how do hotels clean pillows covid


How Do Hotels Clean Pillows During COVID-19?

The hospitality industry has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, promising a new era of stringent cleaning protocols. In an effort to ensure the safety and well-being of guests, hotels have implemented various measures to maintain the highest standard of cleanliness. One crucial aspect of this process is the cleaning of pillows. Pillows, with their frequent use and close contact with guests' faces, can potentially harbor and transmit harmful germs. Therefore, it is essential for hotels to adopt effective cleaning methods to eliminate any potential risks.

The Importance of Cleaning Pillows

Pillows are an integral part of a comfortable and cozy hotel stay, but they can also serve as breeding grounds for bacteria, germs, and allergens. Dust mites, mold, and dead skin cells can accumulate over time, leading to issues like allergies and respiratory problems for guests. With the advent of COVID-19, proper pillow cleaning protocols have become even more critical for hotels. The virus can survive on surfaces for extended periods, making it crucial to implement rigorous cleaning methods to ensure guest safety. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting pillows plays a vital role in preventing the spread of the virus within hotel environments.

The Process of Cleaning Pillows

The cleaning process for pillows varies depending on factors such as the type of pillow, its filling material, and the specific guidelines set by the hotel. However, there are common practices followed by most hotels to ensure effective and safe pillow cleaning. Let's explore these practices in detail:

1. Inspection and Sorting

Before initiating the cleaning process, hotel staff thoroughly inspect each pillow for any damages or stains that need special attention. This initial step is essential to identify pillows that may require additional treatment or replacements. Sorting pillows based on their condition allows for a more systematic approach to the cleaning process.

Once the inspection is completed, pillows are separated into different categories. Some hotels prefer to categorize pillows based on the type of filling, while others sort them by size. This categorization helps streamline the cleaning process and ensures that each pillow receives the appropriate treatment.

2. Washing Machine Cleaning

Most hotels use commercial-grade washing machines to clean pillows effectively. These machines are designed to accommodate large loads and have specific settings suitable for pillows. Before loading the pillows, it is important to ensure that they are properly encased in protective covers. These covers not only help retain the shape of the pillows during the cleaning process but also act as an additional barrier against potential contaminants.

When washing pillows, hotels typically use mild detergents that are effective in removing stains and killing bacteria. The pillows are washed on a gentle cycle with warm water to ensure thorough cleaning without causing damage to the fillings. It is important to note that different pillows may have specific care instructions, and hotels must adhere to these guidelines to maintain their quality and longevity.

3. Drying and Fluffing

Once the washing cycle is complete, the pillows are carefully transferred to commercial dryers. It is important to use low heat settings to avoid shrinking or damaging the pillows. To accelerate the drying process, hotels often add clean tennis balls or dryer balls to the load. These balls help fluff the pillows by preventing clumping and ensuring an even distribution of filling material.

When using tennis balls, they are placed in clean socks to prevent any direct contact between the tennis ball and the pillows. The socks act as a protective barrier while allowing the tennis balls to perform their fluffing function effectively. The drying process may take multiple cycles, and periodic checks are conducted to ensure the pillows are drying evenly.

4. Sanitization and Disinfection

While washing and drying pillows is essential for removing dirt and stains, it is equally vital to eliminate any harmful germs, bacteria, or viruses. To achieve this, hotels incorporate a thorough sanitization and disinfection step in the cleaning process. Depending on the hotel's specific protocols, this step may involve using specialized disinfectants, high-temperature steam, or even ozone technology.

Disinfectants used in the sanitization process should be effective against a wide range of microbes, including viruses. Hotel staff pays close attention to the recommended contact time for disinfectants, ensuring they are given sufficient exposure to eliminate any potential pathogens. Following the sanitization process, pillows are handled with clean gloves to maintain the highest hygiene standards.

5. Quality Control and Packaging

After the cleaning process is complete, hotel staff performs a final quality control check to ensure that each pillow meets the required standards. Any pillow that does not meet the hotel's quality criteria, such as shape retention or cleanliness, is replaced with a new one. This ensures that guests receive pillows that are fresh, clean, and comfortable during their stay.

Once approved, pillows undergo packaging to protect them from dust and contaminants until they are placed in guest rooms. Hotels may use protective covers or seal them in plastic bags to maintain cleanliness. Care is taken to store the pillows in a well-ventilated and hygienic environment until they are ready to be used.

A Safe and Comfortable Stay Amidst COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels have reexamined and reinforced their cleaning procedures to prioritize guest safety. The cleaning of pillows plays an essential role in ensuring a safe and comfortable stay for hotel guests. By implementing comprehensive cleaning protocols, hotels can provide peace of mind and maintain a hygienic environment even during these challenging times.


The COVID-19 pandemic has led hotels to adopt enhanced cleaning measures, including the cleaning of pillows. Proper cleaning practices for pillows involve inspection and sorting, washing machine cleaning, drying and fluffing, sanitization and disinfection, and quality control and packaging. These steps not only remove dirt and stains but also eliminate harmful germs, bacteria, and viruses. The safety and well-being of guests are prioritized by adhering to these rigorous cleaning protocols, ensuring a pleasant and worry-free experience during their stay.


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