Ick! Old Pillows Give You Allergies and Adult Acne — Use This TikTok Cleaning Hack To Strip Them Clean
Eliminate that yellow tinge.
When was the last time you deep-cleaned your oldest pillows? Throwing them in the washing machine twice a year is a great first step (and probably more than most of us do). However, that’s not the same as a deep clean. As much as we’d like to think the washing machine scrubs away all that build-up, it really doesn’t.
It might seem like a pillow can’t accumulate that much build-up. Changing the pillow case every few days should do the trick, right? Wrong! In reality, traditional pillow cases simply can’t keep out all the sweat, dust, microbes, and other allergens that collect over the years. (Not to mention the excess detergent that builds up on the interior.) A case also can’t prevent you from getting itchy and sneezy or developing adult acne after sleeping on a dirty, yellow-tinged pillow.
Zippered protectors, which go underneath the pillow case, are a great solution — but they won’t do much if your old pillows are already dirty. Plus, zippered protectors need replacing every two years, which is when they start to wear down. The most cost-effective solution? Stripping your pillows using this TikTok cleaning hack. That way, you won’t have to get rid of those trusty pillows that have supported you for years.
How To Strip Your Old Pillows
According to 74-year-old TikTok influencer “Babs” Barbara Costello (she affectionately calls herself “everyone’s grandmother”), you should strip your pillows once a year. Don’t be ashamed if you’ve never stripped them before — that’s all the more reason to get cracking! Here’s how:
- Fill your bathtub with extremely hot water.
- Add ¼ baking soda, ¼ borax, and 2 cups liquid laundry detergent. (If your detergent is highly concentrated, add ½ to 1 cup.) Stir with a big wooden spoon.
- Place up to four pillows in the tub, using the wooden spoon to submerge them.
- Let sit for 24 hours. By the next day, tub should be full of dirty water.
- Squeeze out excess water by compressing the wet pillows against the side of the tub.
- Load two pillows at a time into washing machine. Set on normal cycle. Do not add detergent or fabric softener.
- Add two pillows at a time to dryer with two tennis balls or lint balls.
The final product? Clean, dry, and fluffy pillows that look 10 years younger.
Things You Should Know Before Trying
Unfortunately, this stripping method won’t work for all pillows. Memory and down pillows in particular will have special cleaning instructions; memory pillows, for example, may only be spot cleaned. Make sure you read the label before cleaning yours (and check out this cleaning guide for every type of pillow for more information).
In addition, using a bathtub may be difficult if you have a hard time bending down or kneeling. In this case, try a simpler stripping method:
- Place two pillows in washing machine (to balance out the drum).
- Add ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup baking soda, and 3 tablespoons laundry detergent. Wash on normal cycle.
- Wash again on normal cycle, with no cleaners or fabric softeners.
- Add pillows to dryer with tennis balls or dryer balls.
This way probably won’t get out as many stains as the tub method, but it will certainly result in cleaner, fresher pillows. Here’s to a fresher night’s sleep!