How to Wash Throw Pillows


People often forget to clean things like throw pillows when they clean their homes. The answer to the question “Can you wash throw pillows?” is “Yes.” The way to wash them depends upon the material they are made of, though. For example, you need to dry clean a silk throw pillow but not a foam-filled one.

No one wants to put a soft cushion in the washing machine and have it come out all messed up. The best way to figure out how to wash throw pillows is to look at the care label. But what if the tag is hard to read or is missing?

All you can do is try to figure out what it is made of as best you can. Once you know what your throw pillows are made of, you can use one of the tips and techniques to clean them.

How to Clean Throw Pillows

You must know how to clean your throw pillows. It would be best to clean your pillows every 3 to 6 months, based on how often you use them. Read the care directions on the pillow’s tag carefully before washing.

Dry-cleaning may be required for down-filled pillows or pillows manufactured from fragile textiles.

1. Remove the Cover

Washing pillows regularly is a need in your household, a removable cover is a great option. They come in a wide range of sizes and can be washed, dried, and put back on the sofa in a matter of hours. They also make decorating simple and cost-effective for a given style or season.

Remove the pillow coverings from the filler pillow and wash them according to the care instructions if you’re lucky (or smart enough!).

2. Pre-treat Deep Down Dirt and Stains

You’ll have to wash the entire pillow if it doesn’t have a cover. To begin with, you’ll need to remove any accumulated stains or grime.

This is critical, as the pillows must be washed on a delicate cycle. These spots may not be removed even after pre-treatment, leaving your pillows permanently stained.

When pre-treating a stain, use a sponge to apply a suitable remover to the area softly yet thoroughly. Allow the fabric to soak up the solution as instructed. Use a non-fading remover like Dreft, which is mild but effective in removing stains.

Also Read: How to Arrange Pillows on a Bed (11 Ways)

3. Machine Wash on Gentle Cycle

If the pillow tag indicates that the pillow is machine washable, the next step is to wash your pillow. Make use of a mild detergent and a delicate wash cycle. This should remove any accumulated dirt and debris from the pillow.

4. Hang to Dry

It’s best to dry throw pillows on a clothesline rather than in the dryer to avoid lumpy stuffing. As a result, using the dryer on low heat may be an option.

Keep an eye out for melting pillow stuffing, which can occur at higher temperatures. A few dryer balls will keep the pillow in place.

5. Fluff

After your pillow has been washed and allowed to air-dry, please return it to the couch or bed and give it a good fluffing with your hands.

Also Read: How to Wash Feather Pillows

How to Wash Couch Pillows

If your couch pillows are coated in a fabric comparable to a throw pillow, cleaning them may be a snap. Couches have several different types of upholstery, including suede, leather, microfiber, and woven upholstered fabric.

1. Couch Pillows with Removeable Covers

Simply washing the covers of your couch cushions is all you need to do if they have removable covers that are machine washable. Wash the coverings inside out on the gentle cycle with warm water. To avoid shrinkage, hang clothes to dry if at all possible.

2. Couch Pillows with Non-Removeable Covers

If the covers of your pillows are not removable, the only way to clean them properly is to either hand wash them or spot clean them.

Also Read: 13 Best Pillow Protectors for Good Sleep

3. Handwashing

You may wash couch cushions in a large container, sink, or bathtub if they are composed of materials that can be submerged in water, such as polyester or cotton.

  • Use warm water and a little soap in a washing machine.
  • Remove stains and dirt from the pillow’s outside with a sponge rubbed in warm water.
  • Remove the tub’s used water.
  • With extra warm water, rinse thoroughly. Re-flush the tub.
  • Roll your pillow like a toothpaste tube to squeeze out as much water as possible before drying. Avoid damaging the filler by being cautious.
  • A well-ventilated space is the best place to dry these items. Once they are dry, please do not put them back on the couch.

4. Spot Cleaning Delicate Fabrics

It’s essential to maintain couch cushions that are coated in non-washable textiles like leather, suede, or upholstery with care. Brush the cushions and vacuum up any debris on leather and upholstery.

Afterward, use a soft cloth and warm water with a bar of mild soap to spot clean the area. To remove any soap residue left after cleaning the area, use a clean moist cloth to wipe the area.

To remove dirt from suede, use a soft brush with the grain followed by a vacuum cleaner. The only method to get rid of tough stains from suede is to use a suede cleaner designed for this purpose. Always perform a spot test first to ensure that the product won’t leave a blemish.

How to Wash Throw Pillows Without Removable Cover

Pillows paired with removable covers or cushions that are discolored or smelly should be cleaned by spot-cleaning unless care instructions say that they can be machine washed.

For those that can be washed in the machine, use a moderate washing detergent in cold water and a delicate cycle. Use no or low heat to dry according to the instructions.

As for pillows made of sensitive materials and loaded with microbeads, dry cleaning fluid can be used to spot clean.

Stains can be cleaned with a sponge or white cloth soaked in cleaning liquid. Make sure you have a clean white cloth ready to blot any remaining stains.

Also Read: How to Keep Sheets on Bed- 10 Ways

How to Wash Throw Pillows in Top Loading Washer

If you’re using a top-loading washer, stuff it full of cushions to prevent it from tipping over. Here you’ll find one or two pillows (depending on the size). Re-adjust the pillows after you’ve filled the tub with water. Wash on a delicate cycle to keep the pillows from moving too much.

A loud thunking sound can indicate that your machine is out of balance. If this happens, open the washer and wait for the spinning to stop before re-adjusting the pillows. Allow the machine to complete spinning the water out of the cushions before closing the lid.

How to Clean Throw Pillows that can’t be Washed

Some throw pillows are composed of washable fabric, but the filling is non-washable. Spot clean any stains or grime on the pillow’s surface in these circumstances. Dry cleaning is the best option for more serious stains or odors. Otherwise, you may need to buy a new pillow.

Cleaning dirty spots on a pillow are best by gently massaging the stain using a sponge and upholstery cleaning.

Remove any soap residue from the pillow’s surface by wiping it with a sponge that has been rinsed and then using it to “rinse” the pillow. Using a clean towel, gently remove any remaining wetness.

Also Read: 13 Best Down Pillow for Every Type of Sleeper

How to Wash Throw Pillows in Washer

A front-loading washing machine is preferable to a top-loading machine since it is less prone to have balancing concerns. Place your cushions loosely in the drum of the washing machine.

If they are crammed so closely that water can’t reach them, they won’t be able to accomplish their job. Warm water and a mild detergent should be used in a delicate cycle.

How to Wash Throw Pillows with Stuffing

In addition to the above instructions, you can wash polyester pillows by following the same procedure as cotton pillows. Use only a modest amount of detergent to keep the soap from clinging to the fibers.

Liquid detergent is all that is needed for this. Before allowing them to dry, ensure sure they’ve been well rinsed. Not thoroughly rinsing away soap residue might cause the musty smell to develop over time.

Throw Pillows Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Depending on the cushion you own, throw pillows can be cleaned in various ways. A front-loading washing machine can be used for some items, but others must be spot cleaned or hand washed to avoid damaging them.

  1. The first step is to figure out how to clean your pillows properly. Check your pillow for a care label from the manufacturer. Depending on who you ask, some may advise dry cleaning only, while others may advise hand washing the pillows with a light detergent. Others will instruct you only to clean specific areas.
  2. Determine the type of the materials if there is no care label available. The dry cleaning fluid is commonly used to clean silks and velvets. Delicate washing with water is safe for other materials, such as cotton or polyester.
  3. Use a white cloth and the appropriate cleaning solution to do a spot test on the fabric. For 30 seconds, blot this against the throw pillow. Afterward, check the towel to see if any color has been transferred, allow it to dry, and then check again to ensure the color has not vanished.
  4. Some throw pillows can be sponge cleaned. An excellent upholstery shampoo and a high-quality sponge will do the trick. Circular motions are best for applying the foam wash to the pillows, with extra attention paid to piping and other crevices. Clean white towels can be used to remove extra moisture and shampoo.
  5. Clean the fabric with a clean and dry sponge immersed in the dry cleaning solution, pushing it into the piping, creases, and folds of your pillow in a circular motion.

Also Read: How to Get Blood out of Pillow (5 Ways)

How Often Should You Wash Throw Pillows?

Don’t forget about your decorative pillows when you’re cleaning your house. Pillows with a lot of adornment are a common sight in many homes, both in the bedrooms and the living areas.

If your pillows have a removable cover, the frequency with which they need to be washed varies on how often the cover is changed.

If this is the case, washing the pillowcases every month is recommended. On the other hand, maintaining and cleaning the pillow’s filling should be done at least every two months.


It is essential to wash and dry pillows to maintain optimum cleanliness, reduce the number of allergens contained in your pillows, and provide appropriate support. The in-depth instructions for how to wash throw pillows can be found up top.

However, not all varieties of pillows can be laundered and dried similarly. Suppose you are not attentive to the various methods of washing and drying the different types of pillows. In that case, you risk compromising the quality and longevity of your pillows.

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