DIY

How To Wash Pillows To Make Them Look — And Feel — As Good As New

Angie Verike LittleThings writer by Angie Verike
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Angie is a writer that loves animals, travel and good food. She also loves discovering all things exciting as she globe-trots around the world.

There are two types of people in the world: the type that can lie down anywhere, place their head onto anything, and drift off into sleep within minutes; and the type that needs their own bed, with their own pillow.

If you belong to the first group of people mentioned — good for you! You are guaranteed a restful night’s sleep in pretty much any situation. However, if you are the second type, even minor changes in your sleeping arrangements can cause a lot of stress. A different mattress can seem like a foreign world, and a new pillow can make you twist and turn in your bed for hours until the sun comes up.

And what if you spill your morning coffee all over your favorite pillow? Or your puppy secretly wanders onto your bed with his muddy paws? You might be able to machine-wash some stains out, but what about stubborn stains or pillows made of delicate material?

Don’t panic.

There might be a way to save you from having to buy brand-new pillows and having to get used to them. There’s a good chance that you can simply wash your pillows, no matter what they are made of. Scroll down to learn more.

Washing Pillows By Machine
How To Wash Feather Pillows

Feather pillow

If the pillows you own are made out of feathers, simply chucking them into the washing machine on the usual setting isn’t a good idea. The hot water and incorrect detergent can ruin the feathers, making the pillow lumpy and uncomfortable.

As howtocleanstuff.net explains, first you have to make sure you use a detergent that is bleach- and enzyme-free. Detergents designed specifically for wool or silk materials are your best bet in this case. Once you have this in place, the process of cleaning your feather pillows can begin.

Step 1: Place no fewer than two pillows into your washing machine (if you only want to wash one pillow, add a few towels to balance the load).

Step 2: Add your gentle laundry detergent, and set the water temperature to the lowest possible setting.

Step 3: Leave the pillows in the washing machine for about eight minutes. If your washing machine is top-loading, make sure the pillows are fully submerged throughout the whole cycle.

Step 4: Once the washing is done, rinse your feather pillows in cool water at least twice (three times would be ideal).

Step 5: As soon as the feather pillows are rinsed thoroughly, it is time to let them dry. Do not put your feather pillows into the dryer. Heat can make the feathers release foul-smelling oils. Instead, place the freshly washed feather pillows outside in the shade and let them dry naturally, fluffing and rotating them every once in awhile.

If this is not an option, then hang your pillows on a drying rack, and aim a fan toward them. Fluff them to make sure all of the feathers dry completely.

How To Wash Down Pillows

Tennis balls in washing machine

Before you decide to wash your down pillows, you have to check their labels and see if that’s an option. Many down pillows are dry-clean only, and washing them at home might ruin them completely.

However, if your down pillows are washable, then the whole process is pretty much the same as washing feather pillows. As Good Housekeeping explains, make sure there are no tears prior to washing, as the pillows could burst into a feathery mess.

Step 1: Ensure your laundry detergent is bleach- and enzyme-free. A detergent made for wool or silk is an ideal option.

Step 2: Place no fewer than two down pillows in the washing machine, and set the water on a low temperature. If you only want to wash one pillow, add a few towels to balance the load.

Step 3: Wash your down pillows for around 8 to 10 minutes, always making sure they are fully submerged in the water.

Step 4: After the wash, rinse the pillows at least twice to make sure all of the detergent is out.

Step 5: Place the washed pillows into the tumble dryer with a clean tennis ball (to help break apart any lumps), and set it to dry on low heat. Remove the pillows, and fluff them up every 15 minutes. Keep going until the pillows are fully dry.

How To Wash Polyester Pillows

Pillows in bed

Washing polyester pillows requires a little less hassle than down or feather pillows. However, according to The Spruce, it is still essential to check your polyester pillows for any tears or rips before placing them in the washing machine. Even a small hole can turn into a disaster if it’s not mended before the wash.

Step 1: Once you are sure the pillows are in good overall condition, place at least two of them in the washing machine, and add a little bit of your laundry detergent. If you only want to wash one pillow, add a few towels to balance the load.

Step 2: Set your washing machine on a gentle cycle that uses cool or lukewarm water.

Step 3: Once the cycle is complete, put the pillows through another round of rinse.

Step 4: When the polyester pillows are thoroughly washed and rinsed, place them in the tumble dryer with a clean tennis ball (to help break apart any lumps). Set the dryer on low heat, and fluff the pillows every 15 minutes or so. Keep going until they are completely dry.

How To Wash Memory Foam Pillows By Hand

Memory foam hand print

Unfortunately, memory foam pillows are the only type of pillow that cannot be washed in the washing machine. As seegoodthings.com explains, the washing machine is too rough for the delicate foam inside the pillows, and putting them through any cycle can destroy the pillows beyond repair. The only way to wash memory foam pillows is by hand (this method also works if you don’t have a washing machine for other types of pillows).

Step 1: Fill a tub, or a large sink, with warm water and add a little bit of liquid laundry detergent.

Step 2: Place a pillow inside the bathtub and start working the water into the foam. Massage and squeeze the pillow until all of the dirt and sweat is out and the detergent has seeped through.

Step 3: As soon as you are pleased with the level of cleanliness of your pillow, gently wring all of the water out of it and fill the tub up with fresh, clean water.

Step 4: Rinse your pillow very thoroughly to make sure all of the detergent is out. This step will most likely take longer than the wash itself, but it is essential that the pillow is clean to ensure it doesn’t cause any allergic reactions.

Step 5: Once you are confident the detergent is out, gently wring the pillow and place it on a clean towel. Do not put memory foam pillows into the tumble dryer. The heat can ruin them beyond repair. Or, if possible, place your freshly washed memory foam pillow outside in the sun, rotating periodically. Keep it there until it is thoroughly dry.

Spot Cleaning: How To Remove Stains From Pillows

Messy pillows

Sometimes washing the pillows thoroughly is not going to be enough, especially if there is a noticeable, stubborn stain. In this case, you will have to focus your energy on the stain itself before you place your pillows in the washer.

How To Remove Blood Stains From Pillows

How To Remove Blood Stains From Pillows

Sometimes unexpected nosebleeds or razor cuts happen, and there isn’t much you can do except clean up the mess. Whether the blood stain is fresh or already dried and set, ghostbed.com claims this process is guaranteed to lift it.

Ingredients

  •      a few clean cloths
  •      cold clean water
  •      salt
  •      hydrogen peroxide
  •      ammonia
  •      soap

Step 1: Dab the blood-stained area with cold water to dampen it. Once the stain is wet, cover the area with salt completely and leave it to thoroughly dry (up to two hours).

It is very important to use cold water, as hot water can make the blood stain set even further.

Step 2: Once the salt has dried, carefully scrub it off the pillow. Take the clean cloth and the hydrogen peroxide, and gently dab it on the blood stain until it begins to bubble.

Step 3: Once the bubbling stops, take another clean cloth and start removing the stain and the hydrogen peroxide from the pillow. Keep going until nothing else comes out.

Step 4: If there is still a remainder of the stubborn stain, mix 1 tsp. of ammonia into 1 cup of clean cold water. Take a clean cloth and begin gently dabbing the stain until there isn’t anything left.

Step 5: Mix some soap with clean cold water, and remove any leftover ammonia and blood from the pillow. Keep working until the pillow is completely clean.

Step 6: Once you are happy with the results, leave your pillow to air-dry.

How To Remove Makeup Stains From Pillows

Lipstick stain

Let’s be honest — we have all slept in our makeup at least once in our lives.

However, seeing your face stamped on your pillow the next day isn’t pretty. Don’t panic just yet, though: according to howtocleanstuff.net, you can still lift those stains.

Main ingredients

  •       old toothbrush
  •       white paper towels

Additional ingredients, depending on the makeup stain on your pillow

  •      For lipstick removal: rubbing alcohol or witch hazel
  •      For mascara and eyeliner removal: Ajax washing liquid
  •      For liquid foundation removal: 3% hydrogen peroxide
  •      For blush, powder foundation or eye shadows: mild laundry detergent

Step 1: Using your paper towels, try to lift as much of the makeup from the pillow as possible.

Step 2: Pour a couple of drops of the appropriate cleaning solution directly onto the makeup stain. If you’re using mild laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid, add a few drops of water, too.

Step 3: Work the solution into the stain with your fingers, and then start rubbing the stain with the toothbrush in circular motion.

Step 4: Once all of the stain is gone (or at least as much as possible), put your pillow through the wash using the instructions mentioned in the beginning of this article.

How To Remove Oil Stains From Pillows

How To Remove Oil Stains From Pillows

According to yourgreendrycleaner.com, getting rid of oil from the material of your pillow should not take too much time or effort, as long as you have a dishwashing liquid that’s good against grease.

Ingredients

  •      effective anti-grease dishwashing liquid
  •      warm water
  •      a clean cloth

Step 1: Pour a little bit of the mixed dishwashing liquid with water directly onto the stain.

Step 2: Take the clean cloth and work the solution well into the fabric. Leave it to sit for three to five minutes. Make sure to not let it dry.

Step 3: Wash your pillow using the relevant method mentioned in the first part of this article.

How Often Should You Wash Your Pillows?

Calendar

According to CNN, you should wash the covers of your pillows weekly to ensure the cleanliness and freshness of your bed. The pillows themselves should only be washed every three to six months unless there is an accident or a spill.

How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows?

<u> How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows? </u>

Sleep.org states that you should replace your pillows when any of these signs are noticed:

  • it causes an allergic reaction
  • it does not smell good
  • if your polyester pillow contains any lumps or other kind of disfigurements
  • if your feather pillow becomes flat and starts to resemble a pancake
  • if, when you fold your pillow in half, it stays that way

Apart from that, if none of these signs are present, it is still recommended that you replace your pillow every one to two years. After all, having a good night’s sleep is crucial for your body, and a good pillows plays a huge part in that.

Regular Pillow Care

Laundry tag

To conclude this article, remember to wash your pillow covers weekly to ensure your pillows last you longer. Fluff them before and after sleep, and take them outside to air out at least once every two months.

If there’s an accident or a spill, follow the washing methods carefully to make sure you don’t damage your pillows. And no matter how much you love your favorite pillow, replace it when you notice signs of wearing.

Make sure to SHARE this article with your family and friends. Everybody deserves the best sleep they can possibly get, and a good clean pillow is a vital part of that.