How to Wash a Throw Pillow: Easy Steps for Clean & Fresh Decor

Throw pillows are a popular home decor item. They add texture, color, and comfort to any room. However, throw pillows can accumulate dirt, dust, and other allergens over time. Washing throw pillows regularly is essential …

Throw pillows are a popular home decor item. They add texture, color, and comfort to any room. However, throw pillows can accumulate dirt, dust, and other allergens over time. Washing throw pillows regularly is essential for maintaining fresh and hygienic decor. This article will provide easy steps for washing throw pillows and ensuring they stay clean.

Key Takeaways

  • Regularly washing throw pillows is essential for maintaining clean and fresh decor.
  • Proper washing instructions for throw pillows can help extend their lifespan.
  • Pre-treating stains and spots before washing can improve the washing process.
  • Understanding care label instructions is crucial to avoid damaging the pillow during washing.
  • Different drying methods can be used based on the pillow’s fabric and filling.
  • Maintaining throw pillows between washes can help them last longer and stay clean.
  • Finding reputable and professional dry cleaners is recommended for pillows unsuitable for machine washing.

Why is it essential to wash throw pillows?

Throw pillows are essential to home decor, adding warmth, color, and style to any room. However, they can accumulate dirt, allergens, and odors over time, affecting your home’s indoor air quality and cleanliness. That’s why it’s essential to wash your throw pillows regularly.

Cleaning your throw pillows not only maintains their appearance but also improves the hygienic condition of your home. Dust mites, pollen, and pet dander can quickly accumulate on pillows, leading to allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Additionally, spills, stains, and general use can make pillows look and smell unappealing, detracting from the overall appeal of your decor.

Gathering the necessary supplies

To wash your throw pillows effectively, you will need to gather the following supplies:

Supplies Description
Mild detergent Choose a detergent that is suitable for your pillow’s fabric. Avoid using bleach or cloth softener as they can damage the fibers.
Washing machine Depending on the pillow size and fabric type, a top-loading or front-loading washing machine can be used. Check the washing machine’s weight capacity to ensure the pillows fit comfortably.
Dryer or drying rack Use a dryer with a low heat setting or a drying rack to air-dry the pillows. Avoid high heat as it can shrink or damage the fibers.
Additional tools Depending on the pillow’s fabric and filling, additional tools such as a stain remover, fabric cleaner, or color catcher may be required.

Ensure you have all the necessary supplies before starting the washing process for a successful and efficient washing experience.

Checking the care label instructions

Before washing your decorative pillows, it is crucial to check the care label instructions to prevent damaging the fabric or filling. Care symbols are commonly found on pillow tags or labels, indicating whether the item can be machine washed, hand washed, or dry cleaned, as well as recommended temperatures and drying methods.

Understanding these symbols is essential to avoid shrinking, fading, or tearing the pillow. For instance, a crossed-out washing machine symbol indicates that the pillow should not be machine washed, while a hand symbol indicates that the item can be hand washed only.

Some care symbols may require additional attention, such as using a gentle cycle or avoiding bleach. When in doubt, consulting the manufacturer’s website or customer service can provide helpful information.

Pre-treating stains and spots

Before washing your throw pillows, it’s essential to pre-treat any stains or spots to ensure they come out as clean as possible. The method you choose for pre-treating will depend on the type of stain and the fabric of your pillow.

If dealing with a fresh spill, spotting up as much liquid as possible with a clean, absorbent cloth. Avoid scratching the stain, as this will only make it worse. Next, use a stain remover specifically designed for the type of stain you’re dealing with. Apply the stain remover to the affected area and let it sit for the time recommended on the product label.

For more stubborn stains, you may need to spot-clean the impacted area with mild detergent and warm water. Be careful not to soak the fabric, which can damage the pillow filling or cause mold and mildew. Instead, use a clean, damp cloth to blot the area until the stain lifts gently.

If you have a delicate pillow that requires extra care, consider using a gentle fabric cleaner specifically designed for the fabric type. Follow the product instructions carefully, and always test on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure no damage or discoloration.

Machine washing throw pillows.

Machine washing throw pillows are a quick and efficient way to get them clean. Before starting, ensure the pillow is machine washable by checking the care label instructions. If the label recommends dry cleaning, do not attempt to machine wash the pillow.

Once you have confirmed that the pillow is safe to machine wash, it’s time to gather the necessary supplies. You will need mild detergent, a washing machine, and, if necessary, any additional tools required based on the pillow’s fabric and filling.

When placing the pillow in the washing machine, ensure no loose threads or embellishments can get caught in the machine and potentially damage it. We recommend washing two pillows simultaneously to balance the machine’s weight.

To prevent the pillows from clumping and ensure a thorough wash, we recommend using a gentle cycle with warm water and adding an extra rinse cycle. Avoid using too hot water, as it may cause the pillow filling to clump or even melt.

Use a gentle detergent and avoid fabric softeners, bleach, or harsh chemicals that can damage the pillow’s fabric and filling. If you have any doubts about what detergent to use, check the care label instructions.

Once the washing cycle is complete, extract the pillows from the machine and gently squeeze out any excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting the pillow, as this can cause the filling to clump or deform.

Drying Throw Pillows

After washing, it’s essential to dry your throw pillows properly to avoid damaging the fabric or filling. Here are some tips for drying your pillows:

  1. If using a dryer, set it to a low heat or no heat cycle. Count some clean tennis balls or dryer balls to the machine to help fluff the pillows and prevent clumping.
  2. Stop the dryer every 10-15 minutes to fluff the pillows by hand and ensure they dry evenly.
  3. If air-drying, place the pillows on a flat surface or drying rack, turning them every few hours to ensure they dry evenly.
  4. Check the care label instructions to confirm whether the pillows can be ironed or steamed to remove wrinkles or creases.

While drying, fluff and reshape the pillows frequently to avoid clumping and maintain their shape. Once the pillows are fully dry, please give them a final coat and return them to your couch or bed for a clean and fresh look.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Throw Pillows

Regular maintenance of throw pillows can prolong their life and keep them looking and smelling fresh. In addition to washing, there are many other ways to maintain your throw pillows:

  • Vacuum your throw pillows regularly with a soft brush attachment to remove dust and allergens.
  • Spot clean stains immediately as they occur, using mild detergent and warm water.
  • Use pillow protectors to prevent sweat, oil, and dirt from seeping into the pillow filling.
  • Rotate your throw pillows regularly to distribute wear and tear evenly.
  • Store your pillows in a clean, dry place to prevent musty odors and mold growth.

By following these additional tips, you can keep your throw pillows looking and smelling fresh for longer. Regular maintenance is the key to maintaining clean and hygienic home decor.

Dry Cleaning and Professional Cleaning Options

For throw pillows unsuitable for machine washing, dry cleaning, and professional cleaning options are available. Dry cleaning uses a chemical solvent to clear dirt and stains from delicate fabrics without water. Choosing reputable dry cleaners with experience in cleaning throw pillows is crucial to avoid damaging the fabric or filling.

Professional cleaning services are also available for throw pillows with intricate designs, non-removable covers, or other special requirements. These services use specialized cleaning techniques and equipment to ensure the pillows are thoroughly cleaned and restored to their original condition.

Before choosing a dry cleaning or professional cleaning service, it is essential to research and compare different options and check their reviews and ratings. It is also necessary to communicate any specific needs or concerns regarding the throw pillows to the service provider to ensure they are handled with care.


Washing throw pillows is essential for maintaining clean and fresh home decor. Following proper washing instructions, you can remove dirt, allergens, and odors accumulating over time.

Remember to gather the necessary supplies and check the care label instructions before washing your pillows. Pre-treat stains and spots before machine washing, and adjust the water temperature based on the pillow’s fabric and filling.

Drying your pillows is just as crucial. Air-dry on a flat surface or drying rack, fluffing and reshaping them. To maintain your throw pillows between washes, vacuum regularly and spot-clean as needed.

If your decorative pillows are unsuitable for machine washing, consider a reputable dry cleaner or professional cleaner specializing in delicate fabrics and intricate designs.

By washing and caring for your throw pillows properly, you can enjoy a cleaner and healthier indoor environment while making your home look great.


Leave a Comment