If you are experiencing a strange odor coming from your feather pillow, you are not alone. Whether you just bought it or have had it for a while, a feather pillow can have a natural, gamey odor from its filling, and over time, can have various odors from sweat, pet hair, and cigarette smoke. These odors can also be made worse by hot, humid weather.
Your first instinct may be to wash the feather pillows to try and get rid of that smell, but these pillows are not meant to be washed frequently and can easily develop mildew or mold if not dried properly.
What Should I Do If My Feather Pillow Smells Like Death?
If your feather pillow reeks of death, there are several ways to properly get rid of the smell, including exposing your pillow to fresh air, removing mold spores and mildew stains, and occasionally washing your pillow. You can also use a feather pillow protector to keep odors away for extended periods of time.
Keep reading to learn our tips to help you properly take care of your pillow.
Air Your Feather Pillow Out
Sometimes, the best thing to do to get rid of a feather pillow’s odor is to air it out outside. Make sure to remove the pillowcases from the feather pillows and leave them outside in a non-humid area to air them out. Flip them and rotate them every one or two hours to expose the whole pillow to fresh air.
If you don’t want your feather pillows to get dirty, place them under the shade of an umbrella or have them on the porch. You can even sprinkle some baking soda over your pillows to help remove the odor while the fresh air will help remove the moisture from the pillow.
Remove Mold and Mildew from Feather Pillows
A common cause of odors with feather pillows is mold spores and mildew stains. Mold and mildew may develop if the feather pillows are stored in dark, humid areas or if the feather pillows are not completely dry after washing them. Fortunately, you can safely kill mold spores and remove mildew stains from your feather pillows with direct sunlight and vinegar.
Using direct sunlight is a simple way to remove mold and mildew from the pillow. To remove the mold and mildew, put the pillows directly under the sun to make sure that they are completely dry. After they are completely dry, brush the dried mildew off with a stiff bristled brush.
If you have tough stains, use plain vinegar and gently scrub the stains with a damp sponge. You can also add baking soda to help remove difficult stains. Once finished, machine-wash the pillows according to the instructions on the tag and then dry completely. Or rinse the feather pillows out with fresh water and dry them outside. The vinegar smell will disappear as it dries.
When You Have to Wash Your Feather Pillows, Wash It on Gentle
Though feather pillows are not meant to be washed frequently, you can occasionally machine-wash them to get any odors out. Before you wash your pillows, make sure that there aren’t any holes. If there are holes, sew them shut with a thread and needle.
To wash your feather pillows, wash them two at a time, on a gentle or delicate cycle with cool water. You should also use a light, mild detergent that does not have any additives, like fabric softeners. Fabric softener can ruin the feather and make the pillow seem less fluffy. If using whitening bleach, use non-chlorine bleach.
Adding an extra rinse cycle will also help in making sure all the soap is washed out. If your washing machine has an extended cycle option, use that as well to force as much water as possible out of the pillows.
When the pillows are ready to be dried, dry them using the lowest heat setting on your machine and add a few tennis balls to fluff the pillow. You should also stop the dryer mid-cycle to fluff the feather pillows as well. If the pillows still are not dry after a complete cycle, then put them back in the dryer again to make sure they are completely dry.
If the feather pillows feel slightly damp after drying, you can also hang them outside to air dry. However, you must make sure the pillows are completely dry before using them again or storing them. If the feather pillows are not completely dry, they may develop mildew or mold in the future. Using a dryer sheet in your cycle can freshen up your pillows as well and make them smell nice and clean.
Check Out Our Other Articles on Sleep Detectives:
- The 3 Best Japanese Pillows for Neck Pain
- Your Feather Pillow Smells Like Death? Here’s What You Do…
- The Three Best Pillow Protectors for Oily Skin
Do Pillow Protectors Help Keep Odors Away from Feather Pillows?
Using a quality pillow protector like this one is certainly a way to help keep your feather pillows clean over long periods of time. It adds another layer of protection for your pillow against certain smells and substances, like pet dander and sweat. Most feather pillow protectors are machine washable as well.
In addition, a pillow protector can prevent the feather from becoming worn out, so there won’t be feathers poking out of the pillow.
Our Recommendation for a New Pillow: The BedStory Pillow
When your feather pillow develops mildew and mold, you won’t just experience an odor, but you may also experience allergy symptoms, such as a sore throat, headaches, and congestion. While there are ways to remove mold and mildew from your feather pillow, we can only wash these pillows to a certain degree. It is recommended to replace your pillows every 2-3 years.
The BedStory Pillow is an excellent choice for sleeping. These pillows are soft to the touch and are filled with 3D microfiber to provide the ultimate level of comfort. The BedStory Pillow comes in multiple sizes, including standard, queen, and king.
This pillow is for a variety of sleeping positions and can help fully support your head and neck while you are sleeping without sinking or falling into the pillow. If you are experiencing neck and back pain, you will certainly experience relief after using the BedStory Pillow. It is also filled with down alternative fibers, making the pillow breathable enough to keep you asleep throughout the night and not feel overheated.
If you are looking for comfortable and supportive pillows to replace your old feather pillows, we highly recommend the BedStory Pillow.