A bed isn’t a bed without the right pillows. The perfect type and amount of pillows vary from person to person, with a whole range of flatness, softness, and size falling in between. Body pillows are a popular choice by many, perhaps except for those that don’t know how to wash a body pillow.
This lack of know-how may lead them to believe that these pillows quickly collect dirt, sweat, and maybe even food grime without a solution. A body pillow is a large pillow that is generally only a foot or two wide, but long enough to extend the length of an average person’s body. They can be bought even larger, or in more petite sizes to fit just about anyone in need of the perfect cuddle pillow.
Can You Wash a Body Pillow?
The comfort of a body pillow isn’t the only thing to be worried about when you buy one. You may still be wondering, “Can you wash a body pillow?” The answer is yes, and there are more ways than one to do so.
Part of this depends on the type of stuffing the pillow has and what material the outer cover is. Knowing this is your first step towards washing your pillows and keeping them as fresh as the first day you brought them home.
After that, follow these steps to learn more about how to clean a body pillow, no matter its innards or outside material.
How to Clean a Body Pillow
When you get ready to clean any pillow, body pillows included, it is essential to take off the pillowcase. They may have print on the outside or special stitching in the design and wear out faster if washed the same way or at the same time as the bed pillows.
After you take off the pillow cover, check the care instructions on both the cover and the pillow. There may be particular directions laid out for how to clean pillows. Whatever method you decide to follow, make sure they fall in line with the listed guidelines.
How to Wash a Body Pillow by Hand
There are times when washing with a laundry machine may not be the right idea for your body pillows. These situations may occur if they are too big to fit into the washing machine, if the material starts to become too delicate, or if there are particular spots of build-up you want to target.
For sensitive materials, washing them in a top loader with an agitator is especially harmful as it wears the wet cloth even more each wash. Instead, wash them by hand.
No matter how dirty your pillow is, do not wash it with bleach. There is no guarantee that all of it will wash out from the depths of the pillow, which may harm the person that uses it.
When it comes to washing a body pillow, put in a cap of mild laundry detergent and fill up the large bucket with warm water. You can use cold water as well, but never hot water. The water temperature is essential to not shrinking or damaging the pillow.
Once you have the right temperature, put the pillow in the water, and gently knead the pillow. You can soak the pillow for a while if it is extra dirty.
Take the pillow out, drain the bucket, and add fresh water without the detergent. Use this as your rinse cycle and then let it dry. Do not wring it out to rid it of excess water to avoid deforming the pillow.
Dry It Out
The next part of the process is yours to determine. Think about the wear and tear on your pillow, the weather, and how long you want the drying time.
If you go with a dryer, use the large ones at a laundromat to dry it more thoroughly. Some of them even have a pillow dry setting. If they don’t, never dry a pillow on high heat. Instead, use low heat and dryer balls.
These simultaneously fluff the pillow and dry it faster. If you don’t have dryer balls, use tennis balls during the drying process instead. Turn the machine on tumble dry and let it go through its gentle cycle, fluffing the pillow back up on its way.
A Clothesline Job
You can also hang the pillows up on a clothesline. After you wash pillows, pin them to the line and let them air out. Be careful to make sure they are thoroughly dry, or they may start to grow mildew.
This process may make them lumpy instead of fluffy since they are just hanging there. Afterward, roll and beat them out to encourage fluffiness.
Sometimes there are only small spots that should be washed out of a pillow. Instead of knowing how to wash a body pillow from top to bottom, you only need to learn how to clean off the spots.
Use a cloth dampened with warm water and rubbed with some mild detergent. Rub this gently around the area of the stain. Set the pillow in the sun to dry or in front of a fan. Do this multiple times if required, always very gently to not wear down the area.
Washing Memory Foam Pillows
Memory foam can be expensive and is quite delicate. It is recommended to vacuum a memory foam pillow at least once a week. They can never go into a washer or a dryer.
Follow the guidelines above for cleaning by hand, or learn how to deep clean foam, but try only spot clean it if possible. When you are cleaning the pillow, don’t rub it too hard and always use the gentlest soap to protect the material.
Washing Down Pillows
Synthetic pillows are what many of us have, partially because they are much cheaper than other materials, and partly because they are so much more convenient to wash.
Throw the pillows in for a wash cycle with other general bedding materials like a duvet or comforter. Down pillows are not like this. To keep the feathers from sticking together, they should be treated more gently.
Only put two of them in at a time, one on each side to balance it out. Put in less detergent than usual and set the cycle to run on the gentlest wash cycle.
If you must also kill dust mites, use hot water. However, this may damage the feathers, so if not, run with cold water. The other option is all natural bed bug spray if these mites have become a problem.
Washing pillows is all about learning the right combination of gentle settings, mild products, or good old-fashioned hand cleaning.
When you know how to wash a body pillow, it exponentially increases the longevity and continuous comfort of the pillow. If you invest money in your pillows, then it is worth investing time in maintaining them.
Now that you have the resources for washing any of the primary materials involved in making body pillows, your home should be full of fresh comfort. If you learned something new about washing a body pillow, please share our tips on cleaning pillows on Facebook or Pinterest.