"Pillows – a hot bed of fungal spores" is the somewhat threatening title of a discussion in the Allergies forum. And while you may not want to even think about what really goes on in your pillows, asthma patients and people with weak immune systems need to be aware of how to avoid problems caused by fungal spores.
An HSI member named BaronVonLucis starts the thread off with a press release from the University of Manchester where researchers examined samples from feather and synthetic pillows. Four to 16 different species of fungus were detected. Synthetic pillows were particularly vulnerable to Aspergillus fumigatus, a species of fungal spores that can trigger disease and create a condition known as Aspergillosis, which prompts infection and aggravates asthma.
The press release is followed by this: "Question from the Baron: What would be good way to disinfect pillow? Soak with CS or GSE [colloidal silver / grapefruit seed extract]?"
Billy: "After reading this I soaked my pillow case and pillow liner in CS and GSE and hung them out in the sun. My pillow is the memory foam type and would take forever to dry. I may just spray it with the disinfectants. I hope this helps my asthma."
Five days later, Billy posted this follow up: "It may be a coincidence but after I soaked my pillow case & liner in CS & GSE and after encasing my pillow & mattress in zip-up bags, I'm now off all asthma meds."
Jo UK: "This must be why most Europeans put their duvets and pillows out of the window each morning - sunlight and fresh air are the best cleaning agents for bedding."
Naturalway: "My grandmother always put the bedding out in the sun. Also, she had a dryer but always hung the clothes out. She said the sun killed germs. I've been hanging my clothes out in the sun, instead of using the dryer, as well as the bedding. Guess I'll put the pillows out, too."
Ruth: "I was told by an allergist (old school) 15 years ago that putting my son's pillow and stuffed animals in the freezer for 8 -12 hours would kill the dust mites. You'd think this would also kill the fungi as well."
Jerry: "We have used the Medibed pillow and mattress cover for a couple of years now and they are excellent. They provide a barrier between you and the mattress (and pillow). They go on underneath your sheets and pillow cases and you just take them off every three months and wash them. Dust mites and their feces are a bigger problem than people realize. Oprah even had a show about it a while back."
Leppert: "After this thread's reminder I washed my down pillow in hot water (front loading machine) with a dropperful of Citricidal GSE, one scoop of Tide, and two full scoops of Oxyclean. I put on the longest cycle. I used vinegar in a couple extra rinses. It turned out really great."