Even in the dog days of summer, my children have issues with allergies, and sometimes they don’t quite understand the relationship between choices they make and how they later feel. Top of the list is that if they play outside all day (which is a good thing) and then go to bed without washing their hair or at least rinsing off, how the allergens from the local parks, fields and other areas end up accumulating on their pillowcase.
The symptoms are easy to diagnose: every time they lay down to go to sleep they start to sniffle and feel a bit of a headache coming on. In fact, pillows are rather alarming as a source of allergens because so few people ever wash their pillows, and even pillowcases are often skipped because my kids, at least, complain that they’re a hassle to take off, wash, and replace.
After yet another night of them being tired but unable to get to sleep I decided it was time to not just clean everyone’s sheets and pillowcases, but to actually acquire a laundry detergent that’s designed specifically to wash out allergens and that leaves no perfumes or other impurities on the laundered clothes and bedding. And so began Operation Pillow Case.
The detergent of choice: all® free clear liquid for our front-loading washing machine. Conveniently for sale at the local Safeway, it was surrounded by lots of other options in astonishingly bright, colorful packaging:
As befits its formulation of being without dyes and perfumes, all free clear is the only bottle that isn’t brightly colored. Smart package design, really!
Armed with the detergent that is the #1 most recommended by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin, a detergent that removes 99% of everyday and seasonal allergens including cat and dog dander, dust mite matter, ragweed, grass and tree pollen, we left the store and headed home.
Operation Pillow Case was ready to begin!
First off, acquisition of the culprits. Pillow cases. They lurk on the bed, looking all innocent and harmless:
This is my 19yo’s bed so it’s not as horrifying as it could be, but when asked the last time she’d actually washed her bedding and pillowcases she said “umm… errr.. you’re supposed to wash these?”. #yikes
I demonstrated that they’re actually easy to pull off the pillows and toss into the gaping maw of our Samsung washing machine:
The washing machine has a nice little drawer that pulls out and a little cup therein for liquid detergent. I demonstrated how easy it was to pour a few ounces into the cup, close the drawer, select “normal” cycle and push start.
Phase I was a complete success. Then transferring the pillowcases and bedding into the drier was even easier and another button push and they were tumbling dry. And, finally, dry and ready to fold:
They didn’t fall apart in the wash, they didn’t become a different color, they’re just clean and free of allergens.
Phase II complete!
Now the toughest part: reintegration of the pillow cases with the pillows and thence onto the bed. Fortunately a coordinated effort made this last part a breeze too, producing a bed that looks remarkably similar (it’s her bedroom, so not my job to enforce neatness standards. Thank goodness), but now sports clean pillows:
That was it. Operation Pillow Case was a complete success, thanks to all free clear liquid.
Now, how are your pillowcases looking right about now? When was the last time you washed them to get rid of all the allergens, pollens, dander and dust mites? Yeah, I thought so. That’s okay. Just wash ’em ASAP, particularly your children’s pillows and bedding!
Note: all® free clear is not intended to treat or prevent allergies. Also, want to learn more about all free clear? Join the all free clear online community and get great tips and suggestions on how to reduce allergens from your life!