Content warning, this could turn your stomach:
Viewers have been left horrified after a woman filmed herself deep cleaning her partner’s “nasty” pillows after he refused to clean or replace them for 10 years.
A TikTok user by the name of Margaret documented the process of stripping the three stained and yellowing pillows while her boyfriend was at work, and the end results were incredible.
Firstly she soaked the filthy pillows in a bathtub with two dishwashing tablets and Borax (a natural mineral found in many detergents and cosmetics) before adding bleach to the mix.
After some prodding and swirling in an attempt to wring out the dirt, Margaret got “impatient” and placed the pillows in the washing machine and then dryer for 54 minutes.
The video has racked up more than 1.7 million views and people are understandably repulsed.
“I don’t know why I feel like I’m witnessing a crime right now,” one TikToker wrote.
“Replace the whole boyfriend,” commented another while others posted about his hygiene, causing Margaret to explain she bought new pillows but he won’t use them because “he’s attached to these.”
So, how often should we wash and replace pillows?
Experts say pillow cases should be washed weekly, and the pillow itself should be replaced every three months.
The concern is less about the pillow breaking down and more about the host of critters and debris that can be found in the pillow you lay your face on night after night.
Dirt, oil and dead skin cells get trapped there, which may lead to acne. Dust mites, which belong to the spider family, also like to hang out in the crevices of your pillow.
“You can’t see them, but they’re concentrated in things like bedding and carpeting,” says Mark R Neustrom, DO, of Kansas City Allergy and Asthma Associates.
Dust mite accumulation can cause very real health problems, namely unpleasant reactions in people who are allergic to the bugs. Neustrom says that of all people with allergies, around two thirds of them may be allergic to the types of dust mites that congregate indoors.
And unlike allergens like cat dander, the protein that triggers reactions to dust mites isn’t typically airborne, he says, so symptoms that are particularly strong first thing in the morning is a good sign the problem might be your pillow. Anyone with year-round nasal symptoms also might want to get tested for a dust mite allergy, he says.
“Always change your pillowcases weekly when you strip the bed. Changing and washing pillowcases may need to be done more frequently if you have an eye infection, or other lesion on or around your face/head,” Mary-Louise McLaws, Professor of Epidemiology in Health Care Infection and Infectious Diseases Control toldHuffPost Australia.
“Weekly changing of pillowcases extend the life of the pillow and keeps dirt/infection from entering your skin.”
The deep cleaning and soaking process of “stripping” has gone viral on social media platforms recently with audiences realising a quick round in the washing machine doesn’t always cut it to remove tough grime.
Stripping pulls out hidden gunk from clean clothes using a concoction of detergents. People have been left shocked by the dirty water left over in the tub after washing their already “clean” clothes.
Follow cleanfluencer Go Clean Co’s method below to try out stripping.
With additional reporting from HuffPost US LIFE.