Maintaining your pillows properly is important to prolong their life. Pillows are quite expensive and some of them lose their shape because of negligence on your part. There are a variety of materials available in the market and each has to be taken care of differently.
Down and feather pillows are slightly more challenging than latex or memory foam. So whenever you buy a pillow, make sure to research a bit, find the one that suits you the best and easier to clean. There are some general rules of cleanliness and maintenance that apply to all pillows.
That being said, let’s get onto some tricks and hacks that you may find useful to take care of your pillows so they stay in shape.
Washing Your Pillows
Washing your pillows is a hygiene practice that won’t just save your pillows from expiring too early but keep you away from many health issues as well. Skin oils, saliva, sweat, bacteria, you name it. It’s a hotbed for icky things and these break down your pillow’s inner stuffing over time, making them flat and lumpy.
Although there are pillows that keep their shape and don’t flatten, it is important to clean them at least every six months and more ideally, every three months. Make sure not to leave any moisture inside and always treat your pillows as per the instructions.
Here are some cleaning tips for different materials:
1. Down or feather
For down and feather pillows, use a small amount of a mild detergent specifically designed for this material. Down or feathers are sensitive and prone to clumping. If you are using a liquid detergent that is not completely rinsed out, it might leave a streak of stain on the pillow and cause lumps.
2. Memory foam or latex
Although Memory foam and latex are the most resilient against shape disruption and aging, these can’t be machine washed or put into dryers. The reason is the agitator in the washing machine may cause the foam’s breakage and damage it permanently. Plus the thickness itself of the material will make it very hard for it to dry.
So your best bet is to spot clean them to get rid of any stains and also use a protective pillow cover on them. That way, you always have to clean the pillowcase and not the pillow itself. Changing pillow covers more often will also extend its life.
Wash it gently with warm water, a few spins at normal speed. A tablespoon of liquid detergent will suffice and clean up the stuffing completely.
4. Fluff Them To Keep them In shape
Fluff your pillows every morning when making your bed. Every night, we rest our head on the pillow which bends down the filling under the weight. Giving a nice fluff to your pillows will allow the filling to stay intact and put together, keeping its shape intact.
5. Put Your Pillow Out In The Sun
Give your pillow a day out in the sun so any moisture can evaporate and allergens can be eliminated. The heat of the sun may also kill any bacteria inside the pillow and remove a bad odor. Ideally, it’s great to hang your pillows in the sun every 3 months.
6. Store Pillows Correctly
Pillows that are not used more often should be stored properly. Store them in a breathable bag; avoid using plastic bags or any other bags having space as these trap moisture inside the pillow. The moisture may create mildew or fungus, destroying the stuffing and flattening out the shape of the pillow.
7. Change Your Pillowcases More Often
Changing your pillowcases frequently will keep the bacteria in control and therefore prevent the need of washing them more often. Due to sweat and sebum from hair and skin, many germs can harbor not just on the upper surface, but absorb in the material of the pillow. So to keep it in shape, it is important to keep changing the pillowcases.
8. Use a Pillow Pad
Although good pillow covers provide strong protection, it would be ideal to use a pillow pad. A pillow pad will create a protective barrier between the pillow and pillowcase. A good pillow pad will keep the dust mites and other allergens away, increasing the life of your pillow.
9. Keep Your Pillows Away From Any Moisture
Do not place your pillows in any area containing moisture. Don’t place your pillows near a window as it might absorb a few sprinkles of rain causing mold to grow inside. Don’t sleep on your pillow with wet hair; always dry your hair before going to bed. In case you feel the pillow might have absorbed some water, make sure to air dry it fast.
Keeping pillows in good shape is all about maintaining them in the best way possible. Cleanliness has to be paramount but other things such as not placing them under a heavier weight or storing them in a bent position should be avoided too.
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