Home CleaningLaundry 10 Expert Hacks to Clean and Disinfect Pillows Without Washing

10 Expert Hacks to Clean and Disinfect Pillows Without Washing

By isha.m
1.4K views 3 mins read
Clean and Disinfect Pillows Without Washing

Did you know that, just like other things, pillows can quickly become dirty? This can be particularly harmful to our health, especially for the skin. So, maintaining a high hygiene level for pillows is crucial for a healthy life.

We often believe that washing is the sole solution for keeping things hygienic, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Surprisingly, you can simply clean and disinfect your bed pillows without washing them.

How is this possible, you ask? Let me share this alternative approach.

Key Takeaways:
Expose the pillows to direct sunlight, as UV rays naturally help eliminate germs and bacteria.
Incorporate regular vacuuming to remove dust and allergens, maintaining a fresh and sanitized sleeping environment.

10 Effective Ways to Clean and Disinfect Pillows Without Washing

Washing your pillows too often can make them age quickly, affecting their durability. But keeping them clean and disinfected is a must, right?

Lucky for you, there are some super easy expert tricks that I personally use! This means you won’t have to go through the hassle of washing your entire pillow.

So, are you ready to let the machine go? They are as follows:

1. Spot Disinfection

Got a little stain or spill on your pillow? No worries!

Spot Disinfection
Spot Disinfection

You can simply treat specific stains or areas with a gentle cleaning solution or a trusted stain remover. Apply the solution directly to the affected spots, ensuring thorough coverage. Gently blot the treated areas with a damp cloth or clean paper towel. Allow the pillow to air dry completely before putting it back into its case.

There is no need to go through the whole pillow-washing marathon. It’s a time and energy saver, for sure!

2. Vacuuming

When there’s no sign of sunshine, I opt for this method to keep my pillows clean.


What you need to do is gently vacuum the entire surface of the pillow, focusing on both sides and the edges.

“This method effectively eliminates dust, allergens, and even microscopic critters.”

3. Using Fabric Disinfectant Sprays

I just love using disinfectant sprays. And why not? They’re super easy to find at your nearest local markets or online stores.

Using Fabric Disinfectant Sprays
Using Fabric Disinfectant Sprays

To use, lightly spray the entire surface of the pillow, paying attention to seams and folds. Allow the pillow to air dry completely before placing it back in a clean pillowcase.

4. Refreshing Your Pillows with Baking Soda

Baking soda is like your pillow’s best friend. Sprinkle some baking soda all over your pillow. However, make sure to cover it evenly, especially in the smelly spots.

Refreshing Your Pillows with Baking Soda
Refreshing Your Pillows with Baking Soda

Let it chill with the baking soda for about 15–20 minutes. This, in return, will give it sufficient time to soak up any weird smells.

Now, grab your vacuum and use the upholstery attachment to suck up all that baking soda. Get into the nooks and crannies too, so your pillows are fresh and clean.

5. Steam Cleaning

Give your pillow some love with steam cleaning.

Steam Cleaning
Steam Cleaning

Fill your steamer, check the care label, and do a little spot test. Hold the steamer about 6 inches away, focusing on any spots. Let it dry completely, then give it a good fluff. Just make sure to follow the care instructions for a fresh pillow.

6. Sun Exposure

You can bring sunshine into your space by placing your pillows in direct sunlight for a few hours.

Sun Exposure
Sun Exposure

The UV rays not only work their magic in eliminating bacteria and odors but also give your pillows a natural freshening boost. It’s like giving them a sun-kissed spa day! So, save this hack for later.

7. Essential Oils

If you do love fragrance, then you are going to love this hack. Infuse your pillows with essential oils known for their antibacterial properties.

Opt for lavender, tea tree, or eucalyptus oils in a water spray for a delightful and disinfecting pillow mist. It’s like a fragrant hug for your pillows.

8. Replace Pillowcases Regularly

Another easy but effective way is to ensure cleanliness by changing pillowcases frequently.

Replace Pillowcases Regularly
Replace Pillowcases Regularly

This prevents the build-up of oils, sweat, and bacteria, maintaining a hygienic sleeping environment. So, why wait? Get your pillow cover right away!

9. Dry Cleaning

Well, some pillows may have dry-clean-only labels. On that note, it is better to opt for professional dry cleaning services.

Dry Cleaning
Dry Cleaning

In this way, you can ensure effective cleaning without compromising pillow integrity. This method lends a helping hand in making sure your pillows stick around for the long haul, keeping them sturdy and reliable.

10. Airing Out

Sometimes, all your pillows need is a bit of fresh air. Hence, make sure to hang them outside in a breezy spot to catch some fresh air.

This is a practical way to maintain your pillow’s hygiene. Plus, regularly airing out pillows helps prevent mustiness and keeps them fresh between cleanings. At the end of the day, it’s a sweet deal for a good night’s sleep.

The Secret Ingredient: Disinfecting Your Pillows

Clean and disinfect your bed pillows without washing them with these secret ingredients. They work like a charm, banishing germs and leaving your sleep haven feeling brand new.

Disinfecting Your Pillows
Disinfecting Your Pillows

In fact, it’s the ultimate hack for clean, cozy, and worry-free bedtime happiness. Here you go!

Choosing the Right Disinfectant Spray: What Do Cleaning Experts Suggest?

Picking the perfect disinfectant spray is key to keeping things clean and germ-free. The cleaning gurus suggest thinking about a few things:

  • Effectiveness against target pathogens
  • Surface compatibility
  • Safety and toxicity
  • Ease of use
  • Residual action
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Fragrances and allergens
  • Availability and cost

Can UV Light Really Sanitize Your Pillows?

Did you know that UV light can be a superhero for your pillows?

It zaps away bacteria, viruses, and pesky dust mites on the surface. Just keep in mind that it might not reach the super-deep layers. For the ultimate pillow pampering, team up UV light with regular washing, good hygiene, and a clean room vibe.

Using Non-washable Disinfectants: An Effective Solution?

Using non-washable disinfectants can be effective for sanitizing surfaces. These products often contain antimicrobial agents that kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms.

Understanding the Process of Disinfecting Memory Foam Pillows

Are you in the comfy crew of memory foam pillow lovers? Then, you might know that a memory foam pillow can’t get a machine wash.

So, if you’re wondering how to keep it fresh and clean, I’ve got some insider tips to spill. To disinfect memory foam pillows, remove the pillow cover.

Then, begin by using the vacuum cleaner to remove debris. Next, spot clean stains with a mixture of mild detergent and water.

To sanitize, use a fabric-safe disinfectant spray, ensuring it doesn’t saturate the foam. Allow pillows to air dry thoroughly. While disinfectants help, maintaining regular pillowcase changes and good hygiene practices is crucial for overall cleanliness.

Why Is It Essential to Regularly Clean and Disinfect Pillows?

There are several reasons why regularly cleaning and disinfecting pillows is a good idea. Here are some I’ve shared below:

Why Is It Essential to Regularly Clean and Disinfect Pillows
Why Is It Essential to Regularly Clean and Disinfect Pillows

Understanding The Importance of Clean Pillows For Good Health

Keeping your pillows clean is super important for staying healthy.

Over time, pillows can gather all sorts of stuff like allergens, bacteria, and fungi that might not be great for your breathing and skin.

So, by giving your pillows a good clean regularly, you’re practically making your sleep space healthier and lowering the chances of allergies and infections.

The Hidden Dangers Of Bed Pillows: Dust Mites And Debris

Did you know that our comfy pillows can turn into cozy homes for dust mites and other yucky stuff? These little creatures love the warmth and humidity of our pillows and, thus, can cause respiratory issues and skin troubles!

Regular cleaning is like giving them an eviction notice, making your sleeping spot cleaner and safer.

So, let’s keep those pillows fresh and cozy without any unwanted guests.

Why Washing Isn’t Enough: The Role of Disinfection

Giving your pillows a good wash is a must, but did you know it might not tackle all the icky stuff? Disinfecting is like the key move that takes care of bacteria and viruses hanging around.

You can use disinfectants or go for pillow covers with superpowers (aka antimicrobial properties) for that extra layer of protection. It’s like creating a cozy and germ-free fortress for your sleep haven.

Does Your Pillow Type Determine Cleaning Methods?

Did you know that pillows have their own cleaning preferences? It’s like they each have their own little personalities.  Such as, for memory foam pillows, a gentle spot cleaning is the way to go to keep them happy and intact.

On the other hand, for synthetic or down-filled pillows, you can toss those in the washing machine for a spa day.

Just make sure to check out the care instructions that come with your pillow – it’s like their own set of rules. And, following these guidelines is the secret to keeping your pillows clean and cozy without messing with their vibe!

Alternative Methods to Clean and Disinfect Pillows

Discovering new ways to keep your bed pillow clean and fresh is a game-changer.

So, instead of sticking to the usual washing routine, try out these cool tricks to give your pillow an extra dose of cleanliness and comfort:

Alternative Methods to Clean and Disinfect Pillows
Alternative Methods to Clean and Disinfect Pillows

Can You Hand Wash Your Pillows Despite the Tag Instructions?

Well, it depends on the pillow’s material and the care instructions on the tag.

Some pillows may be labeled “dry clean only” or have specific instructions. However, if your pillow’s tag allows, giving it a gentle hand wash can be a nice way to keep it clean. Just be sure to follow any specific instructions on the tag.

Using the Tumble Dryer: A Good Option for Cleaning?

The tumble dryer can help remove moisture and kill some bacteria. However, it’s not a cleaning method on its own. Make sure the pillow is suitable for machine drying, and use low heat to avoid damaging the material.

Dry Cleaning: Is It Suitable for All Types of Pillows?

Dry cleaning is suitable for certain types of pillows, especially those with delicate fabrics or intricate designs. Always check the care instructions, and if the tag specifies “dry clean only,” it’s best to follow those guidelines.

Understanding the Proper Wash Cycle for Each Pillow Type

Different pillow types (feather, down, synthetic, and memory foam) may require specific care. Hence, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate wash cycle, water temperature, and detergent. Also, use a gentle cycle for delicate pillows.

Deep Cleaning with Specialized Cleaners: Is It Necessary?

Deep cleaning with specialized cleaners may be necessary for heavily soiled or stained pillows. However, it’s essential to choose cleaners compatible with the pillow’s material and follow the instructions carefully. Some pillows may not tolerate certain chemicals.

Protecting Your Pillows After Cleaning: Effective Practices

Just cleaning might not give you the results you’re hoping for.

To make sure your pillow stays as comfy and fresh as you want, there are some extra steps you should take, even after giving it a good wash.

Here’s what you can do to get the best results:

Protecting Your Pillows After Cleaning
Protecting Your Pillows After Cleaning

The Advantages of Using a Pillow Protector

Having pillow protectors is a total game-changer. 

I make sure to use pillow covers for all my pillows, and let me tell you, they’re like superheroes for your sleep.

Not only do they keep stains at bay, but they also give your pillows a longer and happier life. A pillow cover is a cost-effective investment for a better sleep experience.

Storing Your Pillows: Best Practices to Keep Them Clean Longer

Store your bed cushions in a cool, dry spot away from the sun.

After all, it is time to show them some love by fluffing and rotating regularly to keep them in tip-top shape. Also, don’t forget their superhero capes and pillowcases; they’re the ultimate dust busters for a cleaner, more comfortable sleep!

Using Dryer Balls for Fluffiness: Does It Work?

Looking to level up your pillow game?

Pop a few dryer or tennis balls in with your pillows while drying. This nifty trick prevents clumps and keeps your pillows fluffy and cozy. It’s eco-friendly too, ensuring you’ll snooze in comfort while being kind to the planet.

Are There Specific Care Instructions for Foam Pillows?

  • Skip the washing machine; they prefer a gentle touch.
  • To maintain their shape and support, you can simply spot clean with a damp cloth.
  • Regularly airing them out and using pillow covers can prolong their lifespan, ensuring a comfortable and supportive night’s rest.

When Is the Time to Buy New Pillows?

Understanding the lifespan of a pillow is crucial in determining when to clean or replace it. Pillows should ideally be replaced every 1-2 years, depending on the material and usage.

Regular cleaning can extend their lifespan. But if pillows show signs of wear, such as flattened or lumpy filling, it may be time to invest in new ones for optimal comfort and hygiene.

Wrapping Up

I hope you are now ready to bid farewell to washing machine troubles and embrace a fresh, germ-free sleep haven.

By utilizing the top 10 ways to clean and disinfect your bed pillows without washing, you’re well on your way to pillow perfection.

So, feel free to grab a clean, cozy pillow and get ready for sweet dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Air drying vs. tumble drying: which is better?

Deciding between air drying and tumble drying really depends on what matters most to you. For instance, air drying is kinder to the environment and your clothes, while tumble drying is quicker and more convenient. It’s all about finding the balance that suits your lifestyle.

How do you get fungus out of pillows without washing them?

To tackle fungus without washing, expose pillows to sunlight for a few hours, preferably 1-3 hours. Sunlight helps kill fungi and freshens up your pillows.

Can you disinfect pillows without washing them?

Yes, you can disinfect pillows without washing them by using a fabric-safe disinfectant spray. Just be mindful to follow the product instructions and ensure it’s safe for fabrics.

Can I spray disinfectant on my pillow?

Yes, you can safely spray a fabric-friendly disinfectant on your pillows. However, make sure the disinfectant is suitable for pillows, and follow the instructions carefully.

Does vinegar disinfect pillows?

Vinegar can be quite effective for disinfecting pillows. Just mix water and vinegar, spritz on the pillow, and let it air dry. And ensure it’s safe for your specific pillow material.

How do you sterilize pillows?

Sterilize pillows by placing them in direct sunlight. A few hours of sunlight exposure can effectively help kill germs and bacteria on the surface.

How do you clean a bed with fungus?

You can use an antifungal spray on the mattress, wash linens, and vacuum the entire bed area. However, for a bed with fungus, the best is to consider professional cleaning.

Can you sanitize pillows in the dryer?

No, a dryer may not effectively sanitize pillows. While it can help fluff and refresh them, high heat may also damage the pillow and not thoroughly eliminate germs.