How to wash a throw pillow

How To Wash Throw Pillows

Want to learn how to wash throw pillows? Read on…

With every fluffy thing you use to decorate your bed or your couch comes another thing to add to your laundry list. With most items, like blankets or sheets, you can just pop them in the washing machine and see great results. 

Unfortunately, pillows are a little different. You can’t just throw them in a washer, add detergent, and hope for the best, right? Because pillows can be prone to ripping, it’s important to know how to make the most of your washing endeavors. This article will help you learn how to work with some of the most demanding bedding out there.

Can You Put Throw Pillows In The Washing Machine?


Believe it or not, most throw pillows can be placed in the washing machine without any issue. To see if your pillow can be thrown in the wash, check to see what the tag says. Dry clean only pillows need to be dry-cleaned.

Even though most pillows can machine washed, you still need to do it the right way to ensure you get your pillows properly washed. Here’s what you need to do:


  • Check to see if you can remove the cover from your pillow. If you can remove it, wash it separately. If you can remove the stuffing, do so and set it aside. 
  • If your pillow or pillow cover has a stain, use a gentle pre-treatment on it. This is not always necessary, so skip it if it’s a small stain or if you managed to keep your pillow stain-free.
  • Machine wash full pillows on a warm, delicate cycle. Use minimal, gentle laundry detergent if you want to add a fresh scent. Don’t add bleach to your pillows!
  • If you are just washing the cover, use a cold to warm wash on a delicate cycle. Like with full pillows, you should use a delicate detergent that does not carry any bleach in it. 
  • Restuff your pillows if you have to, then hang them to dry. If you can’t hang them, just leave them on a counter to dry off or pop them in the dryer.

Can You Use A Steam Cleaner On Your Throw Pillows?


If there’s one thing that’s great for delicate fabrics, it’s the use of a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners work well with pillows that are made with delicate fabric, and can actually work fairly well as a refresher.

How Often Do You Need To Wash Your Throw Pillows?


How frequently you need to wash your throw pillows depends on how often they’re used as well as any environmental upkeep. Most throw pillows only need to be washed once a month or so, unless they’re being used daily. 


Throw Pillow Cleaning Tips


Need help getting your pillows clean as can be? These tips will give you the results you need:


  • Wash your throw pillows of similar color together. This prevents your colors from bleeding. 
  • Spot cleaning is something you should strongly consider for stains. You can usually do this with a sponge and some mild detergent. Just apply detergent and dab your affected area with a sponge.
  • If you can’t find a tag with your pillow’s instructions, figure out your cleaning method by examining that material. Delicate materials like silk, velvet, and satin tend to require dry cleaning. Otherwise, you probably will be good to go with a machine. 
  • Throw pillows that are extremely delicate are best treated via handwashing and leaving them out to dry. It’s best not to take chances with antique pillows, since one bad wash can ruin them.
  • Do not try to find an alternative route for dry cleaning. If it’s dry clean only, don’t try to use a different type of cleaning method for it.

Can You Put Throw Pillows In A Dryer?

Throw pillows that are machine washable can usually be thrown in the dryer, but only if you take the stuffing out first. When putting your pillows in the dryer, make sure to dry them on a low tumble, with a low-to-medium heat. 

Need to fluff up your pillows a little? Put them in the dryer for a couple of minutes and add some wool dryer balls. The dryer balls will work to fluff them up and restore their shape. Do not expose throw pillows to high heat, regardless of the needs.


What Is The Best Way To Keep Your Throw Pillows Clean?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to things that can be as annoying to treat as throw pillows. These tips will help you reduce the number of times you need to sanitize your pillows:


  • If you don’t use your pillows much, dust them at least once a week. A quick wipedown is more than enough for most regular maintenance. You can also do vacuuming, if dusting isn’t your jam.
  • Don’t be afraid to use a steam cleaner if you just need to sanitize the fabric. Steam cleaners just make sense as a refresher.
  • Keep pillows away from food and moisture. Nothing quite ruins a good throw pillow like a tomato sauce stain. 
  • Avoid placing pillows in reach of pets and young children. We don’t want to see doggie drool on them, do we?
  • Most throw pillows take very well to linen spray. Linen sprays are excellent tools for people who just want to ensure that their pillows smell fresh. We suggest using lavender as a way to get your aromatherapy on. 



If you were wondering how you should treat your throw pillows during cleaning, it’s usually best summed up as “very carefully.” Each pillow needs to be carefully inspected before you make the decision to throw it in the wash, since many of them won’t actually be compatible with the roughness of machinery. 

How to wash throw pillows

When in doubt, give your pillows to professional cleaners who will be able to determine the best course of action. Otherwise, you might end up having to shop around for some new pillows.