Pillows are an essential part of our daily lives, but what happens when they become old and gross? The good news is that there are several options available for disposing of them. However, before throwing them away, it is important to assess whether they are actually gross or just in need of a wash. Pillows accumulate dead skin cells as we sleep, so washing them can refresh and redistribute their fill, adding to their lifespan.

If the pillows are still in good condition after washing, they can be repurposed or donated to animal shelters or homeless shelters. There are also textile recycling facilities that accept old pillows for recycling. These facilities either break down the pillows into stuffing for new pillows or use the material for other purposes such as insulation or cleaning rags.

When washing old pillows, the process varies depending on the type of pillow. Down or down alternative pillows can be washed on a gentle/cold cycle with a gentle, natural laundry detergent. An extra rinse cycle ensures all the soap is washed out, and the pillow can be dried in the dryer with tennis balls to help the down re-loft. Cotton and polyfill pillows can be washed using the same instructions as down pillows, and polyester pillows can generally withstand the dryer on low heat with dry towels and tennis balls. Foam pillows should not go through the washer or dryer, but the covers can be washed on a cold cycle and air-dried.

It is recommended to wash pillows or pillow covers every six months and launder pillowcases once a week to keep them clean and extend their lifespan. By doing so, it reduces the frequency of having to dispose of old pillows, which can be a less frequent pain in the neck.

In summary, old pillows can be recycled, donated, or repurposed, and washing them can extend their lifespan. By following the care instructions for each type of pillow, they can be kept clean and fresh for longer.