Does your bedroom not smell quite as fresh as you’d like? Has your bedroom fallen victim to the ‘boy smell’? Bleh.
Your pillows might be the culprit.
Once your pillows have that oily-headed-yuck smell, it can be really hard to remove. To keep your pillows smelling fresh, try these washing tips:
- Only wash pillows in a machine without an agitator.
All pillows have some type of filler: polyester, foam, down feathers to name a few. None of these fillers respond well to the aggressiveness of a washer’s agitator. The agitator beats the filler and displaces it within the pillow. And once that happens, it is not easy to re-arrange to its original shape. It’s better to skip this headache altogether and use a washer with no agitator.
- Wash more than one pillow at the time.
Front-loaders sometimes have a problem with the balance of the load, causing it to not clean as well or not spin out the final rinse water as well. It is much better to wash more than one pillow at the time. You can wash up to three or four if your washer’s capacity can tolerate it. In my experience, I’ve also found the filler inside the pillow remains intact better when more than one pillow is washed in a load.
- Use only detergent and possibly bleach. Do not use fabric softener.
If you are a reader of Mama’s Laundry Talk you’ve learned by now that while fabric softener is a great smell-good product, it can also mask smells and actually harbor them. So skip the fabric softener for the pillows. Instead use your regular detergent and a little bleach if you’d like. Bleach is an excellent sanitizer, so it is certainly appropriate to use it in the washing of pillows.
- Dry your pillows in the sun.
We all know by now the fabulous cleansing properties of the sun. I’ve used the sun many times to get horrible smells out of linens that wouldn’t come clean otherwise. So wash your pillows as directed and let them flat in the pure sunshine. You can lay them on a towel in the grass or on your back deck – wherever the sun is shining the brightest. Putting them outside in the heat of the day is best. And remember to rotate them throughout the day to maximize the amount of sunshine they receive. If they need fluffing a little or if they aren’t quite dry, give them 20-30 minutes in the dryer at the end of the day. Ensure that they are dry in the middle so they don’t mildew. When it’s dried enough, the pillow should feel completely dry to the touch. If it doesn’t, place it back in the dryer for a short, hot cycle.
Once you’ve gotten your pillows nice, clean and smelling fresh, take a few extra steps to keep them smelling great. Maintenance is so much easier than going through these steps frequently.
Use pillow protectors religiously. They provide an extra layer of protection between one’s head and the actual pillow. They are especially helpful if you have an oily-headed child (or husband). Make sure you change the pillow protectors every single time you change the sheets. This is key to preventing a smelly pillow. Note: Unless you have allergy problems, make sure you buy the ones that are all cotton. The allergy brand feels and sounds like paper. The paper-type makes for a very loud pillow in the middle of the night when you’re turning over! I speak form experience..
Keep your pillow protectors easily accessible. I have two sets of sheets for each bed in my house, and a set of pillow protectors folded into each one of those sets. I hate having to scramble around for things and I love it when everything is in its place! Using this method ensures that every pillow has a protector and I never have to go searching for one. Especially considering the current state of my laundry room. (I’ve worked on it some just for the record….but it still has a long ways to go before I can post ‘after’ pics.)
Is your bedroom fresh smelling all of the time? What do you do to keep it that way? And how do you keep your pillows smelling fresh? Do tell!