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Why Does My Pillow Smell? (4 Causes to Consider)

Why Does My Pillow Smell? (4 Causes to Consider)
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You want to be able to go lay down in bed and get a good night’s rest. However, it can be kind of tough to do that when you notice that your pillow is particularly stinky.

Why would your pillow smell so bad all of the sudden, and what should you do to get things back to normal?

Well, there are actually many potential reasons why your pillow might have a foul smell right now.

Read on to explore the reasons why pillows might start to stink. You’ll also be able to learn what you can do to keep your pillow from smelling as well as how you can get it back to normal right now.

1 – Natural Pillow Smells

There are situations where people will buy pillows from a store or online retailer and the pillow will have a distinct odor. This could be the case when the pillow is made using certain types of material.

Some fabrics might carry an odor from the factory where the pillows were put together, but these shouldn’t be overpowering scents or anything like that.

Over time, you can probably get these slight scents to go away by using standard methods. Try spraying an odor-neutralizing spray on your pillow if you think that it smells just because of the fabric or the method that they used at the manufacturer.

This should help your pillow to have a neutral smell that you will be able to enjoy.

2 – People Sweat When They Sleep

Person Sleeping Wrapped in Blanket

People sweat when they sleep, and over time, this sweat is going to seep into your pillow.

Hair, sweat, and saliva are things that can make your pillow dirty as you continue to use it. Some people drool when they sleep, but everyone sweats at least a little bit when they’re sleeping.

Your pillow is going to get a little bit dirty over time just through regular use, and you need to know that this is a normal thing that you can’t completely avoid.

This doesn’t mean that you have to accept that your pillow is just going to smell, though. It just means that this is the most common reason why your pillow will start to smell.

Most people who notice that their pillows are a bit smelly will be able to attribute it to the pillow being exposed to sweat. If you were sick recently, then it’s quite possible that you might have become sweatier than normal.

Also, if the weather in your area was very hot, it might have caused you to sweat a lot and get your pillow damp with sweat.

The smell of sweat is rather distinct, and it’s likely that you’re going to be able to tell if your pillow smells like sweat.

Thankfully, this can be fixed pretty easily by just washing the pillow. You’ll be able to learn more about pillow-washing methods later on in this article.

3 – Spilling Drinks or Food

Another potential reason why your pillow might stink is that someone could have spilled something on it.

In modern times, lots of people eat food and drink things in bed. You might have been spending some time watching your favorite streaming show before bed one night and then spilled something carelessly.

Spilling something like milk on your pillow is definitely going to have the potential to make things smell.

Random food spills could also be quite odoriferous, and it’s going to be necessary to get things cleaned up fast. If you didn’t clean the spills as well as you thought you did, then it could wind up leaving stains or causing lingering odor issues.

Of course, it would be best to avoid eating food or drinking things while you’re in bed. However, it’s not that big of a deal so long as you take care of things. Just remember to be careful when you’re eating in bed or drinking something at nighttime.

If you do happen to spill something, then try to take care of your mess right away. It might be best to throw your sheets and pillowcases in the washing machine that night so that you don’t encounter more problems.

If you have spare sheets and pillowcases that you can change out, then you should go that route.

4 – Pet Smells

Dog Sleeping in Bed with Head on Pillow

Pet smells can contribute significantly to pillow odors, and your pet might be to blame for why your pillow smells.

If you’re one of the many pet owners who allow their pets to hop up on your bed, then you might find your dog or cat sitting on your pillow at some point. Pets can be quite smelly, and they also like to sit on things that smell like their owners.

If a dog sits on your pillow (or licks it) for a while, then your pillow is going to start to smell like a dog. As much as you love your dog, you’ll probably be the first to admit that dog smells are not the nicest things in the world.

For this reason, it is not advisable to allow your pets to get on your bed.

When you know that pet smells are the culprit for your pillow stench issues, it’s going to be important to try to clean the pillow. If the scent doesn’t wash away nicely, then you might need to just replace the pillow.

If you have an expensive pillow, then it’s all the more reason to be serious about keeping your pets off of the bed.

Shower Before Bed

Taking a Shower

You might be one of the millions of people who work really hard each day doing physical types of labor.

For instance, you could work a construction job or you might be a landscaper. If you don’t take the time to clean up well before bed, then it’s going to be more likely that your pillow and bed will get dirty.

Sometimes you might be very tired in the evening and won’t feel like getting in the shower. This is understandable when you’ve had a tough day, but it still might not be the best idea.

If you got quite sweaty while working hard during the day, then it’s best to shower before you hop into bed.

Cleaning Your Pillow

Cleaning your pillow is something that you must do every so often if you want it to smell nice.

Some people forget to clean their pillows and this winds up harming the longevity of the pillow. In case you didn’t know, many of the most popular types of bed pillows are made to be machine washable.

This means that you can place a pillow in your washing machine and have it washed in a gentle setting.

Of course, not all pillows are designed to be machine washable, and you’ll have to check the status of your specific bed pillow. If you can’t put your pillow in the washing machine, then you could try to wash it by hand.

Most average bed pillows are going to be fine to wash on a gentle setting in your washing machine, though. Once the bed pillows have been washed, you can then place them in the dryer at a low setting to get them back to good.

If your pillow isn’t meant to go into the dryer, then you can dry it naturally in the sunlight over the course of several hours.

Cleaning pillows like this will also be a good opportunity to fluff them up. Many people place a sock filled with tennis balls in along with the pillows. You tie the sock so that the tennis balls will stay in place and it sort of fluffs the pillow as things turn around.

Try to clean your pillows at semi-regular intervals so that they will not start to smell bad. It’s good to do this to prevent you from having problems with dust mites as well because they can form due to dead skin particles and hair being exposed to your pillow.

If you want to have the best night’s rest that you can, then it makes sense to clean your pillows.

Always Use Pillowcases

Putting Pillow Case on Pillow

It’s going to be best for you to always use pillowcases when you’re using pillows on your bed. Remember that you’re going to sweat a little bit at night no matter what, and this sweat is going to get on your pillow.

However, having a pillowcase on your pillow gives it a layer of protection that can keep the pillow from getting drenched in sweat or stained.

You should try to avoid using pillows without pillowcases if you would like your pillows to last for as long as they possibly can.

Ideally, you should own multiple sets of pillowcases so that you can easily switch pillowcases out when one gets a bit pungent. You don’t want to use a pillow without a pillowcase just because you didn’t have the energy to do your laundry one evening.

There are some pillowcases that are made to be more sweat-resistant than others as well. Some people sweat a lot more than others, and this is why special sweat-resistant pillowcases can be nice.

If you find that you’re sweating a lot at night, then it might be worth looking into special pillowcase options so that you can have the best experience.

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