So, how do you wash your pillows in a washing machine? This might be the most frequently asked question regarding pillow care. And rightfully so, as it can be tricky to do. But don’t worry, I’ll show you how it’s done!

First things first: always check the care label on your pillow before washing it. Different materials require different types of care, and you don’t want to ruin your pillow accidentally. Once you’ve checked the care label, you can proceed to the next step.

Wait, there isn’t just one step to washing your pillows in a washing machine. That’s why I created this in-depth guide on machine-washing your pillows.

Read on for the best tips on washing pillows.

ALSO READ: Why Are Hotel Pillows So Comfortable?

What  to Consider Before Machine Washing Pillows

Before washing, they are some essential things you need to consider on your pillows. First, look at the care label on your protector. The brand will guide you on how you will wash your pillow. 

Remember, not all pillows are machine washable. Others are hand washable, and If you wash the hand-washable using the machine, you will destroy their fillings.

How to Wash Pillows in a Washing Machine – Step-by-Step Guide

Only cotton, synthetic, and down pillows are recommended to be machine washed. This washing machine method is straightforward, and it takes less time.

But there are a few steps you need to follow so you don’t damage your pillow and get the right results. 

  • The first step- check any dirty stains on your pillow covers, spray the stain with detergent and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Put 2 -3 pillows in the machine. Putting fewer pads will help the water mixture and detergents circulate well and balance the load. 
  • Add a little detergent into the washing dispenser and start the machine. Adding too much detergent will create excess and unnecessary foam.
  • Wash your pillow with warm water, and add an extra rinse cycle to ensure that any excess detergents are rinsed out.
  • Next, put them into the dryer with a few tennis balls. When pillows are placed inside the dryer, the fillings can clump up and damage your pad. The good thing about tennis balls is they will help in fluffing up pillows inside the dryer.
  • It would be best to dry your pillow on low, medium heat on fiber fillings or no heat for down filling for an hour. 
  • After drying them, remove your pillows and confirm if they are scorched. If they are not yet dry, put them back again for 30 minutes to avoid any moisture.
  • Use a pillow cover for your pillows to remain clean and fresh for some days and the pad to serve you for some years.

How to Hand Wash Pillows – Step-by-Step Guide

Here are a few step-by-step guides for handwashing pillows. 

1. In handwashing your pillow, the first thing is to remove the pillow cover and use the hand method to avoid damaging the pillow foam. Then fill your basin, sink, or tub with clean, warm water, add a tablespoon of clothing detergent, and mix.

2. Then, put your pillow inside the mixture, and allow the detergent to soak in. The next step is to massage the pad by squeezing it to remove all the dirt. 

3. When you have massaged and gently squeezed your pillow well, you must take it out and rinse it. You have to rinse your pad thoroughly to ensure it’s clean before replacing the water. Do this at least three times to ensure it’s immaculate.

4. The last step is to bring your pillow outside to dry, and before taking your pillow back to the bed, make sure it’s scorched.

How to Dry Pillows in 3 Easy Methods

If you want a good night’s sleep, you must ensure that your pillow is clean and well dried. You should well dry your pad to avoid clumping, bad smell, or absorbing moisture.

There are several ways you can dry your pillows after washing them. Here are the three easy methods to dry your pillows:

1. Drying pillow using a house dryer.

You can only dry down or fiber pillows when drying with a house dryer.

  • After your pillow is well washed and you have squeezed the excess water,  immediately put it inside the dryer, and don’t overload your dryer. 
  • Always set low heat. Remember, too much heat can damage the fillings. 
  • To avoid lumpiness and misshapen, try adding a few tennis balls to fluff up your pillow when drying.
  • Give your pillow 60 minutes to dry completely before removing them from the dryer. After every drying cycle, remove your cushions and fluff them by shaking. 
  • When your pillows are out of the dryer, make sure to squeeze them to confirm if they are well dried. If you notice they are still damp and smell, they are not well dried, so return them to the dryer again.  

Once they are well dried on all corners, let your pillow cool out in the sun for some minutes. Make sure they are scorched before using them again in the last step. 

2. Drying Your Pillow in the sun.

When drying your pillow using the sun, make sure the weather is friendly. And it’s good for pads to get enough sun. 

  • The first step is to hang your pillow on your drying line outside, and your pillow will dry fast because of the airflow.
  • Checking your pillow after every two hours and fluffing when massaging them will prevent your pillow filling from clumping together. And when dry, it will be comfortable when used. 

3. Air-drying pillows

The last pillow drying method is air-drying them, and it involves the following.

  • Never put memory foam, latex, or silk inside a dryer. When placed, the fillings of the pillow will be damaged.
  • You need to squeeze them well gently and try to avoid damaging them. Always take your time when squeezing the excess water.
  • Next, you can lay your pillow in an area that is well ventilated and with good air circulation for them to dry properly. If you are drying your pillows indoors,  placing a fan can also help. 
  • This drying method takes some time. Therefore, always flip your pillow every hour to prevent the pad from absorbing moisture. 
  • Be patient to let your pillow dry completely. Before placing it back, make sure all the corners are well dried to avoid bacteria build-up.  


If you wondered how to wash pillows in a washing machine or even handwash your pillows, this guide has you covered.

Dirty pillows can lead to bad health, causing you to have allergies. Washing your pillow and pillow covers will keep you in good health, and your pillow will last long.