Guide to Washing Your Wool Pillow Covers
Wool pillow covers are a fantastic addition to your bedroom because of their soft and breathable nature. With the right care, wool pillows can stay fluffy for long and guarantee deep, restful sleep for years. But if you want your wool pillow covers to stay useful for a long time, there is one thing that you cannot ignore: wash them properly. Here is a handy guide to washing your wool pillow covers correctly to ensure that it lives a long, comfort-giving life.
Understand Wool’s Delicate Nature
When dealing with wool, it is first and foremost necessary to understand its delicate nature. Wool is unlike any fabric out there: it is soft but holds its shape remarkably well, making it such a great choice of material for pillow covers and fill. However, it is at its most vulnerable when it’s wet. When washing them, it doesn’t take too much effort to damage woolen products permanently. So, keep that in mind when washing your wool pillow covers.
They have tiny scales on their surface like a secret language only wool enthusiasts can decipher. These scales are what give wool its cozy texture and natural resilience. However, they also make wool prone to shrinking and matting when subjected to harsh treatment. Understanding wool's delicate nature is the key to keeping your wool pillow covers happy and fluffy. Treating them gently with utmost care will ensure their cozy magic lasts for years.
Read the Care Label
Your first responsible step before washing wool pillow covers should be to read the care instructions that come with them. All clothing items come with care labels that give you proper instructions on taking care of them, including any special care needed when washing them. Going through the care label on your pillow cover before you do anything else gives you the best chance of avoiding any mistakes when washing it.
The care label will specify if the pillow cover requires any special treatment. Looking through it once will let you know if the product is machine-washable or if hot water should be avoided. Some wool products will recommend that you exclusively dry clean the product. If the label has such an instruction, you should follow them as delicate wool tends to shrink when exposed to water.
Given how delicate wool can be, it is always a good idea to spot-clean the visible stains before you move further. This step comes in naturally if you plan to dry clean your wool pillow cover. However, you should follow this step even if washing it in water.
If you plan to put the pillow cover in the water, pre-treat the stains with a pre-wash stain remover or a wool detergent before putting it in the washer. It will ensure the stains are washed out quicker, allowing you to take them out of the water quicker. At the same time, you can also be done with a gentle wash, minimizing the chances of damage to the pillow cover.
Choose a Good Detergent
Since wool is such a delicate material, it is especially important to be careful when you wash your wool pillow covers. Regular detergents won’t cut it as they are too strong and have a greater chance of damaging the cover. So, look for a mild detergent, possibly specially produced for washing wool. You must look for a pH-neutral detergent free from bleach, reducing the chances of damaging the wool.
Fabric softeners should be avoided at all costs when washing any woolen products. The two don’t go together, and fabric softeners can coat woolen fibers, causing them to become scratchy and uncomfortable. On the other hand, white vinegar can be a useful hack if you need to remove odors from your woolen pillow covers. Put a cup of white vinegar when washing the pillow covers; it will leave them smelling clean and fresh by the end.
Machine Wash vs. Hand Wash
You must take all precautions if using the washing machine to wash your wool pillow covers. Firstly, do not use warm water under any circumstances, as this will likely damage the wool fabric. Set the temperature to cold, and use the delicate or short cycle, whichever is the slowest setting on your machine. It is better if you have a top-loading machine, as a side-loading machine has a marginally greater chance of causing an abrasion on its load.
Whether washing woolen pillow covers by hand or in the washer, you must rinse them properly. Soap residue on the cover damages the fibers, causing them to lose their softness and become scratchy. So, ensure the product is properly rinsed, and all the soap is completely washed away. Once it is rinsed, squeeze it out gently. You want to avoid wringing it out in a rough manner. The best way to do it is to roll up the pillow covers in a fresh towel and press gently.
Air Dry the Pillow Cover
You should avoid the dryer under most circumstances, as it will likely shrink and damage your wool pillow cover. Air drying is the best way to go, and it is even better if you avoid direct exposure to sunlight when setting pillow covers out to dry. Since it is risky to iron wool, you want to avoid the chances of any creases forming on the pillow cover when it is being dried. You have the best chances of avoiding creases and folds if you flat-dry it on a horizontal surface.
Fluff the Pillow Covers Before Use
Once the woolen pillow covers are completely dry, they may appear flat and out of shape. As long as you have taken care during the washing process, all it takes is a light fluffing to return to its original shape. It can also be helpful to occasionally pat the pillow covers with a clean, dry towel while it's drying to retain its fluffy shape.
Putting the pillow cover in the dryer can prove useful at this stage. But you must be quite careful: only do this if your pillow cover is made of a hardy variety of wool and the care instructions specifically allow for dryer use. Throw the cover into the dryer for 10 minutes, along with dryer balls. These will bounce around and over your pillow, helping smooth out the bumps and lumps.
The basic rule of thumb is that woolen products need not be washed as frequently as other textiles. Wool has the odd ability to self-clean, as it stays dry for longer by its natural moisture-absorbent properties. It makes it difficult for bacteria and dust mites to form on your wool pillow covers.
Nevertheless, the frequency you should wash your wool pillow covers depends on your usage: how much dirt and sweat they accumulate and your personal preferences. It would be best if you got away with washing wool pillow covers once every two weeks.
You can also care for your wool pillow covers better if you remember a few other things. Firstly, if you accidentally spill something on your wool pillow cover, it is always best to spot-clean it immediately rather than wait to wash it later. A mild detergent and cool water with a clean towel will do the trick. Remember to dab gently and avoid rubbing, as this will likely cause the stain to spread even further.
Your pillows deserve the royal treatment, and by following this guide, you'll ensure they're as cozy as ever for your sweet dreams ahead. Happy laundering, and may your wool pillow covers always come out victorious in the battle against dirt and grime!