how do hotels clean pillows



Hotels are known for their comfortable beds and fluffy pillows, but have you ever wondered how these pillows are kept clean and hygienic for each guest? Pillow cleanliness is crucial for maintaining a healthy and pleasant accommodation environment. In this article, we will explore the various methods and techniques that hotels use to clean pillows thoroughly, ensuring the highest level of comfort and cleanliness for all their guests.

Methods for Cleaning Pillows in Hotels

When it comes to pillows, hotels follow specific cleaning protocols to ensure cleanliness and freshness. Understanding these methods can give you an insight into the meticulousness with which hotels maintain their standards. Let's delve into some of the most common methods used by hotels to clean their pillows.

Regular Pillow Washing

One of the primary methods employed by hotels to keep their pillows clean is regular washing. Hotels usually have their own laundry facilities or work in collaboration with professional laundry services. The pillows are taken from each hotel room and sent to the laundry, where they undergo thorough cleaning.

During the washing process, special attention is paid to the pillow's fabric and filling material. Hotels use mild detergents and wash the pillows at high temperatures to eliminate bacteria, dust mites, and other allergens effectively. Additionally, hotels often opt for hypoallergenic detergents to minimize potential allergic reactions.

Steam Cleaning

Aside from regular washing, hotels may also implement steam cleaning as an additional method to ensure that pillows are as clean as possible. Steam cleaning not only eliminates the presence of bacteria, dust mites, and allergens but also helps in removing any lingering odors.

In the steam cleaning process, pillows are placed inside a specially designed machine that releases high-temperature steam. The steam penetrates the pillow's fabric and filling, effectively sanitizing and refreshing it. This method is particularly useful for pillows that cannot be washed frequently, such as those with intricate embroidery or delicate materials.

UV Light Sterilization

To further enhance cleanliness and eliminate any potential allergens, hotels may employ UV (ultraviolet) light sterilization. UV light has the capability to kill bacteria, viruses, and mold spores, making it an effective tool for disinfection.

Specialized equipment emitting UV light is used to treat the pillows. The pillows are placed inside a chamber or subjected to a handheld device emitting UV-C rays. This process destroys the DNA of microorganisms, leaving the pillows virtually germ-free. UV light sterilization is a common practice in many hotels, adding an extra layer of cleanliness assurance.

Encasement and Protective Covers

To safeguard pillows against stains, spills, and allergens, hotels often employ encasement or protective covers. These covers act as a barrier, preventing substances from penetrating the pillow's fabric and potentially causing contamination.

Encasement covers are made of hypoallergenic materials and are zippered to completely enclose the pillow. This not only protects the pillow from external elements but also prevents the accumulation of sweat, skin cells, and oils from the guest's neck and face. Encasement covers are easily removable and washable, allowing for regular cleaning.

Replacing Pillows Regularly

Even with diligent cleaning procedures, pillows eventually accumulate wear and tear and lose their original comfort and support. Hotels understand the importance of replacing pillows regularly to provide guests with the best possible sleeping experience.

As a general rule, hotels replace pillows every 1 to 2 years, depending on the pillow's condition. This replacement cycle ensures that guests always enjoy fresh and comfortable pillows. By frequently updating their pillow inventory, hotels can maintain high standards of cleanliness and guest satisfaction.


Hotels go to great lengths to ensure that pillows remain clean, fresh, and hygienic for their esteemed guests. Through regular washing, steam cleaning, UV light sterilization, and the use of encasement covers, hotels eliminate bacteria, dust mites, and allergens, providing guests with a comfortable and healthy sleeping environment.

The meticulous cleaning processes followed by hotels ensure that each guest can rest easy, knowing that their pillows are free from dirt and contaminants. So, the next time you sink into the plush pillows in your hotel room, you can appreciate the effort that goes into keeping them perfectly clean and inviting.


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