- 1 Feather vs. Down Dilemma
- 2 Inspection Time
- 3 Can You Wash Feather Pillows: The Basics
- 4 Preventative Care Tips
- 5 Can You Wash Feather Pillows: How Often?
- 6 Nighty Night
A good night’s sleep is priceless, and pillows factor into that quality of sleep. Many prefer feather or down pillows over alternative synthetic options. However, when you have expensive feather pillows, you might wonder can you wash feather pillows.
Fortunately, you can wash feather pillows, but before you toss them in the washing machine, there are a few steps to take to prevent a washing machine-induced feather disaster.
Also, you can take several preventative steps to prolong its life and prevent having to toss a favorite pillow.
Feather vs. Down Dilemma
Before you get to washing, you need to know what kind of pillow you have.
Feather and down both interchangeably to refer to pillows, but they are different.
Down pillows are the clusters of fibers under the protective layer of feathers. It helps keep birds warm. When the clusters are in a pillow, they compress and feel luxurious, hence the more expensive budget.
The feathers in the feather pillow are usually from the back and wings. Often pillows are a combination of both down and feathers.
You can wash the pillows the same, but knowing if you have feather pillows instead of down factors into the first step of the washing process.
Furthermore, some pillows are a combination of a feather, down, and a gell insert. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s label to determine the components that make up your favorite pillow.
Before you wash your pillow, you want to remove the protective cover and pillowcase. You want to inspect the pillow’s seam to ensure there are no holes.
Also, if you determined you have a feather pillow in the step above, pay close attention to holes anywhere on the pillow because the quills of feathers can poke through the fabric.
High-quality pillows often have a higher thread count for the body of the pillow, but the quills can still work their way out over time.
Once you determine your pillow is in good shape or repair holes, you can wash your feather pillows.
Can You Wash Feather Pillows: The Basics
There are some basic steps to follow when washing your feather pillows.
After you’ve determined you have no holes or other tears, you can pop them in your washing machine.
To avoid an annoying unbalanced washing machine cycle, wash two pillows at a time. If you do not have an extra pillow, you can balance things out with a few towels.
If you have a top-loading washing machine, add the pillows vertically, one on either side of the agitator to keep them from wrapping around the agitator in the middle.
For other washers, make sure you place the pillows and other items so they are as even as possible.
You need to use a low-suds washing detergent and use a little less than you think you need. Detergent can build up in your pillows causing them to go flat.
Set the water temperature to cold water, and you want to use the gentle or delicate cycle.
Also, do not use fabric softener because the softener can coat your down and feathers, which can cause your pillow not to fluff up.
If you can set your machine to do a deep rinse or a second rinse, do so. Just like the fabric softener, any remaining detergent can coat your feathers and down, so the extra rinse helps get out all the soap.
Also, you need to get as much water as possible, so set your machine for an extra spin cycle. Otherwise, you can manually run an extra spin cycle.
Lastly, pillows tend to get air pockets and float up to the top if you use a top loader machine. You may have to open the lid and press the pillows down into the water to ensure the entire pillow is washed.
Next, your pillows go in the dryer. You may notice your feather pillows smelling odd, but that is not unusual with wet feathers. The smell goes away as they dry.
You want to set your dryer to low or medium, so you do not damage the feathers, and add a couple of dryer balls to help with fluffing.
Also, do not be alarmed if it takes several cycles to dry your pillows thoroughly. Ideally, you can take the pillows out a couple of times and fluff them by hand to ensure the feathers are even and not clumping up.
Once you think your pillows are ready to back on your bed, take some time and allow them to cool first. Sometimes we mistake warmth for dryness, and when the pillow is cool, we can tell if it is dry or not.
Finally, put your pillow back into a clean protector and pillowcase and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.
Preventative Care Tips
A high-quality pillow can last for years with proper care. To prolong the life of your favorite pillow, follow some preventative care.
Wrap it up
Be sure to always use a high-quality protector over your pillow.
The protector helps with the longevity of your pillow for several reasons.
First, if your pillow has feathers, the quills will eventually work their way through the body of the pillow. It is no fun to wake up snuggled in a pillow that seems determined to stab you.
Also, the protective cover protects from wear and tear and keeps fluids from seeping into the feathers and down.
It would best if you still used a pillowcase over the protector, but be sure to wash both frequently.
Can you wash feather pillows: Why is it yellow?
We all sweat, and nighttime sweating can eventually turn our pillows yellow.
Also, the oils from our bodies and hair can cause yellowing, as can the lotions and skin products we use.
However, the protector and pillowcase combo will help prevent yellowing.
Still, if you find yourself with yellow spots on your pillow, you can add a little bit of both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to the pre-soak cycle before washing.
Fluff it up
Feathers need to breathe to stay fluffy. You can fluff your pillows when you wake up in the morning.
Another option is to put them in your dryer every couple of weeks.
When you use your dryer, you have options.
For instance, you might use the air setting for 10 to 15 minutes to fluff and make sure you remove any lingering moisture from your pillows.
If you use heat, make sure you use a low setting.
Dryer balls or tennis balls are an excellent option for extra fluff action in the dryer.
If you have concerns about loose feathers or down, consider keeping the zippered pillow protector on the pillow while in the dryer.
Can you smell that smell?
Despite best efforts, you might wonder can you wash feather pillows because it smells.
Pillows tend to hold onto odors, be it pets, sweat smells, smoke, or even perfumes.
If you do not want to commit to a full-on run through the washing machine, you have other options.
For example, you can use the dryer fluff trick and add a preferred dryer sheet during the fluff-up.
If you want a more natural approach, you can add a few drops of essential oils to your wool dryer balls instead.
Fresh air is another option for getting those funky odors out of your pillow. Find a safe place outside on a day it is lower in humidity, and there is no chance of rain. Be sure to flip your pillow a few times during the day.
You might even consider sprinkling a little bit of baking soda over your pillows during their air dry.
Can You Wash Feather Pillows: How Often?
Do not overwash feather pillows. However, monthly is reasonable, especially in more humid climates where moisture and bacteria can build up.
However, less frequent is fine, especially if you are diligent about using and washing the pillowcase and protector frequently.
If you want to stretch out the washing further and have a steam setting on your dryer, consider frequent refreshers.
The steam cycles in dryers get hot, but it is short-lived. It is a great option to keep the dust mites away and keep your pillow sanitary.
Out, dang spot!
If you need to treat a smaller stain rather than an overall yellowing, you can buy a commercial pre-treater.
If you prefer a DIY recipe, you can mix liquid detergent with borax to make a paste. Let it sit on the stain for 15 minutes before following through with the wash cycle described above.
Another favorite DIY recipe includes making a paste with baking soda and water. Just like the previous recipe, let it sit for 15 or so minutes before washing.
Lastly, use caution with a DIY recipe that calls for bleach. Bleach can degrade the fabric and weaken the fibers making it easier for your pillows to develop holes or tears
Sometimes we must let it go
There are times we must let things go, and feather pillows are no exception.
If you notice your pillows are not coming out of the dryer nice and fluffy, try the fold test.
Lay your pillow down and fold it in half and push out all of the air.
If your pillow does not pop back open, your feathers may have lost their will to serve you further.
However, since pillow replacements can be expensive, consider looking into companies that rejuvenate pillows.
Pillow renovators can take your favorite yet worn-out pillow and bring it back to life for less than a new pillow. Plus, that is one less item in a landfill.
Those wondering can you wash feather pillows can rest easy knowing it is possible. The process takes some time and patience, but it is worth it in the end.
Once you inspect your pillows to ensure the seams are in good shape and repair any holes, you can toss them into the washing machine.
Some considerations are dependent on what type of washing machine you have. The top loader might have an agitator, so you have to take care of the placement of the pillows.
Also, pillows tend to have air pockets that need pressing down in a top-loading machine.
Typically, you need two pillows to balance the machine, though.
With a little bit of low suds soap, the gentle cycle, an extra rinse, and spin, your pillows are ready for the dryer.
The dryer action includes a lower temperature and frequent hand fluffing to ensure the pillows are not twisting or clumping up inside.
It may take several cycles to get the pillows fully dry, though.
You can take steps to ensure your pillow lasts a long time.
For instance, using a pillow protector and a pillowcase keeps your pillow safe from fluids, sweat, and other substances that can yellow or stain your pillow.
How did you handle washing your feather pillow? Answer in the comments.
Last update on 2021-09-28 at 07:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API