How to Wash Feather Pillows
Good feather pillows can add a plush and luxurious look to your bedroom. When you find that feather pillow that’s just perfect for you, you want to keep it as long as you can.
But what about when your pillow gets dirty or starts to develop an odour? Can you wash it? Yes! This guide will show you how.
Can You Wash Feather Pillows?
You can absolutely wash feather pillows at home! Unlike foam pillows, feather pillows can handle washing and drying. The process of washing your pillows can even reinvigorate an older feather pillow and restore the filling to close to its original fluffiness.
Most feather pillows can fit comfortably inside a standard washing machine and dryer, which is great for convenience. Barring that, you can also hand wash a feather pillow as long as you’re careful.
Read our guide on down vs feather pillows to discover more about the differences and how to care for these pillows.
When Should You Wash a Feather Pillow?
Pay attention to the condition of your pillows. If you notice any odours or any yellowing of the fabric, it’s probably time for a wash. If you use pillowcases on your feather pillow, wash those as often as once a week.
How Often Should You Wash a Feather Pillow?
You should wash feather pillows at least once every six months, regardless of whether or not you use a pillow protector. We recommend washing that often to make sure your pillows avoid the normal buildup of hair, oils, and skin that all pillows get. Washing at least twice per year will help keep your pillows as fresh as the day you bought them.
Read our guide to how often you should wash bedding to keep your bedding clean and fresh.
How Do You Wash a Feather Pillow in a washing machine?
If you have access to a washer at home or a laundromat, that’s your best bet. Here are the steps!
1 - Remove Covers
Make sure that you’ve taken off any pillowcases and pillow protectors.
2 - Check the Label
These steps should apply to most feather pillows but always check the label on your pillows for any specific instructions.
3 - Pre-Treat
If any tough stains, like makeup or blood, are on your pillow. Pre-treat according to the label on your pillows.
4 - Double Up
We recommend washing two pillows at a time. This will help balance your washer out. If you have a front-loading washer with no agitator, that’s ideal, but top-loading washers will work as well. Be sure to load your pillows vertically to avoid the agitator.
5 - Measure Carefully
Too much soap residue can damage your pillow by making feathers lump together. Use no more than 1-2 teaspoonfuls of a low-sudsing detergent for your pillows.
6 - Cycle and Temperature
For feather pillows, always use the delicate cycle. Hot water can effectively get rid of things like dust mites, but it can damage your pillow, so use warm or cool.
7 - Rinse, Spin, Repeat
If you can, add in an extra rinse and spin cycle. This step will help get rid of excess water and soap that could damage your feather pillow.
How to wash a feather pillow by hand
If you don’t have access to a washer, don’t worry! You can generally wash feather pillows by hand, but you have to be sure to be gentle at every step. Here’s what to do:
1 - Find a Tub
You’ll need a tub or bucket large enough to submerge however many luxury pillows you’re looking to wash. Fill with warm water and add 1-2 teaspoonfuls of a low-suds detergent.
2 - Prep Your Pillow and Wash!
Remove any covers. Then, submerge the pillow fully. Carefully knead your pillow to ensure complete coverage. Be sure to be gentle to avoid damaging the feathers!
3 - Rinse
Run water over your pillow and carefully wring and knead. Continue until there are no longer any soap suds coming out in the water. Remember that any remaining soap can damage your pillow, so be thorough.
How to Dry a Feather Pillow?
Similar to washing, you have options for drying your feather pillows. A home or laundromat dryer will work best. Here are the steps:
1 - Prepare
When removing your pillows from the washer, gently press to remove as much water as possible before it even goes into the dryer.
2 - Cycle and Temperature
Always use the delicate cycle. Depending on how quickly you need your pillow, you can use any temperature, but be aware that the warmer the temperature, the more damage you can cause. If you can afford the electricity and time, low and no-heat work best.
2 - Use Multiple Cycles
No matter what temperature you use, it may take several cycles to get your pillow completely dry. Between every cycle, take your pillow out of the dryer and fluff to avoid feather clumping.
Even if your pillow feels dry on the outside, it still may be moist on the inside. Feel for clumping and smell for odours. If those remain, the pillow needs another cycle.
3 - Additions
If you have access to dryer balls or tennis balls, add a few to speed up the drying process without damaging your pillows. Dryer sheets can add an element of freshness.
Without a dryer, the simplest thing to do is to gently wring as much water as possible out of your pillow, then fluff it and leave it on a towel to dry outside. Flip occasionally and check for any remaining moisture or clumps. An additional benefit to this approach is that leaving your pillow to dry outside on a sunny day can help get your pillows bright and white!
What Else Can You Do to Keep Your Feather Pillow Clean?
You can do several things to help keep your feather pillow clean and fresh between washings.
The easiest thing to do is to remove any pillow covers, put your feather pillows into a dryer with a damp washcloth, dryer balls and a fabric softener sheet, and use it on a low-heat setting for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. This simple process will help fluff and freshen!
You can also use pillowcases or other coverings that can be changed out between washings, but that’s a matter of comfort and preference. However you prefer your feather pillow to look and feel is totally you, but you have options!
Once you've finished, learn how to arrange pillows on a bed to make the most of your pillows.
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