How to Wash Pillows

By Laura Parker
March 14, 2019

Cute young man sleeping on bed picture id860614794

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!

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