March 27, 2020

How to Launder Pillows

Can you launder pillows? Should you wash pillows? If you’ve ever wondered if you can wash your bed pillows, this post is for you. Not only can you wash your bed pillows, it’s pretty simple! Two simple steps and a little time and you’ll be sleeping on clean, fresh pillows in no time!

If you have down or synthetic pillows, you can wash them. Latex and foam pillows are the only kind of pillow that you don’t want to launder – feel free to try washing them in the washing machine as a last resort, but do not dry them – they’ll melt and disintegrate.

PILLOW PROTECTORS

If you want to extend the life of your pillows and protect your pillows and keep your pillows cleaner longer, you should be using a pillow protector. Pillow protectors helps with allergies and protects from dust mites and bed bugs by sealing pillows up so you can remove the protector and launder when you wash your pillow cases. Here are the 100% cotton pillow protectors I recommend.

WASH YOUR PILLOWS

Remove the pillowcase and pillow protector (if you don’t use a pillow protector, go and get one). You will want to use the most gentle detergent you have, avoiding harsh detergents. I love using the new Clean Mama Laundry Super Powder – it’s safe and effective on the worst set in stains but gentle enough to use on pillows and bedding.  The secret to whitening your stained and yellowed pillows? I also add a scoop or two of Clean Mama Oxygen Whitener to the load – this naturally whitens pillows and any laundry that has set-in stains and needs to be whitened up.

Set your washer on a gentle, warm water cycle as well as its largest capacity. Wash at least two pillows (to balance the machine) and no more than three pillows at a time to guarantee a thorough cleaning. After your washer has completed it’s cycle, run it through the rinse cycle again.

This is to make sure that all the detergent is removed from the pillow. I like to run my spin cycle twice as well to remove any excess water and help the pillows dry a little more quickly.

DRY YOUR PILLOWS

Once your pillows are washed and the excess water has been wrung out, you can toss them in your dryer. If your pillow is latex or foam (I don’t recommend washing it unless it’s a last resort), you will want to line dry or hang your pillow to dry as a trip through the dryer would cause the material to melt. For other synthetic materials, dry on a low to medium heat cycle and avoid any high heat. Down and natural materials can’t stand much heat, so set your dryer on Air or Low and allow them to dry thoroughly.

If you want to fluff up your pillows again, put three wool dryer balls in the dryer with the pillows or a couple tennis balls in some socks and toss them in to agitate and return the fibers to their natural state. Stop the dryer every 30 minutes or so to rotate the pillows around to make sure that they dry thoroughly and evenly.

With a little extra attention, your favorite pillows can feel like brand new again. So go ahead – wash and dry them and look forward to a good night’s sleep.

If you’re looking for an in-depth cleaning guide, my brand-new PDF packet, Clean Mama’s Guide to a Clean Home: Finding Peace in Your Routine has amazing checklists, a quick-start guide, DIY cleaning recipes and more. Check it out here.

See all the posts for the Spring Cleaning Month series here.