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How To Wash A Feather Pillow? Should You? [ANSWERED]

How To Wash A Feather Pillow? Should You? [ANSWERED]

Feather pillows are among the most popular pillow types in history. Many adore them because they are soft, comfortable, and a status symbol. Yet, despite their incredible popularity, many owners still do not know how to wash a feather pillow.

Wash a feather pillow by hand or in a washing machine. Whichever method you choose, use cool or warm water, a mild detergent, have some gentle spin or squeezes (by hand), and dry thoroughly in the sun or dryer in low heat. You can also freshen the pillow before washing it and air dry afterward.

Feather pillows are a luxury bedding item compared to many other pillow types. The good thing is that you can make these pillows last for a long time through proper washing. This post provides detailed guidelines for cleaning feather pillows.

pillow wash bed

How To Wash A Down Feather Pillow

Down pillows consist of quality feathers of geese, swans, or ducks. Unlike regular feather pillows, raw materials for down pillows get extracted from the underbellies of the selected poultry instead of their wings. Most, if not all, down feather pillows come with a protective cover to keep their internals from getting dirty. However, the covers cannot prevent the pillows from eventually needing a wash. Below are guidelines for washing down feather pillows.

Step 1: Remove Covers And Assess The Pillow

The first step is taking the pillow out of the cover so you can wash it separately. After removing the pillow, you must assess it for any tears or rips. The aim is to repair the damages before washing to keep them from worsening.

Step 2: Load The Pillow Into The Washer

Loading pillows in the washer is not business as usual, like clothes. For instance, you must load the pillows vertically and two at a time. Doing this keeps the washer balanced, especially if it features an agitator in the middle. However, you do not need to worry about balance if you have a front-load washer without an agitator.

Step 3: Set The Machine

The machine should feature the following settings;

  • Temperature: Set the machine to warm or cool water temperature. Avoid hot water because it could shrink or damage the down fillings.
  • Spin speed: Set the washer to a faster speed so you can take out as much dampness as possible.
  • Cleaning cycle: Select the delicate cleaning cycle to maintain the integrity of your pillow.
  • Detergents: Load your machine with gentle detergents to prevent the residues from clumping together with the feathers in your pillow. Also, please do not use fabric softeners because they can reduce the fluff of the feathers.

Step 3: Wash And Rinse The Pillow

Once you adjust the machine to the correct settings, run it to clean the pillows. It may be wise also to rinse the pillows to remove all excess soap residue. You can also repeat the rinse cycle and run a spin cycle to remove excess moisture.

Step 4: Dry The Pillow

After washing, you should dry your down pillow in your dryer with the following settings;

  • Heat: Use low or no heat to prevent damage to the feathers
  • Time: Run several cycles while fluffing in between to prevent feather clumping.

Note that you can use dryer balls to quicken the drying process. Regardless of how you do it, check if the pillow is completely dry by hand fluffing.

How To Wash A Duck Feather Pillow

Duck feather pillows are also a popular pillow type because of their durability. These pillows are easily adjusted to their user's requirements. Duck feathers are natural insulators, making them ideal pillow fillings in hot weather and for hot sleepers. While they are naturally more durable than standard pillows, washing duck feather pillows increases their longevity. Below are the steps for washing a duck feather pillow.

  • Step 1: Remove the covers. Like in most cases, remove the pillow from its covers and check for any structural damages. Next, repair the damages, if any, and move on to the next step.
  • Step 2: Set the washer and clean the pillow. The recommended temperature setting for washing a duck feather pillow is 30 degrees. Also, ensure you use the sensitive washing mode to protect the materials. Only use mild cleaning detergents.
  • Step 3: Rinse and dry. Rinse the pillow thoroughly, then dry it. You can dry the pillow at home if you have a tumble dryer. However, if you are unsure what to do, taking the pillow to the dry cleaner is the wisest decision.

How To Wash A Feather Pillow In A Washing Machine

Cleaning a feather pillow in the washing machine is easy and safe, but you should always do the right thing. Always consider the tips below.

  • Never use hot water or high-drying heat, even if you want to kill germs and dust mites.
  • Avoid harsh detergents that can damage the feathers and make you vulnerable to allergies and irritation. Also, use less detergent than you normally would when doing regular laundry.
  • Wash two pillows simultaneously to maintain a balance in the washing machine.
  • Always use the delicate cycle.
  • Consider extra rinse and spin cycles to remove all soap residue and promote quick drying.

How To Wash A Feather Pillow By Hand

If you do not have a washing machine or dryer, you need not worry because you can wash your feather pillow by hand. Here are some guiding steps to adhere to.

Step 1: Gather The Necessary Tools

For hand washing a feather pillow, you will need the following items;

  • A sink or washbasin
  • A large terry cloth towel
  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Warm water

Step 2: Remove The Pillowcase

The next step is to remove the protective cover from the pillow and inspect it for any tears or damage. If there are damages, we recommend that you fix them before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3: Prepare The Cleaning Products

Next, you must prepare the cleaning materials by filling a tub, sink, or basin with warm water. Then, add your liquid detergent into the water and mix properly.

Step 4: Clean The Pillow

Next, start cleaning your pillow by submerging it in the water. First, ensure that the pillow fills up with water, then start squeezing it to remove the dirt. Do this repeatedly for a few minutes.

Step 5: Rinse And Dry

The next step is rinsing the pillow in fresh running water. Continue rinsing until clean and clear water comes out of the pillow. Finally, wrap the pillow in terry cloth and squeeze the moisture before placing it in the sun to dry.

asian woman wash pillow

Why Should You Wash A Feather Pillow?

Washing a feather pillow will extend its longevity. For instance, a quality feather pillow cleaned occasionally can last up to 7 to 10 years. It can also protect you from allergies. Due to frequent usage, pillows gather dirt, sweat, and debris that trigger allergy symptoms. Also, washing a feather pillow prevents it from clumping or getting damaged because you get to repair tears and rips before cleaning.


Washing a down and feather pillow is not as hard as you may assume. A washing machine or dry cleaning is the best option for cleaning feather pillows. These pillows fit perfectly in any washing machine size. However, if you do not have a washing machine or don't want to spend money on dry cleaning, clean the pillows by hand. Are you ready to get started? Consider every detail in this "how to wash a feather pillow post," and you will love the outcome.