how to wash pillows

How to Wash Pillows

Have you ever wondered how to wash pillows effectively? At Dip, we know pillows often get overlooked in regular cleaning routines, but they can harbour dust mites, sweat, and bacteria. If you're wondering how to wash pillows properly, look no further.

We've curated this comprehensive guide for you. In this article, we'll cover both machine washing and hand washing pillows. From choosing the right drying method to understanding the care label instructions, we've got it all.

And if you have additional household items like duvets or weighted blankets that need washing too, stay tuned as some of these tips can answer the questions of how to wash a duvet and how to wash a weighted blanket, too.

Let's dive into the best ways to keep your pillows fresh and clean, ensuring a healthier sleep environment.

What this article covers:

How to Machine Wash Pillows

Let's look at a step-by-step guide on how to machine wash pillows. Machine washing is a convenient and efficient method to clean most pillows, including those filled with cotton, down, and synthetic materials.

However, it's essential to follow specific steps to ensure your pillows come out fresh and undamaged. Our guide will help you navigate these steps with confidence, so you can enjoy clean, comfortable pillows every night.

can pillows be washed

Pre-Treat Stains On Pillows

Before tossing pillows into the washing machine, it's crucial to pre-treat any stains by using a gentle stain remover.

Start by removing pillowcases or pillow protectors. Apply a small amount of stain remover directly onto the stains, ensuring it covers the entire area.

Let it sit for about 15 minutes to penetrate and break down the stains. This step is essential to ensure the stains are effectively removed during the wash.

Our findings show that by pre-treating stains, you enhance the cleaning process, making your pillows look and feel fresher.

Always Look At The Care Label

Always check the care label on your pillows. Some pillows are machine washable, while others might require hand washing.

The care label provides crucial instructions on how to clean your pillows without damaging them.

This is similar to how to wash wool, how to wash a puffer jacket, and how to wash linen. Each of these items has specific care requirements, and ignoring the label can lead to shrinkage, loss of shape, or other damage.

By adhering to the care label instructions, you ensure your pillows remain fresh and in good condition for a longer time.

bio laundry detergent

Place Both Pillows Inside The Washing Machine To Balance The Load

Placing two pillows in the washing machine at once ensures the load is balanced, which helps with an even wash.

This trick, learned from how to wash trainers, can prevent your machine from becoming unbalanced and making loud noises.

When the load is balanced, the pillows will move around more freely, allowing the water and detergent to penetrate evenly. This not only enhances the cleaning process but also protects your washing machine from potential damage caused by an uneven load.

Use A Gentle Wash Cycle

Set your washing machine to a gentle wash cycle with warm water. We've put this to the test, and the gentle cycle is effective in cleaning while being kind to the pillow materials.

We've seen that using a gentle cycle helps maintain the integrity of the pillow's filling and outer fabric, preventing wear and tear. This setting ensures that the cleaning process is thorough yet delicate, making it ideal for washing pillows.

At Dip, we recommend using our laundry detergent sheets to achieve the best results, as they are designed to be gentle on fabrics while providing a deep clean.

Dry Pillows

Drying is just as important as washing. According to our research, tumble drying pillows on low heat with a couple of clean tennis balls helps keep them fluffy.

The tennis balls bounce around in the dryer, preventing the pillow filling from clumping and ensuring even drying. It's crucial to make sure the pillows are completely dry to prevent mould and mildew from developing.

Proper drying not only preserves the pillow's fluffiness but also extends its lifespan, keeping it fresh and comfortable for longer.

washing sheets detergent

How to Hand-Wash Pillows

Hand-washing pillows is an effective method for delicate or non-machine washable pillows.

It allows for thorough cleaning without the agitation of a washing machine, which can be harsh on certain materials. Let's look at how to hand-wash pillows.

Fill A Bathtub Or Basin With Lukewarm Water

If your pillows are not machine washable, hand-washing is the way to go. Fill a bathtub or a large basin with lukewarm water, ensuring there's enough water to fully submerge the pillows.

Lukewarm water is gentle on the fabric and filling, preventing any damage while still effectively cleaning. This method also applies when learning how to wash cashmere, as both require a gentle touch to maintain their integrity.

Hand-washing allows you to control the water temperature and detergent concentration, making it ideal for delicate items.

Add A Minimal Amount Of Detergent

Add a small amount of mild detergent to the water. Using too much detergent can be hard to rinse out and may leave residues on your pillows, which can cause discomfort and even skin irritation.

A small amount ensures that the detergent can be thoroughly rinsed out, leaving your pillows clean and free from any leftover soap.

Our eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets, made from plant-derived ingredients, are eco-friendly and contain a neutral pH level of 7, ensuring they are gentle on both fabrics and the environment.

The sheets dissolve quickly in water, providing effective cleaning without the risk of residue buildup. Additionally, our sheets are premeasured, so you never had to worry about measuring the correct amount.

By using Dip's laundry detergent sheets, you can achieve a thorough clean while protecting the integrity of your pillows.

laundry detergent sheets uk

Clean The Pillows Gently

Gently agitate the water with your hands to mix the detergent, then submerge the pillows.

Squeeze and release the pillows repeatedly to work the soapy water through. This process helps dislodge dirt and oils trapped in the fabric and filling.

By handling the pillows gently, you preserve their shape and longevity while ensuring they are deeply cleaned. This method is particularly effective for maintaining the integrity and comfort of your pillows.

Rinse And Air-Dry

Rinse the pillows thoroughly with clean water to remove all detergent. Press out excess water gently, then lay the pillows flat to air-dry in a well-ventilated area.

Ensuring that all detergent is rinsed out is crucial to prevent any residue that could irritate sensitive skin or attract dirt more quickly. Once rinsed, gently pressing out the excess water helps the pillows dry faster and retain their shape.

Laying them flat in a well-ventilated area, such as on a drying rack or clean towels, allows air to circulate around the pillows, promoting even drying and preventing mould growth.


Keeping your pillows clean is essential for a healthy sleep environment. Whether machine washing or hand-washing, following these steps will ensure your pillows stay fresh and last longer.

From our experience at Dip, taking the time to properly wash your pillows makes all the difference.

Ready to give your pillows the care they deserve?

Discover our sustainable cleaning products at Dip and elevate your laundry routine today!

If you want to learn more, why not check out these articles below:

Back to blog