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Washing Pillows, Duvets and Comforters

March 3, 2024
Washing Pillows, Duvets and Comforters

Introduction

Keeping bedding clean is an important part of maintaining a healthy sleeping environment. Over time, pillows, duvets, and comforters can accumulate dust mites, dead skin cells, body oils, and other contaminants that can degrade the quality of your bedding and potentially aggravate allergies. Fortunately, with some basic care and the right washing techniques, I can keep my bed linens fresh and hygienic. In this article, I will provide in-depth guidelines on how to properly wash and care for pillows, duvets, and comforters.

Determining When to Wash

Pillows

  • I recommend washing pillows every 6 months or so to keep them clean and supportive. I can tell when my pillows need washing if they look stained or yellowed, smell musty or sweaty, or feel flat or lumpy.

  • If I have allergies, I may need to wash my pillows more frequently, such as every 2-3 months. Allergens like dust mites can build up quickly.

  • Memory foam and latex pillows may only need to be washed once or twice a year since they are dense and don’t absorb as much sweat and skin oils. I should still check the manufacturer’s instructions.

Duvets and Comforters

  • Most experts recommend washing duvets or comforters every 6 months to 1 year.

  • I should wash them more often if I notice visible stains, a musty smell, or if someone who uses it has been sick.

  • During allergy season, I may want to wash my duvet or comforter every 2-3 months.

Washing Guidelines

Pillows

  • I should always check the care label on my pillows before washing.

  • Down-alternative and poly-fill pillows can usually be machine washed and dried. Use a gentle cycle and cool water temperature.

  • For down pillows, I need to wash by hand or take them to a professional dry cleaner to prevent damage to the down feathers.

  • Memory foam and latex pillows should be spot cleaned only. I can use a damp cloth with mild detergent. Full submersion can damage them.

Duvets and Comforters

  • Unless the care label states otherwise, most duvets and comforters can be machine washed, but need to be dried in a large capacity dryer.

  • Wash on a gentle cycle using cool water and a mild detergent. Harsher agitation can damage the batting.

  • I may need to visit a laundromat if my home machine or dryer is not large enough.

  • For down comforters, I need to use a special large commercial washer to prevent damage. Hand washing or dry cleaning is recommended.

Helpful Tips

  • Use tennis balls in the dryer to help redistribute filling and prevent clumping.

  • For stubborn stains on white bedding, I can add borax or bleach to the wash cycle. Always check that bleaching is allowed first.

  • Avoid fabric softener as it can cause buildup on bedding over time.

  • Line drying pillows and comforters helps preserve their volume and loft.

  • I should discard pillows that are over 5 years old, as they lack support and can contain a lot of allergens.

Storing to Keep Clean Longer

  • I can put duvets and comforters in duvet covers to protect them from body oils and dirt between washes.

  • Using mattress and pillow protectors also helps keep bedding cleaner for longer.

  • I should wash and change pillowcases every 1-2 weeks for better hygiene.

  • Allow bedding to fully dry before putting it back on the bed to prevent mold growth.

  • Store pillows in breathable cotton pillow protectors. Avoid plastic which can trap moisture.

  • Vacuum sealed storage bags are useful for storing off-season comforters to save space and prevent dust mites.

Conclusion

Washing bedding regularly, using the right techniques, and proper storage habits can keep my pillows, duvets and comforters clean and allergen-free. By following these comprehensive guidelines on determining wash frequency, washing methods, and storage, I can maintain fresh, sanitary bed linens for a healthier, more comfortable night’s sleep. Proper bedding hygiene is a simple way to enhance my well-being in the bedroom.

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