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Cleaning 101: How to Wash Pillows

Learn how to keep your pillows fresh and clean.

Two clean, white pillows on blue bedding

Washing your pillows is a surefire way to boost your sleep, health, and hygiene by removing bacteria, odors, and mold. Learn how to wash pillows properly with our step -by-step guide.

Step 1: Remove Covers & Wash
Remove any pillow covers or cases and wash them according to their labels. Many can be washed with your regular sheets and bedding.

Step 2: Check Manufacturer’s Care Label
Refer to the washing instructions provided on your pillows to determine if they are machine washable or require an alternative form like handwashing.

Step 3: Place in Washing Machine or Hand Wash
If your pillows are machine washable, put two pillows in the same load to circulate the detergent better and to prevent the pillows from being thrown around. Then, add in a cup of your regular liquid detergent, choose the cold or warm water setting (not hot water), and begin washing on your washer’s gentlest cycle. Once this cycle is finished, begin a second one on the rinse or spin setting to ensure that all of the soap is completely rinsed out.

If your pillows are hand wash only, fill a tub or sink with warm water, a tbsp of liquid detergent per pillow, and knead gently. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to get all of the soap out. Then press the pillows to get rid of any excess water, and let them air dry.


If your machine has an agitator (a large spindle in the middle of the machine), place the pillows vertically to avoid damaging them.

Step 4: Dry Your Pillows
Dry your pillows according to the recommendations on the label. If they can be machine dried, place the pillows in your clothes dryer and use a low-heat setting like tumble dry low. If your pillows are filled with feathers, use a no-heat setting. Before pressing start, toss in a couple of tennis balls wrapped in clean, white socks. The tennis balls will beat out any excess moisture during the dry cycle and the socks will prevent any fuzz, dye, or scents from rubbing off onto your pillows. If the cycle concludes and your pillows are still damp, return them to the dryer for another attempt until all of the moisture has been expelled.

You can also dry your pillows by laying them out in the sun or hanging them on a line to air dry. Memory foam pillows must be laid out flat on a clean towel to air dry.

Step 5: Fluff Pillows & Put on Pillow Cases
Fluff your pillows after washing to return them to their natural form and plumpness. Then, return your pillows to their freshly washed covers.
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We recommend washing your pillows twice a year. However, in between washes, you can air out your pillows by hanging them outside on a clothesline. We recommend doing so on a bright, sunny day. If you don’t have a clothesline, run them through the dryer on the no-heat cycle. This will help fluff them up and remove dust.

While a wash can help revive dirty pillows, if you fold the pillow in half and it doesn’t spring back into shape, we recommend purchasing a new pillow.


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