How to Clean a Pillow - Pillow Hygiene

Cleaning a Pillow, and can you put it in the Washing Machine?

Here are some common pillow hygiene questions

Most people use a pillow at night, do you know how to keep your pillow in shape, and clean? 

Can you wash your bedroom pillow?

Some pillows wash better than others, and as a rule I find that the cheaper brands do not wash as well as the better-quality brands. Memory Foam pillows do not wash well at all – best to replace them. Poly, Cotton, and Down inners can be washed.

Bedroom pillows, in particular kids pillows, can become dirty easily. So here are some tips for how to wash your bedroom pillows:

  1. Best to use a delicate or gentle cycle
  2. Wash one pillow at a time – don’t try to wash too many at once
  3. Use a mild, liquid soap (we use a eucalyptus-based wash), we do not recommend using bleach or harsh chemicals – you put your head on that pillow – treat it well!
  4. Use a warm (not hot) wash cycle, this will help kill the germs/dust mites and bring out the grime.
  5. Sometimes a pillow will fill with air while being washed – stop the machine and push the air out, so that it does not push water to spill out of your machine
  6. Ensure a gentle, short spin cycle and air dry the pillow in the sunshine
  7. We find airdrying on the top of a clothesline the most effective way of drying without ruining the shape. The sunshine further kills any germs, and the fresh air rejuvenates the inner
  8. Reshape your pillow when you sit it on top of your clothesline, to ensure it dries in a good shape
  9. Do not tumble dry – it breaks down the inner and makes the pillow lumpy
  10. Do not iron pillows

How often should you replace your bedroom pillow?

This is a hard one to answer – as it depends how you use your pillow. For instance, if you sleep with 2 pillows, the one on top (which you put your face on) is likely to need replacing more often than the bottom pillow. Dust mites find their way into beds, no matter how clean you are, so washing your pillow occasionally is important.

We find that pillows last 18months to 2 years on average, especially a good quality brand. The manufacturers have a suggested life of 1 year – however we find that is a little too short.

You will find that your pillow looks grotty when its time to replace it, and that it doesn’t spring back when you fold it in half.

Kids pillows may need replacing more often, as they tend to get sick more often, to sneeze and dribble on them. Try machine washing them (per instructions above) a few times, and when their pillows no longer spring back – best to replace them.

Do you need to replace European Pillows regularly?

European pillows, which are often used for decoration, do not need to be washed unless there is a spillage or dust settles in them.  We’ve found that European pillows do not need to be replaced for years, if they are used as decorative pillows. Often, they need a bit of plump up, and some time in the sunshine to be refreshed. Once a year we put them onto the top of the clothesline to air out – and they come back inside plump and new.

 I have allergies, do I need to treat my pillow differently?

If you have allergies, you may want to replace your pillow (and wash your pillow) more often than recommended. Most pillows are anti-allergy – however you will find that dust and germs from your face collect in the pillow over time, and if you are particularly sensitive it will help to wash and replace more often.

 For tips on finding the most comfortable pillow, see our blog here.