How to properly wash down pillows

Down or feather pillows offer a soft and luxurious surface to recline on while sleeping or resting in bed. Did you know that you can keep your pillows fresh and clean and even extend the life of these pillows with periodic washing?  Since down and feather pillows are made of natural materials, they actually launder quite well and this care can extend the life of the product. In contrast, synthetic pillows usually do not launder well and should instead be replaced when showing signs of soil.

With frequent cleaning and proper care, down and feather pillows can last as long as 10 years. And washing down or feather pillows is not complicated. It is just important to remember a few simple steps:

Two at a time: Down and feather pillows fit in almost any size and style of washing machine with ease, but it is important to remember to wash pillows two at a time in order to maintain balance in your machine while laundering and spinning.

Water temperature: Feel free to use hot, moderate or cold water when washing your down or feather pillows.  All temperatures will clean the items safely and effectively, but keep in mind that hot water may shrink a pillow’s outer fabric covering during laundering.

Spin cycle: Be sure to utilize the fastest spin cycle that your washing machine offers when spinning pillows in order to remove as much excess moisture from your items as possible.  This ensures more thorough drying in order to prevent odor, mildew and other problems.

Extra rinse: Because down and feather pillows are so dense, it is important to use an extra rinse cycle when laundering these items.  The extra rinse ensures that all laundry detergent and soil have been effectively removed from your pillows.

Gentle detergent: Although down and feather pillows are sturdy enough to stand up to laundering, it is best to use a gentle detergent when washing these items.  Choose a soap that is free of fragrance and extra additives to ensure gentle and effective cleaning of your pillows that will leave no fragrances or harmful residue behind. If you must use bleach while laundering, select a non-chlorine bleach, as it is less harmful and wearing to fabric and fillings.  And avoid using fabric softener products when washing pillows.  These products can coat pillow fillings, reduce the loft of the pillow and cause irreversible damage to your products.

Drying: High, moderate or low heat can be used when drying pillows in the dryer, but be aware that the higher the heat, the more possibility there is for pillow shrinkage.  And be patient.  Because down and feather pillows are very dense, drying make take quite some time. Unsure if your pillow is completely dry? It’s always better to choose an additional cycle through the dryer instead of risking a damp and smelly pillow that has developed mildew. Some claim that adding a few clean tennis balls to the dry cycle with your pillows will speed drying and fluff pillow filling.  You can also toss your pillows in the dryer with a few tennis balls between washings to fluff and refresh the items.

Most down and feather pillows should be washed about every six months.  By laundering pillow covers and pillow cases and bed linens frequently and washing your pillows periodically, you can ensure that you sleep space always remains fresh, clean and a beautiful place to peacefully slumber.

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