How to clean a pillow or mattress pad
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Home  >  Learning Center Articles  >  Orthopedic beds & pillows  >  How to clean a pillow or mattress pad


Depending on the age of your bed pillow or mattress pad, over 50% of its weight may be comprised of sloughed skin, mold, mildew, fungus, dust mites and dust mite feces. Washing and replacing your pillow frequently helps keep it fresh and prolongs their useful life. Most manufacturers recommend you clean your pillows and overlays every 6 months.

Double case your pillows and mattress overlays. Use two pillow cases on your pillows and double the sheet layers on your mattress pad. This will better resist the accumulation of microscopic dust mites, mold, mildew and other bacteria - as well as sweat, body oils and drool - which tends to permeate bed linens and settle into the pillows and pads beneath.

Change your pillow cases often. At least once each week. Body oils and bacteria will build up in the pillow cases, and eventually make their way to the pillow itself, unless replaced frequently. If you suffer from acne, you should change your pillow case daily to reduce skin contact with bacteria. Parasites such as lice cannot reproduce in less than a week's time, so if you change your linens weekly, you'll never have a problem with them.

Clean your pillows at least every 6 months. Clean your pillows at least every 6 months. They'll last longer. Check the labels on your pillows for special instructions.

Dry your pillows COMPLETELY after washing. If a pillow doesn't dry completely before being put in its case, it will breed mold or mildew and be ruined forever.

Down pillow cleaning

Down pillows can be dry cleaned, machine washed or hand washed using mild detergent, NOT soap. Soap is harder to remove and can leave a residue. We prefer washing and believe the results are better. Permit the machine to run 30 seconds to thoroughly mix detergent and water. Stop the machine. Place pillows into the water and push under and squeeze out as much air as you can. Down is very buoyant and floats high on top of water - it doesn't want to get wet so it may take a little work. Soak pillows about two hours, then squeeze out the air again, or if you have a pre-soak cycle on your machine use that instead. Start the machine and complete the washing cycle. Wash the pillow with a tennis ball or sneaker to keep the down from bunching-up into a corner during the spin cycle. Use 1/4 cup of vinegar in the rinse to help remove detergent residue.

Dry using the "hot" cycle, again with the sneaker, or dry in the sun, turning and fluffing the pillow periodically to redistribute the down. Monitor the drying by checking on your item about every 15 to 20 minutes. Shake vigorously all direction and place back in dryer. Repeat this process until its light and fluffy. Monitor your dryer often, as you will want to take the item out of the dryer immediately when dry. Some dryer drums get hot and may not be good for your Down item if left after your dryer stops.

Feather pillow cleaning

Feather pillows can be hand washed or dry cleaned. Feathers repel water: that is why they keep the goose dry. so they are harder to wash than down. Hand wash using mild detergent, NOT soap. Soap is harder to remove and can leave a residue. Use 1/4 cup of vinegar in the rinse to help remove detergent residue.

Machine dry using the "hot" cycle, with the sneaker, or dry in the sun, turning and fluffing the pillow periodically to redistribute the feathers. Monitor the drying by checking on your item about every 15 to 20 minutes. Shake vigorously all direction and place back in dryer. Repeat this process until its light and fluffy. Monitor your dryer often, as you will want to take the item out of the dryer immediately when dry. Some dryer drums get hot and may not be good for your feather item if left after your dryer stops.

Synthetic pillow cleaning

Synthetic fiber pillows can be machine washed using mild detergent, NOT soap. Soap is harder to remove and can leave a residue. Front loaders are more gentle than agitator machines. Use 1/4 cup of vinegar in the rinse to help remove detergent residue.

Machine dry. Lower quality fiber pillow may bunch up after cleaning, and you'll need to pull out the fibers to redistribute them after drying.

Foam pillow cleaning

Foam pillows can be hand washed in a tub or sink. Use mild detergent, NOT soap. Soap is harder to remove and can leave a residue. Gently squeeze the soapy water into the pillow by pressing on the pillow repeatedly. Do not wring or twist. Rinse well until clear, using 1/4 cup of vinegar in the rinse to help remove detergent residue. Gently press the rinse water out.

Air dry, AWAY from sunlight. Sunlight will discolor the foam and cause breakdown.

Wool pillow cleaning

Wool pillows must be dry cleaned.

Buchwheat hull pillow cleaning

Buckwheat hull pillows. Remove the buckwheat hulls from the zippered case, and wash the case only. The buckwheat hulls themselves should not be washed. However, if you want to be sure the hulls do not accumulate dust mites or other organisms, place your buckwheat hull pillow in the freezer overnight once every 1-2 years.

 


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THE FINE PRINT
Our advice is offered in good faith but without guarantee, as individual conditions and product use are beyond our control. Our guidelines should not be taken as medical advice or a substitute for the recommendations of your health care practitioner, nor an endorsement of any procedure, therapy, treatment, or product. The user assumes all risk of injury and applicability for a particular item. All merchandise is sold under this condition, which no representative of the company can waive or change.

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