Feather pillows add an element of luxury and comfort to a bedroom- they’re soft, squishy, and delightfully plump.
Having a good set of pillows will have you longing for your bed every night. So when it comes to washing and caring for your pillows, you might be worried that you’ll ruin them.
Washing household items such as pillows, duvets, curtains, and sofa cushions can be confusing, with every element requiring special care.
Despite this, it’s still worthwhile to learn how to clean and care for items such as your feather pillows because learning how to do it once is more straightforward than trying and failing dozens of times.
Pillows can get dirty, sweaty, and stained over time, so it’s a great idea to learn how to wash them.
Keep reading to learn how to clean your feather pillows properly.
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Washing feather pillows in the washer are the best and easiest way to clean them. Pillows need to be washed semi-frequently and dried thoroughly.
When machine washing pillows, make sure to use a low-suds detergent and a cool temperature, and place the pillows next to one another to balance the drum.
Use tennis or dryer balls when drying, and remove pillows regularly to fluff them out.
Is my pillow made from down or feathers?
Before learning how to wash your pillow, you must first identify the material.
Although feather and down are terms used interchangeably, they are a little different.
They are similar and used for similar things, but they are not the same.
Down pillows are made from a grouping of goose feathers taken from a bird’s undercoat.
The clusters are amazing at insulating, and the soft fibers trap air between each other to give a fluffy feel.
Many outdoor jackets are made from down due to their insulating properties.
Conversely, feather pillows are made from feathers taken from the wing and back of a goose. The feathers are slicker, flatter, and heavier than down.
Although they look different, they do still provide a soft and fluffy filling for a pillow. However, they lose their shape faster than down feathers.
Do you wash down and feather pillows the same way?
Although the feathers are slightly different from one another, they should be washed in the same way as they respond similarly to water and spin cycles.
Can you put feather or down pillows in the washing machine?
The answer is: yes! Washing feather pillows actually reinvigorates and revives them, helping to restore their volume, plumpness, and fluffiness.
However, there is a correct way to wash them without damaging the fibers.
Keep reading to find out how.
What you will need to wash the feather pillows.
- A low-suds, high efficiency (HE) laundry detergent.
- Dryer balls or tennis balls.
- A washing machine.
You can use a high-efficiency laundry detergent like the following:
Grab some reusable dryer balls here, in packs of 4, 6, or 12:
How to wash feather pillows.
Now that you have all your equipment ready let’s begin.
Step 1: Strip bedding and inspect.
Before washing the pillows, you first need to remove the pillowcases and wash them separately. Then, inspect the pillows for any apparent tears or rips.
If there is any damage, the feathers may escape during the washing cycle. You will need to sew up any holes before washing the pillows.
Step 2: Load the washer.
If you have a standard top-load washing machine, place two pillows side by side into the washer. Make sure you put two in, as you need to balance out the drum without overfilling it.
If you don’t have two feather pillows, place a different fiber-filled pillow or even a white towel into the machine alongside the feather pillow.
If you have a front-loading washer, place a few white towels alongside the pillows.
Front-loading washing machines with no agitators work best, but any washer will work as long as the pillows fit comfortably inside.
Step 3: Detergent and Temperature.
Set the washer to a cool temperature on a gentle cycle. Although heat is best for killing germs, it can also damage the feathers.
Then, add a small amount of high-efficiency, low-suds detergent, around one or two teaspoons.
You want a low-suds detergent, as suds cling to feathers and ruin their fluffiness. And start the washing cycle.
Step 4: Rinse.
After the first cycle, set the washer to run a rinse cycle. Any residual detergent will ruin the feel and fluffiness of the feathers, so it’s important to rinse them thoroughly.
Step 5: Fluff and agitate.
After the rinse cycle, take the pillows out while wet and shake them around a little. Try to fluff out and distribute the feathers, so they aren’t clumped in one corner.
Then, place them in the dryer on medium heat and alongside a few dryer balls or clean tennis balls.
The balls help agitate and break up clumps of feathers to encourage better distribution and aeration.
Step 6: Dry.
Set the dryer to a medium heat setting and turn it on. Check on the pillows every 15 minutes, remove them, and fluff them out. Do this until the pillows are thoroughly dry.
Tip: don’t just turn on the machine and leave them for an hour or two. You need to move the feathers around, so the pillows regain shape.
Additionally, you don’t want to expose the pillows to unnecessary heat and should remove them once they are fully dry.
Make sure the pillows are fully dry before removing them.
How often should I wash my feather pillows?
The answer depends on your usage. For example, if you live in a warm climate, sweat a lot, or eat in your bed, you will need to wash them more regularly.
You can wash them as regularly as once per week or every few months.
Generally speaking, you should wash them around once per month during the hot, humid seasons.
Otherwise, we recommend washing them at least once every six months.
If you use a pillow protector, you won’t need to wash them as often. Simply wash the pillow protectors along with your sheets every week or two.
We recommend using pillow protectors to extend the lifespan of your pillows and to prevent mold or bacteria growth.
Head to the link below to buy some pillow protectors:
Tips to keep feather pillows clean and fresh.
- As mentioned above, you should buy some pillow protectors. They’re easy to wash and will reduce the regularity you need to wash the actual pillow.
- Do not air dry pillows outside when it’s humid. If you’re not fortunate enough to own a dryer, you may need to dry the pillows outside. This is okay; however, try to only do so on low-humidity, sunny days. The pillows will dry quicker and with less moisture trapped deep inside.
- Do not get the pillows wet; do not sleep on them with wet hair. Introducing moisture wears down the feathers and wool encourages bacterial growth.
- Air out the pillow every so often by placing them in the tumble dryer on low heat for 10 minutes.
It’s safe to wash feather pillows in the washing machine and dry them in the tumble dryer. In fact, it’s encouraged.
Pillows need to be washed semi-regularly, at least 2-3 times per year. The washing machine and dryer agitation is excellent at rejuvenating the feathers and making them fluffy again.
However, it’s essential not to use a high-suds detergent, as soap is bad for the feathers.
Also, you should use dryer balls or tennis balls when they’re in the tumble dryer.
Finally, make sure to remove the pillows every 15 minutes when drying to redistribute the feathers.
Washing pillows is easy and will refresh your bed in no time!
Last update on 2023-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API