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How to Wash Pillows: A Complete Guide

Fact Checked
Up to date
Update: April 27, 2023
5 min read

Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
How To Wash Pillow

When was the last time you washed your pillow? Most of us don’t tend to remember. While you may be meticulous when washing your sheets, covers, and blankets. But pillows are sadly neglected for a long time. 

Unwashed pillows can become a home for dust, debris, dead skin cells, and so much more. Yucky, isn’t it? To maintain proper hygiene, you should wash your pillows every 3 to 6 months, sooner if you tend to sweat excessively. But how to wash a pillow? Let’s find out!

How to Wash Pillows in a Washing Machine?

Can you wash pillows in a washing machine? Well, see the rules for machine-washing pillows. 

  • Always check the care instructions first. Your pillow will have a small label with all the washing rules. See if you can machine wash it or wash it by hand. 
  • Go for a gentle cycle and avoid extremely hot water as it can damage the fillings of the pillow. 
  • Choose a mild detergent, and don’t go for harsh spot treatments. 
  • Once you are done washing the pillow, check for any soap residue and wash it off. 

How to Wash Different Types of Pillows

Pillows come with stuffing that varies from one another. So, can you wash the pillows? Well, you must always opt for washing pillows using the right method that suits your pillows. After all, you want it to come out fresh and not damaged. Let’s learn more below!

How to Wash Feather Pillows

If you want to save on dry cleaning, washing pillows in the washing machine is the best way forward. The general rule is you can wash two pillows at a time, so a proper balance is maintained. However, only use cold water and gentle detergent when washing feather pillows. But make sure you run an extra cycle just to ensure all the detergent is rinsed. 

How to Wash Memory Foam Pillows

Soaking memory foam or latex pillows is not feasible as it can damage the fill. Therefore, 

  • First, remove the covers and put them to wash
  • Check the instructions on the care label and see if you can machine wash them 
  • Do any spot treatment if necessary
  • Always use a small amount of mild detergent to get the job done 
  • Use cold to lukewarm water how to clean pillows with memory foam or latex fills 

How to Wash Polyester Pillows

The main advantage of owning down alternative or polyester pillows is that you can easily wash them! So, how do you wash pillows with polyester fills? Machine wash it with a mild detergent and lukewarm water unless the care label says otherwise. And you are good to go. 

How To Wash Pillows With Buckwheat Hulls

To wash bed pillows like buckwheat hulls, make sure you follow the below steps;

  • Remove the pillow covers and put them to wash 
  • If necessary, spot-clean the pillow with a damp cloth
  • Remove the buckwheat hull fills and wash the pillow with cold water and mild detergent to avoid shrinkage

How To Wash Down Pillows

When cleaning down pillows, it is important to take note of the instruction label to ensure you wash them correctly. Just like with a feather pillow, you can wash two at a time to maintain balance. Also, always use a mild detergent and wash it with cold water. You can use this technique even to wash decorative pillows.

How to Dry Pillows

Now you know the best way to wash pillows as per their fills. Once the pillows are all clean, the next step is to dry them. This is vital because otherwise, it can lead to sagging and be unhygienic. To dry the pillows;

  • When it comes to your memory foam pillow, you can always sun dry it for at least four hours, flip it to the other side, and let it dry again for another four hours. Make sure it is scorched before you use it. 
  • Another trick you must use while drying down or feather pillows is to use dryer balls or clean tennis balls as it keeps the fills intact. 

8 Tips to Keep Your Pillows Clean

  1. When washing the pillows, ensure you wash your pillow covers too.
  2. Read the instructions always before you start washing your pillows.
  3. Use bleach carefully and see if it works well with your pillow type. 
  4. Use mild products while washing your pillows, such as a gentle spot cleaner and detergent. 
  5. Every 10 days, you can air dry your pillows to remove any odour and keep the pillows fresh.
  6. Use a few drops of essential oil to keep them smelling fresh. But remember, the oil may stain the pillow. 
  7. Never sleep with damp hair or a face full of makeup, as it can stain the pillows.
  8. Vacuum pillows regularly to remove all dust and debris. 

When You Should Wash Your Pillows?

As aforementioned, it is essential to wash your bedding frequently but of course, you get some extensions for pillows. How often to wash pillows? It must be washed every 3 to 6 months and sooner if needed. As for pillowcases, include them in your weekly washing routine. But even maintaining the best pillow health requires you to change them every two years. However, some pillows can last longer, such as latex. 

How often Should You Replace Your Pillows?

It is believed that you must change your pillows every two years. This enables you always to use clean and fresh pillows. However, you must wash your pillows periodically, every three months to enhance their longevity. But there are times when you can see when it is time to change your pillows. Maybe it has become stained or it has lumps. When that becomes the case, it is time for a switch.


If you haven’t thought of your pillows, now is the right time. A pillow is no less than the show’s main lead, facilitating a good night’s rest, just like your mattress or a blanket. So, make sure you wash it every 3 to 6 months. While it may sometimes seem overwhelming to wash and dry pillows, in most cases, you can put them in the washer and in the tub. However, read the instruction label to avoid any damage.


How do you wash a pillow without messing it up?

To wash your pillows without messing up, take a look at the above guide. Also, see what the instruction label says and stick to it. If your care label has become damaged or the print has faded away, you can always take a look at the brand website for more information.

How do you deep-clean a pillow?

To deep clean your pillow;

  • Remove the covers and put them to wash 
  • Do any spot treatment if necessary
  • If you can use the machine,  put it in the washer but make sure the water isn’t too hot
  • Finally, use a mild detergent to disinfect pillows. This is how to wash throw pillows as well. 

Are pillows worth washing?

Yes, you must wash them for 3 to 6 months if they are washable pillows.  

Can you put a pillow in the dryer?

Check the instruction label and see what it says as per pillow types.


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Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
Bachelor's in English Literature and Health Sciences Previously wrote blog articles for various Doctors for their websites Familiarity with various content management systems and SEO best practices

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