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Wash or chuck old pillows?

edited 30 May 2019 at 9:58AM in Old Style MoneySaving
25 replies 13.3K views
dekaspacedekaspace Forumite
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edited 30 May 2019 at 9:58AM in Old Style MoneySaving
My pillows are years old, id say more 5 years though I bought a few 2 years ago.


I get worse allergies every year and it came to me last night that I only wash my pillows about once a year! and when I lie on them if I put my face on the part of pillow which isn't covered by a pillowcase I get itchy eyes, and my most common allergy is itchy ears.


Is it a case of old pillows that need chucked? Or can they be saved by something like a bleach/soda crystal wash?
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  • Fire_FoxFire_Fox Forumite
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    Old bedding has affected my allergies in the past.

    You would have to wash the pillows repeatedly to eliminate all dust/ dust mites/ dust mite poop/ any other built up gunk. Chances are the pillow structure would not survive.

    Start again with new pillows and a washable anti-allergy pillow protector under your regular pillowcases. Consider using an anti- allergy mattress protector under your fitted sheet and changing your laundry powder/ softener.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
  • oystercatcheroystercatcher Forumite
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    You can wash pillows although I'm not sure any dust that is right in the centre will be washed out. They can be difficult to dry properly and if they are left damp then mould can breed.

    The other problem I find is that pillows go quite lumpy and weird shaped after washing, they never seem quite the same.

    It's worth a try washing them on a really sunny day when you can get them dry quickly.

    The best tip is to use pillow protectors and wash them very regularly, if you haven't seen them they are usually sold with other bedding, like a pillowcase but with a thin layer of padding. They really help absorb sweat and dribble which are what dust mites feed on. If you have allergies I would say have two sets of pillow protectors and change them every time you change the pillowcase.
  • rach_krach_k Forumite
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    If you're going to replace them anyway, you may as well try washing them first and see if it works. If it doesn't, buy new ones and you're no worse off.
  • Carrot007Carrot007 Forumite
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    I recomend getting decent pillows.

    https://dunlopillo.co.uk/pillows/

    I use the Super Comfort but the Serenity Deluxe is the same if you prefer a thinner one.


    No they are not cheap. IME the latex takes just over 10 years to break down. You will feel bumps when it does!


    They come with washable protectors already on.


    I have bad allergies and they are great! (they are better than the allergy ones they sell).


    Used to be sold in argos, but if you want a shop it's not bensons or john lewis i believe.


    Nothing worse than cheap pillows. Or buying the wrong sort of cheap pillow for your sleeping style.
  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    I've washed pillows before, but as said above they are never the same again.

    I now relegate them as pet beds and buy new ones.

    When it's time to replace the new ones, they get relegated to the pets and their old ones get binned.

    You could always try pillow protectors.
  • mamanmaman Forumite
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    Not sure what you mean about putting your face where there isn't a pillow case. Do you mean your pillow pokes out? If so, you definitely need pillow protectors.

    I'd agree, try washing them you've got nothing to lose.
  • edited 16 May 2019 at 10:02AM
    Mistral001Mistral001 Forumite
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    edited 16 May 2019 at 10:02AM
    Yes they can be washed.

    To avoid clumping unstitch the cover and wash the filling by hand (I am assuming polyester filling) . The cover can then be washed by machine. If the cover is a yellowish colour from sweat staining, then soak in a solution of white vinegar for a few hours before washing in the machine. Then dry cover and filling, insert filling into the cover and sew it up.

    Unstitching the cover can be avoided by making temporary "buttons" (like in a old leather sofa) using a needle and thread. Three along the centre should be sufficient. I have made these permanent without noticing them in use, but some people might not be such heavy sleepers as I.

    PS. Make sure you thoroughly rinse the filling and not use fabric soften on it. Also try to use a washing powder which does not contain large amounts of scent.
  • dekaspacedekaspace Forumite
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    I forgot to be more clear in original post, I like to put 2 pillows in a case so they are thick as I like a lot of neck support and lie on my side a lot too. this means theres a gap at side of pillowcase, I noticed last night when I went to bed lying back flat I didn't notice any irritation the second I lay on one side my throat and eyes were itchy.

    I have liquid tabs, I normally use white vinegar as a fabric conditioner whats best to wash these with? I have soda crystals and bleach, there is some yellowing on a few pillows but not all.
  • Mistral001Mistral001 Forumite
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    dekaspace wrote: »
    I have liquid tabs, I normally use white vinegar as a fabric conditioner whats best to wash these with? I have soda crystals and bleach, there is some yellowing on a few pillows but not all.

    I have also used bleach as well as white vinegar on some of the very stained covers. Note you must use the vinegar and bleach separately and NOT mix them as if you mix them chlorine gas is produced. So soak in vinegar and water, wash and rinse and then soak in bleach and water and then wash and rinse. All seems a long process but it is quite satisfying to see the amazing transformation.
  • DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
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    As an even cheaper & possibly more eco alternative, stick the yellowed bits in strong direct sunlight for a few hours.

    Where allergies are in play though, try everything but be prepared to buy new. (Then spend a few disturbed nights getting used to the new pillows.)
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