Oversized, bulky and awkward – sometimes it’s hard to know how to wash your pillows. Just remember with all of the germs, kids, pets, and guests it’s important to remember to wash them. The best way, plain and simple; machine wash your pillows. Most down and synthetic pillows can be machine washed and dried on low heat, but check the label to be sure.
You’ll want to wash and dry at least two pillows at a time to keep your machine balanced, but take care not to stuff too many in at once. Pillows need plenty of water to get thoroughly clean, and plenty of space to get thoroughly dry. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll have clean, fluffy pillows.
NOTE: Foam pillows should not be washed! Sprinkling them with cornstarch, letting them sit for an hour or longer, then vacuuming thoroughly instead.
Detergent / Water Temperature
Make sure you use something that’s fragrance-free and will rinse clean. Homemade laundry soap is always a good choice: 2 cups soap flakes and 1 cup each baking soda, washing soda, and borax. Water needs to be 140 degrees or higher to kill dust mites, so make sure your water heater isn’t set too low. It’s good to consider an extra spin cycle to squeeze out as much dampness as possible.
Make sure you dry pillows completely, even a little dampness could reintroduce the very mildew, bacteria, and dust mites you’re trying to avoid. Dry on low, checking them every 20 to 30 minutes to ensure even drying. For extra fluff, dry with dryer balls or a tennis ball in a sock.
Freshening Between Drying
Put your pillows in the dryer on “air fluff” every few months, to get rid of much of the dust. If you can handle a little bit of the smell until it dissipates, you can include a vinegar-dampened washcloth, since vinegar is so good at killing mold and mildew.
Removable pillow protectors buy you more time between full-on pillow cleaning. Simply remove and machine-wash protectors in hot water once a month.