By Eunice Low

How to Clean A Latex Pillow - 2021 Latex Pillow Care Guide

If you're reading this, you probably have a latex pillow or you're planning to buy one. It's a great choice, as natural-latex foam pillows have been shown to

  • contain fewer allergens than regular cotton-stuffing pillows,
  • stays cooler throughout the night, and
  • provides just the right amount of support to help align the neck and spine, among other great perks!

When you invest in a latex pillow, you're investing in many years of great sleep, plus proper alignment of your head and shoulders when you sleep. As with all great purchases, one should take the time to learn how to properly care for their new latex pillow.

How to clean your latex pillow (and keep it clean)

Use a pillow liner/protective cover

Joey Pillow Cover and Latex Pillow

With a latex pillow, it's best to have a protective layer between your pillowcase and the actual latex pillow so that it can prevent any potential stains and moisture from reaching the latex foam.

Some people who bought a raw latex foam pillow will use 2 pillowcases to act as this protective barrier. Fortunately, most of the latex pillows on the market already come with a built-in protective liner/pillow cover. It is important that you use a pillowcase on top of this protective layer so that there's maximum protection for the latex foam inside.

Baking soda — it's not just good for cakes and cookies!

After many uses, it's inevitable that some dandruff, debris, skin cells, dust might cause your pillow to smell and have mild odours. Here's where baking soda comes to the rescue!

Baking soda works wonders for removing unwanted odours (people often use it for refrigerators and shoes), and it works the same way for pillows as well.

First, remove any pillow cover you have over your foam pillow and set that aside. Then, sprinkle baking soda over the pillow and let that sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Finally, brush the baking soda off your pillow gently into a trash can, or use a clean upholstery vacuum attachment and vacuum the baking soda up.

If the pillow cover has odours as well, you can repeat this process with the pillow cover on.

Your latex pillow should have no more odours after this!

Wash your pillowcase often (once a week)

We will try not to wear the same shirt or use the same bath towel for more than a few days, and the same rule applies for pillowcases as well.

Think about it, clothes are on your body for approximately 8 hours a day before we shower and change into new ones. We sleep on our pillow for around 8 hours a day too, and our facial skin and hair is in contact with the fabric for the same amount of time. In addition to any dandruff, dead skin cells, and facial oil secretions that we may deposit on the pillowcase, most sleepers also drool on the pillowcase!

That's why it's important to wash your pillowcase once a week to retain optimal cleanliness.

This is not only great for your pillow, but you also get a clean sleeping surface to sleep on, which greatly increases your comfort when you sleep.

*Note: The pillow cover that comes with the Joey Pillow is not machine washable as it might cause pilling. To keep it clean, we recommend the baking soda cleaning method!

Air your latex pillow out (as often as you change your pillowcase)

You should occasionally air your latex pillow, as that functions to remove any moisture and sweat that may have been accumulated in your latex pillow over time.

Take the pillow out from its pillow cover and let it air for a few hours in a shaded place with good airflow, away from direct sunlight. You can also prop it up against something so that there's maximum airflow around your pillow, and so that air can reach all sides of the pillow at once.

We recommend doing this every time you put your pillowcase in the wash. The time it takes to air out the latex pillow should be the same amount of time it takes to wash and dry your pillowcase, so if this is done simultaneously, you should have a clean and fresh pillow to sleep on at the end of the day!

Gently spot clean when accidents happen

Sometimes accidents happen, and it's extremely important to spot clean the pillow as soon as you can when it does.

To spot-clean a latex pillow:

  1. Take a clean cloth and dip it into plain water, then wring it out so that the cloth is slightly damp and not dripping wet
  2. Gently blot the area affected by the stain, going from outside the stain to toward the centre where it is most affected. Remember to keep moving the cloth as the stain is transferred to the cloth so that only a clean surface of the washcloth touches the surface of the latex pillow
  3. When you get as much of the stain off the pillow as you can the first time around, wash the cloth and repeat steps 1 and 2 until you get as much of the stain out. Be careful to not deposit too much moisture into the pillow as you do this

When it's as clean as you can get it, take a clean dry cloth and press it down on the affected area to get as much moisture out as you can. Then, let it air dry for at least 24 hours. It might take longer to fully dry out because of the humid Malaysian climate, but 2 sunny days (not rainy season) should be more than enough.

Some people follow up with the baking soda cleaning method after they spot clean to absorb any potential odours the stain might cause. We recommend doing that, but it's up to you to see if it is necessary.

Avoid excessive moisture

Don't submerge the actual latex foam into water or expose it to too much moisture in general. Latex foam pillows take a much longer time to dry out as a result of having a lot of micro-holes in the foam's body, and if it gets wet it would need a lot of time to fully dry.

Latex is highly inflammable, so please let it air-dry and do not use any heating appliances such as hairdryers to try to speed up this process.

If the pillow cover and pillowcase are put on before it gets the chance to fully dry, it may be a breeding ground for mildew, bacteria, and mould, especially in this hot and humid Malaysian weather. Prevention is always better than cure, we say! And if you want to freshen up the actual foam, you can always use the baking soda method, as explained above.

Dusty? Just vacuum it!

If you have a latex foam pillow that is not used often (i.e. one kept in the guest bedroom, or one you got as a gift and forgot about), it might have a dusty smell that often comes with things that haven't been used in a long time. If it smells (and looks) dusty, a simple way to fix that is to vacuum it!

Use a clean upholstery brush attachment to vacuum over all sides of the pillow and its pillow cover. Then, you should remove the raw latex foam from the pillow cover and give it one more vacuum over all sides to make sure that you really got all the dust.

After vacuuming the pillow and putting it back into the pillow cover, put it in a freshly washed and dried pillowcase and you should have a nice, comfy pillow you can enjoy!

Scents and sprays

If you're super ✨ b o u g i e ✨, there are some linen mists or sprays in the market that are designed specifically for you to spray on your pillow. This freshens your pillow up and makes it smell good, and also functions as aromatherapy that calms you down when you breathe it in. This could be a great option if you want something more than simply a pillow that doesn't smell.

If you do decide to purchase a pillow spray, make sure to look carefully at the ingredients to make sure you're not sensitive to any. The last thing you want is to spend your hard-earned money on something that you later turn out to be sensitive to, yikes!

Other washing tips

  • Carefully follow all care instructions set by the manufacturer when you are going to clean your latex pillow and the pillow cover, if the pillow comes with one. If there are no care tags on the pillow, be sure to read all care instructions on the product page, or contact the company to get clear instructions on how you should care for your pillow
    For example, the pillow cover that comes with the Joey Pillow is not washable, even by hand. It's very important to know these care instructions so you know how to best care for your pillow!
  • Don't leave your latex pillow out under the hot sun. You've probably experienced how an elastic band loses its properties under the hot sun, and being in direct sunlight for long periods of time will impact the latex foam in the pillow the same way too
  • Don't use heat when drying the pillow. Do not put it in the dryer or use a hairdryer to dry the pillow. Please only air-dry your latex pillows
  • Do not wash the latex foam in a washing machine
  • If the latex foam is wet, do not scrunch up, wring, or squeeze the foam too hard as this will damage the latex

Now that you're armed with these tips and tricks to care for your latex pillow, do remember to clean and care for your latex pillow often and it will reward you with many, many years of amazing sleep and rest!

Ready for your own latex pillow? Check out the Joey Pillow, the ultimate one-size-fits-all pillow that's made with 100% natural, premium quality Malaysian latex. It's made in Malaysia too, so you'll be supporting a local product if you do decide to get it!