How To Clean Pillows

Pillows, like any other household item, need to be cleaned once in a while. While we rarely forget to wash our sheets regularly, we often tend to ignore the pillows. Although pillows are protected by the pillowcases, they tend to accumulate dust and get dirty. While it’s not necessary to clean pillows as frequently as the bed sheets, giving them a good wash every 4-6 months is advisable.

Cleaning pillows may often turn out to be a tricky task. With all the funky types of pillows that are available in the market, it is essential to know how to effectively clean these different types of pillows. From foam to down-filled, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to buying pillows. All these different pillows need to be cleaned in different ways to keep them protected from wear and tear.

This article will serve as a guide to cleaning different types of pillows.

How to clean down pillows

For this, all you need is a gentle laundry detergent and a tennis ball (or a clean tennis shoe). Take a look at the label on the pillow to ensure they are washable. Often Down pillows are marked “dry clean only,” in which case washing will badly damage the fabric of these pillows. If they are washable then instead of doing a full wash, it is advisable to put them in the dryer and set it on low heat.

This will help remove most of the dust and dander. You can also put the down pillows outside in the shade; this will freshen them. Use a very gentle detergent for washing these types of pillows and wash them in warm water. A detergent that has bleach or enzymes in them should not be used for washing down pillows.

Wash these down pillows two at a time on the medium cycle. In the case of top loading washing machines, you need to make sure the pillows are submerged and fully wet before starting the cycle. Wash the pillows for not more than 8 minutes. Keep an eye of the pillows throughout the washing cycle and once it is done, lift them out of the water and move them around a bit. Rinse them at least twice or thrice.

Add a few tennis balls or a clean tennis shoe to the dryer and use the lowest possible setting to dry them on. Take the pillows out every few minutes and give them a nice shake. It takes quite a while for wet pillows to dry but it is highly recommended not to leave them damp.

How to clean feather pillows

Just as in the case of down pillows, all you need for cleaning feather pillows are a few tennis balls/ clean tennis shoe and a gentle laundry detergent. Never use a detergent that contains bleach or enzymes in them. Use cool water for washing feather pillows and wash them two at a time to balance the washer load.

For top loading machines, ensure the pillows are fully submerged and wash them for around 8 minutes. Keep checking the pillows throughout the washing cycle and lift them out once they are done. Rinse the pillows twice or thrice, depending on how dry they are.

A very critical thing to remember after washing feather pillows is to let them dry off outside in the shade and allow the feathers to completely dry. The heat from the dryer causes the feather to release certain oils which give off a weird smell. While the pillows dry outside, give them a nice shake once in a while to allow the feather to rearrange and get dry throughout.

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If drying outside is not an option, use a clothesline or a rack. You may also consider putting a fan near the pillows and turning it on. An alternative option is to put a few tennis balls in the dryer and set the dryer for air-dry. This will fluff up the feathers as the pillows are drying.

How to clean polyester pillows

The process of cleaning polyester pillows is not very different from the previous two pillows. Polyester pillows need to be washed with cool water, and a mild detergent should be used. Wash the pillows on the medium cycle, two pillows at a time. Make sure the pillows are completely wet and submerged in water in case of top loading machines.

Wash the pillows for about 8 minutes. You need to check the pillows throughout the washing cycle as these pillows tend to float on top of the water after a while and as a result, don’t get thoroughly clean.

Once the cycle is complete, lift them out of the water and move them around. Rinse the pillows no less than two or three times. Just like in the case of the other pillows, you can add a few tennis balls in the dryer and set it at low settings. Hang the pillows outside to freshen them.

How to clean foam pillows

Unlike the other pillows, you cannot wash foam pillows in washing machines unless the pillows have a removable cover. Check the tag for instructions on how to wash them and follow it. You need to use the upholstery tool of your vacuum cleaner and vacuum both sided of the pillow to remove dust from them. You can consider dialing down the suction level to make the job much easier.

You can also put the pillows in the dryer and set it on the no heat/air-only cycle for around 20 minutes. Any soiled areas on the pillow should be cleaned with a cloth dipped in a mild sudsy solution and then rinsed with a damped cloth. The pillows should be air dried completely before you consider putting them back on the bed.

Foam pillows often come with hand washing instructions. If you choose to hand wash the pillows then do so very gently. Use a very mild detergent and make sure it does not have bleach. Wet foam is quite heavy and tends to tear easily.

Hopefully, this article has been helpful to you and made you aware of the various techniques that should be used to wash different types of clothes. If you follow the above instructions carefully, you can increase the longevity of your pillows significantly.

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