Updated at: 03-10-2020 - By: Jane Brody

Did you know that throw pillows are like our friends? A throw pillow is there to support and comfort you after a long day. Whether on your bed or couch, we find ourselves cuddling them up. Just like you do with the rest of your friends, your throw pillows need support if you expect to get the same in return. We make a lot of mistakes by neglecting our throw pillows and leaving them unattended. Your throw pillow will not maintain the same freshness all year long since it will accumulate dirt, get musty, and attract dust mites too. With all that, your comforter will no longer be welcoming. So how best can you take care of your friend? Do you know how to wash throw pillows? Keep reading.

Why Do You Need to Wash Your Throw Pillows?

When you are doing a thorough cleaning on your home, you take out your curtains, duvets, bed sheets, and mattress covers for cleaning. You also clean the rugs and carpets, but most of us overlook the throw pillows. We mostly use throw cushions on our beds, sofas, or window seats. Most of us will never attend to them until they become visibly dirty. If your throw pillows are where they come into a lot of contact with contaminants, you should clean them on a semi-regular basis. You can wash them at least after every three months to get rid of dirt, bacteria, dust mites, and keep them fresh.

How to Wash Throw Pillows 

How to Hand Wash Throw Pillows

Washing through pillows can take a bit of your time, but it is not rocket science. It becomes a little difficult if you are doing it manually, but it is still doable. What do you need when washing your throw pillows?

  • Warm water
  • A vacuum cleaner that has an upholstery attachment
  • A large basin or your bathtub
  • An old toothbrush or a soft scrub brush
  • An old clean cloth
  • A terry cloth towel
  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • Mild soap or detergent

After gathering all that you need to clean your throw pillows, you should get going. Here is a step by step guide that will help you clean your pillows without damaging them.

Step 1:

Gather your cleaning tools and use your vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove all debris such a dust, dander, crumbs, and hair strands on your pillow. Be careful when going over the delicate areas with stitches or soft fabrics that can easily get torn. Use the lowest settings on the vacuum cleaner if it is possible.

Step 2:

Fill your bathtub or a large basin with warm water. Add a small amount of cleaning detergent or soap that can kill germs and bacteria. Wearing your pair of rubber gloves, swirl the water to form lather or bubbles. Put your throw pillows into the cleaning solutions, fully submerging them so that they soak in the water.

Keep pushing the pillows into the water and allowing them to rise on the surface and push them back as many times as possible until the pillows and their fillings are completely soaked in water.

Step 3:

Use your soft scrubbing brush or your old toothbrush to gently brush over the surface of your throw pillows in a circular motion. Be very gentle with the delicate parts. You can use some force on the tough stained areas.

Place back the pillow into the water and submerge it fully to remove the excess lather. Flip over the other side and repeat the process. Do that for all your pillows until you are satisfied.

Step 4:

Using your brush, gently scrub the edges and seams of your throw pillows until thoroughly clean.

Step 5:

Once you are satisfied, all the pillows are clean, remove them from the soapy water and place them on a clean sheet. Discarded the water and refill your tub or a large basin with some more warm water.

Place back your pillows in the water and take turns to submerge each in the water to rinse off the cleaning solution. Soak them fully until you feel that you have removed all the soap.

Step 6:

Remove each pillow from the rinse water and place them on your terry cloth towel. Do not wring them; instead, twist the towel to remove excess water safely. Use a dry towel for each pillow until no water is dripping.

Step 7:

Following the instructions on your pillow’s tag, you can dry them in the dryer, or you can peg them by their corners on the drying line. Place them back on their spot once dry and pat yourself on the back for doing it so well!

How to Hand Wash Throw Pillows

How to Wash Throw Pillows in A Front-Loading Washer?

There are so many things that dwell in your pillows, and it can be downright unsettling, right from bacteria to dander, dust mites, oils, and molds. The process of cleaning all your throw pillows can be daunting. A front-loading washing machine can be sure to save the day and make the process simple and quick.

Check all your pillows for any tears or holes to avoid making messes with torn pillows while cleaning. Such should be hand washed using the process above.

What will you need for the process?

  • A toothbrush
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry detergent
  • Tennis balls

Check your pillows for the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that your throw pillows are machine safe.

Place two throw pillows at a time in the front-loader to ensure that the machine is in balance. Use warm water and laundry detergent to wash your pair of pillows using the gentle cycle. If there are some stubborn stains, use a toothbrush to scrub them off gently.

Once the cycle is over, remove you throw pillows from the washer and place them in the dryer. To safe keep the fillings and prevent your throws from clumping, add several tennis balls in the dryer together with the pillows. Dry your throw pillows under low heat.

Check your pillows to ensure that they are thoroughly dry since holding moisture in the pillows gives room for molds’ growth. Put back the pillow covers and place your throw pillows on their spot.

How to Wash Throw Pillows Without Removable Covers?

You can only decide the right procedure to clean your throw pillows, depending on the kind of material they are made of.

How do you carry out a fabric test?

Always do a spot test, unless you are sure of the type of fabric used to make your pillows. Sometimes there are manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your throw pillows, and if there are no instructions, perform a spot test.

On a small part of the fabric, probably an area that is not in direct sight, use some cleaning detergent and some warm water to do the test. If the spot test goes well, and there is no negative outcome, clean a larger space. It will help you confirm whether the idea you have in mind works on your throw pillows.

How to Wash Cotton Throw Pillows?

It is safe to machine wash and tumble throw pillows made of cotton covers. However, if you wrongly wash the natural fabric, it tends to shrink. Ensure that your check the tag for instructions. In case you are not sure, clean your cotton covered throw pillows in a cold water cycle.

Wash two throw pillows at a go to give the washing machine drum some balance. Remove your clean pillows from the wash and dry them completely.

How to Wash Polyester Throw Pillows?

If you have polyester pillows, you can clean them the same way as the cotton throw pillows. However, polyester does not shrink like cotton; hence you can wash your throw pillows in a warm cycle.

Polyester pillows dry out faster than cotton pillows, but you should ensure that you allow them to dry properly. Using them while damp leads to funny odors, mildew, and molds that keep growing over time.

How to Wash Leather Throw Pillows?

Leather throw pillows are not so common, but they are not only elegant but also durable. They need less cleaning, unlike other types, and their treatment is also different.

The safest way to clean your leather throw pillows is by using a very soft cloth and distilled water. Dip your soft cloth in the distilled water to dampen it, then buff your leather throw pillows. Do not use so much water and be gentle.

Do not use any other detergents except the recommended leather cleaning agent to avoid damages and polish the leather by applying any leather conditioner.

How to Wash Wool, Velvet, Or Silk Throw Pillows

Silk, wool, upholstery, and velvet are some luxurious and exotic fabrics that require special care. These are the highly fine fiber that needs dry cleaning.

You can give your throw pillows a frequent wipe down, use some good cleaning spray regularly, and remember to take them out for airing under the sun.

Do not hand wash or throw your fine pillows in the wash at any one time. The only safe option is to dry clean them.

How to Clean Suede Throw Pillows

Suede throw pillows are the easiest to take care of. Do ever wash them. Always remember that you cannot use any liquid or water to clean your suede pillows. The much you can do is use a suede brush to remove any dirt, although it is a bit expensive. At home, you can safely use any brush that has soft bristles to work out the dirt.

Any time you are working on the suede throw pillows, dampen your soft-bristle brush with a little amount of white vinegar to remove any stains.

How to Wash Throw Pillows Without Removable Covers?

How to Wash Throw Pillows with Removable Cover?

It becomes easier to work on throw pillows with removable covers. Remove the covers and wash them most appropriately, depending on the type of fabric. It is always advisable to hand wash the covers, although you can still machine wash them.

After removing and washing the covers, use some pillow spray and linen freshener on the pillow then take it out for airing. The spray leaves your pillows clean and smelling fresh.

How to Wash Down Feather Throw Pillows

Please do not get yourself worked up when it comes to washing your down feather throw pillows since you can safely toss them in the washer. It is safe to clean them in the front load or top load washing machine that does not have a large spindle or agitator, usually in the middle of some washing machines.

If your machine only has a top load with an agitator, try placing your throw pillows vertically in the tub. Vertical placements reduce the chances of the pillow, wrapping itself around the agitator or getting damaged.

Check your pillow for any tears or slits before washing it and have two pillows in the wash at a time to keep the drum in balance. Do not use a lot of detergents. Give your pillows a delicate wash and rinse them.

Place the throw pillows in the dryer and add some rubber balls to plump your fillings. The balls help stop clumping when your throw pillows are drying.

In a Wrap

If you want to keep your throw pillow clean a little longer, dust or vacuum them regularly. You can use a blower or a vacuum upholstery. Ensure that you are using throw pillow protectors, and wash them regularly. If your throw pillows are hard to clean, do not keep them anywhere near the ground. If you have kids or pets, keep the throw pillows out of reach to avoid soiling them.

To keep your pillows clean, fresh, and free from any health risk, wash them at least every three months. If you have pets or children, you can consider increasing the number of washes. Ensure that you take the time and learn how to wash throw pillows in the right way to avoid damaging them. Always check the pillow tag for the manufacturer’s directions or do a spot if there are no instructions.

Ensure that your pillows are completely dry before you use them to avoid dampness and growth of molds. When drying, take them out from time to time and use your hands to fluff the pillows and break any clumping. If you get any musty smell, put them out for airing in the sun. Take care of your comfy friend to get comfort in return. Happy washing!