Home Care

How-To: Cleaning Pillows

Lay your head to rest on a germ-free piece with these tips

Photography: (Main Photo)

Pillows are essential in creating a space for rest and relaxation. It is something we constantly use as we go through our daily routine of reading, sleeping or watching TV so it is important that we keep it clean and free from bacteria. While some experts recommend professional dry-cleaning, it can get a little expensive in the long run. To make sure your bed buddies are in good condition even without the help of the pros, here are some nifty tricks you can try:  

  • Both feather-filled pillows and ones with synthetic stuffing can be machine washed on a delicate cycle. It can breed mildew when left damp—make sure the pillows are completely dry before using them again. 
  • For more decorative pieces like throw pillows and bed accents, spot cleaning is the way to go. Since these are not used every day or for long periods of time, it doesn’t have to be cleaned as often as sleeping pillows. Remember to check for stains often and attend to them immediately before it turns permanent. 
  • For hygienic purposes, it’s best to wash your pillowcases weekly. Believe it or not, pillowcases are a breeding ground for bacteria and we're sure you don’t want any germs near your face. If the cases are made of cotton or flannel, wash them in hot water. If they are linen, silk, or sateen-weave cotton, choose a cold water wash.
  • If you’re worried that constant washing will leave your pillows limp, try regular quick cleaning with vodka instead. All you have to do is fill a spray bottle with vodka and a little water, spritz your pillows and let dry. This kills bacteria and refreshes the surface of the pillow when changing sheets.

PHOTOS: (Main) | | Real Simple

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