How to Wash a Pillow Properly Without Damaging It

Here, we analyze the safest ways to wash a pillow depending on its type and fill, and give some tips on the process and how often you should do it.
Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
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Includes well-known professionals, who together provide decades of sleep medicine experience that enables Talk About Sleep to fulfill its mission of creating access to high- read more
Last updated: September 05, 2023
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Do you want to sleep better at night? Do you want to have a smoother face? Then you need to care for your pillows Trusted Source Pillow - Wikipedia A pillow is a support of the body at rest for comfort, therapy, or decoration. Pillows are used by many species, including humans. Some types of pillows include throw pillows, body pillows, decorative pillows and many more. . One of the ways to properly care for your pillow is to wash it. Many people, though, have no idea that pillows should, and can, be washed. In this post, we will show you how to wash a pillow.

There are several types of pillows available, and each one has its unique means of washing. We will analyze the most common types of pillows and how you can wash each one correctly.

How often should you wash your pillow?

Most people are familiar with washing beddings like bedsheets and pillowcases. However, few people realize the need to clean their pillows. How often should a pillow be washed?

While other beddings should be washed regularly, pillows can be overlooked for a relatively long time before you clean them.

It is recommended that you wash your pillows once every six months. However, that is not a hard and fast rule because some also recommend that you wash the pillows every three months in a year. Pillowcases, on the other hand, should be washed as regularly as your normal bedding.

Apart from knowing when to wash the pillow, you should also know when it is time to dispose of a pillow.

Experts recommend that you change your pillow after every two years or even less Trusted Source Here's how often you should replace everything in your bedroom This is how often you should replace or toss everything from your mattress and pillows to your underwear, according to the experts. . However, since there are different types of pillows, they have different lifespans, and some can last for a longer time.

How to wash a down alternative (polyester) pillow

If you are allergic to down, then a polyester pillow might just be right for you. These pillows are relatively cheap, hypo-allergenic, and easy to manage. They are versatile options that are available in different ranges of thicknesses and are covered with different types of fabrics.

Cleaning polyester pillows is not difficult. If you use these pillows and wash their case often, then you can wash the pillows once or twice per year.

To wash a polyester pillow, you’ll need the following:

  • Towels
  • Dryer
  • Washer
  • Water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Stain remover

With all these gathered, here is how to wash your polyester pillows.

  1. Treat the stains

How to Wash a Pillow Properly Without Damaging ItThe first thing to do is to check for stains on the pillow. If you observe stains, then you can use the stain remover on them. After applying the remover, use a soft brush to work on the stain and allow for setting fifteen minutes before the wash the other parts of the pillow.

  1. Use the washer

How to Wash a Pillow Properly Without Damaging ItNext, use warm water and detergent to wash the pillow. Use a gentle cycle in the washer. After the cycle, run the pillows through another rinse cycle to wash off any detergents that might still be lurking.

  1. Load the washer

How to Wash a Pillow Properly Without Damaging ItThe type of loader you have will affect how you load it. If it is a typical top-load washer, then you might want to wash a pair of pillows to prevent imbalance. You could also add other things like towels to ensure good balance.

  1. Dry correctly

How to Wash a Pillow Properly Without Damaging ItAfter washing in the washer, dry the pillow correctly. Fluff the polyester filling before the pillows are passed through the dryer. You could add other things like tennis balls or canvas shoes to eliminate clumps. Set the dryer to low or medium heat. You could add dryer balls like the XIEHE Dryer Balls, which are great because they are made of non-toxic materials and will help to make your pillows fluffier.

How to wash a down and feather pillow

The feather or down pillows come with materials from geese or ducks. These pillows are some of the best because of their warmth. They are also more expensive than many other types of pillows, especially polyester pillows.

It should be noted that these pillows can trigger allergies. You might come down with watery eyes, itching, and other problems because of down pillows. It is, therefore, doubly important that you wash these pillows correctly.

Here is how to wash these pillows.

Washing of feather and down pillows

These pillows can be washed with a machine. Before you wash, some of the things that you will need include

  • Washing machine
  • Mild powder detergent
  • Warm water

These pillows should be washed on a warm setting and with mild powder detergent. Using a liquid detergent can lead to complications because they might stick to the feathers or leave a residue on the surface of the fabric, which can lead to clumping.

Washing with a machine

How to Wash a Pillow Properly Without Damaging ItWhen using a washing machine, it is advisable that you don’t use an agitator. If you use the agitator, you run the risk of damaging the pillows. If the machine must run with the agitator, ensure that the pillows are vertically positioned in the washing machine.

Furthermore, it is prudent to wash two pillows at a time to maintain balance in the washing machine.

Drying the feather pillow

How to Wash a Pillow Properly Without Damaging ItAs these are delicate pillows, you have to be careful as you dry them. They can be dried using your dryer. However, when using the dryer, ensure that it is in the no-heat air-dry setting. If you don’t want to use a dryer, you could air-dry it.

If you use the dryer, place tennis or dryer balls in with the pillows because they will help to break up any clumps that form.

It is very important to dry the pillows correctly because if you don’t, the moisture can cause mildew and mold.

How to wash a body pillow

Body pillows are great because they offer plenty of comfort to the sleeper. But if you use these pillows every night, they will become dirty and will need to be cleaned. If not, body oils, germs, dust, and other things can build up inside and lead to health issues.

Experts recommend that you wash body pillows every six to four months to prevent the build-up. With that in mind, how can you wash a body pillow correctly?

Well, before you start washing a body pillow, you need to know the materials used in the pillow. Some of these include down, feathers, polyester, and bamboo, among others. It is the material that will determine how best to wash it. If you don’t keep the materials in mind, you could damage the pillow.

Here are general guidelines for washing a body pillow.

  • Machine washing

How to Wash a Pillow Properly Without Damaging ItThis is the easiest way to wash a body pillow. Materials that you can wash in the machine include down, cotton, and polyester.

  • Wash the pillows alone

Pillows are large and will likely fill the whole machine. If you wash any other thing along with the pillows, you might not have enough space to properly clean the pillows. A cramped machine can also cause deformity of the pillows.

  • Use mild detergent

How to Wash a Pillow Properly Without Damaging ItWhile washing these pillows, ensure that you use a mild detergent. Using stronger detergents, bleach, or chlorine can damage your pillows.

  • Drying body pillows

After washing the pillow, air dry it or use a dryer. If you use a dryer, ensure that it is on low heat. You might have to wait for hours before the pillow is completely dry.

  • Hand washing

Another way is by washing manually. In most cases, hand washing is best when the pillow is too large or made of delicate materials. Here are the steps to follow for this method.

  • Fill a bathtub with cold water

How to Wash a Pillow Properly Without Damaging ItFirst, fill a bathtub or large bucket with water. Add mild detergent to the water and thoroughly mix it.

  • Insert the pillow into the water

Next, put the pillow into the mixture and soak it until it’s completely wet. Afterward, squeeze the soapy water and massage it out of the pillow for some minutes.

  • Rinse the pillow

Use clean, cold water to remove all the detergent in the pillow. Avoid squeezing the pillow to prevent deforming it.

After rinsing, air-dry the pillow.

Can you wash memory foam and latex pillows?

Yes, you can. Here is how to do so.

  • Mix a washing solution

Fill a bathtub or sink with lukewarm water and add a bit of gentle detergent.

  • Add the pillow

Next, submerge the pillow into the mixture and squeeze it gently for around ten minutes for the solution to move through the pillow.

  • Rinse the pillow

Remove the soapy water from the bucket or bathtub and replace it with clean water. Squeeze the pillow gently through the water to remove the soap. Don’t wring the pillow because that can cause deformation.

How to wash a decorative pillow

How to Wash a Pillow Properly Without Damaging ItDecorative or throw pillows are easy to wash. Here’s how;

  • Remove the cover from the decorative pillow. Reviews we checked reveal that the SureGuard Pillow Protectors are some of the most highly regarded options on the market.
  • Remove any stains with a pre-wash spray.
  • Machine wash the pillow, ensuring that it is on a delicate cycle.
  • Rinse the pillow with cool, clean water.

How to dry a pillow

You can dry your pillow in two ways – Air drying or using a dryer.

When air drying, lay the pillow on a flat, well-ventilated surface. Don’t expose it to direct heat or sunlight. You could use a fan to speed up the process.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, you have seen how to wash a pillow that you own. You can keep your pillow clean and free from germs and allergens by regularly cleaning it. With such a pillow, you will discover that you will sleep better and wake up feeling great.


Pillow - Wikipedia
A pillow is a support of the body at rest for comfort, therapy, or decoration. Pillows are used by many species, including humans. Some types of pillows include throw pillows, body pillows, decorative pillows and many more.
This is how often you should replace or toss everything from your mattress and pillows to your underwear, according to the experts.
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