How to Disinfect Pillows

Closet Storage Ideas | Helping Hands Cleaning Services

Our pillows help us get a good night’s sleep. They keep our necks aligned with our bodies to avoid body pain and sleep loss. Since we use them every day, they can gather dirt, germs, bacteria, viruses, and saliva over time- causing unpleasant odors and making them unhygienic. That is why you need to know how to disinfect pillows. 

Why do You Need to Keep Your Pillows Clean?

While we’re sleeping, our bodies shed dead skin cells that go to our pillows and sheets. These dead skin cells attract dust mites that may generally be harmless but produce excrements that contain allergens. Over time, when these droppings build up, they can trigger itchy eyes, skin rashes, allergic rhinitis, and even asthma. 

Besides that, your sweat, natural skin oils, and saliva can also penetrate your pillowcase. When left unattended, these secretions can cause a pungent smell and yellowish to brownish stains. 

If you have been recently sick, there is also a hundred percent chance that the bacteria or virus that you got sticks to your pillow and sheets. They can cause the recurrence of your disease or spread it to your household. 

How to Clean Pillows Based on their Material?

Your pillows can be made from cotton, down, synthetic, and foam. Each of these materials requires different care, so it is better to check before you put them in the washer. 

Cotton, Down, and Synthetic Pillows

  1. Separate the pillow from its case or sham. You can throw these casings inside the washer with your pillows later on. 
  2. Read the care instructions on the tags to ensure that they can be thrown into the washing machine. Most pillows can, whether they are synthetic or down, but there are a few that you can’t, so if you don’t want to ruin your pillows, read first before you act. 
  3. Place your pillows inside the washing machine. The ideal number of pillows is at least two at a time because it helps in keeping the washer balanced. 
  4. Put in your detergent and start the wash cycle using warm water. Unless specified, you should always choose a gentle cycle. The warm water helps kill unwanted microorganisms lurking in your pillows. 
  5. Tumble dry your pillows under low heat. Turn and fluff them once in a while during the process of drying. 
  6. Add a softener to make your pillows smell fresher. 
  7. Tumble dry them again and add a couple of tennis balls to help fluff them better.

Foam Pillows

  1. Take out your foam pillows from their pillowcases.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on your foam pillow and let it sit for 30 minutes. 
  3. Use a handheld vacuum or a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove dirt, dustmites, and other pathogens. 

How to Keep Pillows Clean

Here are some tips to keep your pillow clean and fresh:

  1.  Fluff Pillows Daily

To keep your pillows in good condition, practice regular fluffing to remove dust and restore their shape. Daily fluffing will make the cushion clean and maintain its fuller look. 

  • Vacuum Foam Pillows

Memory foam pillows only need to be surface cleaned. Don’t ever put them in a washer or dryer. Use baking soda and a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt. 

  • Freshen Pillows in the Dryer

Another way to remove unwanted dirt on your pillows is by putting them in the dryer together with a vinegar-damped washcloth to help kill molds and mildew. Do this technique every few months to help maintain your pillows’ freshness. 

  • Use Pillow Protectors

To prevent your pillows from stains and dirt, you can use pillow protectors to save you time from full-on cleaning. Unlike using it bare, the only thing you need to clean is just the covers which can be machine-washed easily. 

  • Replace Pillows After Two Years

Regular cleaning may help prolong the lifespan of your pillows, but it is best to replace them about every two years. Change it when it feels uncomfortable and when it no longer provides comfort, mainly when it develops odor and stains, for it will eventually accumulate dirt and bacteria. 

When is Time to Buy New Pillows?

Pillows are meant to be replaced. The longer you use it, the more it tears out and may not offer the level of comfort that you need. Some may have stains that are impossible to wash out. Therefore, changing your pillows every few years is a must. Not only for comfort but also for hygiene and sanitation.

If you are having a hard time deciding if your pillows already need a replacement or not, here is a list of questions that might help you decide:

  • Is the pillow starting to get lumpy and uncomfortable? 
  • Do you always need to fluff up your feather pillow for support? 
  • If you fold it in half, does it stay folded? 

When all your answers to these questions are yes, it is time to let go of your old pillows and replace them with new ones. 

Helping Hands Cleaning Services 

Our team at Helping Hands knows how to clean and sanitize your home spaces. We will help you save time and effort for a full-on cleaning. By that, you can now enjoy your well-deserved relaxation day at home. For more tips on how to disinfect, you can read our other blog articles. We also have other cleaning services that might help you out. 

Call us at (630) 530-1324 or chat with one of our representatives to book one of our professional cleaners.


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