Rescue Old Pillows


Image by IRCat from Pixabay

For a number of decades I’ve been in the commonplace position of looking for shortcuts to avoid spending unnecessary money on new things.  It’s just a part of the life of a humble professional working musician.  Remember the expression “A penny saved is a penny earned”?    How about “Waste not want not?”  I suspect those are rarely heard now because the depression-era generation has almost died off.    But the spirit lives on among those of us who believe in re-using old things.

Don’t throw out those pillows!  Summer is here and you may have relatives coming to stay on your spare bed which makes you consider all your smelly old bedding.  But there’s no need to contribute more old foam to your local landfill.  Your old pillows probably still have some life left in them.   Don’t spend good money on new pillows thinking they’re the only answer for cleaning up your old bedding!

Hidden Microorganisms in Pillows

The following is a quote from CBS News:

"I've seen people with pillows that were loaded with microorganisms," NYU microbiologist Dr. Philip Tierno told The Early Show consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen. Tierno says as pillows absorb germs from our skin and the air, they become a breeding ground for mold, bacteria and dust mites. Experts say you should replace your pillows every two years, but that can be costly. Instead, buy pillow protectors that usually cost between $10 and $20 

I decided that my pillows were worth the experiment of hand-washing them after reading a couple of websites with suggestions on how to do it.  I have nine pillows.  Some are filled with polyurethane foam, some with polyester fiber, and the rest I can no longer identify from faded tags. None are feather pillows, though. The first time I tried washing my pillows was around 10 years ago. I then used a washing machine and dryer, which was a mistake. They came out lumpy and misshapen.  The tags on some of them even recommended machine washing, so I used the gentlest setting and still two of them ripped open at the seams. They were difficult to sew back together; I hand-stitched them which was only a temporary fix. This may be seen as predictable but a number of websites still recommend it. Washing by hand was much preferable for me inasmuch as it succeeded in keeping the shapes of the pillows intact, as well as the end seams. 

3/6/2019 1:54:07 PM

Good ideas, very useful. Thanks

2/15/2019 8:56:14 AM

This is way too much work. I realized years ago that hand washing anything in a tub is way too hard. I have a washing machine. Why not use it. Fill the washing machine with hot water, detergent, and a little bleach. Don't agitate. Just use your hands in the washing machine. After washing by hand, put the washing machine on spin. Put the machine on the rinse cycle to fill and add fabric softener. Use your hands to agitate and let it spin off. You don't have to get down on your knees at all. And leaving it in the sun for 2 days? Dryer, about 30-40 minutes and you have fresh pillows. You figure out a lot of tricks in 30 years of marriage.

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