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Clean, Dry, Repair and Disinfect Pillows
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Drying and cleaning water damaged pillows may not worth your efforts as most pillows are relatively inexpensive. In addition, pillows can absorb a large amount of water and, due to their thickness, they are very hard to thoroughly dry and sanitize.
Cleaning Water Damaged Pillows
If the damage is not too extensive and your pillows are only slightly damp, follow the cleanup instructions on the pillow's label. If you don't have cleaning instructions, follow these steps to dry and clean your pillows:
- Gently brush off dirt and debris. Do not try to wipe off dirt as you may embed it deeper into the pillow.
- Soak in warm water.
- Wash in your washing machine. If your machine has a pre-rinse cycle, choose this program. Do not wash more than two pillows at a time. Be sure to use the gentle cycle program with warm water, detergent, and the maximum water level to assist disinfecting.
If you cannot use chlorine bleach:
- Use an all-fabric bleach. Again, use the gentle cycle program to prevent shrinkage.
- Wash for 15-20 minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse the pillows.
- Dry, at a moderate setting, with dry towels to absorb moisture.
- You may also line-dry the pillows in the sun. If you choose this method, shake pillows often to fluff the filling and be patient; it may take several hours to dry.
Foam Rubber Pillows
Foam rubber pillows may be cleaned the same way, using cool water and a gentle cycle:
- Wash for 10 minutes and rinse at low speed.
- Press to squeeze out excess water.
- Tumble dry on the air setting of your dryer or line-dry.
Please Note: Never use heat to dry a foam rubber pillow. Heat may cause the pillow to melt.
To dry and clean down pillows, wash the ticking and filling separately:
- Open one end of the ticking and remove the filling, and sew it in a muslin bag (a class of cotton fabric woven in a firm, plain weave) two or three times the size of the ticking.
- Wash the ticking and the filling separately following the steps above.
- Fill back the ticking.
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