How To Wash Throw Pillows Correctly

Today, we are going to show you how to wash throw pillows step by step. As you know, colorful throw pillows can be perfect decorations for your living room sofas, adding a soft and cozy feeling to your living space. 

However, we tend to neglect and forget to wash them frequently. Moreover, if you also use them for head and neck support, they can be even dirtier because of sweat.

And, with the washing method that we’re instructing you today, you can give your throw pillows a shower without difficulties. Let’s take a deep insight into it now!

How To Wash Throw Pillows

Part 1: Wash The Pillow Cover and Insert

#Step 1: Pillow Tag/Label Checking

The decorative pillow cover can be made from a wide range of fabric and each kind of them will have some slight differences in their cleaning method

So, the first thing you have to check before your washing is looking at your pillow’s care label. There will be some important cleaning instructions and warnings for both of the pillow insert and cover on it, so remember to read it carefully. 

However, in the worse case that your throw pillows do not have a care label, try looking at as well as searching for their materials to determine how to wash them. 

Besides, you might not be sure about the cleaning solution when encountering some special kinds of fabric, for example, delicate silk. In that case, don’t hesitate to search for it online if you don’t want to ruin your lovely foam pillow

#Step 2: Clean The Cover and Insert Separately

Normally, a throw pillow has two parts, a removable cover, and a foam or stuffed insert. If it is possible, take off the cover to wash it separately.

Please follow the care label’s instructions because, for some kinds of materials, machine wash is accepted, but for some others, you might need to use the handwashing technique.

Besides, you should use mild laundry detergent to keep the color new and slowly faded.

For such delicate cover such as silk, wool, or velvet, or having a lot of details, dry cleaning is the utmost choice for it. Besides, spot cleaning is also accepted in this case if you just want to clean a small stain. 

However, if the cover is unable to be removed, we’re afraid that you’ll have to wash the whole pillow. If so, taking both of the cover and fill’s material into consideration before choosing a washing method is absolutely essential.

For example, you cannot just put the whole pillow into the washing machine if it is a memory foam pillow. This will destroy its fill, no matter that its cover is made from machine-washable material such as denim or cotton. In this situation, spot cleaning is the best choice for you to pick.

#Step 3: Have a spot test 

Actually, this step is optional as you only need to do it only when you still have not determined the right method of washing the cover. 

To do this, you first have to prepare a clean damp sponge and a white towel. Next, follow this guide:

  • Removing the cover.
  • Using the sponge to gently wipe one random small spot on the pillow.   
  • Using the white towel to press on that spot. 
  • If the color tends to fade, it needs dry cleaning. If it doesn’t, hand-washing or machine-washing is a good option.

After this step, let’s turn to four ways to wash throw pillows, which are machine-wash, sponge-clean, spot-clean and hand-wash. Depending on your chosen cleaning method, follow one of four ways below:

Way 1: Machine-wash 

For those kinds of decorative pillows that are machine-washable, let’s run through these steps:

  • Choose the gentle cycle mode with hot or warm water and mild detergent to protect the cover’s color.
  • For the best result, set 2 rinse cycles for the machine to make sure that all the detergent and grime are swept away.

If it is possible, before the machine-wash, submerge the pillows into hot water with laundry detergent and let it soak like that. After about ten minutes, flip the pillow and continue this process for one hour. 

Way 2: Sponge-clean 

This method is highly recommended for foam or other synthetic-filled pillows.

  • Prepare an upholstery shampoo and spray it on the pillow. 
  • Apply a clean, firm sponge to make foam on the pillow surface. 
  • Use a clean, white towel to remove the foam.

For some shampoo brands, wetting the pillow with cool water before applying is required. So, read the shampoo manufacturer’s label carefully.

You may wonder what if you use a different-colored towel. That is actually fine, but a white towel is the safest way to make sure that your pillow color will not transfer.

Way 3: Spot-clean 

  • Apply the cleaning product on the white towel.
  • Apply that towel gently on the pillow’s spots. Don’t rub because it just makes the dirt goes deeper into the fabric.
  • Take another dry white cloth to gently wipe the cleaning product away.

Spot cleaning should be used when your pillow is non-washable or its cover is non-removable. You can also use it with delicate-material pillows if they have just a few small stains.

Way 4: Hand Washing

To be honest, we do not really advise you to choose this method as it is quite time-consuming. So only use it if your pillow cover is made from silk or velvet or other delicate materials or it has too many stains that can’t be washed out by spot cleaning

Part 2: Drying Your Pillows

#Step 1: Dry Decorative Pillows Based On The Care Label

Just like washing, drying your pillows of different brands may have some specific instructions. So, you should never forget to read them thoroughly.

#Step 2: Hang The Pillow

As you can see, some fabrics could shrink when in a too hot condition. So, we do not suggest you use a dryer for the cover. Instead, air dry is advised. 

Hang it in the well-ventilated space and use the heavy-duty clothespin to ensure that it will not drop or fly to somewhere dirty because of wind. You can use a fan if there are no suitable places.

However, with the pillow insert, it is usually thick and slow to dry, so you can use dry-machine in this case.

One your pillow completely dries, fluff it or push it back and forth to loosen the filling and reform it to the original state.

How Often Should You Wash Throw Pillows?

If your pillowcase can be removed, you should make it your habit to wash it every two to three weeks so that specks of dirt or sweat cannot stain the inside filler.

With the insert, remember to wash it once to twice a year to ensure that it is always white, soft and fluffy!

How To Keep Throw Pillows Clean Longer?

Fluff Your Pillows Daily

Fluffing your throw pillows every day after they are cleaned will not only help them to keep fresh smell longer but also shake the dust off them.

Use Vodka 

Vodka will allow you to disinfect the bacterial on the pillow cover. Besides, vodka can dry fast so you don’t need to worry about mold or mildew growing.

Use Vacuum

This is another interesting cleaning method for your decorative pillows if you are lazy and don’t want to wash the cover often or the cover is unremovable. 

Keep The Pillows Above Ground

We know that this is pretty hard as you cannot always keep your eye on those pillows. However, if you have children, tell them not to throw them to the ground or play pillow-fights.


That’s it! You now know how to wash throw pillow! Easy, right? With just a little bit of time and effort spent on washing your throw pillows, you can make your old and dirty decorative pillows into some new and fresh-smelled ones!

Throw pillows are perfect decoratives for your home only if you remember to keep them always clean and beautiful.

So, if you have been forgetting to take care of your throw pillows for a long time, it’s high time for you to do it right away!