How To Wash Feather Pillows? – A Step-by-Step Guide

Feather pillows can last up to 10 years. But for that, it requires proper care and maintenance. They should be washed every six months, which will help to kill any dust mites and bacteria, as well as remove any unpleasant odor. It will also help to reinvigorate the pillow to its original fluffy state. So, in this article you can find a step-by-step process on how to wash feather pillows.

How To Wash Feather Pillows?

Step 1 – Inspect the Pillow For Any Rips or Holes

how to wash feather pillows

Take the pillow out of its pillowcase and before you start washing it, take a few minutes to check all the sides of the pillow for any weak seams or holes. If you find any, repair them. If you skip this step, you might end up with a washing machine full of feathers.

Step 2 – Load the Washing Machine

cleaning feather pillows

The good thing with feather pillows is that they are machine washable. It’s best to wash two pillows at once because it will keep the washer balanced. If you can’t fit them in, try squeezing them first in order to get the air out.

If you’re using a top-loading machine, stand the pillows vertically. This will prevent them getting tangled in the agitator.

If you don’t have a second pillow that also needs washing, you can add to the wash a few towels.

Add about a teaspoon of low-sudsing, liquid detergent. Avoid powder detergent because it can leave buildup and residue. Another thing to avoid is the fabric softener because it can cause the feathers to clump. Also, you need just a small amount of detergent. If you add too much, it will take a lot of rinsing to washing it all out.

Set the water temperature to cold and choose the delicate cycle. You can also use the hot or warm water, which is better for killing dust mites and bacteria that might be living in your bed pillow. However, you then run the risk of damaging the feathers.

Step 3 – Use an Extra Rinse and Spin Cycles

Once the first cycle is done, set the washing machine for an extra rinse cycle. This will make sure that all the detergent is flushed out. Next, run an extra spin cycle to get rid of as much moisture as possible.

Step 4 – Drying

As you can see, washing feather pillows is fairly easy but drying them is more time-consuming part.

Remove your feather pillows out of the washer and before you get to drying, fluff them up. You might notice a slight odor but that’s just a sign that your pillow is wet.

Next, place the pillows in the dryer. Add also dryer balls or if you don’t have any, a pair of clean tennis balls will also do. This will help to break up the clumps of feathers and fluff the pillows up.

Set the dryer on low or medium heat and use a delicate cycle. Low heat will make the drying process faster but it can also damage the feathers inside the pillows. Avoid using high heat as it will scorch the feathers and shrink the fabric cover.

In between the cycles, take the pillows out of the dyer and fluff them up by hand from all directions. This will help to break up any clumps inside the pillow and will help to ensure even drying.

Drying time can take as long as two or three hours. It depends on the dryer settings you choose and the size of your pillows. However, it’s important to get them completely dry in order to prevent mold, so it might take multiple cycles. Be patient and keep fluffing.

drying feather pillows

Alternatively, instead of using the dryer, you can air dry the pillows. The sunlight will kill the bacteria and the air will bring a refreshing smell. So, choose a clear, sunny day and after washing the pillows, hang them them on the clothesline. Every couple of hours remove them and fluff them up. Continue doing so until the pillow is completely dry.

Treating Stains, Odor or Mildew

  • To get rid of stains on your feather pillow, use a cup of hydrogen peroxide and half a cup of white vinegar. Since it’s not recommended to use bleach for feather pillows, these substances are good alternatives. So, add the pillows to the washer, add the two substances into the drum and set the washer on soak cycle. Once it’s finished, continue with the washing and drying steps mentioned above.
  • White vinegar is also good at removing mold and mildew. To use it, add about half a cup to your detergent.

If you want to get rid of any smells in your pillow, consider adding some baking soda directly to your detergent.

Care and Maintenance

feather pillow care and maintenance
  • Use a zip-on protective cover for your pillow, which will protect it against dust, moisture and perspiration. As a result, you won’t have to wash your feather pillow as often. You’ll just need to wash the cover weekly.
  • You pillow can also benefit from some daily fluffing. It will help to prevent the buildup of dust and it will make sure that the pillow retains the natural resilience of the feathers.
  • Consider also bathing your pillow in the sun from time to time. It will help to get rid of any excess moisture that might be trapped inside the pillow and will also give it a refreshing smell.

Final Words

As you can see, washing feather pillows is fairly easy. Just remember to first mend any tears, then use gentle detergent for the wash and after make sure that the pillows get completely dry. Regular washing will help to make sure that your pillows stay fluffy and that they last for as long as possible.

Keep in mind also that feather pillows have an expiration date. Typically, they last about 10 years. But without proper care it might be be sooner. You can usually see signs that the pillow is past its prime. For example, it always stays flattened and doesn’t have the original volume, or if you detect mildew or fungal odor. These are good signs that you might need a new pillow.

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