Thread Number: 76037  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
washing foam pillows
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Post# 998922   6/30/2018 at 19:45 by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

HI, I have looked on former posts on how to wash foam pillow and didn't find anything that would help. How do I go about washing my foam pillows and then the how to dry them? Thanks, Gary




Post# 998923 , Reply# 1   6/30/2018 at 20:26 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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many wash them in a FLer, hot water, add some bleach....some pillows stay fine through the process, others will bunch up, and never return to their original shape...


I found it best to wash/soak them either in a bathtub or laundry tub....really warm water and again, a good detergent and bleach...…

place pillows in this solution, and squeeze the air out to allow the whole pillow to get saturated all the way through.....

usually best to start at a short end, and while holding under water, jelly roll it up on itself several times, squeezing out water, and allowing more to absorb.....

then let them soak for about 15-30 minutes.....


drain the water......and then add fresh water, repeating the same rolling/squeezing technique....several times until all suds are gone, and water is clear...…

a final spin in an automatic.....and about 15 minutes in the dryer, and your good to go.....

sounds like a lot of work I know.....but it has eliminated the bunching up issues


Post# 998930 , Reply# 2   6/30/2018 at 21:43 by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

Thanks Martin, Most helpful as you always are. I'll let you know how things turn out. Gary

Post# 998936 , Reply# 3   6/30/2018 at 22:58 by superocd (PNW)        

Whatever you do, make sure to err on the side of using less detergent rather than more if you are using a front loader. I'm not sure how HE toploaders would react and I'm sure older toploaders would be fine either way.

The foam in the pillows will create tons of air pockets as it tumbles in the washer. Too much detergent or detergent that has a tendency to create suds regardless of how careful you are with dosing (Persil HE liquid is a big offender here), it will create a sudsy, frothy mess that will persist clear through the final rinse cycle and will probably require you to stop the washer, open the door, Shop-Vac out the suds, remove the pillows and rinse them outside with a garden hose, because even if you were to do three rinses, the suds would still be there. And that's if your machine doesn't trip a suds-lock error code (mine didn't). Then before you'd put your pillows back in for the spin cycle after wringing them out by hand (oh, how fun!), you'd have to run vinegar through the machine on an empty cycle to knock down the suds.

I learned my lesson after washing a queen-size mattress pad with only 1 Tbsp. of Persil liquid. Just 1 Tbsp and I had to go through all of that. For mattress pads, pillows or anything else that contains foam or fill, I highly recommend a powder detergent (like Arm & Hammer) in a low dose.


Post# 998960 , Reply# 4   7/1/2018 at 06:26 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Pillows are tricky.  Frontloaders of course work best.  A long cycle with minimal tumbling (more "soaking" time than tumbling) and fast spin would be ideal but Delicate cycles unfortunately tend to run short.  Two per load for balancing.  I don't (yet) have a frontloader installed for use.  I once ran a couple in my Neptune TL and they were horribly mangled.  The Calypso's bouncing action does much better.

As SuperOCD says above, detergent dosing also is tricky but sufficient dosage is needed to do the job, handle the skin sebum and scalp oils that may accumulate in the fabric.  I can easily get an oversuds condition in the Calypso but fortunately it rinses nicely.


Post# 998973 , Reply# 5   7/1/2018 at 09:31 by sfh074 ( )        
Once .....

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Washed a foam pillow and it turned out to be a big mess. All bunched up at one end. It was clean, just distorted after a tl'er wash. I was going to toss it out, but my wife said let me try. I went on to work and when I got back, the pillow was in pretty good shape. She put it thru the rinse cycle, 2 spins and ..... put it in the dryer with 4 tennis balls, and hand working the poor thing every few minutes and start it back in the dryer. I am so glad I was at work!

Since then, we hand wash them in the bathtub and found the rolling technique to get the water out works best without disturbing the foam placement. Then place a towel on the floor, place pillow in between another towel on top, and we use a rather large and thick plastic cutting board on top. A few pressings and rotating the towels to use up all the dry spots and the pillow is ready for the wooden foldable clothes line in a sunny spot outside. And yes, powdered detergent in smaller dose seems to keep the suds to a minimum.


Post# 998984 , Reply# 6   7/1/2018 at 10:49 by iej (Ireland)        

Put them into a front loader and pack them tightly. Select a long wash with interim spins in the rinse cycle.

If you've a very large drum machine packing it tight may be impossible; in which case I would suggest using a commercial machine with a bolt down mount. They don't care about out of balance loads.

Wash warm, with a good quality liquid detergent - with enzymes.

If they're stained add liquid oxygen bleach.

Don't use fabric softener.

Be careful drying them: they don't react well to high temp/

I would suggest drying them on a very long cool cycle without sensor options. The sensor will not work on multi layer think items like pillows.

You could also just put them out into the sun and let them dry naturally. It's very effective.


Post# 999213 , Reply# 7   7/3/2018 at 16:34 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

When I was a kid we always had molded latex foam pillows, and I've had a couple for the past 15 years or so. My mom always washed them in the sink with warm water and a little dish detergent such as Lux or Ivory. She then rinsed them in fresh water several times, and then pressed out as much water as possible. She then pressed them between bath towels, and then set them on a lawn chair to finish drying. They always came out clean and fresh smelling.

A couple of posters mentioned them bunching up, so they obviously were a different type, as mine are one solid piece.


Post# 999245 , Reply# 8   7/3/2018 at 22:12 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I wash pillows in the top loader. I partially fill it with hot water and detergent and the pillows. I remove the drain hose from the standpipe and hold it over the tub opening. I start the machine on spin and spray the stream of water onto and through the pillows until they are saturated then let them soak. I repeat this a time or two then spin out the wash water. Repeat this two or three times until the water runs clear then thoroughly spin a couple of times. This method prevents the pillows from distorting.

Post# 999600 , Reply# 9   7/7/2018 at 09:38 by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        
Better still and much easier

Is to keep them from getting dirty in the first place.

Put two zippered cotton allergy pillow protectors on the pillow and then the pillow slip. Every week, wash all three in hot water.

The pillow will never get yellowed or have a head smell again.

If your pillow is yellowed from body oil or has that head smell, just throw it out, get a new one and start over with the method above. There are way too many allergens and dust mites in that dirty pillow. You will sleep so much better with a new one! You won’t believe how clear your sinuses will remain all night.

While you’re at it, vacuum your mattress and box spring very well, and wash the mattress pad in hot water with ammonia or replace it too. It will make a huge difference in your life.


Post# 999605 , Reply# 10   7/7/2018 at 10:05 by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        
And FWIW

If I wash the blankets the moment I start feeling a little congested, it eliminates that too.




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