Top Tips for Cleaning Throw Pillows

As beautiful as they are, throw pillows can get quite a workout in the modern home. Whether you’re using them as a place to prop your head, a back rest, or as a display-only decorative accent, they’re bound to attract dirt and dust over time.

Here are our top tips to help keep your pillows in tip top shape!

Snap photos of your pillow’s care label

This may seem silly, but stick with us! Often, the first instinct when you finally get your pillows home is to cut off the labels. While that’s not what manufacturers hope you’ll do, we totally get it. The last thing you want is to have your beautiful pillow arrangement ruined by protruding tags.

That said, taking a few seconds to snap a picture before cutting the tags can save you from potentially ruined pillows later.

Use the nozzle attachment on your vacuum to tame dust buildup

During your weekly vacuum session, take a few minutes to vacuum both sides of each of your pillows. It’s best to use the suction hose to keep the covers from pilling over time. The nozzle attachment offers more precise cleaning.

Note: If you bought pillows in-store, vacuum each one before placing into their new home.

Use dryer balls to fluff pillows after cleaning

Unless you love manually fluffing pillows, an easy hack is to toss them in the dryer. After washing, air dry the inserts first. Then add either wool dryer balls or tennis balls to the dryer with your inserts to restore them.

Spot clean spills immediately

When it comes to accidental spills, time is of the essence. Use warm soapy water and a clean cloth to blot away the soiled area. Be sure to use a mild detergent when mixing your soap and water solution.

How to wash throw pillows

In addition to weekly maintenance, it’s a good idea to wash both your pillow covers and inserts at least once a month. Be sure to wash covers and inserts separately. Unless the care labels say otherwise, most pillows made from synthetic materials and cotton can be cleaned in your washing machine and dryer. Wash in cold water on a delicate cycle and either air dry, or place in the dryer on a no-heat setting.

The type of washing machine you own affects how best to get those pillows clean. Front loaders without an agitator bar are ideal. If you have a top loader or agitator bar, wash at least two inserts to keep the washing machine balanced.

Cleaning decorative and faux fur pillows

Decorative pillows with sequins, beads, tassels, or other add-ons are best washed by hand. Flip the cover inside out. Then, gently clean with a sponge or cloth, mild dye-free detergent, and water.

Faux fur pillows should only be washed with other pillows of the same style. If washing by hand, use mild soap and cold water only. Air dry.

Cleaning pillows with stuffing

Do you own a pillow that’s stitched shut or is filled with stuffing? Instead of tossing these into the washing machine, opt for a dry-cleaning method like vacuuming. If your pillow can handle it, using a steam cleaner is also a great way to sanitize after vacuuming. Just be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the high heat.

Another option for pillows that can’t be tossed into the washing machine is to spray with a disinfectant. Mix a solution of rubbing alcohol and water, then thoroughly spray both sides. Air dry fully.

Decorative pillows are wonderful accents that give your home that designer touch, but clean ones are even better! Bookmark this guide for future reference whenever you need a refresher.