A clean pillow and fresh sheets are an open invitation for well-deserved rest after a long day. You sleep on your pillow every night and enjoy countless hours snoozing away, but you may not realize what lurks below your clean pillowcase. Even the freshest smelling pillows can be harboring a variety of substances from nightly contact with your skin. Sweat, natural body oils, hair products, makeup, and saliva all end up on your pillowcases and the pillow beneath and this can lead to stains that give pillows an unappealing yellow appearance. Although it’s important to replace your pillow periodically, stains don’t mean you have to toss it and buy a new one. With some helpful cleaning tips, you can restore your pillowcases and pillows to a fresher, like-new state.
It’s a good idea to remove pillowcases and clean them separately from pillows. Pillowcases come in direct contact with your skin and hair and tend to turn yellow faster as they retain residue. Prior to cleaning the pillowcase, use liquid dish soap on it and work it in with a stiff brush to remove residue. For difficult body oil and other stains, a small amount of vinegar can help. Once you’ve removed most of the residue, toss the pillowcase in your washing machine on a hot cycle to eliminate any remaining residue and restore its freshness.
Although pillows aren’t exactly difficult to clean, they do require extra attention due to their unique composition. Check the label on the pillow for washing instructions and if you don’t have the label anymore, don’t worry as most synthetic and down pillows are machine washable. To improve the cleaning capabilities of your washing machine and detergent, add some hot/boiling water, some dry laundry soap, and a small amount of bleach to the washing machine tub and let it sit for 30 minutes. After that, machine wash your pillow as directed with a hot water setting and liquid detergent. Due to the filling of pillows, they can trap detergent, so use a second rinse cycle to remove all the soap from inside.
Drying pillows in the dryer is usually safe, but it’s a good idea to use the lowest heat setting or air dry setting. To prevent the pillows from getting lumpy tumbling around in the dryer, throw in some balled-up socks to fluff the pillows as they’re drying. Consider air drying your pillows for a few days for freshness and to ensure removal of all moisture, thus preventing the development of mold and mildew inside them.
To maintain the freshness of your pillows, clean them a few times a year to remove any built-up residue and stains. Change your pillowcases to clean once per week and consider showering before bed to remove makeup, hair products, sweat, etc. Pair your clean pillows and pillowcases with professionally cleaned and ironed bed linens for a truly restful night’s sleep.