Can I Wash Pillows In The Washing Machine?






I have 2 pillows on my bed that need to be washed. The pillows are turning a light yellow color and have stains. I would like to know, can I wash my pillows in my front loading washing machine. One of my neck pillows is made from memory foam and made by Tempurpedic. The other pillow is a goose down feather pillow and from Pacific Coast. Can you advise me on how to wash my 2 different types of pillows?

Can I Wash Pillows In The Washing MachineCan I Wash Pillows In The Washing Machine?

Important: Do NOT wash memory foam pillows in the washing machine. Memory foam pillows are NOT machine washable. (Memory foam absorbs water and breaks apart) It is recommended to only HAND WASH memory foam pillows. A pillow made of down, cotton, feather, or synthetic material can be washed in a washer as long as you follow the specific directions.

How To Clean All Types Of Pillows

There are multiple types of pillows on the market today. Each type of pillow needs to be cared for and washed in a different way. Some pillows are machine washable and others need to be washed by hand. Below we show how to wash a memory foam pillow vs a feather or down pillow. If you follow the guides below, your pillows will stay clean, fresh, and like new.

Can I Wash A Memory Foam Pillow In The Washer?

NO… A memory foam pillow will hold water. Memory foam pillows should never be washed in a washing machine. The foam breaks up into chunks when it gets wet. Foam pillows also absorb and hold a large amount of water. You can take the pillow case off the memory foam pillow and wash it in the washing machine separately. Foam pillows are not machine washable – Only HAND WASH memory foam pillows.



How To Wash Memory Foam Pillows?

Remove the pillow case and wash it in the washing machine. Hand wash the memory foam pillow in a clean sink filled with warm/hot water. Wipe the surface of the pillow with a warm wet cloth and clean off any stains. Get the pillow wet and squeeze and massage the pillow to help extract the dirt and oils.

Once clean, do not put the memory foam pillow in the dryer. High heat can destroy the foam. Dry the wet memory foam pillow in the sun on a large clean towel. Be sure the pillow is completely dry before using it as mold can grow if not fully dry.

Can I Wash A Down/Feather Pillow In The Washing Machine?

YES… A down, cotton, feather, or synthetic pillow is machine washable. If your pillow has a pillowcase, always remove the pillow case and wash it with the pillow. Always wash 2 pillows at a time and spaced equally apart so the washing machine is balanced. Most decorative pillows can be washed in the same way.

Be sure to read the tag on the pillow for USE and CARE instructions before washing. If you aren’t sure, you can go to the manufacturer website and read the use and care guide. If you bought on Amazon, go to the link where you bought the pillow and read the USE and CARE instructions.

How To Wash Down/Feather Pillows In The Washer?

Place 2 pillows in the washing machine. (Front Loading or Top Loading Washer) Make sure to put one pillow on each side of the washer to balance out the wash tub. Add in the recommended amount of detergent. Use a liquid detergent instead of a powder as powdered detergent can leave a white residue.

For super white pillows, use a small amount of non-chlorine BLEACH and a quarter cup of BORAX. Set your washer on the LARGE or BULKY setting and use HOT water. If needed, add one extra rinse cycle to make sure the soap is washed away.

After washing, put the pillows in the dryer. Set the dryer to LOW HEAT or AIR FLUFF and start the dryer. If the pillows are still damp after drying, repeat the process one more time. If you do not have a dryer, it is best to dry the pillows in the sun. Be sure the pillow is completely dry before using it as mold can grow if not fully dry.



Can I Wash Shredded Memory Foam Pillows In The Washing Machine?

NO… The material in the pillow will become damaged in a washing machine. It is best to HAND WASH a shredded memory foam pillow. When drying your pillow, the high heat from the dryer can actually melt the foam. Using a washing machine or dryer with a shredded memory foam pillow can damage it and is not recommended.


How to Wash and Whiten Yellow Pillows

How To Keep Memory Foam Pillows Clean?

Use bed bug or allergy proof pillow covers. This helps so skin cells and dirt cannot penetrate into the foam pillow. This also helps to prevent dust mites and bed bugs from getting into the pillow. Dust Mite & Allergy Control Pillow Protector

Allergy Control Pillow ProtectorDust Mite & Allergy Control Pillow Protector

Can I Machine Wash A Pillow With A Cool Gel Layer?

Some pillows have a cool gel layer that is on the top of the pillow. It works by cooling the surface of the pillow and keeps you cool when sleeping. This type of pillow should not be put in the washing machine. The gel layer in the pillow will slowly deteriorate if washed in a washing machine. Always hand wash a gel layer pillow by hand.

My Pillows Have Stains And Cannot Be Washed

If you have an expensive pillow that cannot be washed in a washing machine, you can add a pillowcase and simply wash only the pillow case. This way you still have your nice pillow but the surface is clean and can be washed in the future.

How Often Should You Wash Your Pillows?

It is recommended to wash pillows at least twice a year or every 3 months. The pillow case or covers should be washed every 30 days. Use a liquid detergent instead of a powder as powdered detergent can leave a white residue.



Do you have a certain type of pillow and not sure if you can wash it in the washer? Please leave your question below and let us know what type of pillow you have.

ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant
Allen is a Home Maintenance/Appliance tech and the author/creator of this website. He has 30 years of experience troubleshooting and repairing all types of machinery. Contact here



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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Mark Braniff December 13, 2018 at 9:24 pm

I just tried washing a solid memory foam pillow in my washing machine. This is a really bad idea and will destroy your pillow. My memory foam pillow pulled in lots of of water from the washing machine. The foam in the pillow ripped apart super easy. I tried to squeeze out the water but there is just too much.

I did not read this article first and now I have destroyed my pillow. I will have to get a nice new pillow, but yeah, DO NOT WASH A MEMORY FOAM PILLOW IN THE WASHER! I live in a cold area so I will probably buy a new goose down pillow with a flannel pillow cover and that should keep me warm. Then I can wash my new pillow in the washer!

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