Should You Wash New Pillows? 🧺

Few people never give a second thought to washing new items they buy. They wash their new clothes, pillows, and bedding before using them. On the other hand, some people suppose that newly bought bedsheets are clean and don’t need washing. Do you wash your new pillows or use them immediately?

You ought to wash your new pillows before using them. They may look brand new, but most trouble is invisible. Goods go through a lot of risks while manufacturing, transporting, and storing. Even sitting at the store, they can collect invisible dust that triggers an allergic reaction.

In this article, you’ll read all about washing pillows. Should you wash your new pillow? Should you wash new pillowcases? How to wash pillows with and without a washing machine?

Get definitive answers now, and learn all about washing your new pillows.

Washing New Pillows May be Good For Your Health

You should always wash your new pillows, except when advised against it. For example, you shouldn’t wash memory foam pillows because water will disintegrate the material. You should also check the pillows’ tags for washing instructions.

Furthermore, it’s the best health practice to wash the pillowcase, pillow protector, and the cover sold with the pillow.

The manufacturer and the store will assure you that the new pillows are clean. They’ll even claim that they sanitize their pillows. They’ll add that they follow the safest procedures when storing and packaging the goods.

While there’s no reason to question their claims, you still need to be safe and sure. Simply put, you don’t know 100% what the actual status of the pillow is. You better wash new pillows because it’s more than what your eyes can see. For example, here are a few invisible defects that can infect them:

  • Pillow makers usually use chemicals to coat the outer layer of the pillow for water- and wrinkle-proofing.
  • Collecting lots of dust as the pillow sits on the shelf too long.
  • Microscopic insects can build their nests inside the fabric of the material without detection.
  • Other people touching the pillow with their hands may transfer the germs to the surface.

These things seem theoretical until you see them in action. It’s a risk you don’t want to take. You can’t really take them to the lab or put them under the microscope. So, stay on the safe side and wash your new pillows. Prevention is better than cure. At least, you can verify they’re safe for use once you wash them with your hands.

Washing New Pillowcases Won’t Hurt Either.

It’s also a health-friendly practice to wash new pillowcases. They usually have a chemical coat that protects against water. These chemicals aren’t always safe for everyone. Harmful particles may get trapped in these chemicals and cause an allergic reaction.

Additionally, you may need to clean the fabric dye before using your new pillowcases.

If you don’t have a lot of time to clean your pillowcases, consider disinfecting them in under 30 minutesOpens in a new tab.. First, you need to sprinkle baking soda on the dirty surface and leave it for 25 minutes.

Baking soda (or washing soda) reacts with stains and absorbs the odor. Next, add a few drops of vinegar. Then, add a little soap and wipe the pillowcase with a sponge.

If you still can see the stains and the smell doesn’t go away, dip a cotton swab in an alcohol solution. Then, rub the pillowcase gently.

If you’ve accidentally used too much vinegar, it’s okay. Just opt for the washing machine with an extra rinse cycle and your dirty pillow will be free of any stain and smell.

Washing Pillows When They’re Not Washing-safe

Some pillows aren’t machine washable. In that case, you want to check if they’re machine-friendly. You don’t want to ruin your new pillows. If they aren’t, there are other ways you can wash them.

Only organic pillows are machine washable. So, check the instructions before you throw your new pillows in a washer.

The typical synthetic pillow is always not safe for washing unless they’re dry clean-friendly.

Again, your typical memory foam pillow is almost always nonwashable, so you need to clean them by hand. In that case, you want to vacuum your pillows weekly and use a clean towel to wipe them.

You can also submerge them in the bathtub and clean them with warm water. You should clean these pillows monthly. Once you notice the water becoming dirty, take the pillows out and give them a good squeeze. Rinse and repeat.

Once cleaned, drain the dirty water and submerge the pillows in clean water while squeezing them to remove the laundry detergent. Once you wash them, let them dry in the air. Be 100% sure they’re dry before using them. Never sleep on damp pillows because the excess water is how they develop mildew.

Hanging the pillows under the sunlight work with all types of pillowsOpens in a new tab.. The heat will expel the tiny insects that may infest your pillows. The fresh air will also remove any odors from the pillow.

You can either lay the pillows under the sun or hang them on a clothesline with strong clothespins. You never want to put the pillows directly on the ground because you’ll just invite the ground insects to infect them or make them dirty.

All in all, you want to remove the pillowcases or covers while cleaning and hang them.

Another way to clean pillows without putting them in the washing machine is using your air dryer. But you must use the hot air to blow them. It’ll help kill dust mites.

Is Washing New Pillows Necessary?

New pillows may seem clean and ready to use. But they also took a long journey from the factory to the store to you. So, it’s best to stay on the safe side and wash them as well.

If you don’t wash new pillows, your skin might get an itchy sensation when sleeping. It’s because when the pillows stay too long in the package, the plastic particles react to the fabric. Once you get the pillows out of the box, the particles release their charge.

Never mind that the pillows look clean and fresh in the package. You should wash them right out of the box.

Even the softest fabric is subject to this situation, and you may get that reaction.

Don’t worry! It’s not a manufacturing defect or faulty packaging. It’s just when the manufacturer wants to keep the pillows looking good until you buy them.

You can easily get around this issue by washing new pillows with some soap and water. That way, they’ll smell good, feel good, and you can use them safely.

Plus, washing new pillows will immediately reveal any grave defects. When you detect the defects early within the warranty period, you get a better chance of replacing or returning them. Most manufacturers, if not all of them, provide some form of guarantee against manufacturing defects. So, it’s not something you should overthink.

Should You Wash Pillows Regularly?

Generally, a weekly washing schedule is your best bet when washing your pillows.

The frequency may become shorter when you use them more often. For example, when you sleep on the same pillows every night, you need to wash them more frequently. Perhaps, two times a week.

With pets sleeping in the same bed, you may want to consider washing the beds three times a week.

Health conditions may also require you to wash your pillows more often. Fresh sheets may decrease your allergic reactions.

In summer, where you tend to sweat more while sleeping, it’s best to wash the pillows 3-4 times a month. It depends on your tolerance and the quality of your pillowcase.

The time between seasons is when most people adjust to the new season. And this may be a good enough reason to clean your pillows more often.

The Ideal Pillow Cleaning Schedule

You don’t need to wash your pillows as often as other furniture. However, you should clean them on a semi-regular scheduleOpens in a new tab.. So, it’s not a clean-it-and-forget thing.

Health specialists advocate changing pillowcases once every two weeks, at least. You should clean the pillows themselves once every six months. When you’re living in a hot weather location, you should clean the pillows after three months of regular use.

Pillows are fertile ground for all types of ailments because they’re in direct contact with your head and hair. Oil from your skin, sweat, and drooling go directly into the pillow. With some common sense, you can determine how often to clean your pillows.

Some people clean their pillows every two weeks due to their allergies. Furthermore, the pillows may not have removable covers, which is more reason to consider washing them more often.

For people with special health conditions, cleaning the pillows along with the sheets is a weekly practice.

Some people clean their bed with a bed linen spray every night. It’s not weird or excessive. It’s just how the way things are. If it makes you feel safe and sleep well, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it in moderation.

You may also want to use aromatherapeutic scents to relax before you sleep. 

Washing Your Pillows Vs. Buying New Pillows

When you can afford new pillows every few months, do it. But it’s not entirely necessary. Pillows can continue to provide the same comfort for years when you take good care of them.

You can continue to use the same pillows for two yearsOpens in a new tab. until they give out and look worn to the point of no recovery.

It’s also environmentally friendly to upcycle old pillows using new fillings. You can also convert your old pillows to new cushions.

Washing your pillows will extend their life expectancy, and they’ll save you money because you won’t have to buy new ones.

However, regardless of their shape, you may want to replace them with new ones in two years. At that point, the filling can’t hold up, and the dust mites will be too many to remove.

When the time comes to buy new pillows, you’ll know.

You can test your pillows by folding themOpens in a new tab., and if they don’t take their former flat shape, it’s time. You’ll also know it’s the time when they become sag, and the stitches start to fall off.

You may also want to consider buying new pillows immediately when the old ones start smelling funny even after cleaning them. If they grow mold or mildew, it may be time to throw them away. Don’t even reuse the filling to create new pillows or cushions.

Even when you’re taking good care of your pillows, you’ll need to replace them eventually. Accordingly, avoid getting too emotionally attached to your pillows because replacing them is a matter of time.


A lot of people leading a modern lifestyle don’t have the time to care for their pillows. When you’re busy traveling and attending business meetings, cleaning your pillows wouldn’t be a priority, would it?

However, cleaning your pillows is an extension of everything you clean, including your clothes.

If you don’t have the time, consider hiring a professional cleaner or carving some time out of your schedule to do it yourself.

Is cleaning your new pillows such a big deal? Well, when you consider that adequate sleep hygiene tremendously improves sleep quality, then yes, washing your new pillows is a big deal.

Good sleep promotes overall good health. Health is key to enjoying life. If you don’t take care of your pillows and bedding while you can, you might find yourself taking care of them when you’re sick.

Lastly, when you buy new pillows, don’t forget to wash them and keep washing them regularlyOpens in a new tab.. You’ll never know what they went through before they reach your bed, so make sure they’re clean and ready to use.


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