Having a family of allergy-sufferers, and being one myself, I was delighted by our symptoms’ improvements once I learned how to wash pillows. It’s not just that they smelled better, though that was certainly a nice benefit. Washing our pillows got rid of pollen, dander (both human and pet), and dust mites — three things that wreak havoc on allergies.
HOW TO WASH PILLOWS
Dirty Pillows Make Allergies Worse
It doesn’t seem at first like pillows should collect pollen. After all, they’re covered by pillowcases which you’re changing as part of your bedroom cleaning routine. But pollen hitchhikes on hair at bedtime then through the pillowcase fabric while we sleep. The same goes for pet and human dander.
As for those dust mites? Those things are tiny — as in 0.2–0.3 millimeters (0.008–0.012 inch) — and they love humid places like warm pillows where they feast on dead skin cells. After that feast, they excrete a substance that causes severe allergies in certain individuals.
Guess What Else Is in Your Pillows?
Over one-third of the weight of a 2-year-old pillow is composed of skin flakes, dust mites and their droppings, and other microorganisms. It can even contain the microbes that cause flu, chicken pox, MRSA, Clostridium difficile (c. diff) and also e. Coli.
And we sleep on that stuff!
So, here’s how to wash pillows to cleanse them of such things. Regular laundering also means they’ll smell fresh and last longer, too. Here’s how.
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