Washing Pillow in Washing Machine - All you Need to Know

Is your pillow dirty? Do you want to wash your pillow without damaging its fabric? Your pillows can accumulate dust particles, oil, and sweat. It can make your pillow look yellowish. You may have a question in your mind that can you wash pillows or not. Dirty pillows are less comfortable to use. So, you should wash your pillows once a year. 

Also, you need to change your pillows after some time. Here is What to do with OLD Pillows?

Click Here to see “Best 5 pillows for Neck Pain Releif”

How to wash your pillow

Can you wash pillows? 

You can wash your pillows unless it is mentioned on your pillow to dry clean only. You can wash the pillows with your hands and machine as well.

It depends on the material of the pillow that which method you need to wash your pillow. Each material has a different method to wash. Be sure to follow the right set of instructions to wash your pillows.

Don’t over-wash them because they will be damaged and then you have to replace them. 

However, it’s not as easy to wash the pillows as common fabrics. They are bulky and they need proper time for the drying purpose.

If you will use them without proper drying then they will cause trouble for you by creating a foul smell and their material will also be deteriorated.

Read here: What to do with old Pillows?

You also need to check the temperature of water for washing each type of pillow.

Because some pillows need cold water for washing while some of them need lukewarm water.

The quantity and quality of the detergent is also specific according to the kind of your pillow. Front-loading washers are recommended for proper washing and to avoid deterioration of the material of the pillow.

How to wash throw pillows

Throw pillows are small and decorative pillows that are made up of silk, cotton, microfibre, linen, and velvet. They are usually used in interior design. They are used for head and neck support and we use them frequently.

You should keep them clean to avoid the smell, dust, and the formation of different bacteria on it.

Now the question may come in your mind can you wash your throw pillows? Before washing you have to check which type of throw pillow you have.

There are different types of throw pillows and their cleaning methods are also different. You can wash some type of throw pillows in your machine and with hands while some of them can only be cleaned by any piece of fabric.  

  • Check the care label on your pillow and determine which cleaning method will be the best for washing your pillow. If there is no care label on your pillow then check its fabric.
  • For velvets and silk, you need dry cleaning fluid. For cotton and polyester fabric, you can wash with water. 
  • You can do a spot test to check either the color of the pillow remains the same or get faded. 
  • For washing your throw pillows, you have to remove its cover and wash them as well. 
  • A pretreatment solution will be used for stains. You can use a sponge to rub on stains to get rid of them. 
  • Wash your pillow in warm water and you have to use a front-loading washer. It will on a delicate cycle. 
  • Only use a mild detergent to wash properly.
  • After washing hangs the pillow in a ventilated area. 
  • You should completely dry your throw pillow before using it again.

How to wash feather pillows

If you love to make feather pillows instead of polyester and other material then you shouldn’t be worried about the cleaning of your feather pillows. You can wash them easily in your home. You can save your pillows for a long time if you wash them at least once a year. 

For washing feather pillows, you should consider some factors before washing to avoid any inconvenience: 

  • The efficiency of the detergent should be high and you have to use low suds detergent.
  • The temperature of the water should be cool. 
  • You need to use a gentle cycle to wash your feather pillows. 
  • The drying cycle type will be medium heat. You should dry it with dryer balls. 

To maintain the balance you need to load only two pillows on each side of the agitator. You can put any extra towel as well to maintain the balance if you don’t have two pillows. Add only 1-2 teaspoons of high-efficiency low suds detergent. You should repeat the rinse cycle to completely clean your feather pillows.

Fluff your pillows before drying. You can add wool dryer balls, or clean tennis balls or shoes to help break up clumps of the feathers during the drying. Stop the dryer and re-fluff your pillows by hand. Drying time can be different according to the size of the feather pillow. 

  • Wash your feather pillows in low humidity. You should select a sunny day to quickly dry the pillow. 
  • There should be a washable cover on the pillow to keep it clean for a long time. These covers should be changed once in a week. 

Place the feather pillows in a tumble dryer to freshen them. It should be on low heat and the cycle should run for only 10 minutes. 

How to wash down pillows

Down pillows are made from animal products such as the back, wing, and chest feathers of ducks and geese. These pillows can also be re-cased and available in different sizes.

These are one of the most expensive pillows. The shape of the down pillows is quite different from feather pillows. Down pillows are usually known as undercoating of the bird. These have insulating qualities. 

You need to take good care of these pillows to use them for years. You can wash down pillows to kill any dust mites and bacteria as well. 

  • First of all, you have to uncover the pillow from its pillowcase. Check the pillow is it safe from any hole or rips. If there are any holes, then you need to sew them before washing. 
  • Put the pillows in the washing machine and if they are unable to fit then try to squeeze. Don’t wash a single down pillow in the washing machine, it will affect the balance. You should use only the front-loaded washer for washing down pillows because a top-loading washer can damage your pillows. 
  • If in case you only have top loaded washer then put the pillows vertically, in this way they will not be damaged due to agitator. 
  • Use a liquid detergent that should be highly efficient and you need to use it only in a small amount. If you will use a powdered detergent then there are chances to cause build-up. 

Due to this build-up and residue, it can be allergic and may cause irritation to the skin. 

  • It is difficult to rinse the pillows because they are bulky, so if you will use less detergent then you have to rinse it less as well. 
  • The cycle of the washing machine will be delicate. If you can use hot water then it will be best for killing the mites and bacteria. But too hot water can damage the pillows. So, you can also use cold water to avoid any damage to your down pillow. 
  • After washing, press down your pillows in two towels. Towels will soak up extra water from the pillows. Don’t twist the pillows during this process. 
  • Then put your pillows in the dryer and then completely dry your down pillows. 

Don’t use wet pillows because they will be smelly after a short time. 

Can you wash memory foam pillows?

Memory form pillows contain solid pieces or shredded memory foam. Memory form is hypoallergenic and it is resistant to bacteria. It is stress-relieving. Memory foam can also trap sweat particles and dead skin cells.

To avoid the smell, you may think can you wash memory foam pillows like other pillows? 

  • You can clean your memory foam pillow but you can’t wash it into the machine. The spin cycle in the washing machine will damage the memory foam. 
  • There are special instructions on the care tag to properly clean your memory foam pillow. You have to sprinkle one side of your pillow with baking soda. Let it sit for 1-2 hours along with the exposure to sunlight.
  • Vacuum the surface of the pillow by using upholstery attachment and remove the baking soda. Then repeat the same process of the second side of your pillow. 
  • If there are spots on your memory foam pillow, then use a dry cloth to blot the stain. You have to use lifting motion for removing the stain. Use lukewarm water and detergent. Soak a piece of towel in the detergent and then rub the stain gently. Repeat the process, again and again, to get rid of stains. 
  • For deep cleaning, you can fill a tub with water and then add detergent in it. Dip your pillows completely in the tub and squeeze the form gently. After the removal of stains, repeat the process until the clearance of water.
  • Gently squeeze the pillow to remove the water and then place it on a dry towel. Let the pillow to air dry. It may take almost 24-36 hours for drying properly. 


Pillows can absorb dust particles, sweat particles bacteria, and skin dead cells. They become smelly due to these factors. Proper cleaning of pillows helps to get rid of the smell and it also helps in freshening your pillow. You can wash some pillows in the machine while some of them can only be washed through hands. The pillows which can be washed in the machine are throw pillows, down pillows, and feather pillows. Memory foam pillows cannot be washed in a machine because they are delicate and they will be damaged in machine.