Considering we use pillows every day, it’s necessary for them to be washed fairly regularly. This is true of both decorative pillows and those we use for sleeping, although the latter need cleaning more often.
So, can you put a pillow in the washing machine? Let’s find out.
Can You Put a Pillow in the Washing Machine?
You can put a pillow in the washing machine regardless of what the inner material is, unless it’s a memory foam pillow.
That said, make sure you check its care instructions first, as more delicate materials (down or feather) require much gentler cleaning.
Polyester and cotton pillows are the most resilient.
The only real exception is memory foam. A washing machine can damage the foam, so you’ll most likely need to hand wash a memory foam pillow. Of course, the care instructions will give you the best guide.
How Do You Wash a Pillow Without Ruining it?
If you’ve ever machine-washed a pillow before, you might have noticed it comes out pretty lumpy. This is because the stuffing bunches up due to the washing machine’s agitating action. So, how do you avoid this?
The first tip is to use a gentle wash cycle, such as one designed for delicates. You should also consider turning the spin cycle down, although this means the pillows will take longer to dry once they’re done.
You can also add a towel to pad the pillow in the washing machine. This should reduce the impact of the machine cycle, meaning it comes out less lumpy.
If you have room, wash two pillows at once. Be aware, though, that this can unbalance your washing machine.
Finally, using a tumble dryer to dry the pillow is the best way to fluff it up and reduce lumps.
Use dryer balls or tennis balls to beat the pillows back into shape, and follow up with a manual fluffing once they’re done.
Is It Worth Washing a Pillow?
It’s definitely worth washing a pillow, particularly ones you sleep on. We sweat quite a lot in our sleep, and the only place this has to go is into the pillow.
When you factor in things like dead skin and hair, it’s fair to say your pillow can be a surprisingly grimy place!
Washing a pillow can help it to last longer, too. Provided you wash it correctly, it can restore its shape and volume, meaning you won’t need to replace it as often.
You should aim to wash your pillow at least twice a year, but every four months is best. If you sweat a lot in bed, you should consider washing them more often, such as every two months.
Washing pillows in the machine isn’t difficult, but it does require proper attention.
If you’re concerned about making your pillow lumpy, hand wash it instead of putting it in the washing machine. Of course, they’ll take much longer to dry because you can’t wring them out in the same way.
No matter which method you use, be sure to wash your pillows regularly.
Jacob is a freelance writer based in Wales, where he lives with his partner and two dogs. All his work is fuelled by extensive research and buckets of coffee.