A complete guide on how to wash and dry polyester pillows properly

Care | 6 minute read |

You wash your pillowcases regularly, but what about your polyester pillows? They’re often overlooked but it’s crucial to give them a deep clean to remove buildup of dead skin, sweat, oils, and saliva that can attract dust mites.

How to wash and dry polyester pillows properly-01

Polyester pillows are hypoallergenic, have breathable fabrics, and their filling is resistant to mildew. Here are the guides and tips to wash your polyester pillows effectively in the washing machine and tumble dry them in the right way.


How to wash polyester pillows in a washing machine


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1. Check for tears and wears before washing

The filling may come through any tears as your pillow is spun in the washing machine. If you see even the tiniest ones, especially along the seams, quickly mend them. Remember to cut and remove loose threads too.


2. Check the care label for machine wash instructions

Most polyester pillows are durable enough to be machine washable. However, some still need to be washed by hand. If the print on the tag has faded, we recommend checking the manufacturer’s website.


3. Pre-treat stain on your pillows

Before putting your pillows in the washing machine, pre-treat stains using a stain remover or liquid detergent. Blot with a cloth, do not rub, as rubbing tends to push the stain further in the fibres. This method is best used as a quick clean for new stains.


4. Select the correct settings and use the right load detergent

Your pillows need extra care since they’re prone to deforming and shrinking. Select the gentle cycle, use cold or warm water, and add only a small amount of mild detergent, about one tablespoon.

If you have a top-load washing machine with a central agitator, set the timer for only a few minutes.

Make sure you know how to use your washing machine properly and choose the right cycle.


5. Load pillows into your washing machine

For a front-load washing machine

In one cycle of a front-load washing machine, you can wash one to two pillows. Add clean towels to balance the load and to allow effective distribution of water and detergent.

For top-load washing machine

Like front-load washing machines, high-efficiency top-load washing machines can handle one to two pillows at a time. Add a couple of towels to balance the load.

For standard top-load washing machines with a central agitator, be gentler. To ensure the load is balanced, it’s required to wash two pillows at once together with some towels. Place them vertically inside the drum.


6. Run an extra rinse cycle for your pillows

This ensures that all remnants of detergent are removed.

Check out more useful summer laundry tips in our article.


How to dry polyester pillows in the dryer


How to wash and dry polyester pillows properly-03

1. Remove excess water from your pillows

Wrap your pillow in a towel and gently squeeze and fluff. Don’t wring to avoid deforming it.


2. Check care label for drying instructions

Again, it’s best to read the tag first to see if it’s safe to use the dryer. See our guideline on the fabrics you can safely put in a dryer.


3. Dry your pillows using the right heat

Set the dryer on low or moderate heat and dry for an hour. This gentle yet efficient method ensures your pillows get the extra care they need without compromising on the results. If moisture is left within the polyester fill, mould can grow.

Check out more tips on how to dry different bedding items in your dryer.


4. Add a buffer to maintain pillows’ fluffiness

Toss in two fresh tennis balls or dryer balls to prevent the filling from clumping. The bouncing of the balls also maintains the pillows’ fluffiness. Throw in some towels too to speed up the process.


5. Re-fluff your pillows every 15 minutes

Pause the dryer every 15 minutes to re-fluff the pillows by hand.

Drying tips:

  • After using the dryer, air them outside so you’re sure no moisture is left in the filling.
  • Solely air-drying can also be an option because polyester pillows dry faster than other materials. Schedule your deep clean day when it’s sunny and breezy.
  • Instead of clothes pegs, it’s better to use special pillow hangers to avoid deforming your pillows. You can also place them on a clean flat surface.

Remember the basics when washing and drying your pillows:

Detergent

One tablespoon of mild detergent

Cycle type

Gentle wash cycle

Water temperature

Cold or warm water

Drying temperature

Low or moderate heat

Accessories required

Dryer ball to maintain pillows’ fluffiness

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How to freshen polyester pillows


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A more effortless method? Once a month, simply use the refresh feature of your washing machine so it can gently steam your pillows. Alternatively, you can also air them outside for a few hours or run through a dryer. These will effectively remove bacteria and restore fluffiness.


How to remove yellow stains from polyester pillows

Yes, it is possible to revive the brightness of your dingy yellowed pillows. Spritz them with a stain remover and let sit for 15 minutes. To gently loosen the stains, scrub with a toothbrush or a microfibre towel.

In your top-load drum, bathtub or sink, mix hot water and oxygen bleach — not to be confused with chlorine bleach. Oxygen bleach is a gentler option in removing protein-based stains like sweat. Soak your pillows overnight, then follow the steps above to launder and dry them.


Tips to take care of your polyester pillows

  • Use a pillow protector to extend the life of your pillow. It’s a sleeve that goes under your pillowcase to provide a buffer from moisture and dirt.
  • If you use a pillow protector, you only need to deep clean your pillow once or twice a year. Without it, wash at least twice a year or quarterly if you spend a lot of time in bed.
  • Wash pillowcases once a week, and pillow protectors at least once a month or more if you sweat a lot.
  • Store polyester pillows in a cotton bag or a sealed breathable container. Ensure they’re fully dried. Throw in some wool dryer balls to keep them fresh.
  • Prevent your polyester pillows from flattening by regularly fluffing them. There are three ways: Repeatedly squeezing and massaging them, popping them in the dryer, or placing them outside so sunlight can disinfect them and for fresh air to naturally unfurl the clumps.

Frequently asked questions about how to wash and dry polyester pillows

  • Can pillows be washed in the washing machine?

    Yes, you can wash pillows in the washing machine. Polyester offers the advantage of being machine washable, which can save you time and energy during laundry. However, it's important to check the label before placing any polyester item in the washing machine.

  • How often should I wash polyester pillows?

    You should wash your pillows once or twice a year.  However, if you have specific allergies, respiratory conditions, or if the pillows become visibly soiled or develop an odour, you may need to wash them more frequently.

  • How do I dry my pillows after washing?

    It is completely acceptable to air dry your pillows after washing them. However, if the weather conditions don't permit or you prefer a quicker drying method, using a dryer is an option to consider. Remember to consult the care label for drying instructions.

Care — for all


How to wash and dry polyester pillows properly-05

Now you know how to wash polyester pillows in a washing machine. Remember to treat pillows as you would with your clothes. You spend a good deal of time with them so they should be regularly washed too.

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