Ah, pillows. Those wonderful, squishy yet supportive nighttime head holders. They seem so... cuddly. So... warm and soft. So... safe.
A pillow can double its weight in three years. Because of dust mites, dead skin cells, and other nastiness.
How's that for soft and cuddly?
No need to panic, and no need to throw your pillows out and get new ones. We're all about saving money here at Little Wife.
Just wash 'em!
(Note: I know that this is gonna take more time than just ten minutes, but it's only about ten minutes of "hands on time"- the rest of the time, you can go clean other stuff! Or make fabulous meals! Or, let's be honest, go on Pinterest.)
Here's how you do it!
First, you're only gonna want to do two pillows at a time. I have a top-loader washing machine, so these tips are based on that.
Pick the lucky two pillows to be washed first. Stick them in the washing machine (as shown above). You will want to fill the washing machine on the "full load" or "large load" setting with hot water.
I usually add about a cup of vinegar, along with regular laundry detergent, to disinfect my pillows. Vinegar also helps to get rid of any stains you may have (droolers, you know who you are...). If you have funky smelling pillows, you may want to do another cycle with your pillows and add baking soda (just don't do vinegar and baking soda at the same time!)
Wash the pillows on your "normal" setting, and after the cycle is complete, run the pillows through at least another spin cycle (I usually do two extra spin cycles) to get more of the water out.
In the summer time, I would leave the pillows outside in the sunshine (which is the best for stain removal and disinfecting!) but since it's February and it's snowing, that's not such a great plan.
Then, pop the pillows in the dryer, along with two dryer sheets and a couple of dryer balls. Don't have dryer balls? Well, you should get some. They rock. In a pinch, you can also use tennis balls. You'll want your dryer set to low heat. High heat can melt the fluffy stuff in the pillows! I usually run the dryer twice, then take the pillows out and squish them around. If they're still damp (even just a little damp) I run them through again.
Sometimes the fluffy stuff gets a little bunchy- don't worry about that. Use your hands to unbunch and flatten out your pillows, and they'll be good as new in no time.
I would wash your pillows at least every six months, if not more. I like to wash them after anyone has been sick, and after we have company over, as well as about once every two months or so.
Ten Minutes to a happier and healthier household!