Is It Safe to Put Throw Pillows in The Washing Machine

Is it safe to throw pillows into the washing machine? Well, the answer can be a partial yes or a partial no. Foam or lightweight pillows can easily be put inside your washing machines for a spot-clean effect. On the other hand, throw pillows refer to the thick variety of cushion pillows you decorate across your couch.

It may be too heavy to fit into regular-line washing machines or laundry bins. Therefore, it is easier to give a water wipe touch to these pillows by dipping a clean piece of linen into soap water. This way, you gently scrub across areas of dirt or grime that accumulate over the round pillows. Otherwise, you can dry vacuum pillows, too, for a neat effect on them.

Let us unveil different ways we care for keeping the throw pillows safe. 

we care for keeping the throw pillows safe

1. Guidelines Concerning Washing Pillows Inside the Machine

Whether you want to wash pillows using your washing machine depends on several factors. Here, you must look at the laundry labels attached at the back end of the sofa cover.

The labels will give you clear guidelines on how the pillows must be washed gently yet precisely. Directions will also be provided on the kind of detergent powder you must use. If you follow these guidelines correctly, you can provide a gentle foam for your memory or lightweight pillows.

However, rounded sofa-based pillows are heavier. Maybe you can wash one set at a time while you drop the same inside your washing machine. Otherwise, remove a drip cloth and gently scrub the dirt or grime away. A dry vacuum can also be used to collect the dust particles that have accumulated on your pillow or sofa covers.

Home Decor experts say you should clean your memory foam pillow or sofa pillows once every 3-4 months. At least you must be able to wash or clean the pillows twice every year.

2. Pillows that Can Be Washed in Machine

You can put certain types of pillows into the washing machine for a gentle and easy wash. Bedtime pillows that are lightweight and laundry-friendly can be placed inside the machine to wash them well.

Generally, fiberfill, cotton, or down pillows can be put into the washing machine. You may have to wash these pillows using warm water or so. However, you must use half the quantity of detergent you use while washing your regular set of clothes. This is because the pillows can create too much of a feather-and-down clump. Setting a gentle mode for your pillows would always be ideal while you plan to wash them.

3. Pillows that Cannot Be Washed Inside a Washing Machine

Some types of pillows are specifically not meant to be put inside the washing machine. Sofa-cushion throw pillows and pillows made from latex are not supposed to be placed inside your laundry machine. For a clearer picture, you can have a look at the laundry labels that are put on the back cover of pillows.

If a note specifically says, ‘Do not wash inside the machine; just dry clean the pillows,’ then it is clear-cut terminology that you are not supposed to put these pillows inside your washing machines. Heavy memory foam pillows would also get spoilt when you try washing them inside your machine.

For a heavier variety of pillows that do not comply with a machine wash, you have to scrub a clean cloth with soapy water and rub the same against areas of the pillow covered with dust, grime, and mites. The dirt particles will easily scrape from the pillows and land on the cloth; you can dispose of the fabric later.

4. Why is There a Need for You to Wash or Clean Pillows?

You must wash or cleanse your pillows for the same reason you wash your worn clothes or bed sheets. When the pillows come into constant contact with the sweat or dead skin of your body, then your pillows become a breeding ground that can attract dust mites and other forms of bacteria.

Enhancing brown couches with stylish pillows uplifts the aesthetic and demands proper maintenance. When pillows emit a dank smell, it indicates the presence of bacteria, necessitating thorough cleaning. Then, you either clean them with soap and water or put the lighter pillows inside your laundry machine. When you do not wash or clean your pillows regularly, it is very unhygienic for you as such.

5. Pillows Get Damaged when You Put Them in The Machine

Yes, pillows will get damaged when you vigorously try washing them inside your machine. That is the reason why you look into laundry labels before washing pillows.

Washing memory foam pillows inside the laundry machine is a strict no-no. This is mainly because most top-load washing machines have a central spindle and an agitator. The effect can cause severe damage to the soft and comfy pillows that you have.

However, if you want to wash your lightweight pillows, you can place two vertically inside the drum, and you need not allow the spindle to go on for too long. This way, you mitigate the risk you cause for your gentle foam pillows.


We have seen various important facts covering the dos and don’ts of putting pillows inside your washing machine. You can also go in for pillow protectors to protect your pillows from gathering dust, mite, or dirt particles. These protective covers help make your pillows firmer, and at the same time, the protectors can help the pillows maintain their shape, too.

The pillow-encased protectors are easily removable; you can clean them thoroughly once every 2-3 weeks. Dust-mite-resistant pillows can also help you keep your pillows in good shape.

Despite regular cleaning, bacteria or molds will build up on your pillows. So, replacing your pillows once every 3 years or so is also advisable.

Maya Singh

Maya Singh earned her Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University and has spent 15 years in the field of cleaning and hygiene, with a focus on health and environmental safety. Joining our editorial team in 2021, Maya provides insights into effective and sustainable cleaning practices. Her background includes working in public health campaigns and as a consultant for cleaning product companies. In her leisure time, Maya is an avid birdwatcher and participates in community clean-up drives.

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