Clorox wipes are made to kill 99.9% of germs. People often use Clorox wipes on counters and tables to stop the spread of viruses and bacteria. The wipes work great on hard surfaces, but can you use Clorox wipes on pillows?
Clorox created disinfecting wipes for use on nonporous surfaces. The alcohol contained in the wipes may stain or fade certain fabrics. Alcohol and other ingredients found in Clorox wipes may also cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction.
Using Clorox wipes on pillows is not recommended. It may pose health issues and damage certain types of pillows.
Here is a closer look at why Clorox wipes are best suited for cleaning hard surfaces instead of pillows and fabrics and what you should use instead.
Health Risks of Cleaning Pillows with Clorox Wipes
Clorox states that its wipes are hazardous to humans and domestic animals. The manufacturer recommends avoiding contact with eyes or clothing. You should also thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after handling the wipes.
Clorox wipes should not be used on clothing, which means that it is unlikely a suitable option for your pillows. Some of the potential health risks of using Clorox wipes on pillows include:
- Mild skin irritation
- Watery eyes
- Sneezing and nasal congestion
- Nausea and vomiting
- Moderate eye irritation
The chemicals contained in Clorox wipes may cause mild or severe allergic reactions in people and pets. Individuals who suffer from dust allergies and asthma may face an increased risk of a negative reaction.
Clorox wipes do not contain bleach but contain powerful ammoniums. The ingredients are more of a health risk when applied directly to the skin. However, we also tend to sweat and leave body oils on our pillows, which may allow your skin to absorb any lingering chemicals from the wipes.
The safety information warns that Clorox wipes may cause moderate eye irritation. If your eyes become watery and irritated, you may need to flush them with water for 15 to 20 minutes.
A mild allergic reaction to Clorox wipes may also be mistaken for the symptoms of the common cold or flu. You may experience sneezing and nasal congestion. More severe reactions may cause nausea and vomiting.
Some individuals also experience mild skin irritation. You may develop a rash or itchy skin after trying to wipe a pillow clean with Clorox wipes.
Clorox Wipes May Stain or Fade Fabrics
Clorox wipes can damage certain types of fabric, as the ammonium and alcohol may cause staining or fading. This is more of a problem with pillow covers and decorative throw pillows.
Staining and fading are not major concerns for the typical pillow. Most bed pillows are made with a white outer shell. The shell is often made from cotton or a cotton blend and should not stain or fade.
In fact, if your pillow is yellowed or discolored from sweat and saliva, the Clorox wipes may help brighten the fabric. The wipes may also absorb some of the oils and dirt clinging to the pillow.
Clorox wipes may help make your pillow appear cleaner, but the wipes are potentially hazardous to your health.
Check out: Recycling Throw Pillows
Alternatives to Using Clorox Wipes to Clean Pillows
While Clorox wipes are not recommended for use on pillows, you have many other solutions for eliminating bacteria and preventing mildew:
- Antibacterial fabric sprays
- Antibacterial laundry detergents
- Soak your pillows in the tub
- Wash your pillows in the washer
Even if you change and wash your bedding frequently, you may forget about your pillows. An unwashed pillow accumulates oil, dead skin cells, dust mites, and other debris.
Using Antibacterial Sprays and Detergents to Clean Pillows
Instead of using Clorox wipes on your pillows, try Clorox Fabric Sanitizer. The company behind the powerful disinfectant wipes also makes a spray specifically for pretreating fabrics.
The Clorox Fabric Sanitizer is a pretreatment spray. As with the wipes, the spray kills 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria. It is also an effective stain remover and safe for use on colors.
You can use the spray to spot-treat stains or eliminate odors and bacteria. Simply spray the pillow and allow the sanitizer to work for about five minutes before tossing it in the washer or a tub.
Clorox, Lysol, and other major brands also make antibacterial laundry detergents. The detergent is added to your washing machine in place of your standard detergent.
Soaking and Washing Pillows to Kill Bacteria
Using an antibacterial spray or detergent can kill bacteria and fungus. However, pillows also require special care to avoid unnecessary wear and tear.
For example, you should typically wash pillows in lukewarm water and use a gentle drying cycle. Some materials are even more prone to damage. Buckwheat pillows are easily damaged when placed in water. Washers may also damage the foam or latex pillows.
Review our post on how to wash a pillow to discover the most effective techniques. Remember to add an antibacterial pretreatment spray or laundry detergent to the steps described to thoroughly eliminate bacteria and odors.
Why Do People Use Clorox Wipes on Pillows?
The idea of using Clorox wipes on pillows comes from the product’s ability to kill bacteria and fungus. Pillows provide the perfect home for bacteria and fungus.
Your skin sheds about 15 million cells each night. Dead skin cells litter your pillow and provide food for dust mites. This also promotes the growth of fungus and bacteria. One study found that the average pillow contains up to 16 different species of fungus.
Fungus and dust mites can exacerbate symptoms of allergies and cause allergic reactions. Sweat and saliva can also cause white pillows to become yellow. The combination of fungus, bacteria, and sweat stains can leave your pillow smelling funky. However, Clorox wipes are not the safest option for cleaning pillows.
What Temperature Kills Bacteria in a Washing Machine?
Washing and drying a pillow using standard methods may not be enough to kill bacteria. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), temperatures of 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius) can rapidly kill most bacteria.
The hot water setting on most washing machines produces water with a temperature of about 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 degrees Celsius). Washing pillows in hot water should kill some bacteria but may not eliminate all microorganisms and viruses.
The typical dryer is more effective at killing bacteria and fungus. Most dryers can run at temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65.5 degrees Celsius), which exceeds the recommendations from the WHO.
Clorox wipes are not a recommended option for cleaning pillows. Clorox wipes contain ammonium and other chemicals that may irritate your skin, eyes, and lungs. The manufacturer states that Clorox wipes are hazardous to people and pets and should not be used on clothing.
Your face remains in contact with your pillow throughout the night. Chemicals that remain on the pillow may cause you to break out in a rash or experience an allergic reaction.
Clorox wipes are only intended for use on hard, nonporous surfaces, such as desks, counters, tables, and door handles. Instead of wiping your pillows with Clorox wipes, consider using an antibacterial spray or detergent designed for use on fabrics.
You should also ensure that you wash and dry your pillows properly to avoid damaging the fill material. Read our article on how to wash a pillow for more advice on cleaning pillows.