Hints & HELP!
submitted by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
article appeared in the August 25 Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.
fall approaches, it is time to revitalize bedding, especially
the pillows, blankets and mattress and get ready for winter.
Care of these items need not be a difficult task. Here are
some helpful suggestions for care that will make the task
of cleaning and caring for them easier.
pillow from soil. A ticking cover will help protect the
ticking and filler.
place feather and down pillows in the dryer on low heat
for ten minutes to remove humidity and help keep them resilient
and fresh. Polyester fiber-fill pillows may also be freshened
in the dryer on low heat. Foam rubber pillows should not
be placed in the dryer.
the manufacturers cleaning directions. If none are
present, the following guidelines may be helpful. Although
down-filled products are hand or machine washable, some
manufacturers recommend dry-cleaning.
dry-cleaning down, select a reliable dry-cleaner with experience
in cleaning down. Afterward, thoroughly air bedding products
to dispel lingering fumes from the cleaning agent.
filled with down, feathers or polyester fiber-fill may be
washed in the washer on the gentle cycle with warm water
and a mild detergent. Check the ticking to be sure it is
strong and that the seams are firmly sewn. Wash no more
than two pillows at a time. Fill washer, then submerge pillows
and wash four to eight minutes. Rinse in warm water three
times to be sure that all detergent is removed. Thoroughly
dry pillows in the dryer at low heat on the gentle cycle.
This may take three to six hours for down; less for polyester.
Placing a tennis shoe or a few tennis balls in the dryer
will help fluff feather pillows. Polyester fillings may
need to be pulled apart to fluff after drying. Some manufacturers
recommend high temperatures for drying polyester pillows.
Consult the label.
pillows can be washed by hand if cleaning is necessary.
Remove the cover and wash it separately. Place the pillow
in warm, mild detergent suds and squeeze the suds through
thoroughly. Rinse several times, removing all detergent
residue. Blot well with a towel. Dry flat at room temperatures,
reversing positions occasionally. Drying may take several
days. Do not use a dryer because of the danger of combustion.
cotton and synthetic blankets also can be washed or dry-cleaned.
Washing may result in more shrinkage than dry-cleaning.
Follow label directions. Some wool blankets can be washed,
check directions. Polyurethane foam should be washed as
you would a wool blanket in cool temperatures with little
or no agitation. Higher temperatures and agitation can cause
polyurethane blankets to become bald and shrink.
launder blankets, fill washer with warm water. Add detergent
and dissolve by agitation if needed. Add blankets, let soak
for 10 to 15 minutes, then agitate for one to two minutes.
Rinse twice in cool water, briefly agitating. Dry a synthetic
fiber blanket in the dryer at low temperatures. Remove as
soon as dry.
should be covered with a well-fitting mattress pad which
can be laundered frequently.
and foam mattresses should be aired routinely. Ends and
sides of innerspring mattresses should be turned about every
six months; the foundation at least once a year. New mattresses
should be turned more frequently for the first six months.
Mattresses and box springs occasionally should be vacuumed;
use low suction.
should be removed promptly. A disinfecting or deodorizing
spray is recommended for odor problems. Check product labels
for appropriate use on fabrics and safety suggestions. Persons
with allergies should use caution.
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