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How to Wash Pillows - Cleaning It the Right Way

August 29, 2020

When it comes to washing your pillows, a lot of people seem to think that washing pillowcases is already enough to do the trick. The truth? This is only the tip of the iceberg. To make sure your fluffy sleeping companions are 100% clean and germ-free, you will also need to give them a separate cleaning action.

So how do you start?

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled the best ways to wash pillows of different types — from memory foam to polyester cushions and all the way to buckwheat pillows. Read more to find out how you can get started.

How to Wash Down and Fiberfill Pillows in the Washer

If you have down and fiberfill pillows, then you’re in luck! These fluffy sleeping pals are very machine-friendly, making them extremely easy to clean, wash and maintain. But before you start tossing them into the machine, make sure that you separate them in batches of two. This will allow the machine to wash two pillows thoroughly for a fresher clean.

Front- or top-loading washing machines without an agitator are also the best choice for tidying up these pillows. However, if you only have an agitator-style top loader, don’t fret! Simply place the pillows vertically to prevent the risk of getting them damaged by the agitator. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Set the machine to gentle cycle and fill it with warm water.
  2. Add extra cold water rinse and set it to spin cycle.
  3. Add a small amount of your gentle washing detergent.
  4. Tumble the down and fiberfill pillows dry on low heat to fluff and turn them often.
  5. Toss in a few dryer balls to help keep the pillows plump.
  6. Once done, leave the pillows under the sun to dry completely.

How to Wash Memory Foam or Latex Pillows

white latex pillows against each other on white sofa

Washing your latex or memory foam pillows? Forget tossing them inside the washing machine. When it comes to these pillows, you’ll have to clean them by hand to preserve their shape and form. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the pillowcases and toss them inside the washing machine. Select the normal cycle and use hot water to clean them thoroughly. Use a strong detergent to eliminate dirt and stains.
  2. To clean the pillow, simply start by vacuuming both sides. This will help remove any deep-seated dust and dirt. You can tumble in the dryer using the no-heat and air-only cycle for 20 minutes.
  3. Spot clean additional soiled areas with a cloth dampened in a mild, soapy solution. Once done, rinse with another water-dampened cloth. Do this gently to avoid tearing and any unnecessary damage.
  4. Leave the pillow to air-dry completely before placing it back on your bed or couch.

How to Wash Polyester Pillows

white polyester pillow on floor

Tidying up your dirty polyester pillows? Turn on the washing machine and following these easy, simple steps:

  1. Fill the machine with warm water.
  2. Put in a few drops of your gentle liquid soap.
  3. Put the pillows inside and set the machine to gentle cycle.
  4. Do this repeatedly to balance the load and clean the pillows thoroughly.
  5. Afterwards, leave the pillows to air-dry completely before returning them to your bed or couch.

How to Wash Buckwheat Pillows

Buckwheat pillows, or Sobakawa, are traditional Japanese pillows that are made of — you guessed it — buckwheat seeds. Since they are one of the most comfortable sleeping pillows available today, they also need extra care and attention when it comes to washing. Here’s how you can clean them:

  1. Empty the buckwheat filling and place them onto a large container. You can also spread them out on a large cookie sheet.
  2. Place the seeds under the sun, eliminating any type of odor in the process.
  3. Wash the buckwheat’s shell casing using cold water and a mild detergent.

When Should You Replace Your Pillows?

While cleaning your pillows regularly can help preserve their original form and quality, there will come a time when you need to bid goodbye and replace them with new sleeping companions. So when’s the perfect time to toss them away? Simple. If they still give off a strong and unusual odor after repeated washes.

But to prevent this from happening, experts recommend using liners under your pillowcases and washing pillows every four to six months.

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