Can you wash pillows? Should you wash pillows? YES!  You should wash pillows and not only can you wash your bed pillows, it’s easier than you might think. Two simple steps and a little time and you’ll be sleeping on clean, fresh pillows in no time! Washing pillows properly is simple and just requires a little extra time and attention.

In order to wash pillows properly, you need to determine what type of pillow you’re sleeping on. 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 – if they have a protective cover, remove that and wash, but if you wash the pillows in the washing machine and dry in the dryer they might melt and disintegrate.


If you want to extend the life of your pillows and 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 from Amazon.


Even if you use pillowcases and pillow protectors, pillows should be washed seasonally and at least twice a year. If someone has been sick, it’s a good idea to give their pillows a wash using the below instructions.


Remove the pillowcase and pillow protector. You will want to use the most gentle detergent you have, avoiding harsh detergents. If you use Clean Mama laundry products, you’re already using gentle and safe detergent. I love using Laundry Detergent Spray – you can use it to spot treat any stains because it’s in a spray bottle but those sprays you used ‘count’ toward the 5 sprays you need to do a load of laundry.

Laundry Detergent Spray 


Add 2 scoops of Clean Mama Oxygen Whitener to the load. If they are really stained and yellowed, use the ’stain’ or soak option on your machine. This naturally whitens pillows and any laundry that has set-in stains and needs to be whitened up.

Oxygen Whitener

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 the 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.


Once your pillows are washed and the excess water has been wrung out, you can toss them in your dryer.  For 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. Once the dryer has completed, check to see if the pillows are dry, most likely you’ll need to put them in again to completely dry.

Wool Dryer Balls

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.