Spring Cleaning: Pillows

Spring Cleaning: Pillows

Sleeping Student

Spring cleaningSpring is here and you know what that means!  Spring Cleaning has arrived!  For the next few weeks, our experts here at Sleep City will be giving you helpful tips on getting your sleeping space into tip top shape, and they may even have a few deals for you too!

So, let’s get started.  The topic of the day:  Pillows

Did you know that 10% of a 2 year old pillow’s weight is made up of dust mites??  Gross, I know.  If you think that the state of your pillow is past help, you may want to think about investing in some new pillows altogether!  Pillows should generally be replaced every 2 years, or as soon as you feel that they are harming your sleep rather than helping it. If you can’t remember when you got your pillow try the “fold test”. Fold your pillow in half and let go. If it unfolds then it can be cleaned and slept on. If it does not unfold then it’s time to ditch it for a new one.

For those of you who still have pillows that are in relatively good shape, a tune up may be just what the doctor ordered.  Here are some helpful tips and tricks for cleaning your down or fiberfill pillows and memory foam pillows

Cleaning Down and Fiberfill Pillows

  • Check the label!:  This goes for all types of pillows.  If your pillow still has a care label attached to it, your best bet is to simply follow those instructions.  Then again, we all know how annoying those labels are (I generally cut mine off immediately) so if that’s the case, hope it’s not lost.
  • Repair tears: Before washing your down or fiberfill pillows, make sure there are no holes or tears in them. If there are, stitch them shut. You don’t want a washing machine full of cotton or feathers.
  • Throw it in the washing machine:  For all down and fiberfill pillows, the best way to clean them is to toss them into the wash on a gentle cycle with warm water.  We recommend throwing two pillows in at once to ensure the washer stays balanced. Set your washer to rinse twice. 
  • Tumble dry: On a gentle cycle, with very low heat for 20 minutes.  Throw in a dryer ball to help plump them up and keep the fill from clumping. After 20 minutes, fluff your pillows. If they are still wet dry them for longer.

Cleaning Memory Foam Pillows

  • Keep the pillow covers clean:  This is especially important for foam pillows as those cannot be washed in a washing machine. Many foam pillows do have a case that they come in though, which can generally be cleaned in a washing machine, just check the care label. 
  • Get out your vacuum:  Make sure your vacuum is on the lowest setting and use it to suction dust from your foam pillows with its upholstery tool.
  • Tumble dry:  On a gentle, air only cycle for 20 minutes, a spin in your dryer should do a foam pillow some good.  
  • Spot clean:  Use a damp, sudsy towel to spot clean areas of your foam pillow, but be careful to make sure it is completely dry before placing it back on your bed.
  • Hand wash:  This is your best bet when it comes to foam pillows, but be careful!  When foam pillows become wet they tear very easily.  Some foam pillows will have instructions for hand washing.  If so, follow them. If you don’t have instructions, place your pillow in lukewarm water with a some mild detergent (not too much). Press down on your pillow to soak up the soapy water. Then with cold water carefully rinse your pillow until the water is no longer soapy and runs clear. After hand washing air dry on a clean, flat surface inside or outside on a sunny day.  

Tune in next week for our next installation of Spring Cleaning!

Cheers and sleep well.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2014 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in March 2017.