Pillows, when used for a long time, get dirty and should be washed or changed. The pillow might turn yellow after some time of use; this yellowish coloration could be deposits of sweats or drools when we sleep. Dirty pillows can also be a habitat for bed bugs and even disease-causing organisms. Thus, washing your pillow is a necessity, not optional. Of course, the measure you apply in washing your pillow depends on the type of pillow you are dealing with. When dealing with a feather or down pillow, care must be taken to make use of the right equipment and apply the necessary techniques. Feather pillows are soft and durable pillows, they are different from fiber filled pillows, memory foam pillows, latex pillows, buckwheat pillows and so forth. Their softness, durability and scrunch should be considered when washing the pillow. Here are a few guides on washing a feather pillow.
- Maintain Balance: When washing feather pillows with top load washer, you should ensure that the pillow is placed in such a way that will keep it balanced. Usually, two pillows are washed at the same time in a top load washer to ensure balance and if only one pillow is available, you can add a towel or anything that will keep it balanced. Too often than none, high efficiency or front load washers have issues with balancing. Top load washer issue of balance may be caused by the high speed of the top-loaders but an easy way to correct this would be to wash similar items together.
- Use Cold Water: The temperature required to wash materials varies with the material. Choosing the right temperature is very important because it will help to ensure effective washing. To wash a feather pillow with top loader washer, you will need to set the water temperature to cold. Cold water is most suitable for washing delicate fabrics and dark colors. This means setting the washer below 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degree Celsius. The major advantage of using cold water is that it will reduce the chances for fading, color bleeding or shrinking.
- Use Gentle Cycle: Basically you have to determine three important things when washing anything, these include: the load size, the water temperature for the wash and rinse cycles and the cycle setting. With the right cycle, you will be able to clean your clothes properly and have them looking excellent. You have to read the label on each cloth or material you want to wash in order to know the cycle you will apply. The label will inform you about both the water temperature and the type of cycle to use.
- Use heavy-duty and low-sudsing detergents: The next thing you will need to consider is the type of detergent you use when washing feather pillows. The type of detergent you use will depend on the temperature of the water and the cloth materials used. Since low temperature water is preferred in washing feather pillows, heavy-duty detergents would be appropriate for the purpose. You can find a number of heavy-duty detergents out there but a good example is the Tide detergent. It is important to avoid detergents with suds when washing fabrics but if that is not possible, you can use detergents with very low sud content. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the washing process depends heavily on the type of detergent you use. Thus, it makes sense to invest on detergents that will give your pillows a refreshing look. Care should be taken to avoid low-cost and inferior detergents that do not have active ingredients to wash the pillow.
- Rinsing: Rinsing is an important part of the washing process used to get rid of detergents from the material. To get the best out of the washing cycle, it is recommended that you set your washer for an extra rinse cycle. This will ensure that any remaining detergent on the pillow’s body will be washed off. Of course, you can rinse the pillow a couple of times if you feel that it still requires additional rinsing cycle but the main purpose in this process is to ensure that it is completely rid of residue detergent.
- Drying the Pillow: Drying is also very vital and should be handled meticulously and thoroughly. After rinsing the pillow, it should be removed from the water and fluffed before being placed on the dryer. The dryer should be set at medium heat. The dryer cycle is equally important and should be taken note of. There are basically five cycles to consider and they include: air fluff or air dry cycle, in which no heat is applied; gentle or delicate cycle, used for delicate fabrics; wrinkle resistant or permanent press cycle, used for lightweight ramie, cotton, natural fiber cloths, and linens; Automatic/Time Dry - Regular cycle, uses sensor to determine the optimum drying condition; and Steam cycle, used for cloths that do not require washing but require removal of wrinkles and odor.
Gentle or delicate cycle can be used for feather pillows. During the washing process, the feathers clump up and should be broken up in the drying cycle. This can be done by placing clean tennis shoes or tennis balls on the pillow. Refluffing should be done manually during the drying process every 15 minutes. The time required for the drying process varies considerably and depends on the size of the feather pillow you are drying but the pillow would dry faster in conditions of low humidity and also in a sunny day.
Washing your feather pillow is easy, especially with top load washer. You have to carefully choose the load size, water temperature and cycle to wash the pillow properly. No matter how wonderfully washed the feather pillow is, if it is not dried properly and thoroughly it might not offer you the comfort you desire. Molds might form on the pillow and it may develop some offensive odor if it is not well-dried. A good way to checkmate poor drying is to hand fluff the pillow in each cycle.