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We have an affiliate relationship with and receive compensation from companies whose products we review on this site. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

How to Sanitize Pillows After COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us more aware of the importance of maintaining a clean and sanitary environment in our homes. While we focus on cleaning surfaces and frequently touched objects, one item that often gets overlooked is our pillows. Pillows can harbor bacteria, allergens, and even viruses, making it essential to sanitize them regularly, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some effective steps to help you sanitize your pillows and ensure a healthier sleeping environment.

1. Check the care label: Before you begin the sanitization process, check the care label on your pillow. Different types of pillows may require different cleaning methods. Some pillows may be machine washable, while others may need to be dry cleaned or spot cleaned.

2. Machine washable pillows: If your pillow is machine washable, remove the pillowcase and place the pillow in the washing machine. Use a gentle cycle and mild detergent. To ensure a thorough cleaning, add an extra rinse cycle. Once washed, fluff the pillow and place it in the dryer on a low heat setting until completely dry.

3. Spot cleaning: If your pillow cannot be machine washed, spot cleaning is the next best option. Mix a solution of warm water and mild detergent. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with the solution and gently blot the stained area. Avoid saturating the pillow as it may lead to mold growth. Once cleaned, allow the pillow to air dry completely.

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4. Dry cleaning: Some pillows, such as down or memory foam pillows, may require dry cleaning. Check the care label for instructions or consult a professional cleaner. Dry cleaning ensures thorough sanitization without damaging the pillow’s material.

5. Sunning and airing: Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and can help eliminate bacteria and odors from your pillows. If your pillow is not machine washable or dry cleanable, place it in direct sunlight for a few hours. Additionally, regularly airing out your pillows by placing them in a well-ventilated area can help reduce moisture and prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

6. Use pillow protectors: To maintain a clean and sanitary sleep environment, consider using pillow protectors. These covers act as a barrier between your pillow and pillowcase, preventing sweat, allergens, and bacteria from penetrating the pillow. Pillow protectors are easy to remove and clean, ensuring your pillows stay fresh for longer.

7. Replace old pillows: No matter how well you sanitize your pillows, they will eventually wear out and lose their shape and support. It is recommended to replace your pillows every 1 to 2 years, depending on their quality. Regularly replacing old pillows will not only help maintain cleanliness but also ensure a comfortable and healthy sleeping experience.

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Common Questions and Answers:

1. Can I sanitize pillows if someone in my household has COVID-19?
Yes, you can sanitize pillows if someone in your household has COVID-19. Follow the steps mentioned above to ensure effective sanitization.

2. Can I use bleach to sanitize my pillows?
Bleach can be effective in sanitizing certain types of pillows but may damage others. Check the care label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using bleach.

3. Can I sanitize pillows without a washing machine?
Yes, you can sanitize pillows without a washing machine by spot cleaning, dry cleaning, sunning, or airing them. Choose a method suitable for your pillow’s material.

4. How often should I sanitize my pillows?
It is recommended to sanitize your pillows every 3 to 6 months, especially if you suffer from allergies or respiratory conditions. However, during a pandemic, it is advisable to sanitize them more frequently.

5. Can I sanitize decorative pillows?
Decorative pillows that are purely for aesthetic purposes may not require regular sanitization. However, if they come in contact with sweat, saliva, or other bodily fluids, it is recommended to sanitize them.

6. Can I sanitize pillows in the microwave?
No, it is not advisable to sanitize pillows in the microwave. The heat generated by the microwave can be uneven and may damage the pillow or cause a fire hazard.

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7. Can I use essential oils to sanitize my pillows?
While essential oils have antimicrobial properties, they may not effectively sanitize pillows. It is best to rely on proven cleaning methods and products to ensure proper sanitization.

By following these steps and maintaining regular pillow sanitization practices, you can create a cleaner and healthier sleep environment for you and your family, even after the COVID-19 pandemic.