When was the last time you washed your bed pillows? Chances are you can’t remember the last time you washed them and they might even be turning yellow. Well, today I’m going to help you breathe some new life into your pillows with Pillow Care 101. Here you’ll find step-by-step how to wash, whiten and dry your pillows – and even learn when to toss them.
.: Before You Wash
- Check the care label of the pillow. This should have the washing instructions. If you removed it, that’s okay. Most pillows, down and synthetic can usually be washed. Foam or gel pillows typically cannot.
- Remove and pillow covers or protectors.
- It’s best to wash a pair of pillows together. This helps keep your washing machine balanced.
.: What You Need
- 1 cup Laundry Detergent – I prefer Liquid but either will work.
- 1 cup Powdered Dishwasher Detergent
- 1 cup Bleach
- 1/2 cup Washing Powder or Borax
- Tennis Balls or Wool Dryer Balls
.: How to Wash Them
1. First, add your pillows to the washing machine. As I mentioned above, it’s best to wash two at a time
2. Next, add your detergent. I mentioned some unusual things like dishwasher detergent, bleach and Borax. These ingredients help whiten your pillow and get rid of the yellow stains that pillows often get. If you’d rather skip those, then just use detergent
3. Wash the pillows on hot with a cold water rinse. You also need to change the wash settings to give the pillows a second rinse. You want to make sure you are removing all the detergent and residue.
.: How to Dry Them
Once your pillows are washed there are actually several different ways to dry them.
Option 1: For Feather or down pillows it’s best to wash them on the air setting. This means no heat. It might take more than one cycle to get them dry. When you dry pillows in the dryer it’s best to use tennis balls or wool dryer balls. This helps fluff them and decreases dryer time.
Option 2: For synthetic pillows, you can dry them on the low heat setting. Again, use tennis balls or wool dryer balls to help fluff pillows and decrease dryer time.
Option 3: Let them air dry, flat. I love to do this in the summertime when it is super hot outside. I set them on the patio table and they are dry pretty quickly and I don’t have to use energy running the dryer.
.: When to Toss Them
How do you know when it’s time to toss your pillows? Here are a few tips:
1. Is it lumpy? Lay it on a flat surface. It shouldn’t have bumps in it. If you have to fluff or punch your pillow each night to make it comfortable, then it’s probably time for a new one.
2. Do the Fold Test! Fold your pillow in half. If it doesn’t bounce right back into shape, it’s time to pick a new one.
3. How old is it? Despite washing you still need to replace you pillows fairly often. The lifespan of a pillow is generally around 2 years. Maybe more, maybe less but 2 years is a good rule of thumb.
Now I’m betting that most of you don’t even wash your pillows once every two years much less buy new ones! I know I’m super partial to mine. On our family vacation last summer to Colorado, my husband left my pillow at a hotel in Amarillo. I almost cried. It took me a month to find a new one that I actually liked. I totally get it! So keep your beloved pillow and just give it a little wash.
Love this tip? Find other great How To ideas on my Best of Simply Shellie Pinterest Board!
Thanks so much for this info. I’ve never really known how to wash my pillows, so they get all lumpy and yellow. So glad to have read this post. Even if I can’t find Borax here in Costa Rica, I can get my hands on all the other detergents.
Pillow shams are supposed to help prevent yellowing of pillows from oils on your skin and the like, but I don’t have any of those so I just put two pillowcases on my pillows. I put the first pillow case on one way, and the second facing the other way so the pillow is completely covered. Works pretty well! Decreases the washings anyway.
Shellie Deringer says
Great tips! Thanks Jessie!
is it safe to put a latex foam rubber pillow in the washer and dryer? So far I have taken off the fabric cover to wash those.
Shellie Deringer says
I don’t think you can put foam rubber pillows in the wash. Check the care instructions to be sure but I think they are a no-go.
cedar c. says
They can get damaged by heat & agitation & crumble. Better to hand wash those.
Jane Prior says
I have washed and dried all my bed pillows while the weather was hot outside.Now i have this problem with a rubber pillow which i had tried just the 1 pillow and my washing machine was making a terrible noise so i had a difficult time pulling the rubber pillow out? that was 4 days ago and it’s still not dry the water is still in the pillow and my wrists are too week to try and squeeze the water out.STUPID or what????Jane
I have tons of pillows on my bed, but only use one. It’s be great find another brand that will foster a good night rest.
cedar c. says
I am not feeling well & my husband just surprised me with a new “My Pillow” that just arrived. Normally I wash everything cloth that comes into the house before using. I’m tempted to cut open the bag & use it right out of the plastic to both try it & impress my husband. Am I losing my edge? Has this ever been done before? Should I just accept I will not be able to use it until I wash “My Pillow”. Thanks in advance for being there.
I tried and this tips are really useful. Great tips for washing pillow. Ownership of clean pillows will help to protect our health and sleep better.
Maria Cynthia says
Thanks for your instructions. Well explained. Washing pillow is not easy to me. I was searching for some quick tutorial found your blog at first. Thanks for sharing.
Immy Hyde says
I don’t wash my pillows usually but they are a few years old now, so I’m going to give it a go! I use really thick pillow protectors, which stop any staining etc. ‘Soak and Sleep’ do amazing quilted ones and are very good value along with their mattress protectors..only £16 double, £21 king in sale!! Says you can’t bleach feather pillows, so I wouldn’t do this. Anyway I will use my non bio detergent and no conditioner. On wool wash as recommended. I think I’ll take duvet to a good laundrette as I don’t personally think they need washing too often. I use a another duvet under the outer duvet, as a protector. Thanks for your tips, hope mine help too. Goodluck all!!