How to wash pillows

How to wash pillows


Our pillows go through a lot. They are there for you at the end of a long day, for the sleepless nights, naps and tears. They never judge you when you sleep in last night's make up or the occasional unexpected dribble. Our pillows have seen it all but are you giving them the TLC they deserve? 

You should be washing your pillows at least twice a year, to keep them as fresh and clean as possible. But not all types of pillows can be treated the same.

We’ve put together a handy guide on how to clean and wash your pillows based on the different types available. Most pillows are machine washable, and some are dry-clean only. A few pillows will have restrictions based on your style of washing machine, front-loading or top-loading, and some require spot treatment only. There's a lot of options, it can get confusing, but we've got you covered.

Our first tip, and a little obvious but always handy, is to check the care tag on your pillow, but if you cut this off or can't find any brand specific instructions, try our breakdown of pillow types.


How to wash down pillows

Most down and synthetic fibre filled pillows are machine wash friendly, which is great for you because that means you only need to chuck them into the washing machine on a warm, gentle cycle to give them a refresh. A small dose of our eco-friendly non-bio laundry detergent will spruce them right up, and leave them smelling super fragrant too. 

If you have a washing machine with a large spindle, try propping your pillows up right when loading them, that way the spindle won’t catch onto the pillow and you’ll get an all-round clean.

Once washed, a short spin in the dryer will help to remove any moisture from within the down and plump up the filling too. If your pillows are a little old and flattened, you might want to go one step further and stop the dryer midway through to break up any lumps in your filling by hand. Make sure your pillows are thoroughly dried to avoid any moisture getting trapped, you definitely don't want your pillows to start rotting.

How to wash latex pillows 

Bad news Wiltoners, you can’t put latex pillows into the washing machine, but that doesn’t mean we can’t clean them. 

For these dust-mite resistant pillows we’re going to want to spot clean and quick dry them. Latex pillows can form mould super quick if left wet, so a more considered clean is needed here. As always check your care label for any specific requirements.

Dilute a cap of our non-bio laundry liquid in bowl of warm water and using a flannel, dab any stained or unclean areas of your pillow, when you’re done leave it in the sun or near a radiator to dry. Don’t use a dryer as the high heat can damage the latex and cause it to break apart.

How to wash memory foam pillows

Unless specified on your care label, memory foam can’t go into your washing machine. When washing memory foam, try to do it on a warm day where you can air dry it. For memory foam pillows you’re going to want to fill a bowl or your sink with some warm water and use a gentle cleaning agent, like our washing up liquid, to help you clean.

Add a few drops of washing up liquid to your water, and submerge your pillow. Squeeze it to allow the water to fill the foam for about ten minutes. Remove your pillow, squeeze out the water but do not wring it, wringing your pillow can break apart your foam. Pour out the soapy water and fill the basin with water again. Submerge the pillow, squeeze and release to let the water fill your pillow and pull out any suds. Remove your pillow from the water, squeeze it dry and leave it somewhere warm and airy to dry out. Try to do this on a sunny day where you can let the warm sunshine dry off your pillow.

Memory foam can also be spot cleaned using the same method as for latex pillows too.

A great tip for all pillows, vacuum them. Seriously, you’d be surprised how much dust, and skin flakes your pillows can accumulate. A quick vacuum will pull out a lot of nasties hiding in plain sight.

What are your pillow cleaning tips?


  • How to wash wool stuffed pillows.

    Steve Ryan on

  • You mentioned “down” pillows , I would never wash them unless we were in the middle of a heat wave with at least 2/3 days of really warm weather. I have been washing pillows for years partly because they do become smelly and to save money. I have even gone to the point of removing the filling and carding (two large hair brushes work well ) and re-stuffing when its totally dry. The cedarwood conditioner is a great way to soften and freshen prior to storing in vaccum bags . I make quilts and blankets and again finish the wash with cedarwood conditioner prior to storing. I don’t have and will never have a dryer so I rely on timing these tasks to good outdoor drying days

    josie gray on

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