How to Clean Throw Pillow

Have you ever cleaned your throw pillows? Or do you simply put them on your sofa or elsewhere like other house decorations and forget them all?

We use throw pillows more often than any other kinds of stuff. We hug them, put them on our back while sitting on the sofa, use them for taking a nap, soon. However, throw pillows can be a perfect home for dirt, mold, mites, and bacteria. These things are the cause of the respiratory diseases. Therefore, it is clear that using dirty pillow damages our health and we need to clean them!

You might be worry that how to clean throw pillow without turning it into a lumpy mess? In this article, we will show you.

Know your throw pillow

Throw pillows come from different sizes, shapes, and materials. Each type of throw pillows needs determinant cleaning method. You have to find the best method for your pillow by knowing what type it is. In other words, if you want to know how to clean your throw pillow, you need to know about it.

Know your throw pillow

Image source: Blissfully Domestic

You can find important information about the pillow by reading the label that stuck on the cover, inside or outside. This information is a direction for you to take good care of your pillow.

If you can’t find the label, or it’s too old, and the words are already faded, try to analyze the pillow by yourself. Check if the cover can be removed or not (removable cover has a hidden zipper on the back).

Check the fabric by touching it to identify if it is made of silk, velvet, wool or others. Silk is smooth and has a shining appearance. Velvet is soft, and if you touch it forward and back, its color shade will change. Wool can be recognized easily by its smooth texture. If you find the fabric is familiar with these three above, you should use a dry cleaning method for your pillow. In case the fabric is in the contract, it might be cotton or something that are easier to wash by water.

Now you know every important information of your pillows. Let’s move to the next step to know efficiently how to clean throw pillow.

How to clean throw pillow with removable covers

This method is only for removable covers that are made by fabrics that can be put into a washing machine. These fabric are cotton, linen or polyester. Make sure there‘s no decorative beading or trim on it. In fact, it’s easy, just follow this below direction:

Step 1: Remove the cover.

Step 2: Treat the stain. If the cover has some heavily stained area that cannot be clean by the washing machine, treat them first by a stain removal spray. You can mix warm water, washing liquid or washing powder, with washing soda to make your spray. Put the cover on a flat and spray the liquid on any stained areas. Let them rest for 3-5 minutes.

Step 3: Turn the cover inside out. As you don’t want the color and the texture of the fabric to be fading out in the washer.

Step 4: Wash the cover with mild detergent. If you don’t have one, dilute what you have with cold water.

Step 5: Take it out and dry it carefully. But if you are in a hurry, you can use the dryer, with a low heat setting.

Step 6: Put the cover back on the pillow.  Wait for it to be completely dry. If not, the pillow will have a musty smell, and you have to wash it again.

How to clean throw pillow with removable covers

Image source: YouTube

How to clean throw pillow with non-removable covers

If the fabric is cotton or linen or something in the same family, use the spot cleaning method to clean your pillow cover.

Step 1: Spot test the color of the fabric. Do the test in a hard-to-see area of the cover. Choose a white cotton piece of fabric, soak it with water, then put it in the testing area, hold it for few seconds. If you can find the color from the cover bleed onto the white cotton one, you have to dry-clean it. If not, you can move to the next step.

Step 2: Spot-clean the stains. Put warm water and some drops of washing liquid or dish soap into a bowl. Stir until this mixture becomes sudsy. Dip a white cotton cloth onto the water. Then use this cloth to blotting up all the stain on the cover.

Step 3: Re-clean the stains with water. Use another dampened fresh white cloth to take all the residual soap from the stains away.

Step 4: Let the cover dry completely.

How to clean pillow covers in special fabric

Like I said above, you cannot clean some fabric with water. These fabrics are silk, velvet, wool, leather, and suede. The only way to clean these fabrics is dry-cleaning.

This method is similar to spot-clean. But instead of using water and soap, we use dry cleaning fluid to dip a sponge and blot up the stains. Then use a dry white towel to clean them again. Finally, let the dry-cleaning fluid evaporate by hanging the pillow on or placing it on a clean white tower.

Warnings: The dry-cleaning fluid is flammable. Use it in an area that is away from flames. And don’t forget to wear gloves that can resist chemical when using dry cleaning fluids.

How to clean pillow covers in special fabric

Image source: Maid Brigade

Some tips for you

We recommend cleaning the throw pillow every four months. If you have allergies, or you are living with children or pets, it’s necessary to clean it every month.

In case your pillow covers are yellowing and have a tiny bit smelly- you can add 1/2 cup baking soda or 1/2 cup vinegar with your washing liquid.

If you want to clean the pillow filler too, check if it’s fiber-filled or foam.

You can wash some fiber-filled in a washer; some can be spot-cleaned only. Check the information on the label before putting it into a washing machine!

With foam pillow, remove the cover and soak the foam in warm water with a small amount of mild or diluted soap in a bathtub or large sink. Rinse the foam and press out the excess water. Repeat until there’s no dirt in the excess water. Let it air-dry.

Give the pillow filler a big hug to check if it’s completely dry or not.


All done! You now know how to clean throw pillow. And yes, it’s easier than you thought it would be. Cleaned pillows mean no more dirt, bacteria, and mold that can damage your health. Hope that you always have fresh and clean throw pillows for your room from now on.

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