How old are your pillows?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by CraftyDiva, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

    Aug 25, 2003
    I saw an Oprah show last week (pretty sure it was reruns) and there was a woman who they checked her home for cleanliness (germs).

    She had the same kitchen spoung for years and still used it, testing showed ......"She could drop a carrot stick in her toilet and it would be cleaner to eat then had she washed it in her kitchen sink" The spoung was growing all kinds of goodies even though she washed it in her washing machine. Advice.....change your sponge at least once a month, and wash it in a bleach solution after every use.

    Then they did her bedroom, pillows were wedding gifts (30 yrs old), testing showed........"She had millions of millions of dust mites living in her pillows, which is one cause of breathing problems people get (asthma). Her mattress resulted in the same condition with dust mites.
    Advice....... change your pillows when they no longer perform as intended (bend pillow in half, if it doesn't spring back, time for new ones, you no longer have a pillow you have a mat) meanwhile vacume bedding everytime sheets are change.

    Now this is the reason for the post, my feather pillows are 10yrs or better in age. I do use pillow protecters and wash them with the sheets every week, and air them outside when changing sheets as well.Yet I'm slowly getting a breathing problem so I'm thinking those little critters are doing me in and it's time for a new set of pillows.

    Now the best part, changing vacume cleaner bags (I clean mine out and reuse till there's a hole and can no longer be used) these should be chnaged once a month. All those dust mites are in the bag and when you vacume your spreading them around through the exhaust. Nice huh? It gets woman gave her family salmonella posioning 3 times, because she vacumed some chicken scrapes into the bag (germs grew and everytime she vacumed she posioned her family through the exhaust). Heppa filters do help but not the answer, changing the bag does.

    So what I'm trying to say here is being frugal may not be in the best interest of your family's health.
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    Good post! I use mattress protectors as well and wash them fairly often. We use HEPA filter bags and I toss them when full. No bagless vacuums for us! I also keep throws on the furniture to collect cat hair (except when we have company) and vacuum couch and chairs every 3 or 4 months. Don't forget to damp dust the tops of high furniture and the top of the doors and the ceiling fan blades.

  3. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Jul 27, 2004
    Now I, on the other hand, inherited my pillows from my grandmother and the mattresses from the same, never vacuum the mattress (who knew?), never put anything over the pillows but pillow cases...

    And haven't died yet.
  4. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2002

    LOL!!!! :haha: I'm with you! I don't use a pillow but I have no intention of vacuuming my bed every time I change sheets either. My vacuum cleaner bag gets changed every few weeks because it is small and gets full of dog hair that often. Vacuuming up chicken parts is just gross. Cleanliness is certainly a good thing but being obsessive about it is not good for you either. Our bodies do build up immunity to a lot of stuff and that is a good thing. People with severe allergies need to be a lot more careful but for the rest of us, just use common sense.
  5. Cedar

    Cedar Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2004
    How old are my pillows? Probably circa late 1800s. I sleep with two pillows. Each one is two pillows in one. Each has an old foamy pillow and then a thin down pillow on top of that. The down pillows were what my great-grandmother slept on as a girl, then grandmother, then mother, and by the time they made it to me, they consisted of a sack with about three feathers in. :)
  6. Ozarkquilter46

    Ozarkquilter46 Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2002
    South Central, Mo
    I replace my pillows every year. I keep my mattress covered and wash everything once a week but have never vac the mattress. I think that is a good idea. I have alot of alergys that make me sneeze alot LOL
  7. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

    May 26, 2003
    New York
    If we all lived in white sterile plastic rooms, we might add , oh.....a day to our life.
    Is it worth it? nope.
  8. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

    Aug 25, 2003
    Well, I'm certainly not fanaticle about dust mites in my home, but they could be the reason for a breathing problem that is starting. And they're even being consider the cause for most of the cases of asthma developing in small children.
    Think about seeing a movie about children, it's always the boy whose mother protects him from harm, not letting him play outside, or participate in sports, keeping him inside to play and read books. He's the one who always pulls out the asthma inhaler when he gets stressed. Hmmmmmm connection?

    Here's a little tidbit I found searching "dust mites".............

    " Ten percent of the weight of a two year old pillow may be composed of dead mites and their droppings." So those grandma pillows just might be all mites and droppings and not much else.

    Why the concern? Same site.................

    " House dust is a strongly allergenic material because it is usually heavily contaminated with the fecal pellets and skins of Dermatophagoides. Some estimates are that dust mite allergens may be a factor in 50-80% of asthmatics, as well as in eczema, hay fever and other allergic conditions. Exposure of the skin or respiratory tract to proteinases is frequently associated with allergic sensitization. The wheeze-inducing proteins are digestive juices from the mite gut which are quite potent."

    Just something to think about next time little Joey or Lucy start wheezing

    If you have any interest, here's the site that info came from........

    Doing a search will find many more with just about the same material.

    This isn't meant to get on anyone's case about the subject, just passing on some info for you to digest if your interested.
  9. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

    May 11, 2002
    Now in Virginia
    I find the information quite interesting. Thank you for posting that.
  10. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2002
    :) Well, I guess our Native Americans had it right. They just upped and left a site, burned the old bedding, housing and whatnot and started fresh. I think they knew what they were doing. LOL

    I too toss out my pillows, every other year. Modern man seems to have some odd ideas about what we choose to keep. I do think that attaching the label "Heirloom" to anything that you sleep on " instead of "bug infested" is a bit foolish, but to each his own. ;) I do turn and vacuum my mattress every 90 days(started that when it was new) and that's when I also put on another mattress cover and then wash and store the alternate.

    I think it's because my hubby had lung trouble and it's just habit now.

    I change the vacuum bag every time I use it...lots of dog hair here and I am a terrible housekeeper! :eek:

    Happy New Year everyone! "cough, cough"..LOL LQ
  11. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2003
    It's a secret

    We would probably die sooner because our immune systems would never develop resistance to anything.
  12. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2003
    So NOW we need to be afraid of our Pillows? I've had the same ones for quite a while & I LIKE them. Contaminated Pillows are just not on my watchlist for this new year! :rolleyes:
  13. dommyroo

    dommyroo Active Member

    Oct 22, 2004
    I saw that show, very interesting. Amazing about the germs in her sink,too.Those pillows were disgusting, no telling what the rest of the sheets.etc. looked like. If everyone could have seen the closeup of the dustmites actively moving about (didn't those things have little teeth? Thought I saw them, don't know) they would be activated. That is something that a person would have to see to believe, I guess. :eek:
  14. rosehaven

    rosehaven Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2004
    Don't Tread On Me
    Thank you so much for this post!!!!!! My son has started sneezing in the mornings right after he gets up. We just replaced his old pillow and now I am getting rid of the 4-5 year old poly filled comforter too. Knowledge is a good thing and ignorance is NOT bliss.

    CraftyDiva thank you!!!!!!!!

  15. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    New York bordering Ontario
    Probably not a bad idea to change things out on occasion, but I have a hard time believing the asthma epidemic that seems to be rampant in today's kids has been caused by dust mites. (Dust mites have been with us for quite awhile and the asthma to the extent that it exists now is new. Did Grandma throw her pillows out that often? Don't think so!) If your kids have asthma already it might be a good idea to chuck an old pillow, though.

    Interesting thread.
  16. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

    May 10, 2002
    I saw that Cult Movie----

    "Attack of the Killer Dust Mites" ran a close second to "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" and number one was "Attack of the Killer Tumble Weeds". :yeeha:

    10% of my pillows weight is mites and mite poo eh? but I wash my pillows all the time. Doesn't that help?

    Vacuuming my bed .... hummm ok, I can do that. I mean I vacuum under it, I vacuum my couch and chairs...why not the mattress.
  17. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 6, 2004
    Michigan's thumb
    Feathers and down break up into smaller pieces, which is why the pillows are not as soft and fluffy after ten years. It is the tiny little pieces of feathers/down that affect breathing, as well as the mites. After seeing wool stuffed pillows for $60 to $100 at the woolen mill, I'm now turning my cleaned wool into pillows. Apparently the wool lasts for decades, and you can wash it.

    My last vacumn was a bagless. I always rinsed or washed the canister out when I emptied it. Carpeting is very dirty, so I don't have it in our new house. Every speck of dust shows, but I don't care because I'd rather see the dirt and sweep it up than not see it and think the floor is clean.

    I saw one of those shows. I loved it. I felt like a Mrs. Clean for several days.
  18. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    "Probably not a bad idea to change things out on occasion, but I have a hard time believing the asthma epidemic that seems to be rampant in today's kids has been caused by dust mites"

    i agree- i was a childhood athsmatic. i got it under control with a careful non- allergy diet. around late 80's. it was not triggered by dust in particular.
    i personally believe that it and a lot of other 'stuff' is the endless rounds of injections that we recieve as kids. i didnt recieve all teh childhood shots, and theres even more now.i did not do well on some of the shots- they bothered me. but the diet took care of the asthma, or perhaps i grew out of it. milk really seems to build up in the throat.
    some of the shots are harder to tolerate than others, the dpt, nad the hepatitis series are difficult and i really didnt like them.
    now- look at all the young adults of today- sick, women gain lots of weight and the men go bald really early- far before thier time-we didnt do that- im glad i was born earlier! something weird is happening to the next gen!
    vacuum- there are cheap vacuums out ther that work perfectly fine- usaully the upright classic type has good torque on the roller brush and a nice BIG bag to filter. it has good suction on that motor in the head too. this is the best easiest to fix basic machine out there, check any janitorial with 'serious' traffic on the floor and you will see the classic upright.
    the upright has a really big bag- mine were 'A' type, about 2 foot long by 6 inches wide. these bags are availabel as no brands for 50 cents apiece. i would pop a new one in the machine out on the porch, run the vac momentarily to blow out the dust(very heavily used a type machine, a sears kenmore my favorite becasue it was so easy to rebuild spare parts for out of baling wire) and then take inside, new bag and ready to go.
    vacuum whole house, take bag outside and REMOVE the bag. if you have fleas destroy or wrap airtight(ziplock) and dispose of in trash(or burn). flea eggs are picked up if vacuuming pets resting areas,toss them out, on a regular basis makes a big difference.
    A type bags were the absolute biggest filters- had to be 60 cents of filter paper in each one- and that is the secret of hte machine's success- more filter means easier suction andmore juice left over for full power. its easirer on the machine, too. throwing out the bag made for a fresh new one that gave that machine a lot of extra life.
    however filter paper passes a lot of fine fine dust- what to do? i guess you can buy an expensive hepa type super filter vac, or...what i would do after a house a few windows and air out the house- even in winter. whisks all dust away!
    very good on the asthma!
  19. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Dust mites are a natural part of your environment and no amount of cleaning is going to get rid of them and it isn't necessary unless you intend on assembling satellites or nuclear weapon guidance systems in your living room.

    Orca sure does know how to stir up an audience to run out and buy tons of dubious cleaning products the manufacturers of which surprise surprise are advertisers an her show. I'd guess houses may be a little too clean these days and no one is exposed to enough allergens, bacteria and viruses to build up any kind of immunity.

    Why is it that I don't see my pioneer ancestors sitting in a log cabin or sod house worrying about dust mites, allergies, dust or dirty pillows? Either we are raising a incredibly sickly bunch of people with seriously inferior genetics or we are becoming a bunch of <expletive deleted> s .

    I'm guessing a little from column A and a little from column B.
  20. reluctantpatriot

    reluctantpatriot I am good without god.

    Mar 8, 2003
    Terra Planet, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy
    If we are getting all afright about dustmites, you will be totally unglued about the fact that the human skin has tiny skinmites that live on its surface 24/7. Don't worry, they eat dead skin cells that would fall off anyway. And of course we have all kinds of little critters that live inside our bodies that helps us digest our food and extract nutrients from our wastes before we void them.

    Our world is designed to be an interlocking web of sybiosis and cooperation between all the species. If we didn't have all the mites, bacteria and such, we would be the poorer for it. Our health depends on our body being able to deploy defenses against invaders. Like a military that sits around playing cards all day for years, our body that has no challenges to defend against gets weak and unable to properly handle problems that occur.

    Besides, every surface has some kind of microorganism living on it, even after disinfection. Sterile environments exist only for a short time. While control of the critters is important, we can't eliminate all of them. Besides, it is not the critters themselves that are the problem, but waste products. Salmonilla and E. Coli are not what makes us ill, but their waste products.

    What I am getting at is that being too clean is sometimes worse than being a bit dirty.

    I take care of the big stuff like pet hair before I worry about dust and mites and smaller things.