stinky pillows
September 12, 2006 9:49 PM   Subscribe

I bought some nice down pillows for myself, and they smell really weird! I have tried to Febreze 'em, and I ran them through the wash according to the care instructions, but they still emit the odour. Has anyone else ever had such a problem that could offer some advice to me?
posted by foxinthesnow to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't wash down, dry clean it. If that doesn't fix the problem, put a scented dryer sheet between the pillows and your pillow cases.
posted by paulsc at 10:17 PM on September 12, 2006

I had it for a while with a pillow I bought some years ago. Eventually it lost the stank, but until then I just kept two pillowcase on it and made sure to launder the outside pillowcase often and with a good liquid fabric softener.
posted by FlamingBore at 11:14 PM on September 12, 2006

Try putting them in the freezer for 24 hours then launder again. It worked for a chenille throw a while back.
posted by ceri richard at 12:11 AM on September 14, 2006

You might also want to try washing with oxy clean or nature's miracle. I don't know if the smell is because of the feathers, but I've found both work really well to get rid of weird pet odors.
posted by Kimberly at 12:37 AM on September 14, 2006

[The S.O. speaks her veritable knowledge on the subject:]

Having worked in the home department of a decent department store for far too long, I’ve spent enough time with down/feather pillows/comforters/etc. (and acquired a few of my own), so I hope I can offer at least some sort of advice.

Any down pillow is going to have some residual odor when you take it out of the package. The quality of the pillow (and, sadly, price) are directly correlated with the, um, degree of stink (lol) and how long it will last. Typically the more expensive/higher quality pillows contain down that has been through the washing process more times (4+, though “hypo-allergenic” downs typically see at twice as many washings.) More washing -> cleaner down -> less goose smell. Period.

The smell will disappear with time. Febreeze and other products only mask it, and there sadly is no quick and easy way to get rid of it. That said, you CAN machine wash (and dry) your pillows. It won’t have any negative effect on the down (and can help with the smell), but you should use a gentle detergent—the regular ones can make the down clump together. The only other thing you have to be concerned about when washing them is the cover of the pillow. I’d recommend getting pillow protectors (zippered covers that go under the pillowcase) and keeping them on when you wash. They’ll help keep everything in better shape.

If you live someplace where this is an option, leave your new pillows outside for a little while (a few hours, not days…) out of the package. Squeeze them when you get a chance. Ridiculous sounding? Maybe, but shedding some of the stink outside definitely beats bringing more of it into your house.
posted by disillusioned at 2:46 AM on September 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

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