Sep 12, 2016

Testing & Washing Bed Pillows

Do you test and wash your bed pillows?
Over the years I've made some pretty big mistakes like washing my grandma's feather bed pillows. The covers were dark blue with off white stripe ticking and they had them for quite a while.  She gave me some and young Dolly decided to machine wash them in hot water.  The hot water only made them smell like dead birds!  I aired them outside for days it seems and don't believe they ever smelled decent enough to sleep on again. This brings me to the question do you wash your bed pillows? We're talking pillow washing today.

I guess I learned a lesson the hard way back then.  Always check the contents of your bed pillows. They are made so differently now.  Read those irritating tags that hang down from the pillow to be sure and it should also tell you if your pillow is machine washable or dry cleanable.

How old are your pillows?  You might take that into consideration.  These pillows are around five years old but I had them stored without using for awhile.  I've been sentimental to them because when my mama was so sick and I stayed with her, she switched her pillows for mine and I just smiled.  She knew they were soft and comfy.  I've begun to use them and so now sadly I will wash them.  She'd want it that way.

Test your pillows to see if they are worn completely out or if they are good to use longer.  If they stay folded in the middle where you've folded them it is definitely time to replace them.

My pillows shown are extremely soft and I really love that they are. I personally can't stand a stiff hard pillow.  Hubby loves the stiffer variety.  Even though these may look soft from much use they really aren't.  I bought them this way extremely soft and luxurious!

You should know that pillows do yellow and for a number of reasons:
Body Fluids, Product Breakdown, There are certain coatings that are sometimes put on them to make them whiter/brighter. That and sunlight can break down this coating.  The fabrics naturally turn yellow and gray over time.

I'm washing these pillows now in one of my homemade laundry soaps.  This one is made with the new 'White Lirio Soap' that is specifically made for 'White Laundry Only'.  I made this with my Heavy Duty Mixture which can be found here.  If your pillows are white only you can make this mixture it will whiten and brighten as well as thoroughly clean. Mixture for Whites Only can be found here. The tag on these pillows said machine wash on gentle cycle in warm water. I was tempted to use hot but turned it down according to the instructions. I also added lavender essential oil to the wash for a sweet smell.

Pillows:  Clean, Dry, Fluffy, Smelling Fresh & Clean, Ready to Cover and Use!


#1 Read the tag for contents and instructions.
#2 How long have you had the pillows?
#3 Test your pillows as above in video
#4 Wash according to pillow instruction with a great detergent/soap for cleaning whites! Wash two at a time to balance out the washer.
#5 Dry and Fluff in dryer on low heat.  You may have to run through more than one drying cycle.

Now you're ready to sleep on clean comfort for another 3 months or so. 


  1. Oh, I must admit that we are in need of replacing pillows. I threw away a bag of them yesterday and one could be folded into thirds! Very happy you added the whites only recipe. Shall copy that down! Great post!

    1. Hey Ginger Dawn! I know in an extra bedroom I have that there are many to be thrown away. My kids have always love many, many pillows to sleep with and I'll bet you some were from their childhood. I don't dare touch those! lol

  2. I have foam pillows- not memory foam but regular latex foam. I need to wash mine too!

    1. Hey Kathy, I'm so guilty of not doing this on a regular basis, but hope to get better at it.

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Nancy! Don't wash it in hot water, I promise you won't like it! Isn't it wonderful that you have one of her pillows? I don't even know what I did with mine, might have thrown them away. I do miss the heavy heavy pillows of hers. Thank you too!

  4. I buy the ones with small foam pieces.If there is a concern in any way,I will wash them in a pillow case that is safety pinned!

    1. Hi Sophia,
      My husband just ordered some of those type pillows and he seems to like them. I'll keep that in mind when washing them.

  5. In 1941, my grandmother went to care for HER grandmother as she was dying.At the time my mother was a baby and often napped with her great grandmother who passed time by making a little feather pillow for " her baby". In 1961 I slept on that same pillow,later mychildren slept on it and then my grandkids. I wouldn't trade that little pillow for anything. I have washed it gently in warm water and hung it to dry in the sun,then fluffed in in the dryer and it has held up beautifully maybe because it is small. Next time I wash it I will try your homemade soap.

    1. Kathy what a dear and wonderful story you just shared with us. Thank you for that. I hope it lasts many many more years to come.