How to wash pillows?

How to wash pillows? Pillows are an incredibly crucial part of our daily sleep life. We spend roughly one-third of our lives asleep, so naturally, our pillows’ role is enormous in keeping our heads cradled properly throughout the night. 

Honestly, according to many experts, customers don’t put nearly as much care into purchasing their pillows as they do their mattresses and sheets. But they deserve exactly the same amount of care and respect. They take care of your head at night, so they shouldn’t be so easily disregarded. 

They’re a straight-up necessary part of achieving a proper night’s sleep when you lay down after a rough day. But because of this necessity, our pillows also need proper care in order to keep being hygienic members of our bedding family. 

Here are ten tips for how to wash pillows to keeping your pillows clean and fresh for your next night’s sleep.

1 - Airing them out

If you have a sturdy clothesline, then this step is a perfect chance to air out your pillows a little, particularly on a bright and sunny day.

This lets the pillows lose a lot of dust and other debris that might have built up and return to some of their original shapes. If you don’t have a clothesline, simply run them through the dryer on the no-heat cycle to help them restore some of their fluffy softness. 


This will not only rid the pillow of dust, dirt, oils, and lord knows what else, but come nighttime, you’ll be surprised to see how supportive and fresh smelling your pillow will be. Even if you don’t have a clothesline, simply fluff your pillows every day to help release some of that extra baggage.

2- Wash it Carefully

Some pillows care tags will mark that they should only be dry-cleaned, in which case, make an appointment to go and have that done as soon as you can. However, other pillows can, in fact, be washed at home and it’s best you do so immediately and fairly often, about two or three times per year.

  If you’re looking for tips on how to wash pillows, always start with the care tag for instructions. 


Your washing machine may only be large enough to take care of two pillows at a time. Make sure you balance them across from each other to smooth the load and set the agitator to the gentle cycle so as not to damage them. Different types of pillows require different types of care.

3- Down Pillows

Very delicate pillows that can lose their shape easily, it’s best to wash these with a very small amount of powder detergent or else something designed specifically for cleaning down based items.

Be careful about using liquid detergent due to the potential of a sticky residue left coating the surface of the pillow and this can cause clumping.

If you absolutely must use liquid detergent, then first massage the pillow in the stuff before putting it in,

4- Memory Foam and Latex

Unfortunately, these very comfortable and breathable pillows can’t be washed, or even really steamed for that matter, so dry cleaning is out of the question.

Since this is the sad case regarding these special pillows, all you can do is spot treat any stains that you might come across.

Also, buy pillow covers in order to extend the lifespan of them for as long as possible. Some pillow covers can be washed at least, so take care when purchasing those as well.

5- Polyester

One of the more common types of pillows out there, these pillows are slightly more forgiving toward less-than-gentle treatment during washing than pillows like down or memory foam are.

To properly launder these, you’ll want to wash them with warm water on the gentle cycle with only one or two at a time to balance the load. 


You don’t need a ton of detergent, only about a tablespoon or so, and that should do it. Then, either hang them up outside to dry or run them through the no-heat cycle in the dryer to finish the job.

6-Buckwheat Hulls

Not a very common form of a pillow, these pillows come with a fine buckwheat filling that must first be emptied onto a cookie sheet or into a bowl big enough to hold the entire fill. 

Although a strange pillow and not one you come across very frequently, it’s actually quite easy to take care of.

All you have to do to clean and freshen the buckwheat is to set it outside in the sun. This makes it smell better while you wash the casing in cold water and a mild detergent.

7- Drying Pillows Thoroughly

When it comes to how to wash pillows, drying can actually be one of the most crucial steps. This is always the tricky part since pillows are hard to get completely dry once they’ve been washed. 

You do have a few options available to you, however. First off, don’t use the auto-dry setting on your dryer for pillows, since it isn’t going to detect moisture inside of it. 


The last thing you want is a damp pillow that you have to wash fifty times just to dry it out in that setting. Instead, dry it for about an hour on low heat with a couple of already dry towels. 

You can even toss in a few tennis balls to help bounce around the pillows to keep the filling from clumping up. 


Down and feather pillows should have no heat settings on whatsoever and tennis balls are almost a necessity for keeping these from clumping up. You can also hang pillows out to dry on clotheslines.

8- Firefighting

Honestly, with pillows and other bedding, it’s just better to be safe than sorry.

You really should clean your pillows and sheets every couple of weeks if you can. In order to make your pillows last as long as possible, invest in a couple of really good pillow covers that you’ll wash the same way you do sheets. They’ll help keep the pillows cleaner for longer and better protected against the natural forces pillows are always up against. 

Precautions go hand in hand with how to wash pillows and one can’t really exist without the other. 

Sometimes, preparations make about the same amount of difference as the washing itself and can have roughly the same effects in the long run, extending the lifespan of your bedding far longer than expected.

9-Hand Washing

If you don’t have a washing machine or else you don’t have access to one, you always have the option to hand wash your pillows. After ascertaining the care instructions for your pillow, use baking soda to help remove any stains you might come across. Now, depending on the type of care recommended for pillows, the extent of good you can do with home treatments may be limited. Why? Some pillows straight up cannot be washed, such as latex and memory foam like we established. Proper care for pillows will determine how long they last and when they’ll need to be replaced.


Proper Steps in Hand Washing:

If your pillow is one that will allow hand washing, then here’s what you do. First, fill a tub with warm water and slowly mix in a mild detergent. Don’t use a lot of it or you’ll be rinsing soap out forever.

Let your pillows soak in the detergent for a time before beginning to squeeze and massage them through and through. This will ensure that you get all the soap through the pillow, even after you drain the water. 


You can even run the pillow under the tap if you feel like there may still be soap in there. Squeeze all excess water that you can out of the pillow, but don’t wring and twist them. 

Finally, either hang them up outside or lay them down on a flat dry surface to fully dry out.

You’ll want to make sure it’s fully dry before using it. Damp pillows are a major problem regarding mold and mildew. If the pillow smells and feels dry, then you can use it again.


10-Stay Clean

Your pillows are a crucial form of comfort you rely on every night as you prepare to drift off into dreamland. Treat them with care and they’ll return the love right back for a long time.


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