Bedding Cleaning & Care: How to Clean Pillows

Today, there several options when it comes to choosing a pillow for the best night’s sleep. From feather to foam, a pillow's makeup is designed to offer its user different levels of firmness and each requires a unique cleaning solution. In the second of our bedding series, we're tackling how to clean and care for your favourite pillow.

Feather Pillows

At Gibson’s, cleaning feather pillows is an intensive process. In order to ensure the feathers are truly clean, our team actually removes the feathers, cleans them in a drum - all before stuffing the feathers into a new and clean pillowcase. Can you clean feather pillows at home? Yes, but it will not yield the same results. Cleaning feather pillows at home is time intensive and can be difficult due to their awkward shape. If you decide to wash your feather pillows at home, here’s what to do:

  1. First, make sure to balance your load of pillows evenly in the washer. 
  2. Wash your pillows on a gentle cycle with cold water using two teaspoons of low suds detergent. Do NOT use fabric softener as this will leave the feathers coated and unclean.
  3. Next, wash the pillows again, using a rinse cycle - this time with no detergent.
  4. To dry, fluff the pillows when wet, and put them in the dryer on low to medium heat. Consider using dryer balls to keep things fluffy.

Polyester Pillows

Polyester pillows are the best alternative for individuals who are vegan, allergic to down, or want a more affordable pillow option. Here's how to clean your polyester pillow.

  1. Before cleaning your polyester pillow, first check for any stains and treat them with an at home stain remover like Tide to Go.
  2. Next, follow the same washing instructions as for feather pillows – use a small amount of low suds detergent on a gentle cold cycle.
  3. Dry using a low to medium heat. Stop the dryer every so often and re-fluff by hand.

Foam Pillows 

Cleaning a foam pillow can be challenging, especially when choosing to clean it at home. Foam pillows should always be hand washed and should not be put in the dryer. If washing your foam pillow at home, we recommend cleaning it on a warm spring or summer day. Here's how to clean your foam pillow:

  1. Fill your bathtub with warm water and a few teaspoons of gentle detergent.
  2. Next, let the pillow soak in water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse the pillow with cold water and squeeze. Do not wring it out, though tempting, you might crush the foam.
  4. To dry, use a drying rack or let it air out in a cool dry place. This can take up to 23 hours.

General Pillow Care

Your pillows should be washed two to three times each year, though you can minimize washing frequency by ensuring you consistently clean your pillowcase. We recommend choosing a pillowcase made from a natural and breathable fabric. At Gibson’s, we always recommend our customers email us a photo of their pillow prior to cleaning so we can determine the best possible cleaning method. 

Linley McConnell

Written by Linley McConnell