My sister recently came for a two week visit. I noticed that she changed her pillow case every single day. I never said anything but I wondered if she knew something I didn’t or was she just being obsessive about clean pillowcases. Well, now I know. She was a bit paranoid and I am not a slob.

Experts claim that the entire pillow should be washed thoroughly about every three month. The cover should be cleaned every three weeks, which, I think is “expert” terminology for pillowcase. So, changing it every day is a bit over the top for my sister, but, I love her anyway.

Pillows are the perfect environment for some pretty nasty stuff and they need to be evicted via a thorough cleaning on a regular basis.  Many of these things are just gross, some are annoyances and others can make a person sick. So, it is important to clean a pillow regularly for optimal health. The sorts of yucky things that like to live in your pillow or on your pillowcase:

  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Dirt
  • Dead skin cells
  • Skin oil
  • Spider eggs
  • Dust mites

One of the greatest nuisances is dust mites. This is one of the most common triggers for allergic reaction symptoms. Over sixty percent of people are sensitive to dust mite triggered allergies. Thousands of these unwelcome guests could be nesting, literally, right under your nose every single night.

Even people who do not usually suffer from airborne allergies, like pollen, can suffer from dust mites in their pillow. If you notice allergy like symptoms, especially in the morning, you are probably having a reaction to dust mites.

In addition to washing pillows regularly and changing pillowcases frequently, doctors, especially allergists, recommend using a zippered pillow protector that is designed to prevent the buildup of unwanted guests such as bacteria, fungus and dust mites.

If you have a pillow that is filled with synthetic material, it can be placed in the washing machine. Feather pillows require professional dry cleaning methods. To freshen up a pillow in between scheduled three month washings, place it in the dryer on low for about a half hour.

If you are severely allergy sensitive, replacing pillows twice annually is recommended. Other folk can go shopping for a new pillow once every year or two. However, this doesn’t mean you should skip the three month scheduled cleanings in the meantime. To test a pillow and see if it is time to replace it try this:

  • Fold pillow in half
  • Place book or shoe on top
  • If pillow attempts to springs back into shape, knocking off the object, the pillow is still a keeper

How to properly wash a pillow:

  • First check the label then proceed if machine washing is recommended
  • Remove any protective cover and pillow case
  • Fill washing machine: one third hot water or boiling water
  • Add to hot water: 1 cup detergent; 1 cup dish wash powder; 1 cup bleach; mix well
  • Add pillow and finish filling washing machine with hot water
  • Halfway through wash cycle flip pillow(s)
  • Halfway through rinse cycle flip pillow(s)

When drying pillows in dryer, use low heat or air cycle. By tossing in tennis balls or some clean socks, it will help keep the pillow fluffy. Or, if the weather is nice, let pillows dry in a sunny, dry place.





Written by Gemma