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This Is the Right Way to Clean Your Pillows


Your pillows take a beating every day, but when it’s time to wash your sheets, you might not think about tossing your pillows right in the washing machine too. Yet according to health experts, you totally should be! Here’s the low-down on how to wash your pillows the right way. It might be a hassle now, but you’ll thank us later!

Why do I need to wash my pillows?

First things first, your cushioning headrests will start to turn yellow—and that’s totally normal. Over time, skin cells, dust mites, and body oils will build up in your pillow, which can cause annoying allergic reactions like coughing, sneezing, nasal congestion, and asthma.

Your pillow should be washed at least once every three months, but if you don’t get around to washing it that often, don’t be embarrassed to admit it. According to a focus group conducted by the American College of Asthma, Allergies & Immunology, participants reported washing their pillows once every five years. Can you imagine washing your pajamas once every five years? We’d bet not.

MUST-SEE: If You Want to Prevent Bed Bugs, Buy Sheets In These Color Schemes

How do I wash pillows?

Before you hit the start button on your washers, you’ll need these items.

  • Laundry detergent
  • Washing soda
  • A washer and dryer
  • Lavender essential oil (optional)


  1. Set the water temperature on your washing machine to the highest setting and opt for the largest load size as well.

  2. Add enough laundry detergent for a typical load.

  3. Mix in 1/2 a cup of washing soda to your top-loading washing machine. The washing soda is designed to lift any stubborn stains and whiten your pillows.

  4. If you would like, you can add about five drops of lavender essential oil. Not only does lavender smell heavenly, it can also cure anxiety and insomnia, according to some research.

  5. Now you can throw in up to two pillows at a time.

  6. Once the cycle is finished, you can put your pillows in the dryer on low heat. If the timer goes off and you’re still not sure about whether or not the pillow is completely dry, try folding it in half. If it pops back into place it’s dry. If not, throw it back in the dryer.


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