L.S. asks from Dayton, OH on October 30, 2007
How to Wash Pillows??
well, my question is sort of child related..... my son has managed to soil three different pillows with various gross things (pee, barf, etc.) my question is, can you put a pillow in the washing machine? if yes, how many at a time? can they go in the dryer? is there anything special i need to know?
i really don't want to have to keep buying new pillows, but right now the soiled three are lying in the basement next to the washer......
So What Happened?™
YAY!!!!!!! thank you all soooo much for taking the time to reply to my question :) you were all VERY helpfull & we now have clean pillows!! ;-) i read every response & took everyone's advice into consideration. thank you all again for you help, i really appreciate it.
L.H. answers from Dayton on October 31, 2007
Hello, Yes, You can wash pillows in the washing machine. I wash mine all time time, but no more than 3 at a time.(keeps the washer balanced). I take the feather pillows to a cleaner though, if you don't get the feathers dried all the way, they will mold. Ihaven't had any trouble otherwise, they might come out all lumpy when dried, it just depends on the stuffing. If the pillows are really bad, you can add some washing ammonia to the wash water, it makes them smell oh so nice, just wash as usual.
A.J. answers from Lexington on October 31, 2007
I think I might have washed a pillow or two years and years ago, but they didn't come out right. I still was able to use them, but the fluff inside wasn't balanced.
I have found a wonderful thing at the store, and we have them on all of our pillows. They're pillow covers. They go over the pillow and zip closed. Then, you just take them off when they need washing. It's just like washing sheets. They have just plain white cotton ones, and they even have allergen ones. Sometimes the drool will go through to the pillow, but at least when you lay on the pillow, you're not laying on the drool, because it has a cover on it.
S.E. answers from Toledo on October 31, 2007
I have a special needs son who has ALWAYS made big messes. Puke, pee, food, poop, blood.....you name it, he did it (and still does sometimes. So does his little sister and little brother). I used to just buy new pillows all the time, but that gets EXPENSIVE.
I found that it just depends on the type of pillow you have. If it is a feather pillow, DON'T WASH IT. If you do, your washer may end up looking like you washed shedding chickens!
Now I have (actually pretty inexpensive -- from Walmart) foam based pillows, and they can be washed in a regular washer. I wash them in cold for the stains, in the gentle cycle, and use color safe bleach along with the detergent, and then rinse with Downy or some good smelling softener. You can also dry them....but here's a hint. I dry them (and sometimes wash them, too) with the kids' washable tennis shoes. Then when they are in the dryer, the shoe beats the heck out the pillow, keeps it fluffy, and keeps it from getting all out of shape. Tennis balls (you can get a can for "laundry use" in the sporting goods department at WM really cheap!) also work.
So far, that has worked pretty good!
C.R. answers from Columbus on October 30, 2007
I know exactly how it is. We've got 3 little people, and pillows in our home are never clean, and ALWAYS naked.....nobody wants to keep the pillow-cases on I guess!!!
Regular poly-filled pillows actually do pretty well in the washer, they just end up somewhat mis-shapen after. Just dont use too much soap and set the washer to gentle. I always use a little bleach also, just because it makes them smell extra clean. If you have a top-loader, place the pillows around the agitator so they are somewhat even.
Drying can be a little tricky, as they never really seem dry inside.
Feather pillows are a little harder. The feathers always seem to bunch up and throw the washer off balance, and seriously take FOREVER and a day to dry.
C.J. answers from Cincinnati on October 31, 2007
You should be able ot just throw the pillows in the washer and dryer, I would put it on gental in the dryer (depending on what kind of pillow). If it's just regular cotton pillows you should be fine on washing and drying then just as you do everything else. :)! If anymore questions just ask.
J.L. answers from Columbus on October 31, 2007
I have put several pillows through the wash and while they never come out quite as fluffy as they were, they still are perfectly useable. I would say don't wash more than 2 at a time, but it really depends on the size of your washer.
Perhaps the trick where you put tennis balls in the dryer with a comforter to fluff it works with pillows too?
M.F. answers from Detroit on November 01, 2007
Yes you can and should wash pillows! It's healthier to wash them especially if you have allergies. It gets rid of dust mites. I try to was my pillows once a month. I don't always get to it but I try. It's also recommended to vacuum your pillows once they are dry but I usually skip it.
As far as how many can go in the machine...it all depends on the machine and the pillows. I can usually fit two pillows in my maching along with the cases and covers.
When drying your pillows throw in a few tennis balls to help fluff them. If you don't have tennis balls (i don't) all you have to do is stick some of your child's tennis shoes in socks and throw them in. Children's shoes work best because they are small and can fit easily into a sock. Dry your pillows on high heat for at least one hour. You may need longer depending on your dryer. Just make sure they are comepetely dry so you don't run the risk of mold growing inside.
A little tip: in the middle of your drying cycle open the dryer and make sure your pillows are rotating properly. Sometimes they get stuck to the side and don't dry completely.
Hope this helps!
M.L. answers from Cleveland on October 31, 2007
I wash my pillows all the time. Just like regular laundry make sure you balance it out. I have large pillows so I can only do 2 at a time. They do take loger to dry so I usually do 2 cycles. sometimes they can bunch but usually you can fix it.
M.S. answers from Cincinnati on October 31, 2007
hi my son does the same thing he is so skinny his diapers don't seem to hold like my chubbier child. he has gotten blood, pee, poop and snot on his pillows and everything else. i wash his pillows. two at a time and dry them. or in the summer i sit them out side to dry. i have it to many times to count.