How to Wash a Pillow

I recently read an article in All You Magazine (prime bathroom literature, my friends) which claimed that after two years, 1/10 of the weight of your pillow is made up of dust mites and their waste…as in itty bitty little dust mite poo.

That’s kinda gross.

I have had the same pillow for, hmmm, let’s round down to 10 years, so if every two years 1/10 of the weight is replaced by mites and mite-poo, and I’ve had mine for 10 years, that 10 divided by 2 times 1/10 equals…ewwww…50%.

Even with my faulty math, that almost makes me want to buy a new pillow.

But I love my buggy, pooey pillow.

Lucky for me, the article was kind enough to explain how to wash a pillow, a bit of information I am kind enough to pass on to you, in case you, too, love your buggy, pooey pillow.

How To Clean a Pillow 2

How to Wash a Pillow

  1. Check the washing instructions. Most pillows are machine-washable. (If mine says it is not machine washable, I wash it in the machine anyway. Yes, even feather pillows…but you most certainly did not hear that from me. The only exception in my home is very old pillows that will not survive the process, or those, like my son’s with more holes than casing due to a few too many pillow fights.)
  2. Wash two normal-sized pillows or one jumbo pillow at a time to keep your machine balanced. You don’t want it doing a fox-trot across the floor.
  3. Set your machine to the longest, hottest cycle.
  4. Use liquid detergent, since, supposedly, powder detergent leaves a residue. I can’t imagine why someone who’s been sleeping on a pound of dust mite poo would care too much about a little detergent residue, but, I guess dust mite poo is “all-natural,” so, there ya go.
  5. Run the pillows through the rinse cycle twice.
  6. Toss the pillows in the dryer with a couple tennis balls or dryer balls to fluff them up and speed up the drying process.
  7. Dry your pillows completely at medium-high or high heat until dry. It may take several cycles. Check the pillows between each cycle, and consider letting your dryer rest for half an hour between cycles so it doesn’t burn out. Yup, it happens. Boo.
  8. Be sure the pillows are completely dry by squeezing them with your hands to feel for moisture. Optionally, squeeze them with a paper towel. If any moisture shows up, pop those babies back in the dryer. It is not unusual for the drying process to take 3-4 hours.
  9. Use an allergen pillow case from here on out to prevent a reinfestation of mites and their poo.

I think I said the word “poo” far too much in this post.

Check out the comment section for some helpful questions and answers.

Do you have any tips for how to wash a pillow?

Also, I am happy to tackle any other obscure homemaking tasks you’d like demystified. I warn you, I don’t “homemake” by the rules, but I’m happy to answer questions…the simple way.