How to Clean a Feather Pillow

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After nights and nights of use, your once-comfortable pillow can feel more like a flat board than a fluffy resting place for your head. Pillows can become stale and musty-smelling with time. Worse, dust mites can inhabit your pillow, aggravating allergies. You don’t have to throw your flattened, stinky, dust mite-ridden pillow away. Wash it instead, and make your feather pillow smell and feel like new again.

Step 1

Inspect the entire pillow for tears or holes in the casing. Sew any holes or tears you find, or bring the pillow to a dry cleaner for repair, to prevent the feathers from coming out during cleaning.

Step 2

Hand-wash the feather pillow, or launder it in a washing machine set to gentle cycle with warm water and your normal laundry detergent. Prevent the washing machine from getting off balance by washing two pillows at a time.

Step 3

Run the pillow through your washing machine’s cold-water rinse cycle two more times, not counting the first rinse cycle during the wash, to remove all the detergent, or rinse the pillow in a tub of cold water three times after hand-washing, changing the water after each rinse. Gently squeeze the pillow when hand-rinsing to remove the detergent. Squeeze out the excess water from the pillow after hand-rinsing, using your hands.

Step 4

Dry the feather pillow in an automatic clothes dryer set to medium-high heat. Place a few towels in the dryer along with the pillow to help speed the drying process. Remove the pillow from the dryer every 30 minutes and shake it to fluff up the feathers before placing back into the dryer. Feather pillows take about two to three hours to dry in an automatic dryer.

Another option for drying a feather pillow is to air-dry it outdoors. Hang the pillow by one end, using clothespins to attach it to the clothesline. Remove the pillow from the clothesline every three hours, shake it to fluff up the feathers and hang it back on the clothesline from the opposite end. Continue to shake and hang the pillow back up from opposite ends until it is completely dry.

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