How To Wash Pillows: Hand or Washing Machine

Do you know the pillows – a necessary item for our sleep is a big house of bacteria? According to research, 1/3 the weight of the pillow is dead cells, bacteria,  secretions and so on. In every centimeter square of the pillow, there are over five million bacteria. Therefore, after buying a pillow about three months, it will become a house of germs causing some diseases such as dermatitis and respiratory disease and harm to your health. However, the question is how to wash pillows by hand or washing machine and which method is suitable for your pillow. The article will show you the typical process for different kinds of the pillow and some steps for washing a pillow.

Table of content:

how to wash pillows

How to wash pillows by hand or washing machine

Before Washing A Pillow

Unlike clothes, pillows always contact with hair, and skin every day. They also absorb oil and secretions, even saliva from our body. These factors make your pillow changes the color into yellow or even black. Therefore, washing a pillow is not simple as cleaning a dress or a pair of pant, you need to have careful preparation.

Hot Water

In fact, cold water does not have any effect on oil and secretions from our body. Therefore, we can use hot water to remove these things from your pillow. However, you should use hot water as the Washing & Laundry Labels of the pillow or the water with a temperature of 40-45 C.


Detergent - how to wash pillows

Second, you must prepare special detergent:

+ 1 cup powdered laundry detergent

+ 1 cup bleach (or bleach alternative)

+ 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent

+ 1/2 cup washing soda


No matter washing a pillow by hand or machine, the first step you should not forget is soaking a pillow in hot water. This process will support ingredients on dissolving tough stains. If you have a top-loading washing machine, you can soak your pillow right in your washer. If you wash your pillow by hand, you can find a separate container or in your bathtub.

First, you stir the laundry detergent, washing soda, dishwasher detergent into the hot water and continue stirring until the powdered ingredients dissolve. When the dry ingredients have dissolved, you can pour the water into the washer along with the bleach. It takes 30 minutes for this step. You also need to flip the pillows over about half-way to make sure that they are getting fully saturated.

After this step, you can consider what method that suitable for the pillow. If your pillow is made from Cotton, Down, and Synthetic Pillows, you can wash it by machine. If your pillow is a Memory Foam product, can spend a little time for washing by hand.

1. How to Wash a Pillow by Washing Machine (Cotton, Down, and Synthetic Pillows)

Step 1: Putting pillows into machine

putting pillows into machine

After checking their tag to make sure they can be washed in the washing machine, you can put them into the machine. The ideal number of pillows is from two to four pillows for once time, but we recommend two pillows because the washer is balanced and your pillows also do not get thrown around so much.

Step 2: Adding the detergent

Adding the detergent

+ Hot water

+ 1 cup powdered laundry detergent

+ 1 cup bleach (or bleach alternative)

+ 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent

+ 1/2 cup washing soda

However, make sure that all of them are dissolved before adding your pillow.

Step 3: Starting the wash cycle

Your washing machine should be set to the longest cycle ( one with two rinses) and work with hot water

Starting the wash cycle

In this time, you should pay attention to the machine, when it use the second water, let’s stop it. Then, you can change the position of pillows to make sure your pillow can be cleaned both of sides.

Step 4: Putting your pillows in the dryer

Putting your pillows in the dryer

In this step, you just need to put the pillow in the dryer and adjust the setting. If your pillows are made from feather, you can use the “air” setting. If they are synthetic pillows, the machine should be adjusted with a little heat.

Step 5: Drying your pillows

You can use two tennis balls and put them in two clean and white socks. Then, throw them in the dryer with your pillows to decrease the drying time. Finally, turn your dryer and wait for your clean pillow

2. Washing a pillow by Hand ( Memory Foam Pillows)

For memory foam pillows, the washing machine is too rough for the sensitive pillow, so you must spend a little time to take care of this kind of pillows by hand.

Step 1: Hot water and detergent

You can fill a tub with warm water enough to cover the pillow. For each pillow, you can add a  tablespoon of liquid detergent into water. Then, you can use your hand to squirt it around to bubble it up and get it mixed.

Step 2: Washing your pillows

You can put them into the water and move them around to make the detergent work. At this step, you can wash the pillow as washing clothes. Massage and squeeze the pillows with your hand to remove dirt and freshen it past the outer layer.

washing pillows by hand

Next, you can run the pillows under fresh water to get as much of soap out as possible. If you can not get the soap out, it can cause some skin problem because it is also a kind of chemistry and not friendly with your body. You should spend a lot of time for this step.

Step 3: Drying the pillows

There is a note when drying the memory foam is high heat level can ruin it and cause it to crumble. Therefore, you will regret if placing them into the dryer. Everything you need is sunlight. Putting it on the towel in a dry area where is full of sunlight is the ideal condition for your pillow.

Note: Besides cleanly washing a pillow, you can use some essential oil to make your pillow fresher and get the comfortable smell. You can add fabric softener, tea flower oil, lavender essential oil and even vinegar to soften the pillows. Tea flower and lavender scent not only make your pillows have a good smell but also help you sedate and sleep well.

In conclusion, these are some steps for washing a pillow. What kinds of your pillow? And What method you will use to wash it? Hope with this article, you will find the right way to clean the pillow and keep health for both you and your family. Let leave the comment, share to your friend if you love my article.

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