How to Wash Pillows


Pillows don’t get our attention at all when it comes to cleaning. If you have ever noticed how dirty your pillows look when you change your sheets, then you are not alone. Most of us just don’t bother with them. For those of us who do think once in a while that our pillows need some attention, this post will be very helpful.

It may seem surprising to a few of you, but yes, you can wash your pillows in the washing machine. If you put your pillows in the washing machine, you will see that they turn out to be clean and white, which will encourage you to put the rest of your pillows in the machine, as well. You will have that over-the-moon feeling when you see the results if you follow the instructions that we are going to give you next.

The natural oils from the body seep into your pillows and turn them yellow. It is just reality, and you have to deal with it. You would think that an easy solution is to throw them in the trash and buy new ones, but why purchase new ones when you can transform your old ones into new ones?

You will need a combination of dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, bleach, and washing soda to get rid of that yellow color you hate so much and make them brand new again. This is a short guide for you to wash various kinds of pillows. The procedures are all very similar to each other, with a few minor differences.

How to Wash Pillows in Washer

Items required

The tools that you will need for this project include a large tub or a laundry-sink for soaking purposes and, of course, a washing machine. You will need a cup of laundry detergent (either liquid or powder), a half-cup of washing soda, a cup of dishwasher detergent, and a cup of bleach.


Now, adjust your machine’s setting on the longest wash-cycle, and if there is an option for two rinses, then go for it. Fill your machine with as much hot water as possible, and while you are filling it, add the bleach, detergent, and washing soda.

You can also turn on the agitator to ensure that the detergent and soda are well mixed within the hot water. Once it is all dissolved, throw your pillows in. You can add two pillows depending on the size of your washer.

Adding two at a time will make sure that your washer is balanced at the end of the spin cycle. It’s ok if your pillows don’t go all the way down in the machine, but stick them in as far as they can conveniently go.

Now you can turn your machine on and agitate you pillows for a few moments. After this, flip the pillows. Don’t shut the door to prevent the machine from running. Let the pillows soak for a couple of hours or so. After this, start the machine and let it complete its full cycle.

Using your dryer, you can dry your pillows comfortably. You can also add a couple of dryer balls in with your pillows. Put a tennis ball in clean socks and throw them in the dryer along with your pillows. Once they are dry, enjoy the bright white color they have, looking brand new.

  • Before you begin, make sure to check the tags that are on your pillows and ensure that they can be washed using a washing machine. Almost all pillows are washable in the washing machine, whether they are synthetic or down pillows. However, some are not made for this.
  • If you have pillow covers on your pillows, then take them off. You can throw them with the pillows in the machine, but it is recommended that you keep them separate. It will ensure that your pillows will come out nice and clean.
  • If you have synthetic pillows, you can set your dryer to the low heat setting and if you have down or feather pillows, then you can only use the tumble dry option, which doesn’t involve heat.
  • Don’t use powdered detergents, because their residues can stay in the pillows. These residues can cause a few problems when you place your head or back on the pillow, due to irritations.
  • While using the washing machine, make sure that you only use a gentle rinse or delicate cycle setting or the pillow will lose its shape, and in many cases, it will tear apart altogether.
back to menu ↑

How to Wash Feather Pillows

Because feather pillows are luxurious and soft, you must take care of them by washing them on a yearly basis. Cleaning these pillows will ensure that no bacteria or dust mites are present in them, and it will also eliminate any oils, dirt, sweat, or dust.

Steps to Follow
  • Take the pillow out of the pillowcase, even if it is in a
  • Check your pillow for any holes or ribs. If there are any, you have to sew them back.
  • Put two of your pillows in the washing machine to maintain the balance of the washer. Don’t use a top-loading washer or the agitator will damage the pillows. If you must use a top-loading washer, then put the pillows in vertically.
  • Make sure that you use liquid detergent in hot water so that any residue does not build up in the washing machine, or you might develop skin irritation when you use the pillow.
  • Set your washing machine to delicate cycle and you add more spinning or extra rinse, as well.
  • Squish the pillow with a towel and get rid of any water, but never twist or wring your pillow, and then put it in your dryer with dryer balls.
  • Once you get them out of the dryer, fluff the pillows, and then cover them with their pillowcases.
back to menu ↑

How to Wash Down Pillows

Treatment of down pillows it very similar to feather pillows; they also need some annual cleaning. Cleaning these pillows will make sure that no dust mites or bacteria develop, and you can even get rid of any dust, dirt, oils, or sweat.

Steps to Follow
  • Take the pillowcase off of the pillow.
  • Ensure that the pillow doesn’t have any holes or ribs, or they will tear of the pillow up, and you will have to sew them.
  • Always put in two pillows in the washing machine at the same time in to maintain the balance of the machine.
  • Pour some liquid detergent in hot water. Don’t use powdered detergents, because they will create residue which might cause some irritation later on.
  • Use the delicate cycle of your washer and leave it for a couple of hours.
  • With the help of a towel, squish the pillow and get rid of any water. Do not twist or wring your pillow.
  • Throw your pillow in the dryer with a few dryer balls.
  • Fluff the pillow after taking it out of the dryer and cover it with its case.
back to menu ↑

How to Wash Memory Foam Pillows

If your favorite pillow is made of memory foam, then you have a head start for a clean pillow, as these pillows are naturally hypoallergenic, and they are resistant to dust mites and bacterial growth. However, if you have any spills, then these too need some cleaning. The procedure to clean memory foam is very similar to other pillows.

Steps to Follow
  • You start by taking the pillowcase off the pillow.
  • Make sure that there are no holes or ribs; otherwise, you have to sew them again after taking your pillow out of the washer.
  • For maintaining the balance, you must place two pillows in your washing machine at the same time.
  • Again, make sure that you use liquid detergent instead of powdered, or it will create some residue that might cause skin irritation.
  • Set your washing machine on its delicate washing cycle, and let it be for one or two hours.
  • Take the pillow out of the machine, and squish it using a dry towel to absorb any water. Keep in mind not to twist or wring your pillow.
  • Place your pillow in the dryer, and throw in a couple of dryer balls.
  • In the end, fluff the pillow when it’s out of the dryer, and enjoy the clean, fresh pillow.
back to menu ↑

How to Wash Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are covered in silk or wool, which are delicate fabrics, and you have to be very careful while washing them. Any high-powered rinse will leave you in a shock when you get your pillows out from the washing machine.

Steps to Follow
  • Start by taking off the pillowcase to wash it separately from your pillow.
  • To pre-treat any stained areas on the pillow cover, you can use color-safe prewash spray and rub it on the area with a moist sponge.
  • You can put two pillows in the washing machine simultaneously to maintain its balance.
  • Pour some mild liquid detergent in warm water. The cleanser that is used for baby clothes or delicate fabric is more suitable in this situation.
  • Use the delicate cycle of your washer, and let it be for one hour.
  • You can hang it to dry or use a towel to soak the water.
  • If the instructions on the pillow allow it, you can throw your pillow in the dryer, as well.
  • Lastly, you can fluff the pillow to reshape it after taking it out of the dryer.
back to menu ↑

Golden Rules for Washing Pillows

According to some experts, dry cleaning pillows is the best solution. However, if you can wash them in your washing machine, then don’t be hesitant, but also don’t forget to use a gentle rinse setting for this. If you have a front loader washer, then it is better for you to hand wash your pillows because pillows tend to float, and the top loader is not an ideal option here.

If your pillow is made of foam, then you can’t throw it in the dryer. For such pillows, you can hang them on a clothesline or place them on a rack. Before you throw it in the machine, pat the pillow to get rid of any dust or dirt. Always check the tags of pillows before thinking about putting them in the washing machine.

Some pillows tend to lose their shape in this manner. For such pillows, you can wash them by hand. Bear in mind that you should abstain from wringing or twisting your pillows when drying. You can press the water out or use a towel for this.

If you follow these golden rules, washing pillows won’t be a big deal for you, and you can keep them clean for as long as you use them. You won’t have to worry about developing any irritations or problems associated with your skin and hair, and you will enjoy a good night’s sleep, as well.

back to menu ↑

Wrap up

Pillows deserve a lot more of your care, as these are items that you use frequently. If you don’t clean them for a long time, they tend to develop mites and bacteria that can cause different skin or hair problems, especially irritation. Many of us think that pillows don’t need cleaning, but they do – more than you think.

Of course, you don’t have to clean them all the time, but you do need to clean them at least once a year.  By following the above procedures, you will find that it is not that difficult to clean and maintain different types of pillows, and by cleaning them, you will also increase their lifespan. So, there you have it. Now you know how to clean your pillows; the items you thought didn’t need maintenance.


We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply