What are you resting your head on every night?
You may wash your pillowcase weekly, but it can only provide so much protection.
Here's why washing your pillow is important and how often you should be doing it.
Why Do I Need A Clean Pillow?
You should be washing your pillow every four months. Here’s why.
In 2020, Perth-based respiratory expert Professor John Blakey told The Guardian that more than 10% of the weight of most dirty pillows will be hundreds of thousands of dust mites and their droppings.
While you sleep, you shed skin cells that dust mites feed on. These dust mites also produce droppings that can cause allergic reactions.
Keeping your pillow clean and replacing it when you need to will ensure dust mites, skin cells and bacteria stay away.
A dirty pillow is also a source of bacteria that can cause skin conditions, regardless of how clean your pillowcase is. The bacteria can still seep through, potentially affecting the oiliness of the skin on your face and causing or exacerbating conditions like acne.
You should also be keeping your pillow as clean as possible if you share your bed with your dog or cat.
How Often Should You Replace Your Pillow?
Most experts recommend replacing pillows every 1 to 2 years to ensure you’re always supported and that your pillow is clean and free from allergens. Some pillow manufacturers will even have an expiry date printed on them.
These are some signs that you may need to replace your pillow:
If you’re waking with a sore neck or tossing and turning a lot,
Your pillow is sagging or bounces back immediately when you fold it in half,
There is excessive yellowing or lumps,
You’ve started sneezing at night or when you first wake up.
How Do You Wash Your Pillow?
First things, first. When you’re washing your pillow, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you’re laundering it properly.
These are some tips that will help and should work for most pillows unless the care instructions advise otherwise.
Use a mild detergent, washing two pillows at the same time to keep the load balanced. If two won’t fit, include the same coloured towels in the wash for additional padding and protection.
You should wash on a gentle cycle.
Using a top loader? Pause a couple of times throughout the wash to push out any air bubbles.
Foam should not be machine washed or put in the dryer – vacuum and spot clean these.
Dry on a low heat setting with a dry, clean towel or two. Some sites recommend putting a couple of tennis balls in the dryer with your pillows during the cycle to help break any clumps in and keep them fluffy.
How Often Should I Wash My Bedding
Surprisingly, many people aren’t washing their sheets nearly as often as they should. Experts recommend washing all bedding (pillowcases included) at least once a fortnight, however you should be doing it once a week during warmer seasons, in humid climates, or if someone at home has allergies or respiratory issues.
We also recommend washing in a warm or hot cycle and drying in the sunshine if you can.
Another pro tip? Don’t sleep on a mattress without sheets or a cover to keep your mattress healthy. Here are some other bedding blunders you may be making.
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