Complete guide on how to wash pillows in washing machine

5 minute read |

You wash your pillowcases regularly, but what about your polyester pillows? They’re often overlooked but it’s crucial to give them a deep clean to remove buildup of dead skin, sweat, oils, and saliva that can attract dust mites.

Complete guide on how to wash pillows in washing machine

Polyester pillows are hypoallergenic, have breathable fabrics, and their filling is resistant to mildew. Here are the guides and tips to wash your polyester pillows effectively in the washing machine and tumble dry them in the right way.

How to wash polyester pillows in a washing machine


How to wash polyester pillows in a washing machine


1. Check for tears

The filling may come through any tears as your pillow is spun in the washing machine. If you see even the tiniest ones, especially along the seams, quickly mend them. Remember to cut and remove loose threads too.


2. Check the care label

Most polyester pillows are durable enough to be machine washable. However, some still need to be washed by hand. If the print on the tag has faded, we recommend checking the manufacturer’s website.


3. Spot treat

Before putting your pillows in the washing machine, pre-treat stains using a stain remover or liquid detergent. Blot with a cloth, do not rub, as rubbing tends to push the stain further in the fibres. This method is best used as a quick clean for new stains.


4. Select settings and load detergent

Your pillows need extra care since they’re prone to deforming and shrinking. Select the gentle cycle, use cold or warm water, and add only a small amount of mild detergent, about one tablespoon.

If you have a top-load washing machine with a central agitator, set the timer for only a few minutes.

Make sure you know how to use your washing machine properly and choose the right cycle.


5. Load pillows


For front-load washing machine For top-load washing machine
In one cycle of a front-load washing machine, you can wash one to two pillows. Add clean towels to balance the load and to allow effective distribution of water and detergent.

Like front-load washing machines, high-efficiency top-load washing machines can handle one to two pillows at a time. Add a couple of towels to balance the load.

For standard top-load washing machines with a central agitator, be gentler. To ensure the load is balanced, it’s required to wash two pillows at once together with some towels. Place them vertically inside the drum.


6. Run an extra rinse cycle

This ensures that all remnants of detergent are removed.

How to dry polyester pillows in the dryer


How to dry polyester pillows in the dryer


1. Remove excess water

Wrap your pillow in a towel and gently squeeze and fluff. Don’t wring to avoid deforming it.


2. Check care label

Again, it’s best to read the tag first to see if it’s safe to use the dryer. See our guideline on the fabrics you can safely put in a dryer.


3. Dry

Set the dryer on low or moderate heat and dry for an hour. This gentle yet efficient method ensures your pillows get the extra care they need without compromising on the results. If moisture is left within the polyester fill, mould can grow.

Check out more tips on how to dry different bedding items in your dryer.


4. Add a buffer

Toss in two fresh tennis balls or dryer balls to prevent the filling from clumping. The bouncing of the balls also maintains the pillows’ fluffiness. Throw in some towels too to speed up the process.


5. Re-fluff

Pause the dryer every 15 minutes to re-fluff the pillows by hand.

Drying tips:


  • After using the dryer, air them outside so you’re sure no moisture is left in the filling.
  • Solely air-drying can also be an option because polyester pillows dry faster than other materials. Schedule your deep clean day when it’s sunny and breezy.
  • Instead of clothes pegs, it’s better to use special pillow hangers to avoid deforming your pillows. You can also place them on a clean flat surface.


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How to freshen polyester pillows


How to freshen polyester pillows

A more effortless method? Once a month, simply use the refresh feature of your washing machine so it can gently steam your pillows. Alternatively, you can also air them outside for a few hours or run through a dryer. These will effectively remove bacteria and restore fluffiness.


How to remove yellow stains from polyester pillows

Yes, it is possible to revive the brightness of your dingy yellowed pillows. Spritz them with a stain remover and let sit for 15 minutes. To gently loosen the stains, scrub with a toothbrush or a microfibre towel.

In your top-load drum, bathtub or sink, mix hot water and oxygen bleach — not to be confused with chlorine bleach. Oxygen bleach is a gentler option in removing protein-based stains like sweat. Soak your pillows overnight, then follow the steps above to launder and dry them.


Tips to take care of your polyester pillows


  • Use a pillow protector to extend the life of your pillow. It’s a sleeve that goes under your pillowcase to provide a buffer from moisture and dirt.
  • If you use a pillow protector, you only need to deep clean your pillow once or twice a year. Without it, wash at least twice a year or quarterly if you spend a lot of time in bed.
  • Wash pillowcases once a week, and pillow protectors at least once a month or more if you sweat a lot.
  • Store polyester pillows in a cotton bag or a sealed breathable container. Ensure they’re fully dried. Throw in some wool dryer balls to keep them fresh.
  • Prevent your polyester pillows from flattening by regularly fluffing them. There are three ways: Repeatedly squeezing and massaging them, popping them in the dryer, or placing them outside so sunlight can disinfect them and for fresh air to naturally unfurl the clumps.


Care — for all

Now you know how to wash polyester pillows in a washing machine. Remember to treat pillows as you would with your clothes. You spend a good deal of time with them so they should be regularly washed too.

Likewise, your washing machine should also give the same level of care for things other than your garments. Choose an all-arounder like the UltimateCare 500 washer dryer or an efficient expert like the UltimateCare 500 front-load washing machine.

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