Keeping your pillow germ free

This Week In The HSI Healthier Talk Community

“Pillows – a hot bed of fungal spores” is the title of a thread 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 (UK) 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?”

The Baron is referring to colloidal silver and grapefruit seed extract, which inspired a member named 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.”

After reading the press release posted by the Baron, a member named Jo UK wrote: “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.”

A member named Naturalway agrees: “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. (And that we should get 1/2 of sun every day.) 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.”

A deep freeze may be a good alternative to sunlight, according to a member named 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.”

But a member named Leppert doesn’t agree: “Nah, I don’t think so as they are used to ‘wintering over’.”

Other topics being discussed this week in the Healthier Talk community forums include:

  • Food Questions: Grass fed beef
  • Dental: Need vitamins & herbs for post tooth surgery
  • Dr. Douglass’ Real Health Breakthroughs: Low carb diet
  • Vision: Natural treatment for ocular pressure
  • General Health Topics: Gastric bypass surgeries
  • Cancer: Vitamin C may fight cancer

To reach the HSI Healthier Talk community forums, just go to our web site at, choose “Forum,” and add your comments to the wide range of topics concerning health care and nutrition.