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How To Wash a Pillow by Hand or Washing Machine

And how often they should be washed.

Apartment Therapy

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Photos by Ashley Poskin

Can you remember the last time you washed your pillow? It’s generally a good idea to do it at least once each year to keep them fresh, clean, and free of dust mites. Whether you wash by hand or machine, this simple task will put your mind at ease and literally help you sleep at night.

What You Need


  • Mild, low-suds detergent


  • Washing machine or deep sink


  1. Remove the pillow protector (using a zippered protector plus a pillowcase helps to keep your pillows cleaner.)
  2. Fill the sink or washing machine with very hot water. Hot water kills dust mites without the need for bleach or other harsh chemicals.
  3. Add mild, low-suds detergent (I used Woolite).
  4. Add the pillow and agitate.
  5. Rinse several times.
  6. Press excess water out of the pillow with a white terry cloth towel. If you have a feather pillow do not wring it out or twist it -you’ll smash the feathers.
  7. Place the pillow in the dryer and air dry, or hang to dry outside. Fluff manually, or toss a a few clean tennis balls in the dryer.

Ashley Poskin traded the quiet life of a small town in a big house for the hustle and bustle of the Windy City. On any given day you might find her working on a freelance photo or blogging gig, wrangling her little darling, or walking Chuck the boxer.

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This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy and was published June 5, 2019. This article is republished here with permission.

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