Around the House: Keep Your Pillows and Blankets Fresh and Clean
By Yehudit Garmaise
We still have a month and a half before Pesach, but this spring season, we can start our cleaning early by sprucing up bedrooms and making them look, feel, and smell: fresh and clean.
Unlike bed sheets, which should be washed every week, many wonder how often they should launder their pillows and blankets.
Wash pillows and blankets approximately every four months to keep them smelling and looking fresh and clean and to remove mold and bacteria, according to marthastewart.com.
First, shake out blankets and beat pillows outside to remove dust and dirt.
Most pillows and blankets can be thrown in the washing machine using the gentlest cycle, unless they have tags that say dry-clean only.
For down pillows and blankets, front-loading washers are best as they provide more room for down items to be washed without crowding.
To get out any spots, spray stain remover or use an old toothbrush to apply a mild detergent or baby shampoo to the area. Drip a few drops of warm water on the stain, and scrub it with the old toothbrush for a few minutes before putting blankets or pillows in the washing machine.
Without putting anything else in the washer, wash pillows in warm water alone. Wash blankets in cold water to preserve their colors.
Run pillows through two cycles: to make sure to rinse out all the detergent.
Most pillows can go into dryers at medium heat setting except for those made of foam, which can melt, and so should be hung on drying racks or clotheslines.
Dryers can cause feather pillows to lose some of their oomph, so throw in a few wool dryer balls (or clean tennis balls stuffed in clean white socks) to fluff up down pillows while they toss around in dryers.
Check blankets’ labels to see whether they can go into dryers. While many single-color blankets can go into dryers, the heat can cause colors to fade. For cotton quilts and other colorful blankets, hang on shower rods or clotheslines to air-dry.
When air-drying wet blankets do not use your hands to wring, which could damage the blankets. Instead, before hanging your clean, wet blankets, use some clean, dry towels to press out excess water and remove as much water as possible.
Once your sheets, blankets, and pillows are clean as new, sweep or vacuum your bedroom, clean off your nightstands and other surfaces, and resolve not to bring in any more bedtime snacks.