How To Wash a Pillow by Hand or Washing Machine

(Image credit: 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.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

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.

More great tips and tutorials: Cleaning Basics

Edited from post by Jonathan B. originally published March 2008

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