According to various experts, we should be washing our actual pillow every three months, and the pillow cover every three weeks. Why? Pillows are a favorite habitat for some pretty disgusting things, including countless numbers of bacteria and fungi. Dirt, dead skin cells, and skin oil seeps into the crevice of our pillow. Oh, and a relative of spiders, the dust mite, loves to pay our pillow a visit en masse.
The accumulation of dust mites is also a health concern, causing physical reactions that imitate allergies. Statistically, two-thirds of all people with allergies are sensitive to the presence of dust mites – meaning more severe allergic reactions. If this rational discourse isn’t enough, just Google “dust mite” and click on “images”…yeah…an ugly little sucker. Imagine a colony of these just nesting in your pillow.
Many allergens are airborne – transmitted through the air and inhaled. This is not the case with dust mites; symptoms that accompany the presence of dust mites are usually strongest in the morning. In other words, if “allergic” symptoms are more severe in the morning time, the pillow may be the issue. Doctors also recommend that people who have year round nasal allergies get tested for a dust mite allergy.
Further, we should have a cover for every one of our pillows – and they should be cleaned at least every three weeks. Further, zippered pillow protectors can assist with lessening the buildup of mites, bacteria and fungus.
Pillows other than those with feathers can be cleaned in the washing machine. Those containing feathers should be dry cleaned in order to prevent damage. Again, ensure that the pillow itself is cleaned at least once every three months. In between cleanings, cycling a pillow for 30 minutes on low in the dryer can help clear out pillow muddle that has accumulated.
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