How to wash a pillow by hand

This article was co-authored by Ashley Matuska and by wikiHow staff writer, Jessica Gibson. Ashley Matuska is the owner and founder of Dashing Maids, a sustainably focused cleaning agency in Denver, Colorado. She has worked in the cleaning industry for over 5 years.

There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 41,243 times.

If you want to wash your pillows but don’t want them to come out lumpy from the machine, try washing them by hand. Fill a sink or bathtub with hot soapy water and massage your pillow to release trapped dirt or oils. Then rinse your pillow until the water runs clear. Press out as much of the water as you can before hanging the pillow to dry completely. Your pillow will be clean and fluffy!

How to wash a pillow by hand

How to wash a pillow by hand

How to wash a pillow by hand

How to wash a pillow by hand

Ashley Matuska
Professional Cleaner Expert Interview. 15 April 2019. [4] X Research source

  • If the pillowcase is stained, you may need to pre-treat it before you wash it.

How to wash a pillow by hand

How to wash a pillow by hand

How to wash a pillow by hand

How to wash a pillow by hand

Variation: You can also drain the sink or bathtub and rinse it out. Then fill it with fresh water and place the pillow in the water. Squeeze and rinse the pillow before draining the wink. You’ll have to repeat this a few times.

Maintaining a clean bed is the pretty start for a good night’s sleep. On the off chance that you need to wash your pillows yet don’t need them to come out knotty from the machine, take a stab at washing them by hand. Fill a sink or bath with hot lathery water and back rub your pillow to remove dirt, stains or oils. At that point flush your pillow until the water runs clear. Press out as a significant part of the water as possible prior to balancing the pad to dry totally. Your pillows will be perfect and fleecy.

How to wash a pillow by hand

Often we wash our pillows twice a year. We cannot neglect to wash them properly just like we wash our pillowcases and bed sheets especially when we are living in a warmer climate where sweating is normal. You may find it complicated to wash your pillows by hand, but let me make it easy and understandable for you in a few steps.

Step By Step Instructions For How To Wash Pillows By Hand

Moreover, here are detailed instructions of How to wash pillows by hand step by step.

Step 1:

First of all, remove the cushion cover or case as that can go into the clothes washer. Fill a tub or sink with warm water, enough to lower the pillow totally. Add a tablespoon of fluid garments cleanser per pillow and blend it around in the water to ensure that it is uniformly spread.

Step 2:

Put the pad in the water and permit the cleanser to leak in. Back rub and press the pad to oust dirt and let the water get past each layer.

Step 3:

At the point when the pad has been appropriately kneaded, take it out and wash with new water. Go at this for a generally lengthy timespan, in light of the fact that you need to ensure that you get however much cleanser out as could reasonably be expected. Check the runout for bubbles prior to finishing the flush.

Step 4:

If your pillow is not smelling good then it is suggested to add ½ tablespoon of baking soda in water. And soak your pillow in this mixture for a while and rinse it afterward as it will remove stains and bad smell.

Step 5:

Other than this, if your pillow has any kind of yellow stains then simply soak it in this mixture. Add 1 cup of powdered laundry detergent, 1 cup of powdered dishwasher detergent, 1 cup of bleach (or bleach alternative) and 1/2 cup (260 g) of borax in a water bucket. Soak the pillow for 30 minutes and wash it off with fresh water.

Step 6:

Hang the pillows in dry sunlight. It is not recommended to place touchy pads in the dryer, so dry off what you can and bring the pad outside to allow it to dry in the sun. Prior to bringing the pillow back in and utilizing it, ensure that there is no water left and it doesn’t feel soggy.

Pro Tips For Washing Pillows :

There are following tips that you should keep in your mind for the better wash of your pillows and again make the hygiene and refresh as they were earlier:

  • For better wash, always wash your pillows in warm water.
  • Always read label instructions about your pillow given by manufacturers.
  • Try to use liquid detergents. Because when you use powder detergents there may be a chance left for residues on pillows.
  • Use unscented detergents in order to avoid any allergy or skin reaction.
  • Place a few tennis balls while drying your pillows because it will prevent any kind of fuzz or ink running off.

Conclusion :

Here, I gave you total guidance for washing your pillows by hand. You can easily wash and keep them safe from any harm by following our pro tips. Always read first all the labels mentioned instructions by manufacturers. For better and happier sleep it’s necessary to clean up your bed and its accessories including sheets, pillows and pillow cases.

Pillow is a necessary item to support the body at rest. And I’m sure you spend a lot of time on different types of pillows.

As a consequence your pillows get dirty and need to be washed. Hence, you can wash most of the pillows by hand.

To properly wash your pillows by hand, you must have enough knowledge in this regard. I guess you have a very little idea regarding that.

In this article, we have included all the information on how to wash pillows by hand.

Table of Contents

Step-By-Step Guideline- How To Wash Pillows By Hand?

There are some specific steps that will ensure the proper cleaning of your pillow by hand. You have to follow these steps to clean your pillows perfectly.

Step 1:

You can wash any type of pillow by hand except the memory foam and latex pillow. To check whether it is washable or not, go through the label attached to the pillow.

Step 2:

Nowadays most people use a pillowcase or pillow protector to cover their pillow to keep it away from the dust. You must remove it before washing.

Step 3:

Take a container large enough to hold one or two pillows inside it. For this purpose, you can also use a sink, bathtub or a bucket . Fill the container with slightly hot water.

Note that too hot water can damage the fills of the pillow. And using cold water will not be helpful to clean the stains and dirts.

Step 4:

Now you need to add some detergent. You can use both the liquid and powder detergents. The amount of detergent should be one tablespoon for each pillow.

Mix it in the water so that it can spread evenly. Try to use low-sudsing detergent to easily rinse the pillow.

Step 5:

Put your pillow into the container. Push the pillow downwards so that it absorbs the hot water and detergent.

After that, massage and squeeze your pillow gently so that the soapy water can reach every layer of the pillow. Make sure you remove all the stains and dirt off the pillow surface.

Step 6:

Now it is time to rinse the wet pillow. Clear the soapy water out of the container. Add some fresh water. Push the pillow down and let it soak water.

Start to squeeze the pillow to get as much suds out as possible. You need to rinse the pillow repeatedly to ensure there is no soap left inside the pillow.

Step 7:

After rinsing the pillow, all you need to do is dry it up properly. For this, you can use a dryer or air-dry the pillow.

To dry up the pillow using a dryer, you have to adjust the setting to no-heat air-dry. You should put one or two tennis balls or dryer balls inside the dryer. It will speed the process.

You can air-dry the pillow by taking it outside and hanging it on the clothesline. You need to ensure that it dries up evenly.

Step 8:

Now try to feel the pillow from different sides to make sure it’s fully dry. If you feel any dampness, redo the drying process and test the pillow afterwards.


I guess, now you have the idea of how to wash pillows by hand. Take all your dirty pillows and start washing.

And thus make sure you are sleeping on clean pillows. I hope these tips will be helpful for you to get nice and cleaned pillows.

By Ellen Pokorny categories: Household November 12, 2021, 4:14 PM

How to wash a pillow by hand

  • Newsletter

It can be difficult to know when and how to clean your pillows. This simple guide will explain how to wash pillows by hand and in the washing machine, as well as how to dry them to maintain shape, feel, and cleanliness.

Although it’s easy to remember to clean pillow cases as just another item to throw in the washer, the actual pillow itself sometimes proves a bit more confusing. How often should you clean your bed pillows? How do you wash them without ruining their filling? How do you maintain their shape and feel without sacrificing cleanliness? These are all good questions. To answer them, we’ve created a simple guide on how and when to wash your pillows.

How Often Should You Clean Your Pillows?

Some claim that you should clean your pillows around 4 times a year, while others say washing pillows only twice a year is sufficient. Ultimately, the number of washes depends on how often you use the pillow, if it has procured a stain, or how much time you might have to complete the process. What is generally agreed upon is that over time dead skin cells, oils, and sweat make their way down into the interior of pillows and attract dust mites. Often these mites can cause an allergic reaction unknown to the sleeper until after waking.

How to wash a pillow by hand

Wondering how to get rid of mites? Turns out, it’s very easy. Although nearly impossible to see with the naked…

How to Clean and Dry Pillows in the Washing Machine and Dryer

Not every pillow can be cleaned in the washing machine. So always check the material and care tag. The following pillow types generally do not need to be washed by hand – follow these simple steps for each type of pillow:

Cotton Pillows:

  1. Cotton pillows can be washed in the washing machine without concern over damaging the insides, however, always use the gentle cycle.
  2. Heat can be low to moderate and we recommend using a detergent that has a high rating on EWG such as the one by Attitude (available on Amazon**).
  3. Cotton can be dried on a higher heat setting. Cotton pillows should feel completely dry before use.

Down & Feather Pillows:

  1. Pillows made from down/feathers can be washed in the washing machine on the gentle cycle. Use cool water and a mild detergent (available on Amazon**).
  2. Dry these pillows on low heat, as a higher temperature can damage the interior.

Polyester Pillows:

  1. Pillows with a polyester interior can also be washed in the machine using the gentle cycle.
  2. Use warm water on the pillows and use a very small amount (around 1 tablespoon) of mild detergent (available on Amazon**).
  3. These pillows can be dried in the dryer on medium heat. Ensure that the pillows are entirely dry before use.

How to Clean Pillows By Hand

Some materials will be damaged inside the washing machine, and it is therefore important to only wash the casing in the washer rather than the entire pillow.

Foam & Latex Pillows:

If your pillow is made up of latex, one single foam piece, or many smaller/shredded pieces, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the latex/foam from the casing and wash the case as normal.
  2. The pillow filling should be set aside in a shallow tray or bowl, outside if possible, and fluffed to remove dust. You can also use your vacuum attachment to gently remove dust.

If these pillows have stains, they should be spot cleaned only.

  1. Take a damp cloth and a small amount of a natural detergent (about 1 teaspoon) and clean the stain by rubbing the spot in a circular motion.
  2. Rinse the cloth entirely, and dab the soap residue with the cloth on the stain until it has dissipated.

Latex and foam pillows must be air-dried completely, as dryer heat can damage their integrity.

Sustainable Options for Drying Your Pillows

The environmental impact of a dryer is high: It uses more electricity than any other household appliance, except for the fridge and the washer. This way, it raises your electricity bills and will eventually cost you extra money.

In order to minimize your carbon footprint, while still killing dust mites, try air drying your pillows and pillowcases on a clothesline either indoors or outdoors. Drying your laundry naturally has many benefits. Air drying your clothes in the sun both whitens and disinfects your pillows naturally.

An indoor drying rack is another way to dry your pillowcases if the weather is unruly or you are concerned about outdoor allergens.

For heavier pillow inserts that won’t fit on a rack neatly, lay them on a shallow tray and rotate them every few hours until they are completely dry.

How to wash a pillow by hand

An Essential Guide to People Living Alone for the First Time

It’s pretty common to wash your sheets once a week, and maybe you throw in your pillowcases once in a while. After all, you spend a lot of time in your bed and you want to make sure it is clean. But so often, the pillow itself gets neglected. It seems odd that an object in close proximity to your head for hours at a time doesn’t get washed often.

In most cases, you want to remember to wash your pillows at least twice a year. If you live in a warmer climate where sweating in your sleep is a possibility, you will want to wash more often. Maintaining a clean bed is a great start to getting a good night’s sleep, so you won’t want to miss out on this comprehensive article on pillow washing instructions.

Determine What Course of Action to Take

Most pillows can actually be thrown into the washing machine, but double check first before you do. If your pillow is made from cotton, down, or synthetic materials, you can toss it in the wash.

But if you are using a memory foam pillow, then you’ll have to hand wash. The reason is that washing machines and driers prove to be too rough on the sensitive memory foam and the pillow will lose its qualities.

If You Can Use the Washing Machine

You’ll have to configure the washing machine to accommodate a different kind of load. First, take off any pillow covers or cases and wash them separately. Try to balance the washing machine by putting two pillows in at the same time so they won’t be thrown around as much. Add your regular amount of detergent and start the cycle. If you can, set the machine to bulky/large to accommodate the unusual load.

After the wash is done, you can throw the pillows in the dryer. For feather pillows, use the dryer setting that accommodates “air/fluff/no heat.” For synthetic pillows, dry using the setting for low heat.

You want to make sure that your pillows dry all the way through. Dampness means that your pillows are not done drying–otherwise, it becomes a hotbed for mold and bacteria. To speed up the drying time, put two tennis balls into clean, white, dry socks and throw them into the dryer with the pillows.

If You Want to Hand Wash Pillows

Remove the pillow cover or case as that can go into the washing machine. Fill a tub or sink with warm water, enough to submerge the pillow completely. Add a tablespoon of liquid clothes detergent per pillow and mix it around in the water to make sure that it is evenly spread.

Put the pillow in the water and allow the detergent to seep in. Massage and squeeze the pillow to dislodge dirt and let the water get through each layer.

When the pillow has been properly massaged, take it out and rinse with fresh water. Go at this for a relatively long time, because you want to make sure that you get as much soap out as possible. Check the runout for suds before ending the rinse.

You don’t want to put sensitive pillows in the dryer, so towel off what you can and bring the pillow outside to let it dry in the sun. Before bringing the pillow back in and using it, make sure that there is no water left and it does not feel damp.

Take it Away!

After understanding these few basic rules, washing your pillow really isn’t the daunting task it might seem. Keep up with your personal hygiene and make sure that you are sleeping on clean pillows! Thanks for reading and happy cleaning!

Related Articles

Machine washing isn’t an option for many types of pillows, yet they still require cleaning every now and then to keep them looking and smelling their best. If you’ve been wondering how to wash pillows by hand, you can spot-clean pillows to deal with spills or stains, and freshen them up with baking soda or a homemade natural spray to keep them smelling fresh. A vacuum cleaner or lint roller also helps take care of basic dust, dander and pet-hair issues on pillows, without any moisture or chemicals

How to Freshen Throw Pillows

For throw pillows or even bed pillows stored in a dusty area without a pillowcase, dry cleaning methods used on a regular basis help keep them dust free. Over time, a pillow not dusted or vacuumed looks and smells like it is dirty, and the dust becomes harder to remove. According to ​Good Housekeeping​, you can vacuum the pillows with an upholstery-brush attachment, or use a crevice tool to get into nooks and creases, such as along piping or decorative trim. A lint roller picks up pet hair and small, loose fabric fibers. Wear a rubber glove and wipe down the pillow with your gloved hand to ball up and remove pet hair without a lint roller.

How to Wash Pillows by Hand for Spills

Wherever drinks are allowed, spills happen. Whether the spill is on a bed pillow or throw pillow, immediately blot up as much of the liquid as possible to prevent it from soaking deep into the pillow. Furthermore, the liquid may stain or sour. Mrs. Clean’s House Cleaning Tips suggests using paper towels or a white absorbent cloth to blot up the liquid — dyed fabrics may transfer color onto the pillow, resulting in another problem.

Once most of the moisture is absorbed, wipe the wet area down again with a damp sponge or white cloth . Continue wiping until the spilled liquid is no longer evident; then blot up the moisture again with dry paper towels or a white cloth. Allow the pillow to air dry in a protected area outdoors, or prop it up against a table leg to allow air flow through and turn on a fan in the room. A mild dish soap-and-water solution helps remove spills and sticky substances from many pillow types, including leather.

Mildew and Odor Removal for Pillows

If the pillow smells musty, it may have mold or mildew spots. Sprinkle baking soda on the pillow and vacuum it up after 30 minutes to help remove some of the odor and dry spores. Spray a light mist of vinegar over the pillow, then wipe it down with a mild dish soap solution and white cloth or a sponge. If spots remain, wipe them with rubbing alcohol on the tip of a cotton swab.

Air out the affected pillow for a day or longer, if possible, in non-humid conditions to help remove lingering odors. If anyone in your home suffers from asthma or allergies, replace the pillow entirely to reduce health risks.

Removing Gum or Gooey Messes

If gum or chocolate syrup soils your favorite throw pillow, you don’t have to throw the pillow away. Remove sticky substances by placing ice, sealed in a zippered sandwich bag, over the offending material until it hardens. Scrape it away with the bowl of a plastic spoon. Manipulate the fabric back and forth to break the remaining substance free, refreezing it as necessary to get it all out. Clean the pillow afterwards with a mild soapy solution on a white cloth.

And how often they should be washed.

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How to wash a pillow by hand

Can you remember the last time you washed your pillow? It’s generally a good idea to do it at least once each year to keep them fresh, clean, and free of dust mites. Whether you wash by hand or machine, this simple task will put your mind at ease and literally help you sleep at night.

What You Need


  • Mild, low-suds detergent


  • Washing machine or deep sink


  1. Remove the pillow protector (using a zippered protector plus a pillowcase helps to keep your pillows cleaner.)
  2. Fill the sink or washing machine with very hot water. Hot water kills dust mites without the need for bleach or other harsh chemicals.
  3. Add mild, low-suds detergent (I used Woolite).
  4. Add the pillow and agitate.
  5. Rinse several times.
  6. Press excess water out of the pillow with a white terry cloth towel. If you have a feather pillow do not wring it out or twist it -you’ll smash the feathers.
  7. Place the pillow in the dryer and air dry, or hang to dry outside. Fluff manually, or toss a a few clean tennis balls in the dryer.

Ashley Poskin traded the quiet life of a small town in a big house for the hustle and bustle of the Windy City. On any given day you might find her working on a freelance photo or blogging gig, wrangling her little darling, or walking Chuck the boxer.

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This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy and was published June 5, 2019. This article is republished here with permission.

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  • Restorbio

A body pillow, also known as a hug pillow, is a huge pillow used to support the body while sleeping. They are often filled with polyester or down feathers and can be very large and awkward to wash. In this blog post, Restorbio will provide you with a guide on how to wash a body pillow properly.

How To Wash A Body Pillow

Your body pillow can collect sweat, dirt, and other debris over time. This could attract dust mites or trigger allergic reactions. Your sleeping environment will remain clean and comfortable if you wash your pillow every 3 to 6 months.

Machine Washing

How to wash a pillow by hand

The best way to care for pillows is by machine washing. However, not all pillows are suitable for washing in a washer or dryer. All materials are machine washable, including down, down-alternative, and cotton.

Step 1. You Can Wash Your Pillows All by Yourself

Because body pillows are so large, your washer will likely take up most of the space. The pillows may lose their shape if they are too full in your washer. For small pillows like knee pillows, however, you can only place one pillow at a time in your washer.

When washing pillows, use a low heat setting. Hot water is preferred by some people to kill bacteria on pillows. However, this may cause pillows to lose their shape and fluff. To ensure safety, you can wash The pillow with high heat.

Step 2. Use A Mild Detergent

To dissolve grease and dirt, wash all pillows with a mild detergent that contains only surfactants (no builders). Use only a few tablespoons of detergent and avoid bleach or chlorine.

Step 3. Air Dry or Tumble Dry On a Low Setting

After washing your pillow, you have two options: air dry or tumble dry. While feather and down pillows take about 2 to 3 hours to dry while cotton and polyester pillows dry quickly, they dry in less than an hour.

To speed up the drying process, you can add tennis balls and wool dryer balls to your dryer. This will help fluff your pillows.

If you air-dry your pillow, lay it flat. Be sure to dry your pillow thoroughly with both tumble drying and air drying before you place it on your bed. Damp pillows can lead to mold growth and may cause damage to your pillow.

Step 4. Fluff Your Body Pillow

Once your body pillow is completely dried, you can hand-fluff it to remove lumps and add volume. To fluff your pillow, you can use a variety of methods, including massaging, kneading, and wiping it against your mattress.

No matter how often you wash your pillows, fluffing them regularly will increase their longevity. For more information, see our guide on how to fluff a pillow.

Hand washing

How to wash a pillow by hand

Hand-washing is the best choice if your pillow is too big or made from delicate materials. Any pillow can technically be hand-washed, provided the process is gentle and efficient. However, this is only necessary for memory foam or latex pillows.

Step 1. Fill a Large Bucket or Bathtub With Cold, Soapy Water

Because body pillows are very large, a small sink or bucket will not be able to wash them. You should instead use a large tub or bucket. Use cold water to fill the tub (hot water can cause foaming) and mild detergent. Combine the two to make suds.

Step 2. Use Soapy Water to Make your Pillow

Allow the soapy water to soak your pillow. After the pillow has soaked, massage the soapy water into it for several minutes until it is clean.

Step 3. Thoroughly Rinse

Before you rinse your pillow, empty the tub of soapy water. Make sure that all detergent residue is gone from your pillow. To prevent your pillow from getting distorted, squeeze out any excess water.

Step 4. Air Dry

Your pillow can be left to dry in the sun, or inside with a fan. Although the heat of the sun kills bacteria, you should not leave your pillow in direct sunlight for more than an hour.

This can cause discoloration. After an hour or so of sun drying, your pillow may still be damp. Bring it inside to dry.

Spot Cleaning

How to wash a pillow by hand

Spot cleaning can be helpful for small stains that have developed on your pillow. It is best to get rid of them as soon as you notice them and avoid them setting. Spot cleaning is a great way to clean your pillow without washing it all.

Overwashing can cause pillows to become brittle. Because it isn’t water-immersive, this cleaning method is gentle and works with any size pillow.

Step 1. Use a Mild Detergent and a Damp Cloth

Make a mild detergent solution in a small bowl and then immerse the cloth in it. Before you proceed, wring the cloth to dry.

Step 2. Gently Scrub Off the Stain

Use a damp cloth to gently scrub the stain from the pillow. Rinse the detergent off the pillow. You may need to do this several times if the stain remains.

Step 3. Pat the Area Dry and Let It Air Dry

After the stain has dried, rinse off any detergent residue and pat dry the area with a dry cloth. Once the excess water has evaporated from your pillow, let it air dry in the sun or under a fan for several hours.

How to Clean a Body Pillow: FAQs

How to wash a pillow by hand

How Can You Dry A Pillow With No Tennis Balls?

Other objects are possible to achieve the same results as a tennis ball. Take a few T-shirts and tie them into balls. Then, put them in the dryer with a single cushion.

You can also add a single clean shoe and multiple pillows. You can use small stuffed animals that don’t have any plastic parts to fluff your pillows and keep them quiet.

How Often Should I Wash My Pillows?

To prolong their life expectancy, pillows should be washed at minimum two to four times per year (or every four months).

Why is Your Pillow Turning Yellow?

Sweat can cause pillows to turn yellow. A pillow can also turn yellow from moisture, wet hair, oils and lotions on the skin, or even sleeping with damp hair. The pillow will become yellow if it is exposed to sweat or moisture for a prolonged period of time.

How Can You Tell If Your Pillow Has Dried?

Pillows that are prone to odor or clumping may not be dry enough. To prevent mold, you want your pillow to be completely dried. Dry Test – Between each cycle, hand fluff the pillows. Even though the pillows feel dry, they may feel damp to the touch.

What is the Best Time To Throw Out A Pillow?

Sometimes your pillow may be too old. According to the National Sleep Foundation, your pillow should be replaced every two years.


These are some basic ways to remove the stain on your pillow or wash a body pillow, we hope that our guide was helpful for you. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to let us know at the commend box.

I admit, when it comes to pillows, I’m a bit of a princess and the pea. (Or is it Goldilocks?) After all, finding a pillow that’s not too soft or too hard, but just right, can be a challenge. So when I do, I make sure to prolong its life with proper care, including a regular wash.

Basic pillow care (before you wash)

How to wash a pillow by hand Above: Treat your pillow to the perfect case. We love Rough Linen’s Orkney Pillow Shams; $50 for the square and the queen sizes and $55 for the king size. Photograph by Laurie Frankel. Daily maintenance and regular care are essential to prolonging the life of your pillow.

  • Always use a pillow protector. Wash your pillow case weekly and your pillow protector (along with your mattress cover) once a month. This not only keeps it clean, it reduces allergens and dust mites.
  • Fluff your pillow daily as you make the bed to remove dust and dandruff and to help maintain the shape of your pillow.
  • Air your pillow outside in the sun for several hours, once a month, when the weather is warm. For colder climes you can also place in the dryer once a month.
  • Dry pillows immediately if they get wet.

How to machine wash your pillow

Above: Pillows get a thorough cleaning in a Miele Decor 24-Inch Washer (W3039i). The average adult spends 3,000 hours per year with their head on a pillow. To maintain your pillow, as well as a healthy sleeping environment, most experts recommend washing it twice a year. Most pillows, even down, can be machine washed.

  • Check the label to make sure the manufacture recommends machine washing.
  • Do not wash pillows with other items as these can wrap around them and compromise their shape.
  • Wash pillows two at a time, to balance the machine.
  • If you can, use a machine without an agitator, which can damage your pillow’s shape. If your machine has an agitator, place the pillows vertically in the drum and set machine on the delicate or hand-wash cycle.
  • Wash in warm water, using a mild detergent.
  • Do not bleach, as this compromises the material, especially down. If you are worried about dust mites, use a protective cover or wash with borax.
  • Do not use fabric softener, especially with down, as it can coat the feathers.

How to hand-wash your pillow

Above: The ultimate in pillow luxury: the Silk-Filled Pillow by Mari Ann Silk should only be washed by hand; $530. Hand-washing a pillow is more labor intensive but also gentler on the fabric.

  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if washing is recommended (for example, some memory foam pillows should never be submerged in water).
  • Fill basin or tub with warm water and a small amount of detergent.
  • Submerge the pillow in the water and kneed gently until it is saturated.
  • Rinse in cool water.
  • Gently squeeze out excess water by rolling, never wringing, the pillow.
  • Place in spin cycle of your washing machine.

Drying your pillow

To avoid the three evil M’s: mildew, mold, and mites, it is important to thoroughly dry your pillow. This can take several hours or more.

  • Again, read all care instructions.
  • Place pillows in dryer with several dryer balls (you can also use a tennis ball or two).
  • Set heat on a medium to low setting.
  • Time dry for at least one hour. Allow pillow to cool, then check to see if the inside is dry. If the pillow feels at all damp, return it to the dryer for another hour. I found synthetic fiber pillows took 60 minutes, while down took several hours.
  • Do not dry on auto setting as sensors will stop once the outside, not necessarily the inside, of the pillow is dry.
  • Dry your pillow in the sun on a clothes line or on a drying rack.
  • Every hour or so, fluff the pillow to move the fibers around and encourage even drying.
  • Be sure to make sure the inside is completely dry.

Above: Sleeptek’s antibacterial Shredded Rubber Pillow should never be exposed to any heat and can only be dried on a rack.

Should you dry-clean your pillow?

Dry-cleaning is not recommended because most dry-cleaning solvents are toxic and these will be absorbed by your pillow.

When to replace your pillow

If your pillow has unsightly stains and a malodorous scent that cannot be eradicated with proper cleaning, it is time to toss it. (See: 10 Easy Pieces: Organic Bed Pillows.) Another way to test if your pillow has reached the end of its life span: Fold it in half. If it springs back into shape, it still has a few good sleep cycles in it.

Are you catching Zzzs or catching fleas?

A clean, freshly made bed is a glorious sight. “Sleep in me,” it says. “Crawl into me, forget all your worries and sleep the sleep of a champion. Dream the pleasant dreams of the stress-free, and awake refreshed and invigorated for a day of splendidness.” It’s like Pennywise inviting you into the drain, but all snuggly and warm and without the dismemberment and death.

Take the pillowcases off, though, and you’re met with a real shitshow. By the time you’ve had a pillow for a year or so, where once it was white, it’ll sport big, overlapping yellowed blotches, like a treasure map from a prop store. This is, for the most part, sweat , but it might also be joined by drool, grease, hair gel, makeup and, uh, any other substance that might find itself on one’s face, in one’s hair or generally flung about in a bedroom. Pillows are also full of dead skin cells and allergy-exacerbating dust mites : It’s grim. A Turin Shroud of filth. Your pillow can end up double its original weight due to all the hideousness it picks up, which is a goddamned disgusting thought.

At the risk of slightly exaggerating, placing a fresh pillowcase on an unwashed pillow is the bedding equivalent of sliding a new pair of clean white underpants onto a poop-covered ass . Most people sleep with two pillows — that’s two asses, covered in poop. Cohabiting? That’s a four-pooped-ass bed. Something must be done.

We should really all be washing our pillows more — every three to six months , according to experts. Nobody does this. A very informal, completely unscientific survey of 10 people (some of us don’t have many friends, okay?) asking whether they washed theirs resulted in eight nos, one “about annually” and one “about every two years.”

Why don’t we do it? Sheer idleness? Fear of ruining them? Fear of ruining our washing machines? Whatever it is, they’re all things we can, and should, get beyond. We stink. We all stink.

First, some types of pillow will get destroyed by a regular washing machine. If you have feather pillows, take them to a dry cleaner rather than completely screwing them up and filling your washing machine with feathers. Memory foam is best vacuumed and spot-treated or, if you must, handwashed — submerge it in a bucket of water with detergent, swoosh it around a bit, rinse it a bunch and lay it to dry somewhere warm.

But anything else — cotton, synthetic down and so on — should be fine. Check the label if it hasn’t been rendered unreadable by the decade of grotesque, brown sweat seeping out of your vile, snoring mug. If going for it in your washing machine, wash a few pillows at once on a slow, gentle cycle. As well as detergent, use bleach and, if you’re the sort of person that has borax in your house (i.e., if you’re a slime-based YouTuber), borax. Set your machine to do an extra rinse cycle.

Dry your pillows on a low heat. If you want the kind of fluffy-ass pillow you can really lose yourself in, get a pair of white socks and a pair of tennis balls. Thumb a ball into each sock, tie a knot in them and throw them into the dryer with the pillows. They’ll literally kick your pillow into ultimate floofiness.

Whatever your pillow is made of, putting it back on your bed before it’s properly dry is a terrible idea. You’ll end up with mold and mildew , a real step up in the grossness stakes from the sweat and drool that began this whole thing. It’s also important to know when a pillow has had it — most will only last a few years. If you fold a (non-feather) pillow in half and it doesn’t spring back , it’s done for.

Look, you’re not going to die from Stinky Pillow Disease. But you could do a lot worse than, twice a year — say, when daylight savings starts and ends — giving your pillows a spin. You wouldn’t want to rest your head on an unwiped butthole, after all. A biannually-wiped one, though? Terrific!

Mike Rampton

Mike Rampton is a freelance writer who lives in London. He enjoys making aggressively difficult puns, drinking on trains and pretending to be smarter than he is. He would like to own a boat one day but accepts that he probably won’t.

It’s easy to make them like new again with these pro cleaning tips.

Clean sheets? Check! Clean comforter? Check! Clean pillows? (That one might give you pause.) Though they might not look dirty to you, pillows, like mattresses, can collect body oils, saliva, face cream, and dust mites over time and need a regular wash. So you best throw them in the washing machine and dryer too (yes, many pillows can go right in, but we’ll also share a few tips for cleaning non-machine-washable pillows by hand).

The first key to keep in mind, says Mike Roberts, CEO of WaveMAX Laundry, is that you need to read the pillow’s label. “Generally, polyester-fill, down, or feather can be washed in a machine, but memory foam or latex cannot be washed,” he says. Now, as far as how often you wash pillows, that’s a matter of personal preference, but Roberts recommends you do so at least twice a year.

Whether you are spring cleaning or just doing everyday household upkeep, cleaning with eco-friendly cleaning products or otherwise, read on for our tips on just how simple it is to launder your pillow and get it just as fresh as your clean sheets (ahhh, clean sheets!). Cleaning pillows should help them last longer too!

How to wash a pillow by hand

How to Wash Pillows in the Washing Machine

Make sure your machine is large enough.

If your washing machine is large enough, you can wash small pillows in it. But if you have queen- or king-sized pillows, head to the laundromat to use its extra-large front-loaders. “It’s not the water that cleans, it’s the tumbling movement of the items inside the washer,” says Roberts. “If your pillows are stuffed in your machine, they get wet but not tumbled.”

Use the gentle cycle.

Too much agitation may break apart the fill.

Use cold or warm water.

Avoid hot water, which can break down the filament in your pillows.

Don’t use too much detergent—and skip the softener.

Reduce the amount of laundry detergent you usually use; say, ¼ capful if you use one full cap during regular loads (too much is harder to rinse out). Don’t use fabric softener, which can collect on pillows and cause a sheen that attracts more dirt and oils.

Rinse well.

If possible, choose a second or deep rinse option to completely flush out any residues.

Now time to dry.

Place the pillows in the dryer on low heat. Add a couple of dryer balls or clean tennis balls to prevent the filling from clumping. Down may take longer to dry, which is normal, says Roberts. A dryer sheet is fine to use to reduce static. And triple-check to ensure pillows are totally dry (so they don’t get mildew!) before making the bed.

More Pillow Tips

Clean pillows by hand if you can’t use a washing machine.

If your pillow’s label can’t be found, you can always wash it the old-fashioned way too. Wait for a sunny day, and take the pillows outside to beat them with a clean broom handle (or rug paddle if you have one like your great-grandmother’s!). Then let them air out outdoors for a few hours. For foam pillows, you can pull out your vacuum and use the upholstery attachment brush instead.

Use pillow protectors.

Cover pillows with pillow protectors before you put on pillowcases. Then wash these every week when you wash your sheets.

Fluff daily.

In between washes, fluff up your pillows when you make the bed each day. This helps keep them plumped and redistributes the filling to restore their shape, says Roberts.

Keep extra pillows on hand.

If you find a pillow you love, buy a few extra, suggests Roberts. That way, when your favorite doesn’t support your head and neck like it used to, you can replace it with the same type. Plus, it’s always nice to have extra pillows handy for overnight guests.

Know when to say goodbye to your pillow.

If your pillow is lumpy and flat, it’s probably time to part ways. Ditto if the pillowcase itself is stained and yellowed. Old pillows also can accumulate allergens such as dust mites and pet dander, so go ahead and treat yourself to a new pillow every year or so (or as needed).

Get a cleaner night’s sleep by following this how-to guide.

How to wash a pillow by hand

How to wash a pillow by hand

Since you rest your head on your pillow every night, you want to make sure that it’s as clean and germ-free as possible. And no, we’re not just talking about the pillowcase itself. In addition to regularly cleaning your sheets and comforter, you should also be caring for your pillows, mattress, and mattress topper. Pillows, especially, should be washed at least two to four times a year (say, every four months) to help them last longer. But not all types of pillows — down, fiberfill, and solid foam — should be treated in the same way.

While most styles are machine washable, some are dry-clean only, have front-loading washing machine restrictions or advise only spot-treating. And the last thing you want is one that’s a hassle to keep clean. The content and care tag on the pillow is the best place to start, but if you can’t find step-by-step instructions or need further guidance, follow this guide by Carolyn Forte, Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, how to wash pillows, no matter the size, shape, or fill.

How to Wash Down and Fiberfill Pillows in the Washer

You’re in luck: Most down and fiberfill pillows are machine-friendly, which means you can just toss them in the washing machine for a refresh. Be sure to wash two pillows at a time to keep the washer balanced, ensuring an all-around clean. While any washing machine will do, front- or top-loading machines without an agitator (a.k.a. the large spindle in the middle of some machines) is your best bet. If an agitator-style top loader is your only option, place the pillows in the tub vertically to lessen the chance of them getting damaged by the agitator.

It goes without saying that you should always read your pillow’s care label and follow the directions accordingly. If you clipped off the tag or can’t find the instructions, use this step-by-step as your guide:

  1. Select the gentle cycle and use warm water, then add on an extra cold water rinse and spin cycle.
  2. Add a small amount of detergent, such as Good Housekeeping Seal star Tide.
  3. Tumble the pillows dry on low heat, fluffing and turning them often. To help keep pillows plump, toss in a few dryer balls from Nellie’s. Stop the dryer a few times throughout the cycle to fluff them and break up lumps by hand.

How to Wash Solid Foam Pillows

Unfortunately, you can’t put your latex or memory foam pillows straight in the washing machine. While foam pillows are resistant to dust mites, it’s still important to clean them on a regular basis. As always, you should check the washing instructions on the pillow’s tag, or follow Forte’s cleaning method outlined here:

  1. Remove pillow covers or pillowcases and wash according to the care tag. If you cut off the care tag, stick the pillowcases and covers in the washing machine, select the normal or casual cycle, and wash in warm or hot water. Add detergent, such as Good Housekeeping Seal star Tide.
  2. To get rid of dust or dirt on the pillow, vacuum both sides, or tumble in the dryer on the no-heat or air-only cycle for 20 minutes.
  3. Spot clean any soiled areas with a cloth dipped in a mild sudsy soap solution. Lightly rinse with a damp cloth. (FYI, wet foam tears easily, so be gentle with the water and soap solution.)
  4. Allow the pillow to air dry completely before putting it back on the bed or couch.

How to wash a pillow by hand

How to wash a pillow by hand

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  • Working Time: 10 – 20 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins – 12 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner

A good night’s sleep requires a comfortable pillow. Pillows can be filled with feathers, down, fiberfill, or foam. While there is no single perfect pillow for everyone, one thing is certain: Pillows should be cleaned regularly to remove sweat, body oils, and dust mites.

It is important to know what type of filling is in your pillows so you can clean them correctly. The methods for cleaning pillows are simple, but you must allow enough time for the filling to dry completely, so plan to wash the pillows on a dry, breezy day to ensure faster drying.

How Often to Wash Pillows

Even if you protect your pillows with removable covers that you wash weekly, the pillow should be washed at least seasonally. It is perfectly fine to wash pillows more often, especially if someone in the household is ill.

How to Freshen Pillows Between Washes

To freshen feather and fiberfill pillows and remove dust and hair between washings, place one or two pillows in an automatic dryer set on air for 10 minutes. Add a few dryer balls to fluff the filling.

To freshen solid foam pillows, sprinkle the surface with baking soda and leave it for 30 minutes. Vacuum away the baking soda, flip the pillow over, and repeat the steps.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Washer or large bathtub
  • Dryer or drying rack
  • Dryer balls
  • Heavy cotton bath towels
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Vacuum
  • Soft, white cloth


  • High-efficiency, low suds detergent
  • Enzyme-based stain remover
  • Baking soda (optional)


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The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

How to Wash Feather, Down, and Polyester-Filled Pillows

Feather pillows and polyester fiberfill pillows can be machine-washed or washed by hand. Do not use an excessive amount of detergent and avoid harsh twisting and wringing. Always inspect the outer covering before washing to make sure there are no holes or rips that will allow the filling to escape.

Pretreat Stains

If there are visible stains on the pillow, use an enzyme-based stain remover or a tiny dab of detergent to pretreat the stain. Work the stain remover into the soiled area with a soft-bristled brush and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes before washing the pillow.

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The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Set and Load the Washer Correctly

Feather pillows should be washed using the gentle cycle and cold water. Polyester-filled pillows can be washed in cold or warm water. It is usually best to wash pillows in pairs to help keep the washer in balance. If you have only one pillow to wash, add a couple of heavy cotton bath towels to balance the load.

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The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Use the Right Detergent

Residue from laundry products can cause feathers to clump. Use a high-efficiency, low suds detergent in a very small amount—only one to two teaspoons—when washing any type of pillow. Never add fabric softener when washing pillows.

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The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Add a Second Rinse Cycle

To make sure that all of the detergent is flushed away, add a second rinse cycle. If washing by hand, change the rinse water multiple times until you see absolutely no suds.

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The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Fluff and Dry

Fluff and smooth the pillows as you remove them from the washer. Place in a dryer set to medium heat and add some wool dryer balls to help break apart the clumps of wet feathers. Check the dryer every 15 minutes and re-fluff the pillows by hand during the drying process.

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The Spruce / Ana Cadena

How to Wash Latex and Memory Foam Pillows

Solid foam pillows can only be hand-washed. Never put them in any type of washer, because the agitation during the wash and spin cycle can cause the foam to break.


Because of the density, it can take up to 24 hours for a solid foam pillow to air dry. Choose a warm, breezy day to help speed drying after a thorough washing (and have a spare pillow on-hand to sleep on while it dries, just in case).

Choose Spot Cleaning

If you don’t have time to wash and dry the pillow, spot clean stains by mixing a few drops of detergent in one cup of warm water. Use a soft cloth to blot the mixture onto the stained area. Allow it to work for at least 10 minutes. (This same technique can be used to treat tough stains before a complete wash and dry cycle.)

Dip a clean cloth in fresh water and blot the treated area to “rinse” the foam. Allow the pillow to air dry before using it.

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The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Mix a Cleaning Solution

Choose a bathtub or large plastic tub so the pillow will not be crowded in the cleaning solution. Use lukewarm water and a small amount of gentle detergent. Add the detergent first to the water and stir well so it is evenly dispersed.

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The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Add the Pillow

Submerge the pillow in the soapy water and squeeze gently (NO wringing) to move the cleaning solution through the foam. Do not leave to soak any longer than 10 minutes.

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The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Rinse Repeatedly

Drain the soapy water and refill the tub with clean, cool water. Squeeze the foam gently to help release the suds. Drain and refill the tub several times until no more suds appear. NEVER wring the foam!

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The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Absorb Excess Moisture and Dry

Place the pillow between two heavy cotton bath towels and press to help absorb excess moisture. Change the towels several times to absorb as much water as possible. Place the pillow on a drying rack so that air will circulate evenly. Using a circulating fan can help speed the drying process. Do NOT place the pillow in an automatic dryer.

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How to wash a pillow by hand

When you’ve had a long day, nothing feels better than laying in bed — atop fresh, crisp sheets and clean, fluffy pillows. But, oftentimes, the pillows are set aside. This would be unhygienic, turning your comfy bed into a petri dish of germs. (Just imagine some dead skin cells, body oil, sweat, saliva, and more … in one place. Yikes!)

Remember to wash your bedding at least once a week and your pillows at least twice a year. It is not only for good hygiene, warmth, and protection of the mattress but also for your ultimate comfort.

How to wash pillows by hand

Recommended for memory foam pillows

  • Remove the pillow covers and wash them separately from your memory foam pillows. To preserve their form and delicate qualities, memory foam pillows are washed by hand while the covers can go in a washing machine and dryer.
  • Fill a tub or sink with warm water, then add a tablespoon of liquid detergent. Mix it well and completely submerge one pillow at a time in the tub or sink.
  • Allow the detergent to seep in; get rid of all the dirt by massaging and squeezing the pillow several times.
  • Take the pillow out of the tub or sink, and rinse it with fresh water. You want to make sure that you take as much soap out as possible before letting it dry.
  • Instead of using a dryer, bring your memory foam pillow out in the sun. Make sure it is completely dry, not damp, before sleeping on it again.

How to wash pillows in a washing machine

Recommended for synthetic pillows, down and feather pillows, or cotton pillows

  • If the option is available, set your machine to a bulky/large load setting. This ensures that the pillows go through an effective yet damage-free wash cycle.
  • Fill the machine with hot water, and add a cup of liquid or powder detergent. Note that this ratio is good for 3-4 pillows.
  • If stains are present, add some bleach or ammonia to the water. Be sure to stir the water or properly dissolve the detergent powder before adding the pillows.
  • Toss the pillows in the machine to begin the washing. Be sure to flip the pillows after the machine drains the first wash, cleaning both ends of the pillows.
  • Restart the washing machine as necessary, completing the cycle without interruptions.
  • Allow at least two rinses with hot water for deep-cleaning dense materials, such as your synthetic/down and feather/cotton pillows.
  • Set your dryer to the shortest time possible before “air drying.”
  • Completely dry your pillows out in the sun, or allow them to “air dry.”

Health hazards in sleeping on dirty bedding and pillows

• Allergic reactions and fungal infections from dust mites

People shed about 500 million dead skin cells every day, and dust mites love to feed off these shedded cells. Think of dandruff and flakes of dry body skin piling up on your bed and pillows if you can go on for several weeks without cleaning your bedding.

Eventually, dust mites would trigger an allergy and asthma, or cause your eczema to flare up. Worse, if your bed has pet danders, then you might even catch ringworms, or fungal infections, from dust mites.

• Acne breakout from dust mites

Did you know that unwashed pillow covers are likely dirtier than a toilet seat cover?

If you are suddenly having bad breakouts, those dirty pillows and bedding could be the ones to blame.

Dirt clogs your pores, so consider changing your pillow covers and bed sheets once a week as well as washing your pillows two to three times a year.

• Cold and flu viruses from contaminated bedding and pillows

Cold, flu, and other related viruses can be infectious and remain active outside the body for a few minutes, depending on the amount of droplets that land on soft surfaces.

If you or someone in your house have been ill, get those sheets laundered with bleach right away. This stops the spread of the virus or any lingering germs.

Keep up with your bed space hygiene to avoid potential health risks and uncomfy slumbers. Cleaning your bedding and washing your pillows regularly and properly is a great start to having a good night’s sleep!

Investing in a high-quality pillow is a good start to better sleep. Check out Emma Canada’s bed essentials now!

Pillows are used on a daily basis but are rarely cleaned. It’s necessary to clean your pillows if they are beginning to turn yellowish and you notice spots of filth, oil, or perspiration.

Dust mites can build up in them, causing adverse reactions and disrupting your sleep. So how and when should you clean pillows? This article will describe how to properly wash or clean your pillows without damaging them.

How to Wash Pillows in a Washing Machine?

How to wash a pillow by hand

The majority of pillows are machine washable and may be cleaned in the same manner as another laundry. Just check your pillow’s label and search for the sign on the tag to see if it suggests machine washing.

Below are the steps for cleaning bed pillows in a washing machine :

  • Fill with lukewarm water and start the gentle cycle.
  • A little quantity of mild detergent
  • Choose the rinse and spin cycle after adding sufficient cold water.
  • Using a low-heat tumble dryer, dry your pillows.
    It is usually preferable to use a front-loading or top-loading washing machine that does not include an agitator. Many top-loading machines have an agitator that can harm your cushions.

How to Wash Pillows Based on Their Stuffing?

The most popular filler is cotton, but memory foam isn’t far behind. Nonetheless, the maintenance and washing directions for both of them are entirely different. Let’s have a glance at how to clean each sort of pillow.

How to wash a pillow by hand

Feather Pillows

Most feather pillows could be washed in the washing machine. But, before you get there, remember to read labels. If your pillows can’t be washed in the machine, you will need to figure out how to dry-clean them. When cleaning a feather pillow, keep the following in mind:

  • Use a mild detergent.
  • Cool water is recommended since heated water may cause irreversible damages to your feather pillow.
  • Pillows should be tumble-dried on a medium setting.

Memory Foam Pillows

Your memory foam pillow cannot be cleaned in a machine. It will get ruined. Therefore it is preferable to clean these pillows by yourself. Let’s have a look at how to manually wash these pillows.

  • Clean your pillows by using a vacuum cleaner.
  • After that, you can use a nice clean, wet cloth in order to spot clean them. Ensure to use a light detergent.
  • Place your pillow flat to dry at the end of the process.

Polyester Pillows

Polyester pillows are famous for their strength and ability to sustain their form. They can just be machine washed and then also hand washed if necessary. Remember to do the following when cleaning your polyester pillows:

  • Warm water should be used.
  • Don’t be afraid to use a lot of detergents. 1 tablespoon of liquid soap is a fine
  • Dry them in the tumble dryer.

Gel Pillows

How to wash a pillow by hand

You must treat your gel pillows with caution. It is always preferable to clean them manually rather than by machines.

Baking soda may be used to clean your gel pillows. Baking soda is a good choice to get rid of odors and wetness from your pillow.
Baking soda should be mixed with water and left to sit for a while. Shake it vigorously till bubbles appear. Brush these bubbles onto your pillow and observe the spots go. After you have finished cleaning the cushion, let it dry naturally.

Tips To Cleaning Your Pillows

Always check the label on your pillow to see how to take care of the material. It is the most comprehensive guide on cleaning your pillows.

  • Remove the detachable coverings from the cushion.
  • Every four months, wash your pillows. If you suffer from allergies, you should wash them more often.
  • If your pillows have a bad odor, wash them with vinegar or sodium bicarbonate.
  • Regularly dust your pillows. Even though you don’t clean your pillows, you could get rid of dust mites by hanging them on a clothesline for several hours on a bright day.
  • Before bringing your pillow back indoors, make sure it’s entirely dry.


Discomfort and allergies might even be caused by a dirty pillow. Understanding how to clean pillows can assist with allergies and contribute towards a more clean lifestyle. Remember to also clean your living room’s pillows or cushions as well.

The longevity of your pillows will also be extended. We hope this guide assists you to get perfectly clean pillows and improving your sleep.

Don’t lose sleep over a gross pillow! Here’s how to keep yours clean and fresh.


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

When was the last time you cleaned your pillow? Come on, be honest. No, not the pillow case – we hope you’re at least chucking that in the washing machine quite regularly. But how often do you wash your actual pillow?

A clean, fresh pillow is an important factor in getting a great night’s sleep. But there are some other very compelling reasons to clean your pillow that are more related to hygiene.

Looking for pillows?

We’ve tested to find you the best.

Why you should clean your pillow

It’s not pleasant to think about, but when you sleep on a pillow, the oils from your skin and hair combine with sweat and drool into one icky mess that’s absorbed into the material of your pillow.

It can create unsightly yellow stains or discolouration – all of which you’re resting your head on each night to catch some ZZs. Even if it’s covered up by a lovely floral pillowcase, it’s still there and could be breeding bacteria and mould or housing allergens.

Asthma Australia says that regularly ‘fluffing up’ your pillows and washing them monthly, or even replacing them when they’re getting a little worse for the wear, can help reduce the risk of exposure to the dust and dust mites that are regularly found in bedding and which can be irritants to sensitive airways.

(By the way, dust mites are found in your bedding because they like to feed on flakes of dead human skin, which is another great reason to wash pillows regularly. Are you headed to the laundry yet?)

Before you bust out the bleach though, it’s important you follow our 3-step guide to make sure you don’t ruin your pillow.

1. Find the correct cleaning method for your type of pillow

Washing your pillowcase regularly and your actual pillow every 4–6 months is a good idea. Always check the label on the pillow and the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the best way to wash it.

We’ve compared washing instructions on the labels of products we’ve tested and most instructions adhere to the following:

Pillow type How to wash
Memory foam or polyurethane foam Spot clean with damp cloth
Latex Handwash only
Polyester, cotton and microfibre Warm machine wash on gentle cycle
Goose down or goose feather Handwash or dry clean

2. Follow washing instructions correctly

How to machine-wash and dry your pillow

Machine-washing your pillow is usually suitable for polyester, cotton and microfibre pillows.

  • First, remove the cover and all pieces
  • Use a mild detergent
  • Use a gentle cycle in the washing machine up to 60°C
  • Lay flat to dry.

How to handwash your pillow

(Usually suitable for latex, memory foam, polyester, cotton and microfibre pillows.)

Many pillows that are machine-washable are also fine to wash by hand, however some, such as latex pillows, might be handwash only. Use warm water and a gentle detergent and make sure you rinse well in clear water.

Some memory foam pillows we tested specified “Do not wash”, while others stated you could “Spot clean with a damp cloth”.

You should never put a memory foam, or polyurethane pillow in the washing machine as it will damage the padding.

As the foam in a memory foam pillow is quite dense, it’s naturally designed to inhibit the growth of dust mites and bacteria, however it will still get dirty and stained on the surface.

Use a pillow cover that you can remove and wash separately, and treat any stains using a mild detergent and a damp cloth.

3. Dry your pillow thoroughly

Whenever cleaning any type of pillow, it’s very important that you leave it to dry thoroughly on the inside to avoid mould and mildew.

Lying flat to dry in direct sunlight is the best option – the sun can even act as an extra antibacterial agent to keep your pillows fresh. Check for moisture before you put it back on the bed.

Can I put my pillow in the dryer?

Some pillow materials can be dried in a clothes dryer, but check the manufacturer’s instructions before you attempt this.

You should never put a memory foam pillow in the dryer as this will damage the material.

If the instructions for your type of pillow say you can put it in the dryer, use a low-heat setting and consider drying only a couple at once so they don’t clump together.

How to wash a pillow by hand

You use your pillow every day – but how often do you wash it?

Maybe you wash your pillowcases, but unfortunately, these pieces of fabric can only do so much to protect your memory foam or latex pillow. Without proper care, your bed pillows can easily collect sweat, dust, body oils, dandruff, debris and other unwanted substances which harm your sleep quality.

Changing your pillowcase is just one of the things you need to do regularly, you should also be learning how to wash a latex pillow. If you sleep with a latex pillow, cleaning it is a little more involved than putting it in the washing machine.

Fortunately, we’re here to help.

How to Wash Your Latex Pillow

Once a week, remove your pillowcase and put it in the washing machine as normal. This will help to get rid of any dandruff, skin cells, dust mites, and other unwanted debris. When you remove your pillowcases, you should get a good idea of whether your pillow also needs a wash.

How to wash a pillow by hand

How to wash a pillow by hand

Memory foam pillow and latex pillow products are often easily stained, particularly if you’re a hot sleeper. That means you tend to sweat during the night. Although the materials in a latex or foam pillow should be resistant to dust and mildew, they can still benefit from regular washing, just like your standard polyester pillows.

To preserve the latex and foam in your pillows, you shouldn’t use your washing machine unless the instructions on your pillow say otherwise. Remove the pillowcase, and fill a sink or container with warm water. Add a mild detergent, or you can use baking soda and white vinegar in some cases.

Soak a clean towel in your mixture, and wring it dry carefully. Blot your pillow with the cloth. After blotting your pillows, place fresh towels on either side and leave them to dry fully in the direct sunlight. Using sunlight and warmth to dry your pillows is important. For stains, use the water mixture to scrub the spot carefully.

Top Tips for Washing Your Latex Pillows

Read the Care Tag

How to wash a pillow by handIf possible, you should always follow the instructions on the care tag when washing any kind of pillow. You’ll often find that most latex and memory foam pillows, like feather pillows or buckwheat hull pillows, aren’t suitable for machine washing. If you can put your pillow in the machine, you’ll often need to use mild laundry detergent and a very low temperature.

Also, check the care tag for information on whether to use a machine during washing. If it is possible to use the washing machine, make sure you choose a gentle wash cycle and follow other washing instructions listed by the manufacturer of the pillow.

Avoid Moisture

Ideally, it’s best to avoid exposing your latex pillows to too much moisture. These pillows take a long time to dry out, much longer than standard fabric. You also won’t be able to put any pillowcase now would you be able to use your pillow until the drying process is complete. Since they hold moisture longer than normal, they may also become a breeding ground for mould and mildew.

Other Washing Tips

For regular maintenance, washing your pillows with a spot clean strategy is usually the best type of care you can offer. It is also best to remind yourself of some important points.

• Leave your pillows to dry fully in sunlight or the bathtub with towels before you apply any new pillowcase or bring them back into your bedroom.

• Hand wash your latex foam pillow or latex pillows unless you have specific pillow washing guidelines provided by the manufacturer

• Do not squeeze or scrunch latex foam pillows in the middle to try and wring excess water out of them. This can damage the latex.

• Don’t try to dry your latex pillow with a hairdryer or place them on the radiator. The extra heat can damage the latex foam.

• Use the detergent recommended by the manufacturer. A mild detergent is usually a good choice or a foam detergent product.

• Don’t wash pillows in a washing machine without guidance.

• After you wash them, use pillowcases to protect your pillows from sweat, skin cells and other substances.

How to wash a pillow by hand

Have you ever wondered how to wash a body pillow or how to keep it in tip-top condition? Everyone loves a body pillow — they are perfect for bedtime or for chilling out on the sofa.

But of course, they do get dirty. Since these pillows are large, it might be necessary to take them to a Laundromat to wash in an oversized washer. Then again, some persons prefer doing it themselves.

Below are a few tips on how to take care of and wash your body pillow. Choose the right washing or cleaning technique and in no time it will be right where you want it.

What’s Great About Body Pillows

Body pillows are the perfect way to relax your muscles and align your body. At the end of a busy working day, there is nothing more comforting than to unwind in comfort.

Cuddling up on the sofa with your body pillow and a box of chocolate is the perfect way to ease the stressors of the day.

Body pillows have lots of uses because they come in many shapes and sizes.

The long, narrow ones are great in the bedroom because they can help you sleep in a comfortable and supported position.

Large pillows are perfect for movie-nights or those cozy nights-in with a glass of wine and a good book.

Why Wash Your Body Pillow?

Of course, however much you love your body pillow, all that wine and chocolate eventually takes its toll. Even if you manage to avoid chocolate stains, eventually the sweat of regular use will start to build up.

Sweat is perfectly natural, but after a while, it starts to soak into your pillow.

Along with sweat, dust and dead skin also collect on your pillow, which could cause allergic reactions, asthma, and other health problems.

How Often Should You Wash Your Body Pillow?

So, it is time to start thinking about how to wash a body pillow . This is not something you need to do very often, but it’s a good idea to wash your body pillow every 3 to 6 months.

Of course, this depends on how often you use it.


The first tip on how to wash a body pillow is hand-washing. This is the gentlest method of all.

  • Firstly, you need to remove the case from the pillow. It is more effective to wash these two parts separately.
  • Use a mild detergent, as stronger detergents can damage delicate body pillows.
  • Submerge the pillow in water and detergent.
  • Use your hands to squeeze the pillow repeatedly. Continue doing this until you’re sure the pillow is clean.
  • Rinse your body pillow with lots of fresh, clean water.
  • Once your body pillow is thoroughly rinsed, squeeze the water out of the pillow firmly.

To ensure your pillow regains its fluffiness, lay it flat to dry .


Another method on how to wash a body pillow involves using the washing machine. It requires much less effort, but it can be harsher on the texture of the pillow. You don’t need to remove the pillowcase — both can be washed together.

  • Place your body pillow in the washing machine.
  • Add a mild detergent to your wash.
  • When the wash is complete, remove the clean pillow.
  • If you use a tumble dryer to dry your body pillow, it will be lovely and fluffy.

You can wash more than one pillow in one wash, depending on the size of your machine.

If you only have one pillow that needs washing, it’s a good idea to balance the load with another similarly-sized item.

Washing a Printed Body Pillow

This method is especially suited to delicate body pillows with printed designs. It is essential to be particularly careful when using this technique.

  • Remove the pillowcase from your body pillow and turn it inside-out.
  • Make sure you use a mild detergent.
  • Submerge your pillowcase in water and detergent. Take care not to leave the pillowcase in the water for too long.
  • Gently rinse and do not squeeze.
  • Hang to dry.
  • If your body pillow is patterned, be careful to iron on reverse, avoiding direct contact with the pattern.

It is best to avoid washing the inner part — the pillow itself. It can be placed in the sun, which will freshen it and kill any bacteria.

You can make your body pillow fluffy again by patting it lightly. It is also advisable to have it dry cleaned if necessary.

Looking After Your Body Pillow

Your body pillow probably gets lots of use. To keep in clean, fresh and looking like new, it is important to wash or freshen it up regularly.

How you wash your body pillow is up to you, but ensure that you clean both parts of your pillow frequently.

If your pillow is down-filled, it is advisable to avoid washing it in water. Putting it outside in the sun is a great way to freshen it up. Occasional dry-cleaning is worth considering too.

And how often you should do it.

How to wash a pillow by hand

When was the last time you washed your bed pillows? If it was more than six months ago, you might be due for a trip to the laundry room. Even if you clean your sheets regularly and use a pillow protector, when you sleep on your pillow every night, stuff—saliva, sweat, dirt, oil, bacteria—builds up over time, which means that a full-on trip through a wash cycle, not just spot cleaning, should take place at least two to four times a year, according to Good Housekeeping Institute. Not only does this get rid of any nasty residue, but it also helps your pillows last longer.

So how do you actually wash a pillow? First of all, check the tag to make sure it’s not dry-clean only. The good news is that most down and fiberfill (a.k.a. down-alternative) pillows can easily be washed in a standard machine. Read on for the steps.

You’ll Need

  • Laundry detergent
  • Stain pre-treatment spray
  • Dryer balls (or tennis balls)

How to wash a pillow by hand

How to Wash Pillows

1. Check the pillow cover for any noticeable stains and spray them with a laundry pre-treatment. Let sit for 15 minutes.

How to wash a pillow by hand

2. Place pillows in the drum of your washing machine. Always wash two pillows at a time, if possible—this keeps the machine from becoming unbalanced.

How to wash a pillow by hand

3. Add a small amount of detergent to the dispenser. (No, more detergent won’t make the pillows cleaner, it’ll just leave more residue behind.)

How to wash a pillow by hand

4. Wash in warm water and add an extra rinse cycle to make sure that any excess detergent gets removed.

5. After the cycle is complete, put the pillows in the dryer with a couple of dryer balls (or tennis balls). This keeps the fill from clumping up so you end up with extra-fluffy pillows.

How to wash a pillow by hand

6. Dry the pillows for about an hour on low-to-medium heat for fiberfill, or extra-low or no heat for down fill.

7. When the dryer is done, take the pillows out and check for any remaining moisture by squeezing them firmly in a few different areas. (Putting even slightly damp pillows back on your bed can result in mildew, so you’ll want to make sure they’re really dry!) Keep drying in 30-minute increments as necessary.

How to wash a pillow by hand

8. To keep your newly-clean pillows fresh, use a pillow protector under the pillowcase and allow the pillow to air out occasionally. And, of course, wash them again in no more than six months!

How to wash a pillow by hand

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Lots of people like to lie on a sofa with pillow in arms when watching TV, daze or chatting with others.

Body pillow could give you a cozy, warm and comfortable feel.

However, it gets dirty after used for a long time, inevitably stained with oil or dust.

How To Wash Body Pillow?

Table of Contents

Let’s share some simple cleaning methods with you, we will finding the right way to wash body pillow! If you want to custom anime body pillow, you can use our custom service.

How to wash a pillow by hand

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Why Do We Need To Wash Body Pillow?

Sweating is normal and occurs in your daily living. Our body produces sweat regularly which then penetrates into the pillow.

It may increase the risks of developing allergic reaction and other types of diseases.

So, we should clean the body pillow every 3 to 6 months.

Hand Wash Body Pillow

1. First, the pillow core and the pillowcase are disassembled and washed separately;

How to wash a pillow by handWash with a mild detergent

2. Wash with a mild detergent;

How to wash a pillow by handPut the pillow into the detergent

3. Put the pillow into the detergent and keep squeezing the pillow with hands until it is clean. Make sure all the detergent are rinsed out.

How to wash a pillow by handThoroughly rinse the pillow and squeeze out the excess water

4. Thoroughly rinse the pillow and squeeze out the excess water;

How to wash a pillow by handSpread the pillow flat until it is dry

5.Spread the pillow flat until it is dry , this will make the pillow more soft and fluffy.

How to wash a pillow by hand

Machine Wash Body Pillow

1. Wash with a mild detergent;

How to wash a pillow by handwash two pillows at once

2. If your washing machine is large enough, wash two pillows at once; if it only washes one pillow at a time, it is better to add a towel to wash together to balance the water flow;

How to wash a pillow by handUse a tumble dryer to re-fluff your pillows

3. Use a tumble dryer to re-fluff your pillows.

Wash Printed Body Pillow

1.Attention should be paid to washing printed body pillow;

2.Please remove the cushion cover and turn it inside-out before washing;

3.Avoid soaking it in water for a long period of time. Never rub or wash with cold water;

4.Please wash with a mild detergent. Do not bleach;

5.Do not iron the printed pattern directly;

6.Do not wash the inner pillow, you can set it outside in the sun. Gently pat to give the pillow a good manual fluffing.

7.Do not wash or wet clean down pillows in water as feathers may clump together and make the pillow feel lumpy.

You can gently pat the pillow with hands to keep it fluffy, and put it in a ventilated place to remove bad odors. If the pillow looks pretty dirty, dry cleaning is recommended.

How to wash a pillow by hand

Maintenance Tips

1.For daily maintenance, simply cleaning the pillowcase is not enough. Do forget to clean the inner pillow. It is a breeding ground for mold, bacteria and dust mites that may be hiding deep inside the pillow.

2.In addition to daily cleaning, you should set the pillow outside in the sun on a regular basis to keep it fluffy. At the same time, put it in a ventilated place to remove odors caused by sweat and moisture.

3.If the pillow looks pretty dirty, dry cleaning is recommended.

Storage Method

1.Pillowcase: Fold the pillow up and place it in a sealed bag with desiccant. If you have too many pillowcases, please place them in a sealed box or a wardrobe. (You should clean and completely dry the pillowcases before storage)

2.Pillow inner : Store it with a special bag that matches the size of the inner pillow. It is better to put it in a vacuum storage bag first, then wrap it with a special bag.

Custom body pillow is very popular for your kids, just create kid’s anime body pillow as your gift.

This post may contain affiliate links that do not change your price but share a small commission. I only recommend products I have personally used.

How to wash a pillow by hand

When was the last time you laundered your pillows? Here’s how to wash them in the machine or by hand, and how often you should.

How to wash a pillow by hand

Dust mites and odors collect in all types of pillows, from those on your bed to throw pillows on your sofa. Bed pillows, in particular, gather a lot of sweat and moisture that can lead to mold and mildew. Here’s how to get them clean and fresh.

Can You Wash Your Pillow?

Not all pillows are washable, so you should always check the care label before you begin. If your care label is missing, you need to know what type of pillow it is before you know which washing method to use.

  • Feather pillows, down and “down alternative” pillows: Wash in the machine. Hand-washing is not recommended because the filling will clump.
  • Polyester: Wash in the machine or by hand.
  • Memory foam pillows and latex: Shredded foam pillows are washable in the machine or by hand. Solid foam pillows are not washable. See below for how to clean non-washable pillows instead.
  • Buckwheat hull pillows: Not washable. See the method below for non-washable pillows.

How to Machine Wash Pillows

Once you know your pillow is safe to wash, the instructions below will get your pillows clean and fresh without damage.

Step 1: Add your pillows to the machine.

Whether you have a top or front-loading washer, try to wash two pillows at a time so your machine stays balanced throughout the spin cycle. If you have a top-loading washer and king-sized pillows, the agitator may take up so much room that you can only wash one at a time. In that case, fill the remaining part of the washer drum with a towel to balance the weight.

Step 2: Add half the usual amount of laundry detergent.

You don’t need a lot of detergent to clean pillows. Using too much means some will remain after the rinse cycle, leading to odors and matting. To brighten and deodorize them, skip the chlorine bleach since it can damage synthetic fillings and will weaken the fabric. Add a couple of tablespoons of oxygen bleach to brighten them instead. Skip the fabric softener, too: it will make your pillow’s filling clump.

Step 3: Use the correct cycle setting and temperature

Machine wash pillows in your machine on a gentle cycle. Cold water works best for cotton, down, and feather pillows and warm water is best for synthetics like polyester. Be sure to choose an extra rinse cycle to get out all the detergent and any other residue.

Step 4: Dry your pillows

Set the dryer to delicate or low heat, then add two pillows and two clean tennis balls or dryer balls. The tennis balls help fluff pillows and keep the filling from clumping together. If you prefer to air-dry, hang your pillows from the long sides and rotate them every 20-30 minutes.

If you’re using the dryer, you’ll most likely have to run two and perhaps three cycles to get them completely dry. Turn them over between cycles to help them dry evenly. If you’re line-drying your pillows, fluff them by hand once they’re dry. Never put damp pillows into pillowcases or sleep on them, or they’ll develop mold or mildew inside.

How to wash a pillow by hand

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How to Hand Wash Pillows

Hand-washing is suitable for most throw pillows or shredded memory foam. It is not a good method to use with down pillows or solid foam pillows, which should be machine washed instead.

  1. Add four inches of lukewarm water to a large sink or tub. Swirl in a small amount of liquid detergent, then add a pillow, pressing down to submerge it.
  2. Use your hands to squeeze the suds through the pillow. Carefully turn it over and repeat.
  3. Drain the basin and squeeze the soapy water out of the pillow. Push the pillow to one side, refill the basin with water again, and squeeze the pillow to release suds. Repeat until the water is clear and squeezing does not produce suds.
  4. Gently press the excess water out of the pillow and air dry it. If using the dryer, tumble dry it no a low-heat setting.

How to Clean Non-Washable Pillows

Some types of pillows can’t go into the machine or get washed by hand. That doesn’t mean you can’t clean them.

Solid Memory Foam or Latex Foam Pillows

To clean your solid memory foam pillow, remove it from the cover and sprinkle baking soda (bicarb) on both sides. Wait 30 minutes for the powder to neutralize odors and absorb moisture, then vacuum it with the upholstery attachment. Spot clean any dirt with a damp cloth and a mild soap solution, taking care not to saturate the pillow. For tougher stains or soiled areas, use hydrogen peroxide instead. Let it dry outdoors or in a sunny spot for the day.

Buckwheat Hull Pillows

Don’t wash buckwheat hulls used as pillow filling. Instead, empty the hulls into a shallow box and put them in a sunny spot for the day, so the sunlight can eliminate odors and mildew. If placing them outside, make sure the box is sheltered from the wind. Launder the pillow covers in the meantime, and refill them with hulls once it’s dry.

How Often Should You Wash Pillows?

Wash your pillows immediately after any illness to eliminate germs, sweat, and odors. Otherwise, wash them twice a year to keep dust mites under control. If you have severe allergies, use pillow protectors to keep dust mites out of your pillows. Wash your protectors monthly. (I use these.)

Between washings, you can freshen down and synthetic pillows by running them in the dryer using medium heat for 5-10 minutes each week when you change the bed.

Even with regular washing, pillows don’t last forever. You need to replace pillows every 2-3 years or any time they smell off despite washing. You can tell if a pillow is worn out if you fold the pillow in half and it stays folded instead of springing back to flat.

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You may get nervous at the thought of washing down and other fluffy bedding essentials, but armed with a few laundry tips from Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook

, you can actually skip a trip to the dry cleaner and another night sleeping on sullied blankets and pillows.

The first thing to keep in mind is that unlike your bed sheets, you don’t have to wash comforters, pillows, and other down items every week. Frequency will vary, but you should expect to clean your entire collection of bedding items roughly once a season to remove potentially harmful bacteria and unpleasant odors. How does one wash an entire pillow in an an at-home machine? We’re walking you through which kinds of machines and cycles you should be using, and how to ensure detergent doesn’t leave any residue on the pillow itself. The trick to making sure all soap has been properly removed from pillows is to run them through two rinse cycles. There are also a couple of things to consider when determining if it’s acceptable to place pillows into a dryer and when you should simply let them air dry.

As for comforters, quilts, and other blankets, there’s a few steps of preparation you need to take before throwing these into the washer. For example, you’ll need to check the colorfastness of each item before you place it into a washing machine, and always read any tags or labels for special care instructions. While machine washing is often completely safe, you can also wash these items by hand. Read on to learn how.

How to wash a pillow by hand How to wash a pillow by hand How to wash a pillow by hand

You’re used to washing bed sheets (and hopefully pillowcases), but you may not know how to wash pillows or why you should bother at all. While you sleep, your pillow absorbs dead skin cells, body oils, and sweat, as well as allergens. We know it’s gross, but don’t freak out.

Regularly washing your pillowcases helps combat this, but your pillow still needs to be cleaned often as well. Most

Regularly washing your pillow cover helps combat this, but your pillow still needs to be cleaned often as well. Most pillows should be washed every six months, but others, like memory foam, need attention every two to three months.

Not sure how to wash pillows? Follow our simple guide for proper cleaning instructions.

Step 1: Air Out

Just like you, those pillows of yours need regular care. Take a minute to fluff them up weekly and let them hang outside in the sun every couple of months to get rid of any excess moisture. You should also regularly vacuum your pillows (as you would your mattress). Do this occasionally, but also do it pre-wash to get some of the more surface-level gunk out of your pillow.

How to wash a pillow by hand

Step 2: Wash Up

Once you’ve vacuumed your pillows, you might want to spot clean if there are visible marks. This can be done with a regular dish towel and a mild soap solution. Gently scrub out the stains, taking extra care with foam pillows as you don’t want them to tear.

Spot cleaning blood out of a pillow is a bit different. If this happens, clean them similar to how to get blood out of sheets.

Is it Safe to Wash Pillows in the Washing Machine?

Many pillows will survive in a washer, but they need slightly different care. Before throwing any dirty pillow in the wash, know what kind of fill it has and inspect the fabric for rips or tears. You won’t want the fill clogging up your washer, trust us.

To avoid unevenly distributed loads, always throw two pillows in at a time. You’ll also want to set the spin cycle speed to a higher setting to remove as much excess water as possible. And as always, check the tags or the company’s website for specific cleaning instructions, like these for Casper pillows.

With each fill requiring different instructions, here’s how to clean the different types of pillows.

How To Clean a Down Pillow

Down pillows are fairly simple to wash. They can be cleaned in a washing machine at any washy cycle temperature, but be aware that warm water and hot water can potentially shrink the fabric. Use a mild powder soap and add an extra rinse cycle to rid your pillows of remaining soap.

How To Clean a Feather Pillow

Feather and down pillows generally can be washed the same way. Any temperature can be used in the washing Feather and down pillows generally can be washed the same way. Any temperature can be used in the washing machine, but a colder temperature is recommended to avoid fabric shrinkage. Use a gentle cycle setting and extra rinse spin cycle to remove leftover suds.

How To Clean a Pillow With Buckwheat Hulls

Because liquid ruins buckwheat hulls, the hulls themselves shouldn’t be placed in the washer. To clean the pillow cover, remove the buckwheat hulls and place them in a large tub. Be aware of any special instructions on the cover’s tag before placing it in the washer. To care for the buckwheat, place them evenly on a baking sheet or something similar and move to a windowsill or outside for the sun to dry out any moisture within.

How To Clean a Memory Foam Pillow

While memory foam can be a lifesaver for some during the night, they need a little extra TLC when it comes to cleaning. Avoid the washer and instead opt for hand-washing or vacuuming and spot treating. Hand-washing is best done by filling your bathtub with water and a low suds, mild detergent. Submerge the pillow and allow the water and laundry detergent solution to seep all the way through. Rinsing can be done the same way.

How to wash a pillow by hand

Step 3: Dry Out

Feather and down pillows can both be dried in a dryer on a no-heat, air-dry setting or tumble-dry low setting. Use clean tennis balls or dryer balls to fluff the pillows and prevent clumping. Pillows that can’t be dried in a dryer, like memory foam, should be air-dried. If possible, let them hang on a clothesline outside (but only when it’s not humid).

Allow your pillows to dry completely before using them again. If you’re unsure if your pillow is thoroughly dry, follow the age-old saying, “it’s better to be safe than sorry,” and let it dry out longer. If you do end up using a wet or damp pillow, you risk mildew.

How Long Does it Take to Dry a Pillow?

No matter the method you use, drying your pillows can take several hours. Check in every hour or so to see if they need to dry out longer. Squeeze each pillow one at a time to feel for any dampness as you go.

To Wash or Toss?

If you’ve just finished washing your pillow and it still has the same odors it had before washing, it’s time to toss. Old pillows that stay folded in half without your assistance also indicate it’s time for a replacement.

Pillows that didn’t smell before washing but began to afterward probably weren’t dried long enough. Wash it again and let it dry for a longer period of time. To extend the life of your pillows, use a cover under your pillowcase and wash both regularly.

Now tNow that you know how to wash pillows, it’s time to add them to your cleaning schedule and reap the benefits. If your washing machine is big enough to handle it all in one go, throw your sheets and pillow case in the wash together and get ready for the best sleep of your life.

If it’s time to start looking for a new pillow but you’re not sure what to get, try out our Original Casper Pillow for the ultimate night’s sleep.

A pillow is one of those things a lot of us forget to clean on a regular basis, assuming that a pillow protector or pillowcase will protect the pillow. However, this is a misconception. Your pillows, shams and even your throws attract all the dead skin, bed bugs and other creepy bacteria over the course of their use, and must be cleaned on a regular basis.

You can follow these simple steps and keep those unwanted visitors out of your pillows!

Step 1: Instructions Label

Your pillow will always come with an instructions label. Before deciding to wash or dry clean your pillow, read the instruction label.

Step 2: Wash vs. Dry Clean

If your instructions advise you to only dry clean your pillow, do not attempt to wash it just to save a trip and few dollars. Take your pillow to the dry cleaners and ask them to do the job.

Step 3: Machine Wash vs. Hand Wash

If you are going to wash you pillow in the washing machine, try and do so in a separate cycle without any other linen or washing. Pillows should always be washed on ‘delicate’ mode. This prevents them from losing shape.

Pillows have different fillings, and therefore, for best results always use gentle soap and, if possible, avoid washing powder. Liquid soap is usually the best option to go with. When the wash cycle has finished, go through the rinse cycle at least two to three times to make sure all the soap has been completely washed out. Do the same for the spin feature to take out maximum amount of water from the pillows.

If you are washing your pillows by hand, fill in a tub of warm water with some mild liquid soap and a few drops of bleach. Immerse the pillow completely into the water and cover the tub. Leave for about half an hour. Then squeeze the pillow a few times to get dirt and stuff out. Rinse under running water for at least 15 – 20 minutes, or till you feel that the soapy feel has disappeared. Place on a flat surface to get rid of excess water.

Step 4: Drying

Whether you wash your pillows in a washing machine or hand wash them, it is important to make sure you have a completely dry and fluffy pillow.

Pillows require plenty of space in the dryer, so do not put any other articles in the dryer with them. During the dry cycle, take them out a few times to fluff them up using your hands. If you are planning to be out whilst they are in the dryer, you can add some tennis balls or clean sneakers to do your job. As the pillows have filling in them, they will require a few cycles to completely dry out.

Once you feel they are dry, give them a few punches to bring back the fluffiness, and leave in an airy and moisture free room for a day or so, as there may still be some moisture deep inside the pillow that you may not be able to feel but is a perfect breeding ground for mould. Once finished, you are ready to use your pillows again.

How to wash a pillow by hand

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Did you know that experts recommend that you wash and disinfect pillows once a month? Do you regularly do this?

To prevent your pillows from housing bacteria and dangerous microorganisms, we’ll show you simple ways to clean them.

Many people are very careful with bedding. In addition to airing it out daily, sheets and bedding requires daily cleaning and proper maintenance. That way, you prevent dust buildup,among other things.

However, most people usually just wash pillowcases. Thus, we often forget the pillows themselves. This is a big mistake. They accumulate as much or even more dirt than sheets and blankets.

When opening doors and windows, dust gets on the bedding, as well as on the pillows. You also add dust when you go to bed at night.

So, why not give them a good wash?

How to Wash and Disinfect Pillows Easily

Below, we’ll show you how to wash and disinfect pillows quickly. Then, you can do it more regularly without adding more stress to your busy days.

1. In the washing machine

You can wash most pillows in the washing machine without problems. However, you should always check the label first.

One that’s done, follow these tips:

  • Use liquid soap, not powder. This way, you can be sure all of the cleaner washes out.
  • Wash other light garments with the pillows. This way, your washing machine is balanced and doesn’t get ruined.
  • Rinse them twice. By doing this, all of the detergent will definitely be washed out.

When you have completed this process, let them dry in the sun for a full day. This part is very important. If they’re wet on the inside, they could get moldy.

Cleaning pillows at home is quite easy; it’s basically like doing a standard load of laundry, just make sure to wash two at a time to keep the machine balanced. The following instructions for how to wash your pillows are for washing natural fiber (down) or synthetic pillows.

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How to wash a pillow by hand

Does your naked pillow bear a couple stains? Perhaps even a yellowish ring or two? Yeah, it’s time for a pillow bath. With all the sweat, drool, and bacteria that can be harbored in your cushion, it’s relieving to know that you could keep it fresh with a laundry cycle. Pillow cleaning is a task that is often overlooked, and should be done at least twice a year to remove mold and odors.

Note: Do not wash a foam pillow in the washing machine; skip down to “Foam” for cleaning instructions.

Double Check the Label

Before you begin the laundering process, make sure to read the care labels on your soiled items. This will tell you what materials the cushion is made with, which informs you how to wash your pillow, along with other potentially important info. If the label has been removed, default to the “gentle” cycle on the machine with warm water, and later add on an extra cold water rinse and spin cycle.

Products to Use

Low-sudsing, high-efficiency laundry detergent (liquid or powder) can work just fine on it’s own. For tough stains, add in this potent solution with the detergent: 1/2 cup washing soda, 1 cup dishwasher solution, 1 cup bleach (feather pillows excluded – only use a small amount of detergent).

Steps for Washing Your Pillows

  1. For an extra deep cleaning, start out by soaking your pillows in hot water and detergent. This gives the cleaning products a head-start on tackling stains and germs. You can do this right in your washer if it’s a top-loading machine, otherwise, you’ll have to do the soaking in a separate container (or your bathtub). Submerge the pillows and begin soaking once all the cleaning solution has been dissolved in the water.
  2. Time to cycle. It is recommended that you wash two pillows in the machine at a time to keep it balanced. Place the pillows in vertically if your machine has an agitator in it’s center (large spindle); this will prevent the cushions from wrapping around the device and getting damaged.
  3. Once you’ve washed the pillows, run them through the rinse cycle two times to rid all soap.
  4. Set the dryer to low heat for synthetic pillows or to tumble dry (no heat) for feather pillows. Throw in a couple wool dryer balls to keep the pillows plump and prevent the filling from clumping.
  5. Take the pillows out periodically to turn and fluff by hand.
  6. Pillows take much longer to dry than a load of clothes. If you sense a musty smell after cleaning the pillows, set them in the sun.

How to Wash Foam Pillows

Pillows made out of foam cannot be thrown in the washing machine, as wet foam is heavy and tears easily. Check the care label for washing instructions before cleaning.

  • Start out by vacuuming both sides with the upholstery tool to remove as much dust as possible.
  • Spot clean any soiled areas with a mild dish soap solution and wash cloth, then rinse off with a damp cloth.
  • Let the pillow air dry on a rack or tumble it in the dryer on the no-heat setting for 20 minutes. Make sure that there is absolutely no heat in this cycle because foam pillows can melt.

When to Toss Your Pillow

Even after habitual cleanings, there will come a time when you need to replace your pillows. If, after a thorough wash, stubborn stains won’t release, or the pillow looses its shape or “spring” when folded, it’s time for a replacement.

To prolong the life of new and clean pillows, use pillowcase liners and wash them monthly.

Throw pillows add a little extra support to your sofa and up its wow factor. They’re an essential part of this piece of furniture, which means they experience regular wear and tear and are likely in need of a good cleaning. And since pet dander, stains, and even dust mites can build up on and inside the pillows you keep on your couch, regular maintenance is key. Ahead, an expert shares how and when to wash these pieces.

Start with the right pillows.

According to Kadi Dulude, the owner of Wizard of Homes, the best way to keep your sofa’s throw pillows clean is selecting the correct iterations in the first place; these poufs should be able to withstand your lifestyle. “If you have a busy home with pets and kids, it’s not wise to choose pillows that are high maintenance,” she says. That means nixing any dry-clean-only fabrics, she adds.

Stay on top of maintenance.

Regular spot cleaning will keep your pillows looking fresher for longer and allow you to extend the period in between full-blown washes, which is why Dulude recommends treating any stains as soon as you find them. As for when to tackle that deep clean? Time washes with seasonal changes, roughly every three months. “Spot clean first, then wash according to instructions,” she adds.

No instructions? Use your best judgement.

If you have had your pillows for a while, or if you were quick to snip off those bothersome tags when you added these supports to your sofa, you might not know exactly how to launder them. Don’t fret, says Dulude. Simply use your best judgement, instead. “Try your best to identify the pillow’s fabric type and wash it like you normally would,” she says. “If you’re not entirely sure, then just clean one pillow first—not all at once.” To be extra safe, she suggests using cold water and switching on the delicate cycle, as well. And if you simply don’t want to tackle this process yourself? “Another idea is to search for an upholstery cleaner and get the couch and pillows shampooed by a professional,” she says.

Spray them down weekly.

Another way to keep your non-dry-clean-only pillows looking their best? Get into a weekly habit of spraying them down with vinegar and tossing them into your dryer, notes Dulude: “This helps keep them smelling fresh and removes all sorts of dust mites and allergens.”

Know when it’s time to replace these pillows.

Even with proper upkeep, your throw pillows won’t last forever. “If there are rips and the seams are falling apart, then it’s likely time to get a fresh piece—unless you know a great seamstress who can fix it for you,” Dulude concludes.