Other than having a peaceful mindset, the key to a good night’s sleep is a nice bed, fresh sheets, and of course, clean pillows! However, we always take pillow cleaning for granted, and we only focus on sheets and pillowcases. That is because most of us really think that washing and maintaining the quality of a pillow requires a lot of time and effort, especially since you still wonder and ask "Can you put pillows in the dryer or will the dryer destroy it?"
Keeping your pillows clean helps protect you from unpleasant and unwelcome dust mites. Pillows can actually serve as breeding ground for mites and can harbor bacteria, dead skin cells, sweat, drool, and who knows what. Those who have allergies, most especially, will have full-blown symptoms once they get into contact with those infested pillows.
How Can You Keep Your Pillows Fresh?
As with any other items that are used frequently, pillows will lose their fresh look. They will no longer be as fluffy or firm as before. Fortunately, there are two simple things that you can do to keep them fresh-looking, and they are:
- Fluff them every morning: Since pillows do not require weekly washing and drying, you can still keep them fresh by giving them daily fluffing. Doing this every time you make your bed will help remove dust and bring back their bouncy shape.
- Hang them under the sun: To keep your pillows smelling fresh without washing, you can hang them on the clothesline under the sun every few weeks or so. Leave them hanging for a few hours and let the sunlight and breezy air do the job.
How Do You Wash Your Pillows?
You may wash your pillowcases and beddings as often as needed, but most of the time, pillows also need that same kind of love at least two times a year. Thus, here are some tips to keep in mind when washing your pillows:
- Follow the care label instructions when washing your pillows.
- If you have a large-size washer, it is advisable to wash two pillows at once. Doing this will help make the load balanced and ensure proper circulation of water and detergent.
- Keep in mind that traditional top-load machines have agitators that can be hard on your pillows. So, if you are using a conventional washer, it is ideal to set the wash on a gentle cycle and keep it running for a few minutes only.
Washing Pillows According to Their Pillow Fills
There are various types of pillow fills, and you can follow the washing directions below for specific pillow fill types:
- Polyester: Pillows with polyester fills are probably the easiest to wash. They are usually machine washable and need only a bit of liquid detergent to clean.
- Down: Pillows filled with down or feather are also easy to wash, and you may use a little powder detergent and wash them using warm water on delicate cycle. Using liquid detergent is not advisable since it may leave a sticky residue on the fill, which may cause clumping. Remember to use no-heat drying if you do not want to sleep on singed feathers.
- Latex or memory foam: You cannot wash or steam these kinds of pillow fills. The best you can do with them is to spot-treat the stains if there are any. Always use a pillow cover to extend the life of latex or memory foam pillows.
Can You Put Pillows in the Dryer?
The answer whether you can put pillows in the dryer or not depends on what type of fill your pillow has. As you may already know by now, latex and memory foam pillows will not do well in the dryer. On the other hand, pillows with down fills can be put in the dryer but using heat is not advisable since it may give your pillow some burnt smell.
Nonetheless, you can always put pillows with polyester fills in the dryer and dry them in heat setting. Drying these pillows using heat can be helpful in terms of disinfecting and in preventing the formation of mildew.
Drying the Pillows Thoroughly
Drying your pillows thoroughly is crucial because if not, you are risking mold and mildew formation. When drying pillows, do not use your dryer’s auto-dry setting since the sensors will only detect surface moisture. Relying on auto-dry mode will leave you with a pillow that’s dry on the outside and damp on the inside.
For thorough drying, you can set the dryer at moderate heat and let the pillows dry for an hour. To help speed up drying, you may throw in dry towels with the pillows. Additionally, to minimize clumping, you may add a couple of brand-new tennis balls and let them bounce across the drum interior.
You can also hang the pillows outside, and let the sun and wind dry them. Check the inner part before using. Never use a pillow that is slightly damp since it is unhygienic.
Killing the Dust Mites by Drying
Dust mites may be small creatures, but they pose a lot of health problems, particularly to those with allergies and sensitivities. Pillows are breeding ground for these pesky creatures and sleeping on a dust mite-infested pillow can cause you to have allergic reactions. Good thing, tumble drying your pillows in hot setting can kill dust mites.
What you need to do is tumble dry your pillows in a hot setting for at least 10 minutes every week. Doing this regularly kills the dust mites and keeps the colonies from developing.
This treatment can also be done with feather pillows, but expect the smell of singed feathers after. Fluff the pillows after each treatment to retain shape and reduce clumps.
Caring for Your Pillows Is a Must
It is necessary to take care of our beddings including the pillows, or we may suffer the consequences. Now that you know the answer to the "Can you put pillows in the dryer?", you no longer have to worry about destroying it.
With that in mind, it is ideal that you clean your pillows at least twice a year and fluff them often. Cover them with nice pillowcases to further protect them from dust, sweat, and other elements.
You may also put them in the dryer every now and then to keep them fresh and mite-free. When properly cared for, your pillows can definitely provide comfort for the next ten years or so!