How to Wash Throw Pillows & Decorative Couch Pillows

How to Wash Throw Pillows & Decorative Couch Pillows

If you are like most people, you may be wondering if you can wash your throw pillows, like the gorgeous ones decorating your bed, as well as your favorite ones that are adorning your living room sofa.  We love our soft and comfy, brightly colored, room matching, and oh-so frou-frou decorative pillows, but we also know that they could all probably use a good cleaning. You’ll be glad to know that washing these pillows is definitely something you can do at home to spruce up your décor and give new life to your favorite accessories.  
If you’re wondering how to clean luxury pillows from your bedroom or how to clean your dingy couch pillows, our Decorative Pillow Care Guide is here to help!

How Often Should You Wash Throw Pillows?

When cleaning your home, it is important not to overlook your decorative accent pillows. These well-adorned pillows are integral parts of our home design and are popular staples in bedrooms and living rooms around the world. How often your accent pillows need to be washed depends on if your pillows have a decorative, removable cover. If so, these pillow covers should be washed at least once a month. The filling inside of the pillow also needs to be maintained and should be cleaned every other month at the least.

How to Clean Decorative Pillows

To best determine how to care for your throw pillows, you must first define what type of pillows you have in your home that need to be cleaned. Some pillows can be washed in a machine, while other types of decorative pillows need to be hand-washed to prevent damage to the fabric and/or decorations.

Pillows made from delicate fabrics like silk and wool, or those with down feathers, typically need to be dry-cleaned. Those made with foam or other washable materials, though, can be easily washed by hand or machine. Knowing how to properly care for the fabrics of your throw pillows is crucial to retain their style, color, and shape for maximum longevity.

Tips for Cleaning Decorative Pillows

  • Read the Care Label for Instruction - The easiest way to determine how to clean the throw pillows in your home is to check the manufacturer’s care label. Your decorative pillows may call for dry cleaning, hand washing with a mild detergent, or spot cleaning.  If the label does not explain how to wash your decorative pillows, simply find the type of fabric the pillows are made of and follow instructions on how to properly clean said fabric.
  • Spot Test the Fabric for Safety – It is always a good idea to do a spot test on your pillow or pillowcase before cleaning with a chemical product. This can be done by using a white towel and an approved cleaner solution for the type of fabric you are cleaning. Blot the white towel and cleaner on the pillow with some pressure for 30 seconds. Then, check the towel for any transfer of color from the pillow. Let your pillow cover dry and then check again for any fading or discoloration.
  • Sponge Cleaning Works Wonders - Some throw pillows that cannot be easily tossed in the washing machine may benefit from a light sponge cleaning. Simply find yourself a good quality upholstery shampoo and sponge and begin by working the cleaner into the pillows to remove stains. Use a circular motion and be sure to clean the trim, decorations, and other accents on the decorative pillows. When done, blot the spots with a clean white towel until almost dry.
  • Remove Foam Pillow Inserts Many throw pillows today are made from a piece of solid foam. If you have foam insert pillows, these cannot be properly cleaned in the washing machine. Once you remove the pillow cover, place the foam insert a large sink or bathtub filled with warm water and a small amount of mild detergent. Clean the foam thoroughly, then rinse well and gently squeeze out any excess water and leave to air dry.
  • Dry Clean Only - If your decorative pillows indicate that they need to be dry cleaned, you might find this tip useful. Dip a clean and dry sponge into a dry-cleaning solution for fabric. Use a circular motion to clean the pillow. Once done, blot with a clean white towel to soak up excess moisture.
  • Pay Attention to Special Fabrics – Pillow covers that are made from fabrics like suede, leather, silk, or wool cannot be cleaned with water.

Washing Throw Pillows

Decorative pillows that do not require special care, however, can be easily washed at home. Although washing may seem intimidating at first, it is really a simple task that almost anyone can do. Here are some tips for washing throw pillows to ensure yours is a successful experience and your pillows turn out amazingly every time!

How to Wash a Throw Pillow Insert in the Washing Machine

  • Remove pillow sham, pillowcase, or cover from your pillow. These covers will be washed separately from the actual pillow and can be properly cared for according to our Tips for Cleaning Decorative Pillows section above.
  • Pre-treat any pillow stains at this time by applying cleaning solution with a sponge.
  • A front-loading washing machine with no agitator works best to wash pillow inserts. Use warm water on a delicate cycle and choose a mild detergent for best results. If you must use a washing machine with an agitator, carefully place the pillows on each side of the washing machine to balance the load and use a very gentle cycle.
  • Once the pillow inserts are washed, hang them to dry in a well-ventilated area until they are dry about 75 percent dry.

When the pillows are almost dry, you can then fluff them in the dryer. It is best to do this using a ‘no heat’ setting for the best results. Including a couple of dryer balls is also a great idea to help reshape the pillows and make them like new again.

Luxury Bedding and Decorative Throw Pillows from Peacock Alley

Peacock Alley is your home for luxury sheet sets, fine bedding, and of course, beautiful throw pillows for your home. No matter what your design choice, Peacock Alley’s selection of marvelous decorative pillows will make your room everything you've been dreaming of.

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