How to Wash and Clean Your Throw Pillows

How to Wash and Clean Your Throw Pillows

Spruce up your home and make it cozy again by keeping your throw pillows clean and fresh!

Throw pillows are like the cherry on top of a sundae—they add that extra bit of comfort to your couch and really make it pop! But, just like your beloved couch, they can accumulate dirt over time. We're talking about pet dander, stains, and even those pesky dust mites. But don't fret, with a little bit of elbow grease and some household supplies, you can restore them back to their original beauty!


How Often Should You Clean Throw Pillows?

The frequency of cleaning depends on how often they're used and the amount of traffic in the room. A good rule of thumb is to give them a deep clean once a month. For those little messes that pop up, spot cleaning can be your best friend.


How to Wash Throw Pillows

Before you dive into the cleaning process, check the care tag on your pillows for any special instructions.


Check Manufacturer's Labels

Hey there! Did you know that manufacturers typically include the fiber content and washing instructions right on the labels? They use standardized, internationally recognized symbols to help you understand how to care for your fabrics. Here's what you'll usually find on these labels:

  • Instructions on whether to hand wash, machine wash, or dry clean
  • Details about the machine cycle (like if it should be delicate or permanent press)
  • The right water temperature
  • How to dry your item
  • How to iron your item
  • What type of detergent to use

Just a heads up - some fabrics, like cotton, wool, and linen, might shrink when washed. But don't worry, some manufacturers pretreat fabric so it won't shrink after you wash it. Synthetic fabrics usually don't shrink, but remember they can't handle high temperatures.


What You'll Need

Here's a handy list of items you'll need before you start.

  • Gentle detergent
  • Bucket
  • Soft cloth
  • Water



Clean Throw Pillows: Machine Wash Edition

If your throw pillows have removable covers, they can usually be washed in the machine. Just remember, always check the care tag to make sure, says Kathy Cohoon, the director of franchise operations of Two Maids.

  1. Remove the cover from the pillow, if possible.
  2. Spot treat any stains.
  3. Give the pillow and cover a good shake to get rid of any loose debris or hair.
  4. Pop them in the washing machine on the gentle cycle with warm water and a gentle detergent.


Wash Throw Pillows: Hand Wash Edition

If machine washing isn't an option, don't worry—you can still clean them by hand.

  1. Remove the cover from the pillow, if applicable.
  2. Spot treat any stains.
  3. Give the pillow and cover a good shake to get rid of any loose debris or hair.
  4. Fill a sink or clean bucket with lukewarm water and a bit of gentle detergent.
  5. Submerge the pillow and cover, and let them soak for up to 10 minutes.
  6. Using a soft cloth, gently scrub any stained or dirty areas in a circular motion.
  7. Empty the sink and rinse the pillows with lukewarm water.
  8. Squeeze out any remaining water.


How to Dry Throw Pillows

Most throw pillows can be put in the dryer on a low heat setting. But remember, always check the care tag to make sure. Marla Mock, president of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company, suggests adding a few tennis balls to the dryer to help fluff up the pillows. If they aren't dryer-safe, wrap them in a dry towel and give them a gentle squeeze to remove excess water. Let them air dry to finish up.



How to Treat Stains on Throw Pillows

Here's what you'll need to treat any stubborn stains:

  • OxiClean (or similar product)
  • Bucket
  • Water


What You'll Need

If your throw pillows have stains that need some extra attention, hot water and OxiClean can do the trick. Just remember to wash your pillows regularly to avoid permanent stains, and always test the colorfastness of your pillows before using any cleaning products, advises Cohoon.

  1. Remove the cover from the pillow, if applicable.
  2. Shake out the pillow and cover to rid it of any loose debris or hair.
  3. In a large bucket or sink, mix hot water and a scoop of OxiClean (or a similar product).
  4. Let the pillow soak in this solution for eight to 10 hours.
  5. Remove it from the solution and squeeze out any excess liquid.
  6. Follow the washing and drying instructions above. Repeat if necessary.




How to Maintain Throw Pillows

Regular cleaning of your throw pillows will help them stay fresh and last longer. "When cleaning your living room or wherever your throws are located, be sure to give them a good shake and vacuum the surface if you can," suggests Cohoon. "Deal with any stains as soon as you spot them to avoid letting dirt settle in."


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