Body pillows are everyone’s favorite as they offer a comfortable feeling and are incredibly useful to side sleepers who need extra support to alleviate back problems. One thing you should be well aware of is that they need proper cleaning once in a while as a buildup of germs and dirt occurs over time, which is why you should know how to wash a body pillow.
How often do you need to wash a body pillow?
Even if you use a good quality pillowcase, that doesn’t mean that dirt and germs won’t find a way to get inside the layers of the body pillow. If you use it every night, the body pillow will get musty from absorbing your sweat, and from there, germs will start to develop.
Washing your body pillow regularly is, therefore, a must. The general recommendation is to have it cleaned properly once every four months or at least twice a year. Remember that having clean sheets and pillows is a must for a good night’s sleep.
Why the material used matters the most
Before starting to learn about the proper way to wash a body pillow, there is one thing you need to find out. Body pillows should come with an attached label that describes the washing guidelines, so you should start from that point. These guidelines are dictated by the type of material used for filling the body pillow, which is why the methods described below refer to this aspect as the most crucial.
There are three materials that are the most widespread when it comes to body pillows: down feathers, latex, and memory foam. Even if you don’t see a label anywhere on your pillow, you can identify the material by touching it and inspecting it a little.
Other aspects to bear in mind when washing a body pillow
While the material of the body pillow is, as mentioned earlier, the essential element you must bear in mind when choosing the right method for washing it, there are a few others that matter, too.
For instance, each material requires that the water used for washing doesn’t exceed a specific temperature. It is equally essential that you learn whether the fabric is machine-washable, or it requires that you only wash it by hand.
Of course, if you don’t see a label with instructions on your pillow, identifying these important guidelines may not be straightforward. But once you identify the material, you can search for the recommended guidelines on the Internet.
Other things that matter are what chemicals are allowed – if it has to be washed only using mild detergents – and what washing techniques can be employed. Some guidelines go as far as to suggest what kind of washing cycle you should use on your machine when washing your body pillow.
Last but not least, you need to know how to dry the body pillow correctly. Since it may absorb more water than other types of laundry, drying can be tricky. For instance, you may want to know if it’s possible to tumble dry it after washing. Together, all these aspects will help you identify the proper technique for making your pillow look and feel as good as new.
Washing a body pillow by hand – step by step
Delicate materials cannot be cleaned by a machine, so cleaning them by hand is the only technique allowed. In case your body pillow comes with a pillowcase, you can wash the two separately. However, not all body pillows are the same, and some do not come with a detachable pillowcase. That means that they require cleaning more often.
Washing them in a washing machine can cause them to lose their shape, so hand washing them remains a good alternative. That said, let’s see how you should go about washing a body pillow by hand.
Pick a mild detergent suitable for the material and hand washing
When you wash something by hand, you employ a delicate technique that doesn’t risk to ruin your body pillow. However, if you pick the wrong type of detergent, you might end up causing damage to it, either way, which is why choosing the correct one is crucial. Check the detergents available in stores around you for the handwashing label and compare different brands to learn which one is the mildest formula.
Use a laundry bowl to wash and rinse
To make your job easy, use a laundry bowl. Fill it with water of the recommended temperature, and mix in the required amount of mild detergent. Detach the pillowcase – you will wash it separately – and soak the body pillow in the laundry bowl.
Wash it by squeezing it gently and observe the water that comes out of the pillow. If it’s still dirty, consider replacing the water and detergent for another round. Repeat the procedure until the water remains clean, and you notice that the body pillow is no longer dirty.
Rinse the pillow in the laundry bowl
To eliminate the detergent from the body pillow, proceed next to the rinsing stage. Make sure that your body pillow is properly cleaned before this step. Soak the pillow in clean water and squeeze to get rid of any traces of detergent. Just like during the earlier stage, replace the water as many times as needed.
Dry the pillow thoroughly
To dry a body pillow properly when washed by hand, make sure to remove the excess water by squeezing gently. Don’t wring the pillow as it can lose its shape, and don’t employ too much strength for the same reason.
Spread the pillow flat and let it dry in an area where there’s enough ventilation. It is possible to tumble dry, but only on a low setting, and never use heat. You can use a clothesline and hang the pillow to air dry, as well.
Fluff the pillow to help it regain its shape
It is essential that your body pillow regains its shape after the cleaning process. Even when you’ve been as gentle as possible during the washing and drying stages, the chances are that it doesn’t look as good as before. To make sure that it regains its original shape, fluff it with your hands to allow the filling to rearrange in such a manner that your pillow ends up looking like a real pillow.
Using a washing machine – a step by step guide
Some body pillows can be washed using a washing machine, so the procedure, in their case, is considerably more straightforward. Here is the step by step guide on obtaining a clean, fluffy body pillow with the help of a washing machine.
Use the indicated water temperature
Your washing machine uses different water temperatures and techniques, and you must make sure that you’re employing the correct ones for your body pillow. Never use hot water as it is bound to deform your pillow and render it unusable.
Place it in the machine alone
It’s never a good idea to wash other types of laundry with your body pillow. For starters, it is quite large, and that means that there wouldn’t be enough room for everything to wash correctly. Also, since it can be delicate compared to clothes and towels, it is better to let it wash alone.
Avoid chlorine and bleach
For washing, use only a mild detergent, as it is the most recommended choice. Make sure to stay clear of chlorine and bleach, as they can damage your body pillow irremediably. One cap full of mild detergent is enough for washing a body pillow properly.
Tumble dry for the best effect
Since it’s a consensus that high heat should never be used, when it comes to drying, just tumble dry your body pillow. To make it fluffy and help it regain its original shape, here’s an idea: add a few tennis balls in the dryer. As the machine dries your body pillow, the tennis balls will hit it from all sides, fluffing the filling.
Is spot-cleaning a good option?
No matter how gently you may treat a body pillow when washing, too much of it, and it will start losing its shape and overall qualities. That is why if there’s only a little stain you need to deal with, a good idea would be to opt for spot-cleaning.
Depending on the type of stain you must deal with, there are different techniques you can employ. For instance, adhesive stains can be taken off by rubbing an ice cube on them to make them stiff. After that, use a knife to remove the hardened adhesives.
Cold water and a bit of mild detergent are all the needed elements for removing a bloodstain. Dab the area with a sponge soaked in water and detergent and leave the body pillow to air dry. For dried stains, you can use warm water, while the procedure remains the same. When dealing with difficult stains, like red wine, search for a detergent specialized in stain removal.