Give Your Pillows A Much-Needed Deep Clean With A Few Household Staples

You use your pillow every day. Without it, you'd be restless and wake up with a crick in your neck. However, despite being an essential component in getting a good night's sleep, pillows get treated like bupkis when it comes to cleaning. In fact, pillows are the most important bedding item to wash properly because they absorb dead skin cells, body oils, sweat, and allergens. Pillows can also become dirty from your evening skincare routine. By washing them every three to six months, and performing a deep clean annually, you can extend their lifespan and maintain their fill and fullness.

For a deep clean, you can use staples that you likely already have available around the house. However, this method is not recommended for some down or memory foam pillows, so be sure to check the product's tag for specific laundering instructions. By taking care of your pillows, they will continue to provide you with the support and comfort you need for a refreshing rest each evening.

Deep clean your pillow with baking soda and borax

To give your pillows a much-needed deep clean, you'll need baking soda, borax, detergent, and 24 hours, as demonstrated by TikToker @brunchwithbabs. Start by filling your bathtub with water from the hottest setting. You can also use a large bucket, a storage bin, or a washing machine — any waterproof and heat-resistant container big enough for your head cushions. Add a quarter cup each of baking soda and borax, along with two cups of liquid detergent or half a cup of powdered laundry soap.

Stir the solution and submerge your pillows. You can use a wooden spoon or your hands protected with rubber gloves to sink them in. The chemical reaction will do the rest. Let your pillows soak for up to 24 hours, turning them over occasionally. Afterward, the soapy water will be filled with buildup and muck from your nighttime headrest.

Drain the stripping liquid and squeeze out the excess water from the pillows. Then throw them in the washing machine for a normal cycle using only water. When it's time to dry, @brunchwithbabs recommended forgoing dryer sheets and adding tennis or dryer balls to the machine instead. Your pillows should come out dry, clean, soft, and ready for sweet sleep. You can also air dry them. With proper care between deep cleanings, you can rest assured of spotless pillows every night.

How to care for your pillow in between deep cleans

The secret to keeping your bed pillows clean and fluffy is simpler than you think. Pillow protectors, also known as pillow covers, add an extra layer of protection to your comfy headrest. They shield the cushion from bacteria, allergens, moisture, sweat, and body fluids, increasing the lifespan of your pillow. Pillowcases play a similar role and add a decorative element to your bedding. It's best to clean cases and covers separately from the pillow, soaking them in dish soap and vinegar prior to washing on a hot cycle. Pillowcases should be cleaned weekly, and protectors monthly.

In addition to the yearly deep clean that strips away trapped buildup, your cushions will benefit from regular washing. Wash them between two and four times a year on a gentle cycle using warm water. For a laundry boost, add half a cup of vinegar to the load.

While proper maintenance keeps your pillow fresher for longer, eventually the cuddle buddy has to be replaced. A rule of thumb is that if you can fold it in half and it doesn't bounce back, the pillow needs to be laid to rest.