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How to clean pillows

Pillows are an item that can get neglected. Remember it's not only the cases that need cleaning! Follow these tips for easy ways to clean pillows and pillow cases.


By Cleanipedia Team

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Clean pillows are essential to a good night’s sleep. However, pillow cleaning is one of those tasks we often forget and neglect, and yet it is so easy and so effective. 

If you even have to ask how to clean a pillow, it is probably about time yours got a good clean. Cleaning pillows protects us from unpleasant bed-friends such as dust mites, preserving our bedrooms as a sanctuary for much-needed rest and relaxation. Whilst it is recommended you wash your pillowcases along with the rest of your bedding, you only need to wash your actual pillows twice a year.

Many pillows can easily be washed at home! Simply place machine washable pillows in the washer with a mild detergent like Neutral 0%, which is specially developed for sensitive skin. Select the appropriate wash cycle and you’re set! A quick and efficient solution to ensure your head rests on a clean pillow.

How to Clean Pillows

  1. First, check the care label. Many pillows are machine washable and can be washed with a mild laundry detergent like Neutral 0% Liquid Detergent which is gentle to fabrics and skin. If you are unsure if your pillow is machine washable, it’s always best to seek professional advice from a dry cleaner.

  2. Next, give your pillow a big hug to squeeze out as much excess air as possible.

  3. If you can, place two pillows inside the machine to balance out the load.

  4. After the cycle has finished, run the pillow(s) through the rinse cycle to ensure they are properly rinsed through.

  5. Once clean, it is important you dry your pillows properly to prevent mould. Tumble dry on low heat (high heat can cause clumping) and place inside an airing cupboard for one to two days to thoroughly dry out. It is important to check the care label on the pillow to ensure it is suitable for tumble drying. Alternatively, just lay it out to air-dry or hang it on an outdoor clothesline in the sun.

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How to Clean Feather Pillows

The care label on the majority of feather pillows will instruct you to dry-clean only. However, for some feather pillows, gently washing on low heat, air cycle is perfectly fine. Wash with mild laundry detergent and be careful to dry out thoroughly, as before. Again, if you are concerned, it is best to take your pillow to a dry cleaner to be professionally cleaner.

Top Tips for Cleaning Pillows

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  • Help protect your pillows for longer with a protective cover. This will help shield your pillow from dust, dirt, and all manner of unwanted stains.

  • Throw a couple of tennis balls wrapped in (clean) socks into the tumble dryer to re-fluff your pillows and help stop the material from clumping.

  • Keep a reminder of when your pillows are next due to a wash by writing the date in biro on the care label.

Time for a New Pillow?

Find out if you need to invest in a new pillow with this simple test. Bend your pillow in half and if it doesn’t bounce back, it’s time to go shopping for a new one!

Originally published