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Why & How You Should Wash Your Pillows

August 16, 2023

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First of all, in case you’re wondering, yes, you should wash your pillows. You probably clean your sheets, pillow cases blankets and other bedding regularly. But chances are that you rarely wash your pillows.

Most of us presume that pillowcases absorb all the hair oil, dead skin cells and sweat that happen as we sleep. But, unfortunately, pillowcases are porous. So, instead of just absorbing everything, they actually let things through to settle in your pillow. And all that stuff is food for dust mites, which can trigger an allergic reaction (not to mention the  icky thought that you’re sharing your pillow with unwanted guests!)

How to Wash Your Pillows

Considering that you may not have washed your pillows before, it helps to know how to wash them properly.

1. Follow the Washing Instructions

Check the instructions listed on the label for guidelines to wash the pillow properly. If your pillow doesn’t have a label, or if the label says ‘dry clean only’, you should have them professionally cleaned. Of course, Parkers has a dedicated pillow cleaning service that will keep your pillows clean and smelling fresh.

2. Spot Treat

Pillows tend to get sweat and saliva stains. Before washing, spot-treat stains according to the instructions listed on the spot-cleaning product you use.

3. Wash on the Gentle Cycle

You should wash your pillows at least twice a year; more often if you sweat a lot, eat in bed or have your pets sleep with you. Washing machines can be tough on pillows, especially the agitator on top loaders. To minimize damage, always agitate on the gentle cycle for just a few minutes or the shortest setting on your machine.

4. Wash Pillows Two at a Time

Pillows are large and may hold a lot of water in one place. Washing two pillows at a time will keep the load balanced and circulate the water and detergent more evenly.

5. Take Time to Dry

You must make sure to dry the pillow thoroughly to avoid mildew. Your auto-dry setting will probably not offer enough drying time because the system can’t detect moisture that’s deep in the pillow. Instead, just set your dryer to medium heat and ruin it for at least an hour. Adding some dry towels will help speed up the drying time because they draw out some of the moisture in the pillow. Also, especially for down or feather pillows, adding a couple of clean tennis balls to the dryer will minimize clumping of the filling.

If outside temperatures are warm enough, you can also hang pillows outside for as long as it takes to completely dry them.

Regardless of how you dry your pillows, it is important to make sure they are completely dry. Even if they are dry to the touch after drying, if they feel heavier than usual, it’s very likely that they are still damp inside and they need more drying time.

Other Pillow Care Tips

Air Them Out

To keep them as clean and fresh as possible between washing, you should air out your pillows. Fluffing your pillows daily will get rid of dust and debris, maintain their shape, and make them more comfortable. If possible, hang them outside about once a month, or as often as you can, to help keep them fresh.

Use Pillow Covers

Many pillows come encased in a pillow cover. In addition to pillowcases, pillow covers offer an additional level of protection for the pillow. The best part is that using pillow covers will reduce how often you need to clean your pillows. You can wash pillow covers when you wash pillowcases and other bedding.


Don’t let unwanted guests like dust mites make your pillows their home! Ensure the freshness and cleanliness of your pillows by taking the right steps.

If you’re unsure about washing them yourself or your pillows have specific care instructions, trust the experts at Parker’s to handle it for you and keep your pillows clean, comfortable, and free from allergens.

Currently, we’re having a $10 off sale for any pillow cleaning services.

So don’t delay; give your pillows the care they deserve. A good night’s sleep starts with clean pillows, and we’re here to make that happen.

If you found this post helpful and are heading out for a late summer or early fall vacation, check out our recent article How To Pack & Fold Your Clothes To Avoid Wrinkles.

Skip The Hassle

Of Dropping Off and Picking Up Your Clothes

With Parkers free pickup and delivery service, you can enjoy the convenience of dry cleaning at your fingertips. Simply schedule your pickup online or by phone, and we’ll handle the rest.

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