How to Wash Down Pillows: Tips to Keep Your Sleep Support Clean
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Many people choose down pillows because they are luxurious and soft. They are also great for back and side sleepers as well as for those suffering from neck and back problems. Down pillows, however, need some care unlike synthetic pillows as they are made from duck and goose parts. Part of taking care of it is knowing how to wash down pillows properly.
Why Wash Pillows?
Contrary to popular belief, down pillows do not need to be cleaned by professionals. The usual machine washers at home can do the cleaning. After all, pillows with natural fillers such as down are low maintenance, unlike synthetic pillows. Luckily, down pillows can fit in any washing machine.
- Accumulated dirt
There is a need to clean and wash pillows as over time they accumulate dirt and even bacteria despite having covers on them. Just because there are pillowcases does not mean that they will never gather dirt and dust. Most people do not wash their pillows because they fear that the entire pillow will be ruined after washing. This holds true only for synthetic pillows but not for those with natural fillers such as down and feather ones.
In fact, regular washing of pillows can make it more durable. It is also healthy to wash the pillows along with other beddings as it can prevent the growth of bacteria and even molds.
- Yellowish Stain
Failure to wash pillows can also cause the item to turn yellow. This is because heads sweat even at night especially during warm weather. Other medical conditions such as menopause or pregnancy also cause night sweating. Plus, our bodies have natural oils including our heads, which also transfer to the pillows because of the skin contact.
People also drool, and the combination of saliva and sweat often cause the pillows to turn into yellow. Washing will eliminate the accumulated sweat, oil and saliva on the pillows, preventing them from turning into the color yellow.
How to Wash Down Pillows?
The key to washing a down pillow successfully is to ensure that you thoroughly rinse and dry it. There are some tips and techniques when washing down and feather pillows.
- Balance and Temperature
For starters, it is always best to wash two pillows at the same time. Doing so keeps the washing machine balanced during the spin cycle.
One can choose either warm, hot or cold temperature to wash the pillows. However, this also depends on the care instructions provided by the product maker. It is essential to read and follow the care guidelines of the pillow to ensure proper washing. For example, some makers do not recommend washing pillows in hot water, and failure to follow the instruction could result in the shrinkage of the fabric or filling material.
- Speed, Soap and Additional Rinsing Matters
Taking out the moisture is important when cleaning the pillows. As such, experts highly recommend to use the fastest speed so that moisture can be taken out efficiently.
The soap also matters. The best soap to use is a gentle soap to prevent damaging the material and fabric. Likewise, those with allergies should find a laundry detergent that is free from allergens. We also advise to add an extra wash cycle to ensure that all of the soap is washed away.
- Proper Drying Is Important
Washing with soap and rinsing are just parts of the cleaning and washing process. One has to keep in mind that drying the pillows properly is equally important.
Some washers allow for temperature control during the drying process. One can choose either low heat, warm or hot when drying. However, just like during the soaping and washing stages, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instruction as warm or high temperatures can cause shrinkage or damage to the filling material or its cover.
Also, do not be in a hurry and skimp on the drying time. It may take several drying cycles before the pillows dry entirely.
One can also do a dry test if possible. This means hand-fluffing the pillows after each drying cycle. Sometimes the pillows are still damp in the insides despite being dry to one’s touch from the outside. Keep running the pillows in the dry cycle until you are entirely sure that it is dry both inside and out.
- Other Techniques
There are other techniques that one can do when washing.
For example, adding dryer balls or even clean tennis balls can help. Adding one to three of a dryer or tennis balls can make the drying process faster. Doing so will produce some beating sound inside the washer or dryer, but one should not worry because the balls are not hurting the pillows nor the machines.
Additionally, one can add a dryer sheet to help freshen the pillows.
What Are the Recommended Washing Intervals?
It is not enough to know how to wash down pillows since knowing how frequent to wash them is also vital. For some people, it is recommended to wash them every three months if the user tends to sweat more and drool frequently. How often a pillow needs washing also depends on the person using it and their hygiene.
Additionally, one can choose to hand fluff the pillows regularly so that they go back to their original shape. There is no need to wait for the washing time before fluffing the pillows.
Down pillows are great since they are soft and can help reduce neck and head-related problems. However, failure to wash the pillows could harm the user since pillows also accumulate saliva, sweat, dust and body oils over time.
The best way to prolong a down pillow’s shelf life is to wash them frequently. But again, following the care and washing instructions provided by the manufacturer is essential to prevent damage. Washing the pillows incorrectly such as using hot water when the pillow is only for cold washing can cause shrinkage to the filling materials. Plus, it is also vital to ensure that the soap is washed off and dried properly.