How to Wash Throw Pillows- 5 Step Cleaning Hack

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Throw pillows’ maintenance is the one of most bothersome things. You are in the right place if you are looking for a solution to wash your throw pillows. In this article, we will detail the easiest ways you can clean your dirty throw pillows.

Throw pillows get ample wear and tear owing to their casual usage in living spaces. Getting your favorite throw pillows stained could be your worst nightmare and they become even more prone if you have kids or pets. Dirty paws and hands could ruin the whole furnishing game. Plus if you are extra cautious of germs and infections, you wouldn’t miss on periodic cleaning and disinfection of the pillowcases as well as cushion inserts. They accumulate dirt very fast and if remained unwashed, may cause allergies.

Can You Wash throw pillows?

The real question is whether you can wash throw pillows effectively or not? Well, several manufacturers claim that they sell washable fabric, be it hand or machine-washed but this saves you from the stress of early cover replacement. But unless you experience yourself, you can’t be sure about the fabric’s condition post-wash. In some cases, such as when the cover is non-removable, washing pillowcase is a dilemma. Moreover, it depends upon the fabric material. Most textiles are not wash-friendly and sag after one rinse. This comes as a surprise because no one mentions this earlier. But there are certain ways by which you can ensure safe washing of throw pillows.

How to wash?

It is recommended to wash your pillows after every 2 to 3 months, or earlier depending upon their usage. Also, you can delay washing up to six months when mere wiping will do. For the inserts, it’s recommended to wash them every other month. Sometimes washing instructions come along with the product and you don’t have to experiment rather just follow it.

Today we’ll share with you the best possible ways and tips to wash your pillows with or without cover, as recommended by laundry experts. Follow the steps below to get rid of the dirt, dust, stains, and germs residing on your throw pillows and covers.

Step 1 | Remove the Pillow Cover

First of all, find that hidden zipper and remove your pillow cover. Every fabric demands a different wash cycle and it’s better to wash dissimilar fabrics separately. Stick to handwashing if the care instructions state so. Especially if the covers are non-removable, fillers must not be machine-washed.

Step 2 | Pre-treatment

If your pillow has a tough stain that will not go away by washing, apply a stain remover and rub it off with a sponge, towel, or cloth gently. You can also soak the fabric in lukewarm water for some time but make sure excessive pre-treatment doesn’t weaken out your fabric or fibers.

Step 3 | Machine or hand-wash

In an automatic machine, set a gentle and quick wash cycle instead of prolonged ones. Adoption of either way also depends upon the type of pillow fillings, such as

  • Silk or wool will do good in machine-wash
  • Fillings such as cotton, polyester or foam will require hand wash

For pillow covers;

  • Handwash fabrics such as wool, fur, velvet, silk
  • Machine-wash satin, chenille, cotton, burlap
  • Covers such as leather do not require washing, however, wiping with a damp cloth to remove stains and dirt will serve the purpose

Experts suggest the use of mild detergents as tougher ones may crumple the fabric, loose shape, or fade away its shades.

But before you dip it in the water or machine, read the instructions label attached along. A few tags say ‘dry-clean only’, follow that strictly.

Step 4 | Disinfection

It’s always a good idea to disinfect your throw pillows right away after or during a wash. You can use a disinfectant spray or a little powdered borax on the pillow and wipe gently or vacuum with a vacuum cleaner. In the case of machine wash, carefully add bleach to the machine.

Step 5 | Drying

Avoid providing excessive heat for drying your pillows or you may damage their delicate fibrous fillings and cause shrinkage. You can dry them on low tumble or hang dry in the open air. Make sure to dry out completely before you place them back on the sofa otherwise it produces a distinctive odor.

However, most pillowcases come with ‘low tumble dry’ instructions with a few exceptions.

 How to clean throw pillows without a removable cover?

It’s hard to wash pillows with non-removable covers, but not impossible. However, it is recommended to handwash at first try. Follow the steps below to clean your pillows:

  • Fill a basin or any bucket with lukewarm water.
  • Add in a mild upholstery detergent or regular washing powder and make a froth.
  • Dip in your pillow and make sure it submerges in the water well.
  • Make sure the inner filling gets sufficiently soaked up as well.
  • After satisfactory cleaning, run cold tap water over the pillow or soak again in clear water to get rid of all the detergent.
  • Let it dry in a well-ventilated area. Do not tumble dry.
  • Sprinkle a little disinfectant powder to maximize cleaning.

Non-removable pillow covers should be avoided in the first place owing to their challenging cleaning. Try vacuuming them more frequently to reduce washing them now and then.


  • Can you wash a throw pillow in a washing machine?

Yes, if the instructions say so. Otherwise, it’s always a good idea to handwash your throw pillowcase or rinses it at the delicate wash cycle in the automatic machine.

  • How to disinfect a throw pillow?

There are many commercially available disinfectant sprays and powders that you can use according to your throw pillow fabric and insert material. However, spot test at the backside of the pillow first to avoid staining.

  • How to keep your throw pillows clean for longer times?

Repetitively vacuum or dust the pillowcases as well as pillow inserts. This will enhance their lifespan and won’t require early wet washing.

  • Can any detergent be used to wash your throw pillow?

Ideally, mild detergents with little bleaching and antimicrobial properties should be used.