Feather pillows on their way to be washed

Can You Wash Feather Pillows?

Feather pillows are an epitome of luxury, offering unparalleled comfort and softness. However, with the luxury of down comes the responsibility of proper care. How can you wash feather pillows without damaging them?

Feather pillows can be safely cleaned at home using various methods, including machine washing, hand washing, and spot cleaning. When washing, opt for a mild detergent and avoid harsh chemicals like bleach. To maintain freshness, ensure thorough rinsing and complete drying. Also consider natural enhancers like white vinegar for a pleasant aroma. Regular cleaning every six months or as needed will prolong their comfort and lifespan.

Let’s dive into the most effective ways to clean them, ensuring longevity and maintaining their plushness.

Machine Washing Feather Pillows

Machine washing is a popular and efficient way to clean feather pillows. With care and attention, this method can restore your pillow’s freshness and comfort.

  1. Pillow Inspection: Check the pillow for any tears or weak spots. If any damage is spotted, repair it before washing to prevent feather loss.
  2. Choose the Right Detergent: A mild detergent is ideal as harsh chemicals can harm the feathers.
  3. Set the Machine: Opt for a gentle cycle with warm water. If your machine has an extra rinse setting, activate it to ensure a thorough rinse.
  4. Balance Your Load: For even washing, place two feather pillows in the machine at once. This helps maintain a balanced load and reduces wear on the machine.
  5. Rinse Well: After the wash cycle, run another rinse cycle to make sure all soap residue is gone.
  6. Remove Excess Water: Once the washing is complete, run a separate spin cycle. This helps in removing any leftover moisture before drying.
  7. Drying Process: Dry the feather pillows in an open area or use a dryer on a low heat setting. To help fluff the pillows, consider adding a couple of tennis balls to the dryer.
  8. Fluffing: Once dried, gently fluff the pillows by hand to restore their shape and plushness.

Using this method ensures that your feather pillows remain clean, fluffy, and comfortable for longer periods.

Hand Washing Feather Pillows

Hand washing offers a gentle approach to cleaning feather pillows, ensuring their longevity and softness.

  1. Prepare the Basin: Select a large basin or bathtub for ample space. Fill it with tepid water.
  2. Add Mild Detergent: Pour a small amount of gentle detergent into the water and swirl it around for an even mix.
  3. Submerge the Pillow: Gently place your pillow in the water, pressing softly to ensure the soapy mixture penetrates deep.
  4. Clean Gently: Use your hands to massage the feather pillow, targeting stained or soiled areas.
  5. Empty and Refill: Once done, drain the soapy water from the basin. Refill with clean water.
  6. Rinse Thoroughly: Immerse the pillow in the clean water, pressing and releasing to rinse out detergent. Repeat until no soap remains.
  7. Water Extraction: Press the pillow between your hands or against the side of the basin to release excess water. Avoid twisting or wringing.
  8. Lay Out to Dry: Place the pillow flat on a clean, dry towel. Rotate the pillow occasionally to ensure even drying.
  9. Check Dryness: Before using, ensure the feather pillow is completely dry. Any dampness can lead to mold or mildew.

Embracing the hand washing method can help maintain the integrity of your feather pillows, providing many nights of restful sleep.

Spot Cleaning Feather Pillows

Spot cleaning is an ideal solution for addressing isolated stains or minor spills on feather pillows without undergoing a full wash.

  1. Gather Supplies: Have a white cloth, gentle detergent, and clean water on hand.
  2. Create a Cleaning Mix: Blend a bit of the mild detergent with warm water in a bowl or basin.
  3. Test the Solution: On an inconspicuous part of the pillow, dab a bit of the solution to ensure it doesn’t discolor the fabric.
  4. Treat the Stain: Dip the white cloth into your cleaning mix and gently press onto the affected area. Avoid rubbing, which can damage the feathers or fabric.
  5. Cleanse the Area: Using another cloth moistened with just water, dab the spot to rinse out any residual detergent.
  6. Blot and Dry: Pat the cleaned area with a dry cloth to absorb moisture.
  7. Air Out: Let the pillow sit in a well-ventilated area, ensuring the spot cleaned section dries fully.
  8. Inspect: Once dry, check the area. If the stain remains, consider repeating the process or seeking professional cleaning advice.
  9. Maintenance: For optimal pillow health, try to address spills or stains immediately, preventing them from setting.

Spot cleaning serves as a quick and efficient way to tackle unexpected messes, ensuring your feather pillows remain pristine and inviting.


How do I get my feather pillows to smell good after washing?

Ensuring your feather pillows retain a fresh scent after washing goes beyond the cleaning process itself. Introducing white vinegar into the rinse cycle can neutralize unwanted odors. After washing, it’s imperative to dry pillows fully, since residual moisture can lead to an unpleasant musty aroma. If you’d like an additional hint of fragrance, consider placing dried lavender sachets or cedar balls in your pillow storage area.

What laundry detergent should I use to wash feather pillows?

Opting for a gentle or natural detergent is best for feather pillows. Harsh chemicals or intense fragrances might strip the feathers of their essential oils or lead to fabric degradation. When shopping, look for detergents labeled “suitable for delicate fabrics” or those that are plant-based, as these tend to be milder.

How often should I wash my feather pillows?

While every six months is a general guideline, it’s beneficial to assess your pillows regularly. If they appear soiled, or if they’ve been exposed to sweat or spills, a cleaning might be in order. Using protective covers and changing pillowcases often can also help in keeping them clean for longer periods.

Should I dry clean or wash feather pillows?

Many feather pillows come with care labels suggesting dry cleaning. While washing at home is possible with the right precautions, dry cleaning can be a safer bet for some high-end or particularly delicate pillows. If uncertain, always refer back to any care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Can I use bleach to clean feather pillows?

It’s best to avoid bleach when dealing with feather pillows. While bleach can be effective in removing stains, its harsh nature can damage both the pillow’s fabric and the delicate feathers inside. If you’re trying to address a tough stain, consider spot cleaning or consulting with a professional cleaner before resorting to strong chemicals.


Feather pillows offer comfort like no other, but they require delicate care. Whether you’re machine washing, hand washing, or spot cleaning, always use mild detergents and avoid harsh chemicals like bleach. Remember, keeping them clean not only ensures a good night’s sleep but also prolongs their life. With the right care, your feather pillow can remain your bedtime companion for years to come.