Two multi colored bamboo pillows on a bed

How To Clean a Bamboo Pillow In 6 Easy Steps

Bamboo pillows are very popular and great for a better sleep. They hold plenty of benefits, such as antimicrobial and hypo-allergenic features. These pillows are naturally resistant to odors, dust mites, and germs, but, of course, they also need to be cleaned in order to maintain the healthy advantages.

You want to handle your bamboo pillow with care so it can give you a peaceful night’s sleep for years. In this article, you’ll find the right ways to clean your bamboo pillow that will elongate its life.

What happens when you wash a bamboo pillow?

The way you wash your pillow can affect the life of it. The cover and memory foam could even deteriorate when handled incorrectly. If you wash it appropriately, though, you will be rewarded with better and healthier sleep.

We shed skin cells throughout the day and night, which become trapped in pillows as we sleep. When this builds up, pillows become unhygienic and need to be washed. Accumulated skin cells promote the growth of bacteria and dust mites, which can lead to allergies and other respiratory issues.

How often should you clean your pillow?

It’s recommended that you wash your pillow every 2-4 months. This may be a bit cumbersome considering how much time it takes to properly clean a pillow but it’s worth the stress, especially if you suffer from allergies.

First, you want to avoid bacteria growth and dust mites. You need a generally clean sleeping surface for health reasons and to ensure your pillow lives a long life. When oil and dirt build up inside a pillow it causes the material to deteriorate.

Your bamboo pillow is an investment, so it is reasonable to spend a significant amount of time caring for it.

Can my bamboo pillow go in the dryer?

A dryer can save you a lot of time and may seem like a good idea but you should be mindful of the pillow filling because a dryer can cause a lot of damage to your bamboo pillow.

While the removable pillowcase can easily be tossed in the dryer, we advise against this. Although some bamboo pillow companies recommend using a dryer to help fluff the pillow and restore its original loft, the dryer is not advisable for drying the pillow when it’s completely wet.

Young women smiles in sleep while her hands under the pillow

In any case, the best thing to do is to check with your pillow’s manufacturer label before throwing it in the dryer. Most of the time, only high-end pillows can tolerate the process and only on a low heat setting.

Step by step guide on how to wash a bamboo pillow

I hope you’re not discouraged from taking care of your bamboo pillow now.

Unless your pillow says differently, you cannot wash it in the washer and you shouldn’t put it in the dryer. I know this means a lot more work unless you just drop them off at the cleaner.

Your bamboo pillow should come with a wash and care guide but in case you lost them or haven’t purchased your pillow, we wrote an easy-to-follow guide.

What you’ll need:

  • Deep sink or hand wash basin
  • Washer & Dryer
  • Drying rack
  • Mild detergent (free of bleach and color)

Step 1: Separate pillow and cover

You don’t wash the bamboo cover and memory foam in the same way. So you will have to remove the bamboo cover from the pillow.

Step 2: Cleaning the bamboo cover

Now, place the cover in the washing machine and ensure to wash it separately to prevent friction with other materials. Materials with zippers and husky fabrics like towels can cause the material to develop faults.

Use the gentle cycle in your washing machine with warm water and the delicate cycle with low heat in the dryer.

Make sure to continuously check the moisture level to not over dry the cover.

Once it is dry, lay it on a flat surface to prevent it from wrinkling. You can also air-dry the cover instead, but the material will not dry as smoothly.

Step 3: Handwashing the bamboo pillow

You will have to hand wash the memory foam using warm water and a little mild detergent. The water should be between 90-110°F (or 30-40°C).

After filling your sink or basin with warm water, add a small amount of detergent and whisk until completely mixed and bubbly.

Next, place the memory foam in the soapy water and submerge it so that the solution will penetrate the material.

You should squeeze it a bit so it will soak up the soapy water.

Step 4: Soaking

You can allow your pillow to soak for 10-15 minutes. You can squeeze it a few times to get rid of stains. Don’t soak it for more than 20 minutes, though.

Take care of the remaining stains within the last few minutes. You can scrub them gently with a brush. Maybe squeezing the pillow repeatedly will do the trick as well.

Step 5: Rinsing

Release the soapy water and rinse the pillow with warm water until the soap is completely drained from the material.
Feel free to rinse it several times to make sure no soap is left. Leftover soap can ruin your pillow.

Step 6: Drying the bamboo pillow

Dry your pillow by placing it in a well-ventilated area. You can use direct sunlight or place it in front of a fan to dry it faster.

A drying rack can be very helpful or you can place it on a table outside. When using a table, flip the pillow every so often to ensure that both sides dry properly.

Person holding blue plastic bottle to put detergent into washing machine

Make sure the pillow dries out completely before you use it. This will prevent mold and mildew to build up.
Also, don’t allow it to sit in the sun for too long after it is dry as this could damage the pillow.

Keep in mind that these steps only provide general guidelines for washing bamboo pillows. Each pillow is unique, so make sure to double-check the cleaning instructions on your bamboo pillow.

For instance, bamboo pillows with shredded memory foam can be machine washed under specific conditions while some memory foam pillows need to be placed in the dryer to activate the memory foam.

When to replace your bamboo pillow

Bamboo pillows do not have a fixed expiry date. You will know if you need to replace it by simply examining it.

It’s time to say goodbye to your bamboo pillow if:

  • It has obvious lumps in the filler material
  • Stains remain even after washing
  • You wake up with neck and shoulder pains, headaches or fatigue
  • You wake up sneezing from dust mites
  • The pillow goes flat and cannot be fluffed up properly anymore

A memory foam based pillow needs to be replaced every 18-36 months. I found this surprising because I know a lot of people (me included) who wouldn’t do this that often.

You may feel like your bamboo pillow is already worn out but maybe you just need to clean it again.

Before throwing away your whole pillow, find out if the memory foam or pillow filling is still fluffy. You may only need to replace the pillowcase. This would cost you less and offer continuous comfort.

Care tips & how to extend the life of a bamboo pillow

I’m sure you want your pillow to last as long as possible. Here are a few steps you can take to extend their lifespan.

Switch your pillowcase frequently

A pillowcase acts as extra protection for your pillow. They are not just decorative items – although there are so many cute designs. They soak up moisture, dirt, and oil. Ensuring you wash your pillowcase frequently and replace old ones with clean ones every week will extend the pillow’s life.

Wash your pillow occasionally

Even with a pillowcase, dirt and oil will penetrate the pillow itself so it is important to wash your bamboo pillow every 2-4 months.

White pillows and a washing machine with drying rack and the text: How to Clean Bamboo Pillows

Don’t sleep dirty and sweaty

This may seem obvious but don’t fall asleep dirty and sweaty. The dirt will stick to the pillows and bed which will accumulate over time and result in a stinky pillow. So, try to take a shower before sleeping or at least change into some fresh clothes.

Keep dry

Keep your pillow dry. A wet pillow will cause mold and mildew to grow on it. Keep it as dry as possible which also means no sleeping with wet hair.

Dust off the pillow

You can also try to dust off or vacuum the pillow every now and then. You don’t want dust mites nesting in your pillow, right? Shake them out!

Additional tips

Here are some tips that’ll help you ensure that your pillow lasts long and serves you well:

  • If you are yet to get a bamboo pillow or you want to get another one, research which size and fill will suit you best
  • Get more than one bamboo pillow. You can use the other one once you have washed your favorite.
  • Ensure you keep a clean pillow. Always remember to wash your pillowcase every week.

It’s easy to forget about your pillow since you use it so much. But if you have a bamboo pillow, you need to know how to wash it because it is not as easy as just tossing it in the washer and dryer.

The cleaning guide stated in this article makes the procedure easier. These pillows will give you many years of service if you treat them right.

Do you use a bamboo pillow? How do you wash it? Leave some tips in the comments

Woman (Natalie) and man (James) in front of bamboo
About the Author: James Zimmerman

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