The Best Way to Wash and Whiten Pillows

I learned a little something new last week…did you know when a three year old chugs a bottle of his daddy’s gatorade he’ll have no less than 3 accidents that night? Yep. After that hard lesson was learned I thought I’d take the opportunity during the mountains of laundry I was doing the next day to share a few tips for washing and whitening pillows!


A microbiology course in college gave me the big time eebie-jeebies about what we may not be able to see in those beds. When it comes to pillows however, I usually wash them every few months. Even with regular washing pillows can yellow over time-sweat, saliva, you name it…it’s not pretty. Here’s how to get those pillows clean and bright so you can rest easily!

The number one rule of pillow washing is to wash two at a time to keep the load balanced during the spin cycle! Position your pillows on opposite sides of your wash basin and select HOT wash and extra rinse options, if you don’t have an extra rinse option you can manually run a rinse cycle afterwards. Add your detergent and 1 cup of bleach to your washer (following washer instructions.) Run the washer.

Depending on what type of pillows you have you’ll need to adjust the dryer settings appropriately-down pillows need to be dried on the air only cycle while synthetic pillows can be dried on low heat. (Do NOT dry foam pillows-hang them to dry!) Add a couple of clean tennis balls to the dryer to help fluff the pillows as they dry. If possible, lay your pillows out in the sun after running through the dryer.

There you have it! Bright clean pillows!! Considering what ours went through last week you can bet I was relieved to know they were totally clean after this process!

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