How to Wash Pillows by Hand and in a Washing Machine: A Complete Guide

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How To Wash Pillows

If you want to learn how to wash pillows this is the only guide you’ll need. After all, some pillows can be machine-washed, while others must be hand-washed. Some pillows can sustain strong detergents, while others can’t. What’s more, some pillows cannot be washed at all!

Your pillow soaks moisture, oil, allergies, and skin cells while you’re sleeping. The pillowcase is a fantastic line of defense, but it still fails to protect the pillow. Therefore, the pillow itself needs to be washed regularly to enhance its durability and maintain overall hygiene.

However, improper washing might degrade the fill material and lower the longevity of the product. This article talks about how to wash and care for pillows based on their fill material. The discussion also includes tips for cleaning pillows without actually washing them.

Learn How to Wash Pillows in a Washing Machine in 5 Easy Steps

To wash pillows in the washing machine without ruining them, follow these steps:

1. Determine What Kind of Pillows You Have 

It’s critical to identify the type of stuffing in any dirty pillow before tossing it into the wash. The trick to a wash pillow is understanding what care each kind requires: thin foam pillows require different care than down cushions, and feathery pillows require different care than down-alternative cushions.

2. Pre-treat Pillow-Stains

Spot-cleaning your pillows in between heavier washes is always advised and is a simple approach to keep your pillows in the best shape possible. Clean dirty parts of foam pillows using a moist towel and detergent solution. Pre-treat any cushion that isn’t packed with foam to remove any stubborn stains.

3. Toss the Pillows Into the Washing Machine

It’s best to follow the recommendations on your pillow’s label. However, many people recommend washing them on a low setting with cold water.

If you decide to use bleach, use a weak detergent and proceed with caution. It’s not an outright no-no but can damage the pillow material, so don’t use much of it.

While using a top-load washing machine, fill the washer’s dispenser with a mixture of detergent and fabric softener or a disinfector, if you want. Users can use lukewarm water with light-wash settings.

However, while using a front-load washing machine, make sure to not pile all the covers in the center to avoid heavy loading.

4. Completely Dry Your Pillows

After you’ve cleaned all of your pillows, it’s essential to dry them. Hang them up somewhere in your house—preferably outside if the weather isn’t too hot—and let them dry out entirely. It’s critical to completely dry your pillows to minimize mildew. Although the drying procedure might take several hours, it is worthwhile. 

5. Take Preventative Actions to Keep Your Pillows Clean Longer

If cleaning your pillows isn’t on your priority list, ensure you’re washing the pillowcases continuously. This is an excellent method for extending the length between heavier washes. Pillow guards or pillowcases could be a good investment to preserve from becoming too soiled.

Learn How to Hand Wash Pillows in 7 Easy Steps

To hand wash pillows without ruining them, follow these steps:

1. Read the Instructions

Read the care directions label after removing the pillowcase. Some pillows are not machine washable, while others require particular care. This tag should also include any special cleaning recommendations for your goods, such as whether they should be cleaned in warm or cold water. It’s also advisable to look for tears or holes in the cloth.

2. Take Off the Pillow Cover

It’s time to uncover your pillow if it’s ready for hand washing. Pull the pillow from the cover by unzipping it first. Always use a pillowcase with a zipper protector. It will help your pillows stay cleaned and last longer.

3. Prepare the Hot Tub or Sink 

If you’re going to clean your pillows inside the sink, ensure there’s enough room in the sink to fit the pillow. This applies to cleaning pillows inside the tub as well. The first step is to turn the tap on until it is half-full, then turn it off. When cleaning your pillows, use warm to moderate water. Dust mites on your pillows will be killed by this technique.

4. Use a Light and Friendly Washing Detergent

For every pillow, mix one tablespoon of dry detergent or 10mL of laundry soap in warm water. Then stir the water with your hands to make it foamy. To quickly wash and drain your pillows, try using a low-suds liquid soap.

5. Soak the Pillow in the Tub

Dip your pillow in warm, soap and warm water, and then dunk it to soak up the moisture. Then press and rub your pillows with both your hands. Continue repeating this for a few minutes, or until the dust is removed from your pillow. 

6. Rinse the Pillow Thoroughly Until the Water Looks Clean

It’s time to take the pillow out and squeeze the soapy water once you’ve cleaned all of your pillows in warm water and detergent. As a result, you’ll need to empty the tub and rinse it all out. Refill the tub with warm water, then place your pillows in it. Remember to squeeze your pillows one more time before you empty the tub.

7. Dry the Washed Pillows

You can either dry your pillow in a machine dryer or hang it on the balcony to sunlight and air dry.

3 Points To Consider When Drying Pillows in a Dryer

  1. Check to see whether your pillow includes a care label; otherwise, the fillings in your cushion will be ruined. Some sorts of pillows need a no-heat treatment.
  2. Keep in mind that lower and no-heat cycles may take longer, so plan accordingly. 
  3. Check for moisture, as most dryers are set to cease drying once the pillow’s exterior is dry.

4 Points To Consider When Hanging Pillows Outside To Sun-dry

  1. Hang your wet pillows on the balcony to drain all the water accumulated during washing
  2. If you don’t have access to a clothesline, you can place your pillows on a level surface to simulate sunbathing.
  3. Please be on the lookout for any bumps or cold places. Squeezing the edges of your pillow to get an even distribution of stuffing might help you avoid this.
  4. When you discover that nearly all the moisture in your pillows has gone, lightly fluff it and rotate it from side to side every hour.

How Do You Keep Pillows Clean to Avoid Washing Them?

You won’t have to wash your pillows as much if you take steps to keep them clean. Here are some suggestions for keeping your pillow clean.

Use a Pillowcase To Protect Your Pillow

Pillowcases protect your pillows from spillage and dirt. Once per week, wash your pillow cover to reduce filth build-up and extend the life of your pillow. You can wash a bed sham pillowcase less frequently, roughly every 2 to 4 weeks, if you use it as a decoration cushion and don’t sleep on it.

Get Rid of Stains Immediately

Clean your pillow stains whenever needed. Stain cleaning your pillow will keep you from having to clean it as frequently, but it will not match a complete cleaning. If you drop a yellowish liquid, you can pre-clean the stain to prevent it from spreading.

Follow the No-food Rule

Avoid eating in bed. You’ve undoubtedly dropped food particles on your pillow if you eat in bed regularly. Microbes, mold spores, and bed bugs are attracted to grains and spills, which can trigger allergic responses and disrupt your sleep.

How Do You Clean a Pillow That Can’t Be Hand-Washed or Machine-Washed?

Dry Clean or Blow-dry

Dry clean-only pillows, such as certain feather and down pillows, cannot be cleaned since they can be easily damaged. The easiest approach to keep them tidy is to throw them in the machine dryer for about 10 minutes on low heat.

Expose To Direct Sunlight

You can also revive your pillow by simply taking them outside and keeping them in the sunlight for a while. This will refresh them and aid in the removal of dander and dust.

Clean With a Sponge

If dry cleaning is required, you can sponge-wash the fabric using a clean dry sponge dipped in the dry-cleaning fluid with circular movements, followed by blotting with a tidy white cloth.

Using DIY Cleaning Solution 

Pillows can be spot cleaned with a water solution and a few sprays of light liquid soap. Blot the stains with a clean white cloth and let them air dry. If you like, you can also use fabric upholstery cleaner.

10 Helpful Tips for Cleaning Pillows

  1. Always remove lint from the washing machine before throwing your pillows in.
  2. Use fabric conditioners with warm water to keep their material safe.
  3. Mild detergents and light bleach help keep your pillow delicacy.
  4. Washing pillows together is an efficient way to save water and time.
  5. To make a DIY upholstery shampoo, take 4 cups of warm water and add 1 tsp borax, 1 tsp liquid detergent, and ¼ cup white vinegar.
  6. Wash your removable pillowcases once every week to keep the pillow cleaner.
  7. Cleaning small spots and stains is a good idea, but always test a small area of the fabric to check for fading.
  8. To pre-teat, the dirty stains always use this stain removal recipe. Take 2 cups of water, add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 1 cup of washing soda.
  9. To keep your pillows fresh, use disinfectors and room fresheners.
  10. Each week while vacuuming your furniture, vacuum over the pillow to keep them clean.  


Are Bamboo Pillows Washable?

Yes, bamboo pillows are washable. However, it is recommended to hand-wash them. Bamboo pillows, particularly those made with standard foam padding, cannot be laundered in the washing machine. The cleaning cycle is too harsh for memory foam, causing it to lose its form and perhaps disintegrate.

Are Gel-Infused Pillows Washable?

Yes, but make sure to always hand wash a gel cushion. You must treat your gel-infused pillows with caution. Hand washing is always preferable to machine washing. Baking soda can be used to clean your gel pillows. It is a great way to get rid of wetness and odors from your pillow. 

Are Down Pillows Washable?

It is simple to clean down and feather pillows. In fact, unlike synthetic pillows, it rejuvenates them to be as bouncy as when they were new.

Down and feather pillows can be washed in any kind of washing machine and come out looking like new. It’s one of the advantages of using natural materials to stuff down and feather pillows. 

Are Latex Pillows Washable?

Yes, latex pillows can be washed. Apart from providing firm support to your head, latex pillows are also cooler and less likely to collect dust mites than ordinary pillows. They must, however, must not be cleaned in the same manner as conventional pillows in order to keep these qualities. 

How Do You Remove Sweat Odor From a Pillow Without Washing It?

Place the pillow flat on a level surface, sweat stains facing up. Fill a medium tub with equal ounces of water with hydrogen peroxide and whisk with a spatula.

Squeeze the surplus liquid off a clean sponge after dipping it in the mixture. Apply this particular solution to the sweat stain until all remnants are removed. 

How Do You Clean a Memory-foam Pillow Without Ruining It?

In a spray bottle, use mixed water and vinegar to wash the stain off memory foam pillows. If you wish to mask the vinegar odor, add a splash of fresh lime juice to the solution.

Take off the pillow cover to treat the stains directly. Instead of scrubbing or rubbing, use blotting movements. Less delicate strokes might harm the foam structure of the cushion. Wipe up the spill with a damp towel and a little detergent. 

How Do You Wash Fur Pillows?

Fill a big bucket halfway with lukewarm water and mild washing powder. Fill the case with water and stir it with your palms until bubbles form. Let the fake fur pillow sit for around 20 minutes before rinsing it in a big sink with lukewarm water. Leave the pillowcase to dry naturally rather than in the dryer. 

How do you Deep Clean Pillows in the Bathtub?

Using a damp sponge, clean the bathtub first, allowing unclean water to drain into the tub. Clean the tub well with water. Fill the bathtub halfway. Add vinegar into the bathtub. In a spray bottle, combine water and vinegar.

Vinegar is a good antibacterial and cleanser for pillows. It also works well on unclean bamboo pillows, but it can be too harsh on some down pillows. Let the pillows soak in soap water for a while, and leave it for 20-30 minutes.

Rinse them thoroughly and wash them until the water in the bathtub is clear. Hang your damp pillows on the balcony until they’re completely dry. 

Does Washing Pillows with Bleach Damage them?

While bleach can be used on pillows, the toxins present in bleach, particularly sodium hypochlorite, can inflict material damage. It is first and primarily a cleaner before it is a whitening gel, and it has been expressly developed to kill and clean rather than repair.

It is advisable to avoid solutions that contain potentially hazardous chemicals such as bleach and ammonia. When you lie on a newly cleaned bleach pillow, you can consume the toxins, which can be hazardous to your health. 

Does Washing Pillows Cause Clumping?

Sometimes, cleaning can cause clumping. There are some measures you can take to get rid of pillow clumping. It’s as simple as tossing a flattened or lumpy pillow in the machine dryer with a ball, using a thinner pillowcase, or leaving the pillows out in the sunlight to fix it.

These tips are especially useful if you’ve recently cleaned your pillows, but they can also assist maintain your pillow fluffed in between washes.

How to Wash Yellow Pillows?

Even if you wash your pillows, pillow coverings, and bed linens regularly, yellowing appears to be unavoidable. This is because we spend a significant amount of time in our bedding, where we sweat, releasing acids and salts that cause yellowing.

Use vinegar and soap to lighten your yellowed pillows. Simply add 1 cup of dishwashing detergent, half a cup of vinegar, 3 teaspoons of washing powder, and 3/4 cup of sodium percarbonate to your washing machine. Then, place your pillows in the washing machine and start the cycle.

How Often Should You Wash Your Pillows?

The general agreement among specialists appears to be that the average individual should wash their pillow 2 or 3 times every year. These changes depend on a few things, including your local temperature. Pillows should be cleaned as frequently as 4 times annually in hotter locations.

The Bottomline Is…

Pillows will gather dust, dander, skin oil, grime, and other debris over time and will need to be cleaned at some point.

There are several ways to clean your pillows, and the one you choose will be decided by the information on the maintenance tag or the material characteristics used in their creation.

While a few pillows can be cleaned, some cannot, and we’ve included some of the most efficient cleaning techniques for non-washable pillows. We hope you will find them useful.

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