BedVoyage welcomes guest blogger Debbie from Best Prices Beds, with a Guide to Cleaning Pillows and Blankets
As well as disinfecting your mattress and keeping your sheets clean and healthy, don’t you want to get the maximum lifespan out of your pillows and blankets? Here are a few quick tips to get them clean in no time…
All about pillows
Our guide to Guide to Cleaning Pillows and Blankets should help keep them in good condition for years to come. Regular pillow cleaning will naturally extend their lifecycle, but how often should you change your pillows? The Sleep Foundation suggests that pillows need changing every 1-2 years. They’re supposed to support your head and neck for 8 hours each night, if they’re not doing their job right, it can lead to back pain and sleep issues.
Signs that say it’s time to change your pillow:
- Waking up with sore neck or back.
- Stiff jaw or headaches after waking up.
- Unable to find a comfortable sleeping position.
- Your pillows are no longer plump or are lumpy.
- There are smells or sweat marks.
- You experience increased allergies at bedtime, during the night or as you wake up.
How often should you wash your pillows?
Pillows need regular washing – every 3-6 months. This is because while pillowcases provide a reasonable amount of protection, it’s still very easy for sweat and dirt to transfer through to your pillow during sleep. What’s more, they are an ideal environment for bacteria to breed thanks to the heat from your body and increased moisture levels.
However, cleaning your pillows is not straightforward. Can you wash pillows in the washing machine? Can they go in the dryer? Just like mattresses have different construction and fillings that affect the disinfection and cleaning method, so do pillows. It’s best to start by checking the manufacturer’s care label, but most can be cleaned in the washing machine.
Pillows that are usually washing machine safe:
- Feather: use low heat or cold water setting and a gentle detergent, then dry on low.
- Down: use low heat or cold water setting and a gentle detergent, then dry on low.
- Polyester: use a mid-level heat and more detergent, then dry on medium.
To prevent the filling from clumping, try and put two pillows in the machine at the same time, so they have less space to move around in.
But how do you clean memory foam pillows? The issue with alternative pillows like memory foam is the washing machine can damage their shape and structure. Instead, it’s safer to use a vacuum cleaner to remove any top-level dirt and then spot wash discolored or stained areas on the pillow.
If there are smells you want removed from your memory foam, remove all the covers and sprinkle baking soda on one side, then leave it in the sun for a few hours before vacuuming it clean. Repeat this with the other side, and the smell should be gone!
You can also hand-wash memory foam pillows every few months, using a small amount of gentle detergent and leaving it to air dry for at least 24hours.
All about blankets
We all love to snug up in a blanket on a cold night or tuck in our loved ones to help them stay warm. It’s a comfort thing, but a well-used and well-loved blanket deserves a good clean every now and then.
If you’re a regular blanket user, then you should treat it as you do regular laundry and clean it every couple of weeks. If your blankets are more decorative, then once every few months should be fine.
How to wash your blankets
Recommended cleaning methods for blankets vary by material, but the safest way to wash them is via hand-washing.
How to hand-wash your blanket:
- Fill a container big enough to contain your blanket with cool water and a dose of mild detergent.
- Submerge the blanket in the water
- Going section by section, clean the blanket by gently kneading it with your hands. If there’s a stain, knead it for longer.
- Remove the blanket from the water, let the excess water runoff, then gently squeeze to get out as much water as possible.
- Rinse the blanket with clean, cool water until it’s clear – you might have to replace the water a few times.
- Allow the blanket to dry completely.
Some blankets are usually safe to go in the washing machine if you check their care labels, but not all can go in the dryer:
- Fleece, wool or cotton blankets shouldn’t go in the dryer as they can shrink and experience fiber damage
- Weighted blankets may be too heavy for some washing machines and dryers
- Acrylic blankets are usually the easiest to care for, but they are synthetic fibers
- Natural Bamboo blankets can be cleaned in washing machines and used in dryers if you follow the manufacturer guidelines
The key is to always check the manufacturer’s care instructions before putting your blankets in the washing machine or dryer to be sure it’s safe to do so.
You can’t always see the germs, dirt and bacteria on your pillows and blankets, but you can be sure they’re there. So, remember to wash and care for your bedding regularly and to always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. If done right, you’ll save money in the long run and get the most out of your bedding.
If you are experiencing any mold issues in your room, you can review this blog to learn more.
Thank you for reading our Guide to Cleaning Pillows and Blankets! And if you’d like to learn more about how to clean your mattress, please check out this super-informative article on that! And check out BedVoyage luxury bamboo bed and bath linens for the entire family at BedVoyage.com.