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How To Wash Pillows

Can you wash feather and down pillows? Yes! And, here’s how

Washing down and feather pillows is easy. In fact, it reinvigorates them to be as fluffy as when they were new, unlike synthetic pillows. Down and feather pillows fit in any size washing machine and they come out of the wash beautifully. It’s one of the benefits of the incredible natural materials we use to fill our down and feather pillows. These natural fills are special not only for the support and softness that we love, but also for their easy maintenance.

Just think about the alternative. It can be a gamble to wash synthetic pillows. They often come out lumpy and the whole pillow is ruined. Many are afraid to wash their pillows for this good reason and end up sleeping on a dirty pillow for years before they give up and buy a new one, usually throwing the synthetic pillow in the garbage. But, you can clean your duck or goose down and feather pillows over and over with no worry. Not only is keeping your pillows clean good for you, but you can also extend the life of them by washing them regularly. The key to washing your pillows is getting them fully rinsed and dried because of their thickness and density.

Washing a Down or Feather Pillow

  • Quantity – Always wash two pillows at a time to keep your washer balanced on the spin cycle
  • Water Temperature – Hot, warm or cold; your choice - be aware that some shrinkage of the fabric can occur with warm or hot water
  • Spin Speed – Use the fastest speed to take as much moisture out as possible
  • Rinse – Add an extra rinse cycle to make sure all the soap is gone
  • Soap – Gentle soap without additives

Optional:

  • Whitening – Use non-chlorine bleach
  • Fabric Softener – Not recommended because it can coat the down and feathers and reduce its fluff
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Drying a Down or Feather Pillow

  • Temperature – Hot, warm or low; your choice - be aware that some shrinkage of the fabric can occur with warmer temperatures
  • Dry time – Be patient, it can take multiple cycles depending on your machines and it’s important to get your pillow completely dry
  • Clumping or Odor – These are signs that your pillow is not dry yet. You want it to be completely dry to prevent mold.
  • Dry Test – Hand fluff your pillows in between each cycle. The pillows may still be damp inside even though they feel dry to the touch. It’s always better to err on the side of more drying time than less.

Optional:

  • Clean Tennis Balls or Dryer Balls – Add one to three balls to speed up your dry time. It will sound like they are beating up your dryer but they don’t actually hurt it.
  • Dryer Sheets – Add a dryer sheet to freshen your pillow.

Re-fluffing a pillow between washings

Be sure to re-fluff your pillow when you first get it since they get compressed in shipping. You can also follow these steps any time you want to revive your pillow in between washings.

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Fluffing Your Pillow

  • Low heat setting
  • 3 tennis or dryer balls
  • Damp washcloth
  • Fabric softener sheet for freshness
  • 15-20 minutes

How often should you wash your pillows?

Every six months is the recommended frequency for washing (maybe every three months for your husband’s pillow!). Why? TMI Alert: this gets personal. Our pillows get filled with skin cells, dirt, and dander just like our beds do. It’s just the reality of human life that we shed a little every day. Our pillows also collect sweat, oil and saliva which weigh down the pillow and reduce its fluff. Of course, our pillow cases and protective covers are catching most of these un-savories so you don’t need to wash your pillow as often as your pillow case. But, eventually your pillow will need a good washing too.

Pros and cons of pillow protectors

As mentioned above, our pillows can collect some disagreeable substances over time. Using a pillow protector is a great way to keep your pillow cleaner for longer without having to wash it. The benefits of a pillow protector can often outweigh any disadvantages. But, adding one more layer on your pillow with a protector in addition to the pillow case will reduce the pliability of your pillow somewhat. On many pillows, this is no issue and many of our customers prefer the added cleanliness of using a pillow protector. But, some customers really want a squishy pillow and find they can’t get the feel they are looking for with a pillow protector.

Is a pillow protector right for you? Fortunately, it’s a small investment to try it out to see for sure. One thing we know is that pillow comfort is extremely individual and nothing replaces feeling it yourself.

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As you can see, washing feather and down pillows can be quite easy. Just a few things to remember like drying on low heat and making sure the pillows are totally dry will keep them clean and fluffy for years to come. One of the main benefits of natural down and feather filling is the long life you can get from your pillows. With a couple washes per year, they will stay looking and feeling like new for up to 10 years.