How To Wash Throw Pillows The Right Way

Oftentimes, we wash and change pillow covers. However, clean covers don’t mean that the pillow itself is clean. Throw pillows are usually decorative, and add color and style to your living room and bedroom. More importantly, it also adds comfort.

Unfortunately, it could also somehow add discomfort if they aren’t maintained well. Pillows can collect dead skin cells, sweat, dust, dander, and even mold. That said, learning how to wash throw pillows can save you from these allergens, and help preserve the pillow.


Determine The Best Method For Cleaning

Determine The Best Method For Cleaning

Before throwing them in the washer, make sure you read the manufacturer’s care label. It should indicate whether it should be hand-washed, machine-washed, dry cleaned, etc.

  • Some throw pillows have delicate covers such as wool, silk, velvet, and other covers with details like beads and sequins. Remove the cover, and dry clean them to maintain the quality.
  • Down, feather, and polyester pillows are machine-washable. Some foam pillows such as memory foam and latex foam, on the other hand, are not. However, you may still wet wash them. Of course, make sure to check the manufacturer’s care label for special instructions or any limitations.

Washing Throw Pillows

Remove The Cover

Remove The Cover

Wash the cover separately to avoid damaging the decorative items. Treat stains if necessary before running it on a gentle wash cycle.

  • Cotton covers are washable
  • Silk, velvet, wool, embroidery, and other special covers might require special handling
  • Some throw pillow covers such as leatherette or synthetic leather that do not require washing. You can wipe it down with a damp cloth

Gentle Wash Pillows

Gentle Wash Pillows

Feather, down, polyester and some cotton pillow are machine-washable, unless otherwise indicated on the care label. Load the whole pillow, at most two pillows at a time, in the washer full of warm water. Use a detergent for delicate fabrics or very mild detergent, and run a gentle-wash cycle. Afterwards, run it through a warm rinse cycle. You might want to run a rinse cycle more than once to ensure that there isn’t any detergent residue.

My Pillow – The Most Comfortable Pillow You’ll Ever Own – And it is 100% machine washable and dryable

Memory foam and latex foam are not machine washable. Generally, these materials are not designed to be wet, and it’s difficult to dry thoroughly. Wetting latex or memory foam may invite mold to grow on your pillow. Also, the washing machine’s agitation could destroy the shape and form of the foam.

To clean memory and latex foam, you can vacuum them instead of washing. If you decide you want to wash them, fill a basin or your bathtub with soapy water. Let the pillow soak, and you can press and squeeze it to take out inner dirt. Afterwards, run it with water to remove any soap residue, and dry by squeezing the water out. To determine if the foam is clean, the water should be clear.

Gentle Wash Pillows 2

Dry The Pillow Thoroughly

First, determine if the pillow is safe to dry in a dryer. If not, you can hang it to dry in a well-ventilated area or under sunlight. Feather, down, and polyester can usually go in a dryer. Put the dryer on a low heat setting. You might need to run the dryer two to three times for it to dry completely. To check, bury your face or palm in the pillow and feel for any moisture.

For latex and memory foam, air dry in a well-ventilated area. You can also hang under direct sunlight to dry it faster.

When To Replace Or Throw Out Pillows?

Even with diligent cleaning of pillows, you’re still going to eventually need to throw them out. The question is, when is the right time? To check if the pillow is still okay, fold it in half. If it springs back up quickly, you can still save it. If it doesn’t spring back into shape, then, it may be time to throw it out, and buy new ones.

Check our best pillows reviews:


Other Throw Pillow Cleaning Tips

Other Throw Pillow Cleaning Tips

  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s care label.
  • Treat stains before washing the whole pillow. The same goes for the pillow cover. Wet the area, and blot the stain out with a piece of cloth. Use a stain remover or special detergent, taking into consideration the material you are treating.
  • Vacuum memory foam and latex often. To deodorize, sprinkle some baking soda on the foam and let it sit for a few minutes. then vacuum the baking soda out of the foam.
  • When using a machine to dry a pillow, you might need to let it run through a few cycles. Pound or fluff the pillow in between cycles to avoid clumps from forming.
  • Dry pillows as quickly as possible because it might develop a musty odor. Also, do not use the pillows until they are completely dry because damp or wet pillows can collect dirt faster.
  • Use mild detergent to maintain vibrant colors.
  • If the pillow is old, check the stitches. The agitation of the washing machine might cause the pillow to burst.
  • Once the pillow is dry, fluff it to improve or maintain its form.


Throw pillows are simple but can add personality to a room. They give color, texture, comfort, and style without requiring so much from you. Generally, they are low maintenance. But overtime, throw pillows and pillows in general, accumulate dust, dander, dead skin cells, etc.

If you have allergies, that can be a big problem.What we usually do is wash the pillow covers. While that helps a lot, it doesn’t solve the root of the problem. Sometimes, washing the whole throw pillow itself is the best solution. But of course, you have to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. Otherwise, you might be doing more harm than good.

Jake Tyler
Hi all, I’m Jake Tyler, over the past decade I’ve been working strong on my personal fitness levels. From the age of 16, I have been a kickboxer, and I’ve built up an incredible passion for fitness & self-improvement. This experience has led me to a career in personal training and health & fitness.

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