How to Wash Pillows | A Complete Guide

A healthy lifestyle includes getting a good night’s sleep, and everyone enjoys getting into a bed with fresh and clean bedsheets. However, when did you last wash your pillows? Is washing pillows on your to-do list for cleaning the house? Most likely not. Many people wash their bed linens, pillowcases, bath towel, pool towel, hand towels, and even throw blankets once a week or more, but they hardly ever give their pillows any thought.

Why do I need to wash my pillows?

Dr. Neil Kao, an allergist-immunologist in Greenville, South Carolina, claims that “Hair, dead skin cells, sweat, and drool accumulate over time on pillows. And all that filth is essentially the thing that dust mites prefer to munch on, which boosts their population and raises your risk of developing an allergy to them.”

Although washing your pillow may not have occurred to you, there is one important thing that you must know an old, unwashed pillow may contain up to 10% of its weight in skin scale mold, dead and living dust mites, and their allergen-filled droppings. If washing pillows is not a regular practice for you, all that gross stuff can cause the fill material to degrade, leaving you with a lumpy, unclean, and uncomfortable pillow.

Wash your pillows in 3 easy steps

  1. Look for any obvious stains on the pillow cover and clean them with a laundry pre-treatment. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Next, put pillows in the washing machine’s drum. If at all feasible, wash two pillows one by one to prevent the machine from becoming imbalanced.
  2. Fill the dispenser with a modest amount of detergent. (Adding additional detergent will not make the pillows cleaner; rather, it will add more residue.) To ensure that any extra detergent is eliminated, wash in warm water and add an additional rinse cycle. After the cycle is finished, place the pillows and a few dryer balls in the dryer (or tennis balls). This prevents the fill from clumping, resulting in pillows that are extra-fluffy.
  3. It’s crucial to get the pillow completely dry—otherwise, you risk mildew. If the pillows are filled with down or fiber, dry them for an hour or so on extra-low or no heat.

After the dryer is finished, remove the pillows and squeeze them firmly in a few different places to see whether any moisture is still present. You should make sure your pillows are completely dry before placing them back on your bed.

A tip for you! Air out your pillows if you choose not to wash them for some reason. It entails fluffing your pillows every day to maintain their shape and get rid of dust. Then, for a few hours every month or so, hang them outside on a clothesline. Ideally, do this on a sunny, windy day. Run the foam and latex pillows through the dryer on the no-heat cycle if that is not an option, as with some of these pillows.

For particular kinds of pillow fills, follow to following instructions:

  • Feather or down: The majority of down pillows can be washed in a washing machine. It is advised to use a slow spin cycle and a wash cycle with water that is between 40° and 60° (no boiling). In any event, you should examine the label to make sure that machine washing is an option. Tennis balls can be used as a balancing agent during drying by being inserted into the dryer’s drum. Additionally, you have the option of dry cleaning.


  • Synthetic pillows: A temperature of up to 40 degrees can be used to wash the synthetic pillow. Tennis balls may also be needed when washing synthetic pillows to keep the filling from forming a ball. In order to equalize the load, it is best to wash a few pillows at a time in warm water on the delicate cycle. Use only a small amount of detergent—about 1 tablespoon of liquid soap.


How Often Should I Wash Pillows?

Pillows have a little more flexibility than the rest of your bedding, which you should wash frequently. Every six months, pillows should at the very least get a good wash.

Can I wash my pillows in a washing machine?

Absolutely, washing pillows won’t damage them. Your pillow has care tags that indicate whether it can be washed in the washing machine on the side. However, it’s simple to do and most materials such as cotton, down, and synthetic materials can.

When should I get new pillows?

For a healthy sleeping environment, it is wise to spend money on excellent pillows, wash them twice a year, and replace them at least every two to three years. Pillows affect your sleeping posture and are located adjacent to your skin and nostrils. They need to be replaced as soon as they lose their “loft” (height) and start to look lumpy, discolored, or deformed.

Take Away

After learning a few fundamental guidelines, washing your pillow won’t seem like such a big task. Even though sweat, body oil, and dead skin cells are somewhat protected by pillowcases, they can nevertheless accumulate inside of our pillows. It’s preferable to wash pillows once every four to six months to avoid microbial buildup. Maintain good personal hygiene, and make sure your pillows are clean before bed. Happy cleaning and thanks for reading!

Our Recommendation:

To keep pillows free of pollutants like sweat, body oils, and face cream, we advise using pillow covers. Wash your linens and the pillowcase and cover on a regular basis, like once a week.


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