How to Wash Throw Pillows Without Removable Cover

Throw pillows are generally considered decorative pillows. But, these pillows often see more use than regular sleeping pillows. Most people use it to support their neck or head in the living room when reading a book, relaxing, or watching TV. It doesn’t matter how carefully you treat your throw pillows or how rarely you use them; you will need to give them a good wash at some point. 

Washing a pillow with removable covers is pretty straightforward. But how do you wash ones without the removable cover, which are particularly made for show and aren’t the easiest to clean?

With the proper techniques, washing throw pillows without removable covers gets easier. The only thing you must consider is the material it contains. Once you’ve figured out the materials used in your throw pillows, follow any of our tips to get a squeaky-clean pillow inside out. 

Why is Cleaning Your Throw Pillows Important?

Cleaning your throw pillows is crucial due to several important reasons. Dirty pillows or cushions serve as breeding grounds for various microorganisms, including dust mites, mildew, and insects. 

Research suggests that we shed around 40,000 skin cells per hour, providing a food source for dust mites. These microscopic pests thrive in dirty pillows, exacerbating allergies and respiratory issues. Pillows unwashed for extended periods, at least two years, contain significant dust mites and their waste. It poses an inconvenience and a significant health hazard that can cause long-term harm.

When friends or family members visit and come into contact with these pillows, they can unknowingly leave behind bacteria, increasing the risk of infection and other health-related concerns. Given the high risk of infection, allergies, and other health concerns associated with unclean throw pillows, it is crucial to make cleaning them a top priority. 

How often should you wash your throw pillows?

Generally, it’s best to wash your throw pillows every 1-2 months. Factors like usage, spills or stains, odor, and freshness influence the cleaning frequency. You can determine the cleaning schedule depending on how often your decorative pillows are used.

 If the throw pillows are in your living room or bedroom, where they are likely to be used frequently, you’ll need to wash them at the very minimum every month. But, if the pillows are in an area that is rarely used, then you can hold- off on washing them a bit longer.

 By establishing a regular cleaning routine and paying attention to signs of dirt, odor, or stains, you can ensure that your throw pillows without removable covers stay clean and maintain their appearance and comfort over time.

Care instructions for throw pillows without removable cover

Before cleaning, it is essential to understand the materials your pillows are made of. Some pillows can be machine washed, while others might require other cleaning methods. Remember a few things to ensure your fabric and cushion fillings remain intact.

Check the manufacturer’s label

The manufacturer’s label specifies the appropriate care tips for your pillows. It also determines if your throw pillow has any hard restrictions for washing. For example, down pillows can be machine-washed, while foam pillows must be hand washed.  

So, before you do anything else, it’s imperative to check the manufacturer’s label to prevent irreversible damage to your throw pillows. 

Perform a spot test

Spot testing is a fail-safe method to ensure that using a particular chemical solution will not damage your cushion, especially if it does not have care instructions on its label. 

Begin with a small corner area, preferably out of sight. Dab your solution, water, or detergent mix using a clean cloth or finger. You can move to the larger areas if you don’t see any adverse reactions. It is essential if you are dealing with throw cushions with bright-colored fabrics. 

Determine the type of pillow inserts and fabrics

Determining the type of pillow inserts and fabrics is essential for proper cleaning. Different materials require specific cleaning processes. Down/feather pillows are typically machine-safe on cool water gentle cycles. Polyester inserts can withstand a gentle cycle with minimal detergent. Meanwhile, memory foam pillows are the best hand washed. 

Regarding fabrics, acrylic, leather, and satin should be hand washed. For throws with luxurious fabrics such as silk, velvet, and faux fur, you can wipe them to clean dust and debris. For deep cleaning, it must be dry cleaned. Most pillows with cotton and polyester covers are safe for machine washing, given the pillow inserts are also machine-safe. 

Methods to clean throw pillows without removable cover

Unless it’s specified your pillow cover is machine washable, it’s best to use spot- a cleaning method for your throw pillows with a non-removable cover. Depending on the type of pillow inserts, you can either machine wash, hand wash, or spot clean your decorative cushions.

How to handwash your throw pillow without removable covers

Handwashing your pillow is the safest way to guarantee cleanliness without damaging the pillow fabric or fillings. Follow the steps below:

Check the care label

Before starting, review the care label on your pillow for any specific instructions or restrictions. It will help ensure you use the appropriate cleaning method without damaging your cushion. 

Prepare a cleaning solution

Fill a basin or sink with warm water. Then, add a mild detergent in a small amount. Swirl the water to create suds.

Spot-clean any stains

If your pillow has any visible stains, use a clean cloth or sponge dipped in the soapy water to gently blot and clean the stained areas. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as it may damage the fabric.

Submerge the pillow

Immerse the entire pillow in soapy water, submerging it fully. Gently press down on the pillow to help the water penetrate the fabric.

Clean and rinse

Using a soft cloth or sponge, gently scrub the pillow in a circular motion to clean the surface. Pay extra attention to any soiled areas. Once cleaned, use clean water to rinse the pillow to remove soap residue thoroughly.

Remove excess water

Carefully squeeze the pillow to remove excess water. Avoid twisting the pillow, which may cause deformation or damage. For memory foam, squeeze it between two towels. 

Air-dry the pillow

Place the pillow in a well-ventilated area or outdoors on a clean towel or drying rack. Allow it to air dry completely. Fluff and reshape the pillow periodically during drying to maintain its shape.

Machine washing your throw pillow

If your throw pillow is machine-safe, follow these steps to clean them properly:

Read the care label

Check the care label on your throw pillow for specific instructions or restrictions regarding machine washing to prevent damaging your cushions.

Spot clean if needed

Before machine washing, inspect the pillow for any stains or spots—a mild detergent and clean come in handy to spot-clean those areas.

Prepare the pillow

Remove any decorative elements, such as buttons or trims, that may get damaged in the washing machine. Secure any loose threads or seams to prevent them from unraveling during the wash.

Select the appropriate cycle

Place your throw pillow in the washing machine and select a gentle or delicate cycle. Use cold water to minimize the risk of shrinking or color bleeding.

Use a mild detergent

Use mild detergent in a small amount in your washing machine. Do not use bleach or harsh chemicals that could damage the fabric or stuffing. 

Balance the load

Add a couple of towels or similar items to the machine to maintain the balance and prevent the pillow from getting lopsided during the wash.

Wash and rinse

Start the washing machine and allow it to complete the cycle, ensuring the pillow is thoroughly washed and rinsed.

Drying the pillow

After washing, remove the pillow from the machine and gently squeeze out excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting the pillow, as it may misshape the stuffing. Place the pillow in a ventilated area or use a dryer on a low heat setting to dry it completely. A dryer or clean tennis balls can help fluff the pillow during drying.

Fluffing and reshaping

Once the pillow is dry, fluff it to restore its shape. Give it a gentle shake, and manually redistribute the stuffing if needed.

Final inspection

Inspect the pillow to ensure it is clean and free of any spots or stains. If necessary, repeat the washing process or spot-clean specific areas.

Machine washing throw pillows without removable covers is a convenient and effective method to keep them clean and fresh. Following the proper steps and considering the type of pillow insert and fabric, you can safely wash your throw pillows to maintain their appearance and contribute to a healthier and more comfortable living environment.

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