by Amanda Mears
Resting your head on an old, dirty pillow every night is a sure way to make sleeping less enjoyable. The slightly gross truth is that, while you sleep, you're shedding dead skin cells and transferring oil from your scalp onto your bed pillows. Washing your pillowcases regularly is a start, but when you really want to freshen up your pillows, follow these tips.
Cover pillows up: The most effective way to keep your bed pillows fresh is by covering them. Pillowcases help keep sweat, dander, and dust from infiltrating your pillows. By keeping such things out of your pillows, you'll be able to keep them feeling like new much longer. You can also buy protective covers that fit snugly over pillows and close with zippers; put a pillowcase on over the cover. Remember to frequently switch your pillowcases out with freshly laundered ones to maintain a clean feeling.
Wash them: Depending on the materials your bed pillows are constructed from, they may be able to be machine washed. Check the care instructions on the tags and, if you find they are machine washable, put them through the wash on a gentle cycle using hot water to disinfect. Machine drying them may be another story, so make sure to read the instructions once more to learn the best method for drying.
Air them out: Whether or not your bed pillows are washable, all pillows can be uncovered and aired out. If you have an outdoor clothesline, consider hanging your pillows in the warm sun for a couple of hours. The fresh air should give the pillows a clean, crisp scent.
Give them a scent: Consider putting satchels of fresh herbs or flowers in your linen closet to give pillowcases a boost of freshness. A bit of soothing lavender or relaxing vanilla will make a pillow that much more cozy when bedtime rolls around. You can also sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oil on an unscented dryer sheet and rub it over your pillow directly.
Let it go: If you're pillow is still lackluster after performing these steps, it might be time to replace it. For further information on letting go of your old pillow, check out this guide that tells you when you should replace your pillows.