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Washing Pillows In The Washing Machine

Updated on July 17, 2012

We sleep on them every night. It goes without saying that our pillows are going to get dirty. Why is it that 96% of Americans do not wash their pillows on a regular basis? The reason is that most people do not know how to properly wash pillows.

"Can I put my bed pillows in the washing machine?"

The answer to that question is a simple "maybe". Dependent on a few factors, you very well may have success washing pillows in the washing machine..

What Type of Pillow ?

Before you begin washing pillows in the washing machine, the most important thing that you can do is to discern what type of pillow that you have.  Certain types of common pillows are not able to be washed in a washing machine.  These kinds include feather pillows (the most common), gel and some other specialty orthopedic pillows. Pillows that are made out of polyester or foam are generally able to be washed, but be sure to check the care instructions before you toss them into the washer.

How to Wash Feather Pillows

Sadly, feather pillows can generally not be thrown in the washing machine like other types of pillows. Don't worry though, there are several things that you can do to clean feather pillows.

While you can not wash feather pillows in the washing machine, there are many products on the market that can easily clean these types of pillows for you. There are fabric sprays, such as Febreeze, that will help remove set-in odors from our pillows. Try lightly misting your feather pillows with Febreeze once a week in order to maintain freshness.

Another way how to wash feather pillows is by using at-home dry cleaning wipes. These wipes will help remove built-up oil and grease from your pillow in addition to helping with the odor. This should be done at least once a month to clean feather pillows property.

Occasionally you will be forced to take your feather pillows to a professional dry cleaning. Sorry, but there is no way around that. However, these trips can be far and few in between if you use the simple at-home methods how to wash feather pillows on a regular basis.

How to Wash Foam Pillows

So you don't have feather pillows? Now you just need to figure out how to wash foam pillows. Luckily, you have a treat in store - foam and polyester pillows are much easier to clean. Washing pillows in the washing machine is much more simple than having to clean them by hand.

For foam pillows you will want to put your washing machine on a gentle setting and use warm water. From here you will want to add detergent, just as you normally would, but you will want to add about half as much as you would for a load of clothing. There is no need to waste too much laundry detergent when pillows only need a little. Since pillows are not an item that you wash on a daily basis, it is important to add an oxidizing agent such as OxiClean to help remove any set-in oil or grease on the pillows.

How to Dry Pillows

Once your pillows are property cleaned, the next step is to make sure that you dry them properly. Sadly, you can't just turn your dryer on high, toss a load full of pillows in, and come back 30 minutes later.

The first thing to be careful of is that you do not turn the heat setting too high on your dryer. Washing pillows in the washing machine can be a simple task - you don't want to mess it up now. Use a low to medium heat setting for your foam pillows. Feather pillows should be left to air dry and not thrown in the dryer under any heat setting.

Another trick that can be done to help fluff up your pillows is to place them in the dryer on light heat with nothing else but a few tennis balls. These will roll and bounce around in your dryer causing the pillow to get moved around which avoids the problem of having it's shape distort during drying.


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