Guide on How to Wash a Down Pillow

Whether it be for relieving sinus issues, having a perfect night’s sleep, or simply the luxury factor, it seems more and more people are buying down pillows nowadays. However, do you know how to wash your down pillow properly?

Our in-depth article will provide a Step-by-Step analysis to ensure that you know how to properly wash and care for your down pillow.

How Often Should I Wash My Down Pillow?

When to Wash your Down Pillow

It’s recommended that you wash your down pillows every 3-6 months. Why? You sleep on your pillow every night, and every night your pillow comes in contact with skin cells, dirt, dust, sweat, oil, saliva, etc. Ergo, in order to keep your down pillow as clean as possible, experts recommend you wash it every 3-6 months.

If your down feather pillow turns yellow, that could be another indicator that it needs a good wash. Sweat causes a pillow to turn yellow. Other reasons could include pregnancy, menopause, other medical issues, and drool, as well as oil naturally secreted by the scalp. Therefore, a down pillow with yellow stains, is a pillow that needs to be washed.

How Do I Wash My Down Pillow?

The first step is to take your pillow out of the pillowcase, if there is one. If there is a pillow protector, make sure to remove that as well. You can wash these separately. Keeping the pillow inside a pillow case or protector while washing will hinder the cleaning process.

It’s recommended that you use a side-loading washing machine, as a top-washer could damage the pillow. Make sure you wash two pillows at once, in order to maintain balance inside the washer. If you don’t own a side-loading washer, you can either visit a laundromat or place your pillows vertically to avoid damaging them.

Because down pillows are so bulky, it is recommended that you use liquid detergent instead of powder detergent. Tide Purclean has been my goto brand of bio-based laundry detergent since I can remember. It’s a “Plant-Based liquid detergent” that’s friendly to the environment and your wallet! You can find it here on Amazon.

It can be difficult to rinse out a pillow, so remember this simple rule: the less detergent you use, the less you will have to rinse your pillow out later.

There are advantages to using hot water, as this could kill any dust mites living in your pillow. However, hot water can also damage any feathers inside your pillow, so many pillow connoisseurs recommend using warm or cool water on a delicate cycle.

Once done washing your down pillow, consider an extra rinse and spin cycle to ensure any remaining soap residue is gone.

How Do I Dry My Down Pillow?

You’ll want to start by patting your down feather pillow with a towel to ensure that any water that may have been left is soaked up. Do not twist or wring out your pillows, as this can damage the soft down feathers. After you’ve toweled-dried your down pillows, put them in the drying machine. While a No-Heat or Air-Only Cycle will be more time consuming than a low-heat dry, it could cause damage to the pillow.

Be sure to fluff your down pillow after each cycle by taking it out of the dryer and beating it to break up any clumps that may have gathered in the pillow. To keep your pillow fluffy, you can throw in some dryer balls into the dryer. If you do not have dryer balls, a tennis ball in a sock or pillowcase will do the trick.

Once the pillow is dry, hold the pillow by two corners and shake to fluff. Do this to the other side as well, and be sure to cover your freshly-washed down pillow with a clean pillowcase.

How To Get Rid of Stains/Odors from a Down Pillow?

Cleaning Stains from a Down Pillow

If you’re facing a tough stain or strong odor, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to clean your down pillow.

Start by combining one cup of hydrogen peroxide and a half of a cup of white vinegar to whiten yellowed pillows. Put this mixture into your washing machine while set to a soak cycle, and add detergent after the cycle is over.

A quarter cup to a half cup of baking soda added to detergent will get rid of any strange odors, and a cup of white vinegar will get rid of mold and mildew. You can also leave your pillow out in the sun for a few hours to kill any odor-causing bacteria, leaving your pillow smelling fresher.


To conclude, washing a down pillow takes a bit of extra work, it can be a rewarding experience that doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. With proper care, your down pillow will stay clean and provide you with many years of clean and comfortable nights of sleep.

If our guide helped you out, or if you’ think we missed something, let us know in the comments below. You can also contact us by sending an email or joining our Facebook page.