I was changing our sheets the other day, and I noticed that our pillows were a bit dirty. So I wondered “Can you wash pillows in the washing machine?” Turns out, you definitely can! So if you have some pillows that need a good cleaning, today’s post will show you how to wash pillows in the washer!
A quick search returned this tutorial, so I tried it out. Her recipe calls for Borax, which I’m not a huge fan of (remember my borax free homemade laundry detergent?), so I substituted washing soda instead; it works great!
I started out by washing the two pillows and pillow covers that were on our bed, and they came out so bright white and clean that I went ahead and washed all the rest of the pillows in the house that day! I can’t believe how easy it is to wash pillows in the washing machine, and the extra soaps really helped! The combination of laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, washing soda, and bleach took out all the yellow sweat spots and our pillows look brand new again!
How To Wash Pillows In The Washing Machine
- 10 minutes (time spent doing stuff)
- 3 hours (time spent waiting around)
- 3 hours 10 minutes (total project time)
- washing machine
- large tub or laundry sink for soaking (if you have a front loading machine)
- 1 C laundry detergent (liquid or powder, doesn’t matter, I like Tide)
- 1/2 C washing soda
- 1 C dishwasher detergent (I like Cascade Complete)
- 1 C bleach
Here’s a dirty pillow before I washed it.
Ugh! See the yellow spots in the bottom corner? And it’s a little hard to tell, but the whole pillow is just kinda dingy and yellow! And here are the removable pillow covers that came off of our bedroom pillows.
Start by checking the tags on your pillows to make sure they can be washed in the washing machine. Most pillows can, regardless of whether they’re down or synthetic, but a few can’t.
If your pillows have removable pillow covers on them, take them off. You can throw the pillow covers in the washing machine with your pillows, but make sure they’re separate so the pillows get nice and clean as well!
Set your washing machine to the longest cycle (preferably one with two rinses) and fill it with hot water, as hot as you can get it! As the machine is filling, add the detergents, bleach, and washing soda.
By the way, if you have a front loading washing machine, you probably can’t fill the washer and then add the pillows later. So instead, just fill a large tub or a laundry sink with hot water and do the soaking piece in there. Then transfer the pillows over to the washing machine and continue following the instructions in this post.
I manually turned the agitator a few times to make sure all of the detergent was dissolved.
Once your detergent is dissolved, add your pillows! I washed two at a time to make sure the washer was balanced during the spin cycle at the end. Stick them in as far as they’ll go, but don’t worry if they aren’t completely covered.
Turn the machine on and let it agitate for a few minutes, then flip the pillows upside down so that the top edge is in the water. Once the pillows are flipped, leave the lid open so the machine doesn’t start running, and let the pillows soak for an hour or two. Then start the machine again and let it run through its full cycle.
Once the pillows are washed, it’s time to dry them! And luckily, you can do that in your dryer! Just toss the pillows in, and add a few dryer balls to help them dry thoroughly. I put a few clean tennis balls inside some of JM’s clean socks and threw those in, and they worked great!
If your pillows are synthetic, set your dryer to the low heat setting; if your pillows are feather or down, just use the tumble dry (no heat) option.
Once your dryer is done, pull out your pillows and pillow covers and admire how clean they are!!! Look, all the yellow spots in the bottom corner are gone, and the whole pillow is ten shades whiter than it was before!
And the covers are totally white again too!
And now you know how to wash pillows in the washing machine!
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