Can you please tell me how to wash a feather pillow in the washing machine? Can I use regular detergent? And is it okay to use hot instead of cold or warm water?
Molly Ringler, MN
Hello, and thank you for asking how to wash a feather pillow in the washing machine. That’s an excellent question. The answer depends on two things.
The first is whether your pillow has a care tag that shows the cleaning that the manufacturer recommends. Similar to when you wash a down comforter, the label should tell you if the down pillow is machine-washable. If it is, it will say what temperature is needed. The same recommendations also apply when you want to wash bamboo pillows or those made with different materials.
But in real life, not everyone keeps those tags. In that case, if you want to try washing the pillow in the machine, I have advice that will help. All the details are in this article: https://www.tipsbulletin.com/how-to-wash-pillows/ But, here comes the summary.
To begin, you’ll want to use a front-loading washer because it doesn’t have an agitator in the middle. Next, err on the side of safety and use the delicate setting with warm water. This temperature protects the feathers. Also, use detergent appropriate for washing delicate clothing. Finally, run the rinse cycle twice to make sure you removed all the soap from the pillow.
Of course, you can also hand-wash pillows. The bathtub is the best place for this task. Be prepared to spend a little time to do it right.
Now, there is a problem with what I just told you if you wanted to kill off dust mites or sanitize your pillow. Warm water probably won’t do the trick. You’ll want to use hot, but hot water may damage the down.
After washing, it’s time to pop the pillow in the dryer. Before you do, fluff it up to break up clumps of feathers. Then dry the pillow on low. Again, it may not be hot enough to kill mites, but it avoids wrecking the feathers. If you toss in a couple of clean tennis balls wrapped in socks, they help to fluff a feather pillow as it dries.
These same rules apply when cleaning outdoor furniture cushions. If the cushions have removable covers, wash those in the washing machine separately from the cushions. Remove stains with a DIY stain remover beforehand and your cushions will be as good as new.
Of course, you can’t throw a dirty mattress in the washer like you can most feather pillows. The best way for how to disinfect a mattress is to take it outside in the sunshine. The sun’s powerful UV rays kill even the most harmful organisms. If you have urine, vomit, or blood stains on your mattress, it’s essential to know how to deep clean a mattress, too, to get rid of unwanted smells and stains forever.
In summary, I hope these tips help you wash your pillow successfully.