Dust mites, dead skin, poop? Yeah, it's time to wash those things.
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• Washing machine
• Gentle laundry detergent
• 2 pillows, at least
• Dryer softener sheets
• 2-3 tennis balls
Total Time Needed: About 55 minutes, depending on the washer and dryer
I typically wash my sheets and pillowcases about once a week – on a rare occasion, maybe every two weeks. It never occurred to me to wash my actual pillows until I learned that pillows are ideal breeding grounds for dust mites and the flu! The research stated that after two years, approximately 1/3 of a pillow’s weight contains dead skin, dust mites (which eat the dead skin), and droppings (poop from all those mites)! Additionally, 10% of people and 80% of allergy sufferers are allergic to proteins found in waste and decomposed dust mites!
Horrified, I was ready to purchase new pillows (see our top-rated bed pillows) when I realized it's not exactly a financially sound decision to buy new pillows every week. So, I looked at the care tag on the side of the pillow and found some welcome news: you can wash your pillows in the washing machine! In fact, it's easy to do. In less than an hour, you can have clean and fresh pillows and save a few bucks in the process.
Experts recommend washing your pillows every six months to prolong the lifespan. Here's what you need to know:
No pillow is meant to last forever. Some stains won't wash out, and maybe your aching neck or sore back demands a change. That's when it might be time for a replacement. Sleep experts suggest replacing a pillow every few years, however, these are a list of questions I find helpful in deciding when to trash my old ones:
These are all signs that it's time to shop for a replacement pillow!