How to wash bed pillows

When was the last time you washed your pillow? If you can’t remember, it is probably due a clean. Amara’s pillow cleaning guide
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Guide to washing a pillow

Having a clean bed pillow is essential for a happy, healthy night’s sleep. Although most people wash bedding and pillow covers on a regular basis, bed pillows often get forgotten about, and left to collect dust.

How often to clean bed pillows:

Ideally, bed pillows should be cleaned every six months to prevent mold and bacteria. Washing pillows will also get rid of any odors, stains and dust.

Before cleaning:

Before cleaning bed pillows, be sure to carefully read the cleaning instructions. Some filling varieties may state they are dry clean or hand- wash only, and going against this advice can cause damage.

How long does it take?:

Washing a pillow can be quite a lengthy process, because it takes a lot of care. On top of this, pillows can take a while to dry out naturally, so it’s best to set aside a couple of days for the whole process.

Washing a bed pillow

Feather, down and synthetic filling:

The majority of bed pillows can be washed in the washing machine on a low heat and gentle cycle. It is advised to use just a small amount of liquid detergent, as powder detergent can leave a residue behind. To ensure pillows stay protected throughout the washing process, place them in pillow covers during the cycle. If there is enough room in the washing machine, putting two pillows in at a time can help to balance out the load.

Foam, silk and latex filling:

For more delicate bed pillow fillings like foam, silk and latex, care instructions normally advise against washing in a machine. This is because the heat and cycle motion can cause damage. Foam and latex pillows should generally only be wiped clean with a damp cloth, and left to air dry. However, if you decide to hand wash, use lukewarm or cool water and a small amount of detergent, making sure not to wring the pillow out. Also, bear in mind that foam pillows become especially heavy when wet, which makes them likely to tear.

Drying a bed pillow

Feather, down and synthetic filling:

After washing, most feather, down and synthetic pillows can be placed in the tumble dryer on a low heat setting, but it’s best to double check the pillow’s care label beforehand. Adding a couple of rubber drying balls can help the pillows to dry, and keep them plump and fluffy. After tumble drying, leave the pillows in a warm place until they are completely dry. Not allowing pillows to dry out completely can cause damp.

Foam, silk and latex filling:

Tumble drying foam, silk and latex filled pillows is not advised as they need to be treated very gently. After carefully washing, these pillows can take a long time to dry, so it’s best to press excess water out with a towel, then leave them outside on a warm day (not in direct sunlight) or in a warm area of the house for a couple of days. Having spare bed pillows to sleep with during the washing and drying process is recommended.