One of the best feelings in this world is laying down at night in a fresh clean bed. Although changing your sheets you may discover that your pillow is less than fresh. Unless you are using a pillow protector, your pillow is going to need a good wash every now and then. We are going to share with you how to clean your pillow along with tips for keeping your pillow fresh and removing stains. Follow along to learn how to keep your pillows fresh and clean.
Looking to do a bit of spring cleaning? Check out our post: Bedroom Spring Cleaning
Always Follow Care Instructions
Before we get into all of the many ways you can wash and clean your pillows, we want to note that these methods of cleaning will NOT work for all pillows. There are so many pillows out there with different needs for caring and cleaning due to a large variety of construction and materials. Which is why we always suggest reading care instructions on your pillow first before attempting any of these methods.
Typically care instructions can be found on the tag on your pillow. If you typically cut this tag off, we do recommend taking note of care instructions before doing so. If you are not sure what your pillow can or cannot handle, reach out to the manufacturer of your pillow for more details.
Do you need to wash your mattress too? We can help you with that too. Click Mattress Care to find out the best way to remove stains and keep your mattress like brand new.
Machine Wash & Dry Your Pillow
If you have a standard cotton and polyester pillow then you will likely be going with the standard machine wash and dry cleaning method. First rule of thumb is that if you are going to fully submerge your pillow in water, that you are going to need to ensure it is fully dry inside and out before you continue use. This is vital in order to prevent mold and mildew from growing in your pillow.
When using a washing machine to clean your pillows, we suggest washing several pillows at once in order to keep the load even. Use gentle detergents and a low heat gentle cycle. If you can use extra spin cycles, this is recommended to remove as much water as possible before moving to the dryer. When removing from the washing machine, if you can remove any extra water by hand do so before moving into the dryer.
To dry your pillows, use a low heat setting and dryness level as dry as possible. It is highly likely that your pillow may need to go into the dryer multiple times before it is completely dry. To help this process, wool dryer balls are a great accessory to use. They help to fluffy up your pillows while also absorbing excess moisture.
To ensure your pillow is as dry as possible, leave out in a well ventilated room for a day or too and check to see if it feels completely dry before continuing use.
Don’t have wool dryer balls yet? Click here to get some today. You can thank us later.
Spot Cleaning Pillows
If a stain manages to make its way through your sheets and onto your pillow, then it is time to spot treat. With pillows that cannot get a full wash and dry, you are going to want to ensure as little moisture gets into your pillow as possible. This is all to avoid trapped moisture in your pillow which can turn into mildew.
If the stain is still wet, try to remove excess and blot with dry sponge or paper towels first. Then lightly dampen a sponge with soap and gently dab at the stain. Depending on what the stain is made of it may change what you use in order to remove.
No Wash Pillow Refresh
Some pillows simply cannot go in the washer and dryer. Sometimes this is due to the shape, or perhaps the materials simply make it nearly impossible to get moisture out of the pillow if it gets completely damp. This can be frustrating if you are used to being able to do a full wash and dry on your pillows.
However, you can still freshen up your pillows even without a full machine wash and dry. We recommend first spot cleaning if needed. Then give it is a good spray down with a linen spray or disinfecting spray like Lysol (we will talk about sanitizing in the next section.) Then allow to airdry completely before use. If your pillow is safe to go in the dryer with no heat, a quick tumble dry can be a great way to fluff and refresh your pillows.
Sanitize Your Pillow
Was someone sick recently? Or perhaps you are just wanting to do a deep clean and sanitize your pillows? We got your back. If it is a hot sunny summer day, you may want to consider laying your pillow out in the sunshine. While this may not seem as powerful as chemical sanitizers, direct sunlight can actually disinfect your pillow and kill off a number of germs lingering on your pillow. Just be sure you place it in direct sunlight in a clean dry spot.
If you are looking for something a bit more powerful, you can lightly spray your pillow with a disinfection spray like Lysol. Pick out a sanitizing spray that can be used on upholstery for your safest bet that it will not harm your pillow. A quick tumble in the dryer with no heat can be a good way to dry the spray and fluff your pillow simultaneously.
How To Keep Your Pillow Clean
One of the very best ways to keep your pillow clean is by washing your pillow case frequently. Having a quality pillow case made with moisture wicking materials like cotton, or Tencel will help to keep your pillow safe from your sweat, drool, etc.
Natural materials that wick away moisture are best for keeping your pillow safe from regular amount of sweat, oils, and other regular condiments that occur for most people. By washing your bedding frequently this will keep your pillowcase nice and protective for the pillow underneath.
How To Keep Your Pillow Smelling Fresh
Typically, any regular dirty smells will linger on pillow cases and can be easily freshened up by changing or washing your linens. When your pillow itself has started to smell, then it absolutely needs to get a deep clean. If it seems to just need a bit of freshening up, then you can spray with a linen spray or give it a good wash.
If your pillow is truly developing a bad smell, it is likely time to get a new one. Bad smells can be indicative of mildew, mold, or fungus growing inside of your pillow due to bacteria and moisture building up inside of the pillow. At this point it is not healthy to be sleeping on that pillow any longer. Which is why we would suggest getting a new pillow and using a pillow protector to prevent moisture build up in the future.
If you have a problem with mildew in your pillows it could be caused by washing without thoroughly drying afterword. This is why we always advise making sure your pillow is completely dry before continuing use.
Want more tips on how you can keep your bedroom smelling fresh? Visit our page Best Bedroom Fragrance & Safe Scents For Bedrooms to learn all of our fav tricks on keeping your bedroom smelling amazing.
How To Remove Yellow Pillow Stains:
The dreaded yellow staining, this is the most common issue found when trying to clean your pillows. Even if you give them a great wash and dry. They smell fresh and clean, they are clean, but the stains remain. How can you get rid of these nasty stains?
First of all, preventative care should prevent all yellow staining. We will share more about preventative care next. Secondly, to remove yellow stains a machine wash cycle is your best bet. Be sure to check care instructions to make sure your pillow can safely go into a machine wash.
To remove yellow stains, put your washing machine on a disinfect/hottest cycle possible. Add ½ cup hydrogen peroxide, ½ cup lemon juice (fresh), and ½ cup white distilled vinegar into the washing machine. Then put in your pillows and allow to wash. Next, run in a second cycle with your usual laundry detergent.
If your pillow is okay to go into the dryer, then tumble dry on a low heat setting with wool dryer balls. (Or clean tennis balls if this is all you have.) After this wash your pillow should be back to normal. A bluing liquid can also be a last resort to combating yellowing stains.
Learn more about how to keep your white linens looking bright white in our post:
How To Protect Your Pillow From Sweating/Drooling:
If you know, you know. Perfuse sweating and constant drooling makes it incredibly difficult to keep your pillow fresh and clean. If this is something you are all too familiar with, then we suggest investing in a quality pillow protector. They now make versions that are waterproof without all the crinkling plastic sound and feel.
A pillow protector is truly the best way to keep moisture from seeping in and ruining your pillow. A pillowcase can only protector your pillow so much. If it becomes completely soaked, it cannot wick away moisture fast enough in order to keep your pillow for getting damp as well. Excessive moisture doesn’t just stain your pillow, it can also lead to mildew. Which is why we suggest getting a pillow protector and washing your sheets regularly.
Not sure how to clean your mattress? No worries, we can help you there too. Just visit our page Mattress Care: How To Clean A Mattress to learn more.
How To Clean Your Pillows & Keep Them Fresh – Final Thoughts:
Pillows are not always the easiest to clean. Which is exactly why we often recommend washing your sheets regularly and using a pillow protector if you need one. Preventative care is truly the best way possible to keep your pillows as clean as possible. However, we know that accidents happen and sometimes you just don’t want to start over when you have an old pillow that you love. We hope this guide helps you to clean your pillows and keep them fresh for a long time.
If you have a questions feel free to send us a message. We would be happy to help answer any questions you may have.