains? Spot-clean with warm water and mild soap, then remove excess water by dabbing with paper towel. Don’t wring them! Dry them away from direct sunlight and heat.
  • Polyester: Wash with warm water and a small amount of liquid detergent (approximately 1 tablespoon). Spin on delicate cycle and then tumble-dry.
  • Buckwheat hulls: Empty the buckwheat filling into a wide bowl. Air it out in the sun to get rid of odours. Use cold water and mild detergent to clean the shell casing.

#1 Invest in removable pillow protectors

Sounds like too much hassle? Check out these smart cleaning hacks: 

– Not only they prolong the time between washes, they shield your pillows against sweat, body oils, and skin care product residues. 

#2 Wash pillow cases and pillow protectors frequently

– Aim to clean them at least once a week to keep grime at bay.  

Too lazy? Drop off your pillows at your local laundry lockers and laundromats and let the pros take care of them!