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The 411 on Washing and Replacing Pillows and Bedding

The 411 on Washing and Replacing Pillows and Bedding

Posted on 21 May 2018

For as long as anyone can remember, there’s something about spring being in the air which brings out the cleaning supplies and whitewash.  It’s a wonderful time to get to those neglected cleaning actions and spruce up and liven up our homes.


But when it comes to our beds, the part of the home in which we likely spend the most time, sometimes people do not know how to clean, or when to replace, pillows, bedding and the like.


To that we offer this handy guide, the 411 on washing and replacing everything in and around your bed.

1. Sheets

While the average American family washes their sheets every 10-14 days (and that’s not bad), the ideal timing would be weekly.  Washing away built-up dirt and dead skin cells keeps the bed clean and fresh.


But if you hate waiting for that wash cycle to complete before making the bed again, just rotate in a 2nd set and always have one ready to go.


Wash and dry on hot and remove promptly, to kill germs and reduce wrinkling.


As for replacement, if you use the alternating method of washing your bedsheets, they should last for about 1-2 years.  After that, fibers begin to breakdown in a way that can make them less comfortable and durable.

2. Pillow Cases

Pillow cases often come with sheet sets, and so they tend to get lumped together, but ideally they should not.  Your face and head secrete more oils and dirt, so a weekly washing is insufficient. Plus, if you maintain (or desire) long hair, rough sheets can cause more breakage.


You should lay on a fresh pillow case each night.  Flip the pillow on the first night (and use the other side), but then wash.  Yes, it means you will need extra pillow cases, but you’ll also have great skin and hair.

3. Pillows

Pillows aren’t just for decoration!  But the decorative ones can last as long as you choose, and wash (if you don’t sleep with them) just every couple of months.


The pillows to wash more regularly are the ones that you sleep with.  Wash pillows every 2-3 weeks and air dry (or dry on very low heat, when safe by tag instructions).  Most pillows should be tossed every 2-3 years, since oils from the body can get into them. If you use a really high quality pillow, though, and clean it regularly, you can get 10 years from it (just like a mattress).

4. Mattresses

Some newer mattresses come with 15-20 year warranties, but most mattresses only last 10 years.  Pay close attention to that warranty and cleaning instructions, or your warranty will be void.


Use a mattress protector to keep your mattress stain-free, which you wash weekly with the sheets, and spot clean (and air dry) anything that gets through to the mattress.

5. Comforters and Duvets

Duvet covers and blankets clean the easiest, and every 2-3 weeks is fine (replace every 5 - 15 years, depending on fabric quality).  Comforters should also be washed monthly, which may require professional laundry (if your machine won’t handle a load that size).


Look around at Everything Else

When you do that bedroom spring cleaning and refresh, look around at frequently neglected areas of the bedroom, including:

  • Washing curtains
  • Cleaning the headboard (particularly fabric ones)
  • Moving the bed and thoroughly cleaning to remove dust, mold and other potential allergens
  • Cleaning vents, windows and window screens
  • Getting carpets professionally cleaned

If you keep up with the regular bedding cleaning, and tackle the curtains, carpets, etc each spring, you will keep your bedroom fresh and beautiful year round!



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