Can You Wash Feather Pillows in the Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Feather Pillows in the Washing Machine

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Yes, feather pillows can be washed in a washing machine.

Feather pillows are a cozy and luxurious addition to any bed. However, over time, they can accumulate dust, sweat, and allergens, leading to the need for a good cleaning. Many people wonder whether it’s safe to toss their beloved feather pillows into the washing machine. The answer is a resounding yes! You can indeed wash feather pillows in the washing machine.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to do it effectively and efficiently, ensuring your feather pillows come out fresh and fluffy.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Feather Pillows in the Washing Machine


  • Use a Low-Sudsing Laundry Detergent: Select a mild, low-sudsing laundry detergent to avoid excessive soap residue buildup. This residue can be particularly problematic for feather pillows, as it can cause the feathers to clump together.
  • Wash on a Gentle Cycle: Set your washing machine to a gentle or delicate cycle. This ensures that the pillows are treated with care throughout the cleaning process, preventing damage to the delicate feathers.
  • Use Warm Water: Opt for warm water, which is effective at breaking down oils and dirt, without being too harsh on the feathers. Avoid hot water, as it may damage the feathers.
  • Double Rinse: Run the rinse cycle twice to ensure all soap is thoroughly rinsed out. Any remaining soap can lead to an unpleasant odor and discomfort.
  • Add Tennis Balls or Dryer Balls: In the drying phase, toss a couple of clean tennis balls or dryer balls into the dryer along with the pillows. These balls will help fluff the feathers, preventing clumping and ensuring the pillows retain their loftiness.
  • Dry on Low Heat: Set your dryer to low heat when drying feather pillows. High heat can damage the feathers and cause them to lose their natural softness and fluffiness.


  • Don’t Overload the Washing Machine: Ensure there is enough space for the pillows to move freely in the washing machine. Overloading can lead to inadequate cleaning and may damage the pillows.
  • Don’t Use Fabric Softener: Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can be harsh on feathers and may leave behind residues that can affect their comfort.
  • Don’t Agitate Excessively: While it’s essential to clean the pillows thoroughly, avoid excessive agitation during the wash cycle, as it can damage the feathers.
  • Don’t Skip the Drying Step: Skipping the drying step or drying on high heat can result in clumped and lumpy pillows. Always make sure to dry the pillows properly.
  • Don’t Use a Top-Loading Washer with an Agitator: If possible, use a front-loading washing machine or a top-loading washer without an agitator. Agitators can be harsh on pillows and may lead to damage.

Steps to Wash Feather Pillows in the Washing Machine:

Now that you know the dos and don’ts, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wash feather pillows in the washing machine:

Step 1

Check for Tears or Holes: Examine your feather pillows for any tears or holes. If you find any, it’s crucial to repair them before washing them to prevent feather loss.

Step 2

Prep the Washing Machine: Ensure your washing machine is clean and free of any detergent residues. This will help avoid additional soap buildup on your pillows.

Step 3

Load the Pillows: Place one or two feather pillows in the washing machine. Avoid overcrowding to ensure effective cleaning.

Step 4

Add Detergent: Pour a small amount of low-sudsing laundry detergent into the detergent compartment. Be cautious not to overdo it.

Step 5

Select the Settings: Set your washing machine to a gentle or delicate cycle with warm water. Start the cycle.

Step 6

Double Rinse: After the wash cycle is complete, run an additional rinse cycle to ensure all soap is thoroughly removed.

Step 7

Prepare for Drying: Transfer the pillows to the dryer. Add a couple of clean tennis balls or dryer balls to help fluff the feathers.

Step 8

Dry on Low Heat: Set the dryer to low heat and start the drying cycle. Check the pillows periodically to ensure they are drying evenly.

Step 9

Fluff and Rest: Once the pillows are completely dry, fluff them by gently shaking and massaging them to distribute the feathers evenly. Allow them to rest for a few hours before placing them back on your bed.

Alternative Washing Methods for Feather Pillows:

While the washing machine method is the most common and convenient, there are alternative ways to clean feather pillows:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a bathtub with lukewarm water and mild detergent. Gently agitate the water and immerse the pillows. Press down on the pillows to expel air, then let them soak for about 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and follow the drying steps mentioned above.
  • Professional Cleaning: If you’re unsure about washing feather pillows yourself or if your pillows are particularly valuable or delicate, consider taking them to a professional cleaner. They have the expertise and equipment to clean and restore feather pillows without damage.
  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or spills, spot cleaning with a damp cloth and mild detergent may suffice. Blot the stain gently rather than rubbing to avoid pushing it deeper into the feathers.


How often should I wash my feather pillows?

Answer: It’s recommended to wash your feather pillows every 6 to 12 months to maintain their cleanliness and freshness. However, if you use pillow protectors, you can wash the protectors more frequently to reduce the need for pillow washing.

Can I use a regular washing machine for feather pillows?

Answer: Yes, you can use a regular washing machine, but it’s advisable to use one without an agitator or a front-loading machine to prevent potential damage to the pillows.

What if my pillows still smell after washing?

Answer: If your pillows have an unpleasant odor after washing, try placing them in the sun for a few hours. Sunlight can help eliminate odors naturally. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the dryer balls during the drying process for a fresh scent.

Can I wash feather pillows with other laundry items?

Answer: It’s best to wash feather pillows on their own or with other pillows to prevent overcrowding. Overloading the washing machine may hinder effective cleaning.

How can I keep my feather pillows clean for longer?

Answer: Using pillow protectors under your pillowcases can help prevent dirt and sweat from reaching the pillows. Regularly fluffing and shaking your pillows and changing pillowcases frequently also contribute to keeping them cleaner.

Final Words:

Cleaning feather pillows in the washing machine is a practical and effective way to maintain their freshness and comfort. By following the dos and don’ts outlined in this article, you can ensure that your feather pillows remain clean, fluffy, and a source of restful sleep for years to come. Whether you opt for the washing machine method or explore alternative cleaning approaches, the key is to treat your feather pillows with care, allowing

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