There is nothing that can send you into dreamland quite like a down pillow. They’re soft, they’re not as prone to clumping as pillows made with synthetic materials, and sleeping with one is better for your neck and back.

If you don’t take care of your pillows, however, you’ll wake up to a feather stabbing into your skin. You can clean them like you would any other synthetic pillow with the exception of a few rules.

We can teach you how to wash down pillows without destroying them. Check out this guide for a few cleaning instructions that you should live by.

How Often Should You Wash Your Pillows?

You come home each night and lay your head on your pillow. You toss and turn and sometimes even drool on your pillowcase. As you can imagine, it doesn’t take long for your pillows to get gross.

If you use a protective cover, it will be able to catch most of the skin cells, dirt, and oil that your body gives off. Still, it only gives you a six-month reprieve from washing your pillows. If you put it off for longer than that, they’ll start to get discolored and yellow.

Can You Wash A Down Pillow?

The answer is yes. You can wash a down pillow almost the same way you wash any regular synthetic pillow. In fact, doing so will keep them fluffy and extend their life if you do it right.

There are some rules that you have to follow. You can’t just throw them in the warm cycle and call it a day. Despite this, cleaning them isn’t too hard.

How to Wash Down Pillows?

The best washer for down pillows is a top load without the large middle spindle. If your washing machine has a spindle, don’t worry. You don’t have to toss it out and get a new one.

Washing pillows in it is still possible but you have to be a little more careful. Position the pillows so they are sitting vertically in the machine. This will stop them from getting tangled up.

Always place two pillows in the washer at once to keep the machine balanced. You can wash your pillows in warm or hot water but it might shrink the pillow fabric. Running them through a cold cycle is a much better choice.

Put your pillows through two rinse cycles to ensure you get all the soap residue out of them. When you take them out of the washing machine, fluff them before you put them in the dryer to stop the feathers from clumping together.

What’s the Deal with Detergent and Softener?

Another thing to note with washing a down pillow is that traditional detergents are a bad idea. The feathers inside a down pillow contain natural oils that keep them strong. Most detergents will strip away these oils and make the feathers brittle.

Only use a special HE low-sudsing detergent. You also want to stay away from fabric softeners. It will weigh down the feathers in your pillow and make them less fluffy to sleep on.

If your pillows are looking a little yellow, you can whiten them as long as you use a non-chlorine bleach to do it. We’ll get into that a little more later.

Drying Your Pillows

Put your pillows in the dryer and set it to medium heat. You might have to run them through the cycle more than once to get them completely dry this way but you won’t have to worry about fabric shrinkage.

If you can smell a strange odor wafting from the pillows, they’re not done yet. You’ll need to dry them again or they could get moldy. That’s not good for your health!

Another way to tell if your pillows are done is by fluffing them every 15 minutes or so. If they’re still wet on the inside, you’ll be able to feel it.

Consider throwing a few dryer or tennis balls in with the pillows. This will stop the feathers from clumping up and help them dry a lot faster.

Treating Stains

Again, you should always use a pillowcase or protective cover to prevent stains. Even the most dedicated protector can’t stop all stains though.

Create an easy whitening solution by mixing together 1 cup of powdered laundry detergent, 4 cups of boiling water, and 1/2 cup of borax. Put the pillows in the washing machine and add the mixture.

Let your pillows soak for half an hour before flipping them over and running them through the wash as normal. They should come out looking brand-new.

When Should You Replace Your Pillow?

There comes a time when no amount of washing can save your poor pillow. As long as you take care of it this shouldn’t happen for about 7-10 years. That can vary depending on how you sleep and how often you wash your pillow.

If you’re putting it through the cold cycle once a week and fold it in half while you sleep, it’s not going to last long. The moment it doesn’t immediately spring back to life after being folded in half, you should make plans to retire it.

Clean Your Down Pillows the Right Way

Down pillows can make you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud as long as you take care of them. If you don’t learn how to wash down pillows the right way, you may end up getting stabbed by a feather in your sleep.

Be wary about what kind of detergent you use, only wash your pillows when you need to, and stay away from softeners. You can also hire a cleaning service to take care of your bedding for you. Contact us to get an instant quote on our cleaning services.