Around the House: Keep Your Pillows and Blankets Fresh and Clean

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 no matter what, many people wonder how often they should launder their pillows and blankets.

We should be washing pillows and blankets approximately every four months to keep them smelling and looking fresh and clean and to remove mold and bacteria, according to

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 cycles, unless they have tags that say they are dry-clean only. 

For down pillows and blankets, front-loading washers are better than top-loading washers, if you have a choice. Top loading washers, which are smaller, can pack the down, while front loading washers provide more room for down items to be washed without crowding them. 

To get out any spots, spray Spray and Wash or use an old toothbrush to apply a mild detergent or baby shampoo to the area. Drop a few drops of warm water on the stain, and scrub it with the old toothbrush for a few minutes before putting your blanket or pillow in the washing machine.

Without putting anything else in the washer, wash pillows in warm water alone, but wash blankets in cold water to preserve their colors. 

Run pillows through two cycles: to make sure to rinse out all soap.

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 might cause colors to fade. For cotton quilts, and other colorful blankets, hang them on shower rods or clotheslines to air-dry. 

When air-drying wet blankets: do not use your hands to wring, which could damage 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 start resolving not to bring in anymore bedtime snacks. 

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