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How To Wash Throw Pillows (STEP BY STEP GUIDE)

How To Wash Throw Pillows (STEP BY STEP GUIDE)

Throw pillows have slowly become a functional and decorative staple, thanks to their ease of spicing up any space. They come in various colors, patterns, and sizes, which match varied tastes, preferences, and functions. However, people struggle to find the best way to clean them.

There are different ways to wash throw pillows since the method depends on the throw pillow type. Machine-wash the covers and the throw pillow separately for cotton throw pillows before drying.

The best way to wash throw pillows depends on the type and quality of material and color permanency. This article guides you on what to look for before washing throw pillows and how to go about it.

pillow case men clean

How Often Should One Wash Their Throw Pillows?

Most sleep experts recommend cleaning and washing your pillows on a bi-monthly basis. However, the frequency at which one should wash their throw pillows depends on several factors. These include the location of the throw pillows, the type of material, color, and how often people use them.

For instance, pillows in the living room get dirty faster than those in the office. It is because people use them for neck or leg support. Others use them to support their foods, snacks, and drinks when eating. This way, they absorb a lot of dirt, oils, and dust and require regular washing.

Also, bright-colored throw pillows tend to show dirt easily. You will need to wash white or bright-colored throw pillows more regularly than dull-colored ones. Besides, some materials require immediate washing after staining to lower the chances of permanent stains.

Step By Step Guide To Wash Throw Pillows

There exist millions of different ways to wash throw pillows. These depend on the material of the pillow's fabric, structure, and washing instructions. Follow the following steps to know what to do before washing throw pillows and how to wash them:

Remove The Throw Pillow Covers

Begin by undressing your throw pillows by removing their covers. Experts recommend separate cleaning of the throw pillows and their covers to promote maximum cleaning. Removing your throw pillow covers also allows you to see the actual state of your throw pillows.

Spot-Clean Your Throw Pillow Covers

It is common to find stubborn spots on throw pillow covers, especially after weeks or months of not cleaning them. Inspect your pillow cover to notice any spots, and prepare a spot cleaning solution. Do this by mixing three parts of hydrogen peroxide with one part of a mild detergent.

To spot-clean your throw pillow covers, spray a natural stain remover on the visible spots. Allow it up to five minutes before rubbing in using a clean damp cloth. You could also rub some mild detergent onto your damp cloth beforehand for faster and easier stain removal.

However, avoid using harsh chemicals, as these might damage your fabric.

Wash And Dry Your Throw Pillow Covers

Most throw pillow covers are made of cotton or polyester and are good with machine washing. So for these, toss them into your washing machine and set the water temperature to cold. Add mild detergent to the detergent dispenser and start washing at a gentle cycle.

Once clean, please put them in the dryer before hanging them for air drying. You could also opt to drip-dry when they are straight out of the washing machine.

However, experts do not recommend machine-washing materials made of silk or velvet. These will make do with dry cleaning methods only.

Determine The Ideal Cleaning Methods For The Throw Pillows

Start by checking the type of material of your throw pillow's fabric to determine the ideal cleaning method. Throw pillows whose fabric is velvet or silk require dry cleaning methods only. However, you can machine wash or hand-wash those made of cotton or polyester.

The best way to check the ideal cleaning method for your throw pillow is to check the tag instructions. Most throw pillow companies indicate ways of washing the throw pillows.

If you cannot find a tag, check the warranty or read the cleaning instructions online on the company's website. You could also determine the ideal cleaning method based on the type of throw pillow fabric.

You could also conduct a spot test to check for color transfer on the fabric. Add the cleaning solution to a white towel before blotting it on the throw pillow fabric. Allow it about thirty seconds before checking for any color transfer. Let it dry and inspect again for color transfer or quality change.

Sponge Clean Your Throw Pillows

Proceed to sponge-cleaning the throw pillows if there is no visible color transfer or quality change on the fabric. Sponge-cleaning removes dirt and gunk on the surface of the throw pillow. You could also treat this as spot-cleaning your throw pillows.

Get mild detergent or upholstery shampoo and rub it on a piece of quality sponge, then start rubbing in. Pay closer attention to folds, pipes, and stubborn spots. Continue rubbing in a circular motion until you notice the elimination of dirt on the throw pillow surface.

Once done, blot any excess moisture using a clean white towel and repeat the process for other throw pillows.

Machine Wash Them In Warm Water

Put linen, cotton, or polyester throw pillows in a washing machine and set the water temperature to warm or hot. Ensure that your machine is a front-loading or a top-loading washer with no agitator. If your top loader contains an agitator, place your throw pillows vertically.

Then, add a mild detergent to the soap dispenser and begin washing on a gentle cycle. Ensure you put two throw pillows at once to prevent cramming the washing machine. Cramming it would destroy the machine or limit movement, reducing the chances of eliminating all the dirt.

We also recommend using hot water as it kills any allergens like dust mites available in the throw pillows. Hot water also melts and washes away any oils and dirt that cannot get away with cold water.

Once the cycle is complete, run your throw pillows through a second rinse. Such will remove any accumulation of dirt or detergent still in the pillow that escaped the first rinse. Also, pass it via an extra spin to squeeze out excessive water.

Fluff In A Dryer

Place your clean throw pillow into a dryer if the instructions on its tag allow for the same. Add some clean dryer balls, tennis balls in clean cotton socks, or clean and dry towels for better drying. These also fluff up the throw pillow during drying. Please set it to low heat and begin the cycle.

Once the drying cycle is complete, inspect for dampness or wetness. If your pillow is visibly damp, run another drying cycle under low heat. Avoid drying it in medium to high heat as higher temperatures could damage your throw pillows.

Also, avoid putting memory foam throw pillows into a dryer as the heat will damage them.

pillow case wash

Hand-Wash Where Necessary

Experts recommend against washing memory foam or feather throw pillows in a washing machine; hence, advice for hand washing or dry-cleaning.

To hand wash a throw pillow:

  1. Put warm water in a washing tab and add mild soap.
  2. Soak the throw pillows for about thirty minutes, then begin agitating your throw pillow by hand.
  3. Continue agitating and gentle washing, then rinse.

Once done, wrap your throw pillow with a clean and dry cotton towel, then squeeze gently to eliminate excessive water. Avoid wringing or twisting since it damages the throw pillow's quality and structure.

Hang-Dry Your Clean Throw Pillows

Hang your pillow out in a warm and airy place for drying. We recommend putting it out in the sun since it dries and deodorizes. Unhung your throw pillows and their covers once dry and take them inside for a clean and fresh experience.


Throw pillows are among home pieces that hardly ever undergo cleaning or washing. Yet, it is vital to wash throw pillows as it eliminates dirt, dust, and sweat. We advise knowing the type of material in your throw pillow before washing it to avoid destroying it.