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How to Wash Pillows In A Washing Machine (Easy Steps & Video Guide)

Save gross, yellow pillows with these EASY STEPS & TIPS to wash pillows in a washing machine. Safely clean & whiten pillows the EASY WAY!

How To Wash Pillows In A Washing Machine

If you use a pillow long enough, it will yellow. That pillow yellowing is caused by a reaction with moisture from sweat, body oils, wet hair, skin care products and saliva building up on the pillow.

Some people prefer to throw yellow pillows away and just buy new. Especially if they’re cheap pillows.

BUT, if your pillow is still comfortable and fluffy, you can wash and whiten pillows in a washing machine. It’s easy! In fact, I have a post sharing 9 ways to make yellow pillows white again in a washer.

Image of someone washing pillows in a washing machine for a post about how to wash pillows in a washing machine.
See my steps to Clean Out A Dryer Vent From Inside And Outside in a previous post.

That post has the steps for cleaning your pillow with the most popular natural household cleaners and store-bought favorites that are safe for pillows.

In this post, we’ll stick with normal laundry detergent and OxiClean to DEEP CLEAN your pillows and whiten them in your washing machine.

And, I’ll answer common questions people ask me about washing pillows. Let’s get to it!

Can You Wash Pillows In A Washing Machine?

Yes, most pillows can be washed in a washing machine! If you have a standard fiber fill pillow, it can generally be washed in a washing machine.

Memory Foam and Latex pillows CANNOT be washed in a washing machine. They fall apart in washers. You should check the label or with the manufacturer to see how to safely clean those.

Feather pillows usually have to be handwashed and fluffed to keep them clean.

But, just in case, before following any of these steps, check the label on your pillow to be sure that it can be washed, soaked, or cleaned with wet cleaners. Some pillows need to be professionally cleaned.

Easy steps to whiten yellow pillows in a washing machine.
Check your labels to be sure you’re cleaning your pillows correctly.

How Often Should Pillows Be Washed

If your pillow is washable, it should be washed every 6 months. But, if you eat in bed, fall asleep with wet hair or sweat a lot, you might need to wash your pillows more often.

Washing your pillows correctly can remove the odors, bacteria, sweat, dirt, and dust mites that build up over time. But, even with regular washing, most pillows should be replaced every 2 years.

Can Lysol Spray Clean A Pillow?

Spraying a pillow with Lysol Spray, or similar products cannot completely clean the pillow. Those sprays just can’t penetrate deep enough to kill all of the bacteria inside of the pillow.

You can use Lysol Spray on the pillow when you wash the pillow cases to freshen the outside of the pillow between washings.

But, you should still wash your pillow in a washing machine every six months to kill bacteria and remove all of the oils, sweat, saliva, and germs that have built up.

Using OxiClean White Revive to whiten yellow pillows in a washing machine.

Can You Wash Pillows With Dishwasher Tablets?

If you don’t have OxiClean White Revive, or a similar Oxygen Bleach, you can use 1 cup of powdered dishwasher detergent OR 1 tablet of dishwasher detergent (not gel packs) with Laundry Detergent.

I’m partial to Cascade All-In-1 Detergent for this OR Finish Deep Clean Tablets with the Powerball. Those seem to get recommended the most for whitening pillows and sheets.

How Do You Dry Pillows?

You can dry pillows in a dryer or by hanging them in the sun. If you want to dry them in the sun, it has to be a hot, sunny day. Hanging wet pillows in the sun is also a great way to whiten yellow pillows.

If you want to dry pillows in a dryer, set the dryer on high heat for 2 hours. Add dryer balls or tennis balls to get a little help fluffing those pillows up while they dry.

It’s VERY important to make sure the pillow is completely dry. If it’s not dried completely, MILDEW could grow in the middle of the pillow.

Image of someone washing pillows in a washing machine for a post about how to wash pillows in a washing machine with tips for washing pillows, putting pillows in a dryer, and how often to wash pillows.
Don’t forget to save or share this DIY.

Easy Steps To Wash Pillows In A Washing Machine

Remember to check the care instructions on your pillow to be sure it can be washed. Foam and latex pillows cannot be washed in a washing machine. Most feather pillows need to be hand washed.

For pillows that can be washed, follow these easy steps to wash pillows in a washing machine

1. Add Your Detergent And Oxygen Bleach

Add the regular amount of laundry detergent AND 2x the regular amount of OxiClean White Revive to your washer. OxiClean recommends 2x the normal amount for yellow stains.

I’m a huge fan of Tide Detergent, it always works better than everything else I’ve tried. But, use what you like!

Image of Tide Detergent and OxiClean White Revive used to whiten yellow pillows.
Tide and OxiClean White Revive work great to wash pillows in a washing machine.

2. Put 1 or 2 Pillows In Your Washing Machine

Put 1 or 2 pillows in your washer. Washing 1 pillow at a time works best in my front loader. It lets the soapy water make contact with both sides of the pillow.

But, some people need to wash 2 pillows at a time to keep their machines balanced. So, go for what works best for your machine.

Image shows someone cleaning a pillow in a washing machine.

3. Pick The Right Settings

Wash in warm or hot water on a Bulk Setting. Bulk settings work best for unbalanced, larger items like pillows.

Add a Soak Cycle, if available, to let the OxiClean White Revive work longer.

If you don’t have a Soak Cycle on your washing machine, you can presoak your pillows in OxiClean White Revive for a few hours before washing to get those pillows as white as possible!

Pillow in a dryer for a post with tips for how to dry pillows in a dryer.

4. Dry Your Pillows

Place pillows in a dryer on high heat for 2 hours, or until the pillow is fully dry. Damp pillows will mildew if not dried properly. Or, you can dry your pillows outside on hot, sunny days.

Video Guide To Wash and Whiten Yellow Pillows

Want to see how to Wash Pillows In A Washing Machines ? Watch this video to see it done.

How to Make Yellow Pillows White Again - The Easy Way To Wash Pillows!

That’s it for how to Wash Pillows In A Washing Machine. I hope this helped! Now, here’s a few more posts you might like.

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