Here's How Often You Should Be Washing Your Pillows (And How to Do It)

iStock.com/FabrikaCr
iStock.com/FabrikaCr

There are numerous things lying around your home that are probably in need of a good wash. While most of us are good about washing our clothes and dishes on a semi-regular basis, many people forget to clean less obvious everyday items like makeup brushes, gloves, and fan vents as often as they should. Another item to add to your cleaning calendar? Pillows.

According to Apartment Therapy, you should throw your pillows in the washing machine twice a year, or more often if you live in a warm, humid climate. Doing so will not only cut down on the off-putting smells that result from months of nighttime drooling, but it will kill any dust mites that have gathered in there. (Dust mites thrive in tropical areas, which is why someone in Florida should wash their pillows once every few months or once per season, whereas someone in New Mexico doesn’t have to worry about doing it as often.)

Before you get out the laundry soap, make sure your pillows are worth washing. Goose down and feather pillows can last many years, but synthetic fibers don’t last as long. If the synthetic fibers in your pillow are clumping or have flattened out, that’s a good sign that it’s time to upgrade to a new pillow. To test your pillow’s viability, whether it’s down or synthetic, you should place it on a hard surface, fold it in half, and squish out the air. If it bounces back, it’s still got some life left, while a pillow that stays folded has reached the end of its life. (For more detailed instructions, the Pacific Coast Feather Company has a good primer.)

Now, you’re ready to wash. The best way to wash pillows is in a front-loading machine, because pillows can float to the top of a top-loading washer, where they don’t always get uniformly wet, Martha Stewart Living warns. You’ll want to check your pillow’s tag for the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure your pillow isn’t dry-clean only. If you cut off the tags long ago, don’t worry too much: As a rule of thumb, Good Housekeeping recommends washing in warm water on the gentle cycle with mild liquid detergent, then putting it through an extra rinse and spin cycle on cold to get out any remaining detergent. For feather pillows, though, you actually want to use powder detergent specifically designed for down because liquid soap can leave sticky residue.

To keep your synthetic pillows from getting mangled and clumped, Apartment Therapy recommends rolling them up like long sausages and securing the ends and middle with rubber bands. This will keep the material inside from sliding around too much. Try to wash two pillows at a time so that the washing machine stays balanced.

When it comes to drying pillows, the best method involves getting a little sporty: Unroll the pillow from its rubber bands and throw it in the dryer on moderate heat with tennis balls, which will help cut down on those clumps. If you add in a few dry towels, too, it will speed up the drying process. The automatic sensor on your dryer likely won't be able to tell that your pillows are still damp inside (since it measures exterior surface temperature) so you'll have to monitor the timing yourself.

If you use a memory foam pillow, however, you’re both lucky and unlucky. According to Consumer Reports, these can’t be washed or even steamed, and if you try to dry them, they’ll probably melt. On the one hand, you don’t have to wash your pillow. On the other hand, you can’t wash your pillow, so you should probably use a pillow cover to protect against your old sweat, oils, and grime.

[h/t Apartment Therapy]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!