Laundry Guide: How to Properly Wash Pillows

After a long day’s work, laying down your bed and hugging your pillows feels divine. Even more so if everything in your room is clean. Since you rest your head or maybe even bury your face on your pillow every night– you want it to be as clean as possible.

By cleaning your pillow, it means the entire thing– not just the pillowcase. Aside from your sheets and comforters, you should make cleaning your pillows, mattress, and mattress topper a habit.

Did you know that most types of pillows need to be washed at least two to four times a year for them to last longer? No? Then it is probably time for you to give your pillow the cleaning it deserves.


Caring for Different Types of Pillows

There are different types of pillows: Down, Fiberfill, and Solid Foam. Each one of these pillows needs proper cleaning and care, but they are not treated the same way.

You need to be mindful of how you wash your pillows. Not all pillows can be tossed in the washer like your typical laundry. A lot of pillows are machine washable nowadays, but keep in mind that some require dry-clean only, some have front-loading washing machine restrictions, and some will only call for spot-treatment instead of a full-on wash.

Not sure what to do with your pillow? Checking the content and care tag is the best place to start.


Laundry Guide for Washing Down and Fiberfill Pillows


Down and fiberfill pillows are some of the most common types of pillows and fortunately they are machine-friendly. That means that you can wash them using a washing machine.

Since down and fiberfill are machine-friendly, you can wash them with pretty much any type of washing machine. However front-loading or top-loading machines without an agitator are the best type of machine for large items like pillows. 

In case your only available option is an agitator-style top loader, what you can do to reduce the chances of damaging your pillows and machine is to place the items in the tub vertically.

Here is the step-by-step guide to washing down and fiberfill pillows:

  1. Place your pillows in the washing machine. Remember to place them vertically if you are using a top-loading agitator-style washing machine.
  2. Select the gentle cycle on the machine and use warm water. You can then add on an extra cold water rinse and spin cycle.
  3. Add your detergent of choice.
  4. Select the low heat setting for tumbling your pillows dry. You should fluff and turn them often. 

Pro Laundry Tip: 

  • You want to wash two pillows at a time to make sure that the washer is balanced.
  • You can toss in a few dryer balls to keep your pillows plump.
  • Stop the dryer every once in a while to fluff your pillow to break up lumps.

Laundry Guide for Washing Solid Foam Pillows


If you are a fan of memory foam pillows or latex pillows, then keep in mind that you cannot put this type of pillows straight in the washing machine.

One of the selling points of foam pillows is their resistance to dust mites, but that does not mean you should not clean them at all.

Here is how you clean a solid foam pillow:

  1. Remove the pillowcase and wash it as the care tag recommends. Most pillowcases only need the normal or casual cycle on the washing machine. Add warm water and detergent then dry.
  2. Now, take your foam pillow and vacuum both sides. You can also use the dryer and let them tumble on the no-heat or air-only cycle for 20 minutes.
  3. It is not recommended to wash the whole foam pillow, so you need to do spot cleaning. Dip a clean cloth in a mild sudsy soap solution.
  4. Lightly rinse the area with a damp cloth.
  5. Air dry your foam pillow.

Bottomline

Cleaning your sheets, pillowcases, comforter, and your pillows should be a habit. You do not want to rest in a dirty bed as you may end up with pimples, allergies, etc.

However, regardless if you are cleaning your pillows properly, you should know when you need to let go. No matter how careful and thorough you are at cleaning your pillows, there will come a time when you need to replace the ones you have. You can check by folding your pillow in half, if it does not spring back into shape then it is time for a new one.

Another way to tell if you need new pillows is if they retain a funny odor despite all your efforts to clean them.

Still, there is no harm in cleaning and caring for your pillows to lengthen their usage and life.

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