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All of us wash our clothes every day, bed sheets weekly, curtains twice a year, sofa cover (umm..) once a year…but how many of us think to wash our pillows (not the cover but the actual insides)? Most of the people doesn’t know how to wash a pillow in the washing machine.

Guilty as charged, I didn’t wash my pillows since I bought them last year. I know there are hundreds like me who didn’t wash their pillows, like forever. But now, since I know, a dirty greasy pillow is where dust, dirt, sweat, and oil build their little nest- I am not going to keep it unclean anymore. Moreover, if acne and pimple are making your life hell, then these dirty pillows are the culprit. So clean them right away; love yourself more!

Here I am going to discuss few simple ways, like really simple. Go through them, keep them in your mind the next time (which should be soon, right?) you clean your pillows.

First, since most people have cotton, down and synthetic pillows at their home, let’s talk about how to clean them in our first installment. I’ll put them on bullet points, making everything easy is the ultimate motto here.

How to clean your cotton, down and synthetic pillows using the machine at home

  • Read the label that comes with your pillow to know what are the safest ways to clean it properly. If you are planning to wash it in a machine, set the water temperature accordingly as written on the label.
  • If you keep your pillow in a cover, pillowcase or sham- uncover it. Many pillows come with a zipper, so if you have one of them, it would be easier for you to remove the cover almost instantly.
  • Place the pillows in your washing machine. If you fear that machine will ruin the quality of your pillow, then stop doing that. The washing machine has the option called “delicate”, press it before switching your machine on- everything will be fine.
  • Now, when you are placing your pillows in the machine, put at least two in every wash. This will make sure that your pillows are not thrown around in the machine. There is a high chance of the foam filling to be damaged if you place only one pillow to get washed in a machine.
  • If you want to just clean your pillows- make it dirt, oil and sweat-free, then add a few tablespoons of low sudsing detergent powder inside the machine cabinet. On the other hand, if you want to boost up your cleaning game, add 1 cup of detergent, half a cup of borax and a sufficient amount of bleach. I call this mixture “the powerful combo” since this combination has the power to make your pillows super white.
  • It’s time to adjust the machine. Before starting your wash, adjust the machine so that it rinses the pillows twice after washing. The first time with hot and second time with cold water, to ensure proper rinsing of your pillows.
  • Press Start.
  • After washing, dry the pillows as per the care label. Usually, it can be dried in two ways, either in the dryer or by air. If you want to use the dryer, take a few tennis balls in some clean, separate socks and place them inside your machine with your pillows. The strange it may sound, but trust me, it makes wonders. The tennis balls will speed up the drying time, by soaking up the water and preventing the foam filling from clumping. Plus, if your pillows are made with feathers, set your dryer in the air, fluff or no heat setting. If you are washing a synthetic pillow, opting for low heat will be a good choice for drying.

Keeping on the same note, if you want to go “air-dried”, lay your pillows flat in your balcony and let them get some sun. You are just a few hours away to some clean, fluffy and squishy pillows.

Let‘s watch a video how to wash a pillow in the washing machine!

How to clean memory foam pillows with hands at home

  • Like the previous example, uncover your memory foam pillows from the pillow protector.
  • For memory foam pillows, washing machines can prove to be little harsh for the inside material of the pillow. Therefore, get ready to wet your hand. Fill up the tub with lukewarm water. The amount of fluid should not be more or less, you fill it enough to drench the pillows fully.
  • Add an adequate amount of liquid washing detergent to the tub, swirl it around to form bubbles.
  • Put your pillows inside the tub, drench it fully. Keep it like this for at least one hour; doing this would allow the detergent mixed water to work its magic. It will break off the dust, dirt, and oil attached in the fiber.
  • After one hour, massage the pillow to get the dirt off it.
  • Rinse it off with water. Squeeze and rinse again. The aim is to let go off all the bubbles and muddy water out from the pillow. It may take a while and few rounds of “rinse and squeeze” before you end up with a squeaky clean pillow.
  • Now, in terms of drying memory foam pillow in a machine dryer is a big NO. The dryer has the tendency to weaken the foam pattern and make it crumble. So, it is highly recommended to dry memory foam pillow in the open air or in the sun.
  • So, if you air dries your pillow, you have to be cautious about one thing. The pillow should never be used, half dried. If your pillow is still wet when you are using it, then there is no benefit. It will grow mildew; fungus and mold inside it, making all of your hard work go in vain. So, make sure there is no dampness inside the pillow before you start using it.

How to Wash a Pillow–Keep it Smile Looks


Final thoughts…

So, by now you know all the bits and bytes of washing the pillow, be it cotton, down, synthetic or the very popular memory shredded foams. If you are still confused, I would suggest you consult a dry cleaning professional; they will help get your pillows done.

But at the end of the day, make sure you are putting your beautiful face on a clean pillow. It is important.

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