GUEST ARTICLE FROM OUR HOME CARE TEAMPillowcases usually are washed along with other bed linens, but what about the pillows themselves?
People are less likely to regularly clean their pillows, either because they aren’t aware that they should or because they don’t know they can. However, as this interview with an official from the American Cleaning Institute makes clear, pillows need occasional cleaning to remove dead skin, dust mite droppings and more.
Of course, due to their size and materials, washing pillows is more complicated than laundering a pair of socks, but it can be done in the washing machine. To make sure that pillows receive the type of hygienic cleaning they require, it’s important to use the right detergent.
While consumers often choose a laundry detergent based on a preference for liquid or powdered form or simply on price, not all detergents are the same. Consumers interested in the most hygienic cleaning should use a powdered or tablet detergent containing this important ingredient: tetraacetylethylenediamine (TAED).
TAED is a bleach activator that reacts with sources of hydrogen peroxide, such as sodium percarbonate, to produce peracetic acid, which is a powerful stain remover for oxidizable stains, such as coffee, tea and red wine.
Peracetic acid also is a broad-spectrum biocide that kills bacteria, viruses and spores and is used as a disinfectant for medical instruments. In addition, TAED-enabled powders also deactivate allergens from dust mites, which are a common problem.
When powdered or tablet laundry detergents containing TAED and sodium percarbonate are used, peracetic acid is produced which allows objects to be cleaned safely and effectively at lower temperatures, reducing energy usage and minimizing environmental impact. And TAED itself is eco-friendly, as it is readily biodegradable and of very low toxicity. It’s included in the EPA’s Safer Choice program.
Peracetic acid also helps prevent the growth of bacteria and molds in washing machines, which can happen with liquid detergents used at lower temperatures.
By contrast, bleach systems are not compatible with alkaline liquid detergents the way they are with powdered and tablet detergents.
Lastly, since TAED is available only in powdered detergents and tablets, environmentally conscious consumers do not have to worry about recycling plastic jugs of liquid detergent.
The evidence is clear. For hygienically clean bedding, check the ingredient label and choose a powdered detergent that includes TAED and sodium percarbonate.