How To Wash Throw Pillows: Different Methods Explained

Mar 19, 2024by Jenny Zhu

Key Takeaways:

  • Check Your Care Label First: Before you wash your throw pillows, it's important to check the care label for any special instructions or warnings.
  • Keep Your Pillows Looking Great Longer: Spot-cleaning small stains and spills can help keep your throw pillows looking great between washings and extend their life.
  • Replacing Your Throw Pillows: Old, stained, or misshapen throw pillows can be difficult to treat. In this case, it’s often best to replace them to keep your home looking fresh.

Lush Décor has a large selection of throw pillows, allowing you to customize your couch, bed, chair, or entryway bench with your choice of colors, textures, and styles. Once you’ve chosen beautiful new throw pillows for your home, this guide will help you keep them looking great for years to come.

Throw pillows are a fantastic way to add a pop of color, texture, and personality to any room in your home. However, over time, they can accumulate dirt, dust, and stains, making them look less than fresh. With the right techniques and a little know-how, you can easily wash your throw pillows and have them look as good as new.

From machine washing to spot cleaning and even dry cleaning, we'll cover everything you need to know to keep your throw pillows looking beautiful. So grab your favorite throw pillows, and let's dive into the world of washing techniques to help you maintain a fresh and cozy home decor aesthetic.

The Importance Of Reading Care Labels

When it comes to washing throw pillows, one crucial step that many people overlook is checking the care labels. These small tags attached to your throw pillows hold valuable information that can make a significant difference in how you clean them.

Care labels typically provide instructions on the recommended washing method, water temperature, drying instructions, and whether the pillow can be ironed or dry cleaned. Ignoring these care labels can lead to damaging your throw pillows, causing colors to fade, fabrics to shrink, or shapes to deform.

For instance, a throw pillow made of delicate fabric like silk or velvet may require a gentle hand wash or dry cleaning to maintain its luxurious look and feel. On the other hand, throw pillows with removable covers made of sturdy materials like cotton or polyester may be safe to toss in the washing machine for a quick clean.

By taking the time to read and follow the care labels on your throw pillows, you can prolong their lifespan and keep them looking fresh and inviting. Remember, each throw pillow may have different care requirements based on its fabric, filling, and decorative elements, so it's essential to treat them accordingly.

Keep your throw pillows looking fresh and fabulous with our expert care tips. Discover the perfect pillow covers and decorative accents at Lush Décor to enhance your home's comfort and style.

Spot Cleaning For Quick Fixes

When a spill happens on your throw pillows, and you need a quick fix, spot cleaning is the way to go. Here are some simple methods to tackle those pesky stains.

  • Dish Soap Solution: Mix a teaspoon of dish soap with a cup of warm water to create a gentle cleaning solution. Dab the stained area with a cloth dampened with the solution, being careful not to oversaturate the fabric. Blot the area with a clean cloth to remove the soap residue.
  • Vinegar Solution: For tougher stains, a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar can be effective. Apply the solution to the stain using a cloth and gently blot until the stain lifts.
  • Baking Soda Absorption: For odors or oily stains, sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for a few hours to absorb the residue. Vacuum or brush off the baking soda afterward.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Solution: Create a 1:1 solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water. Test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure colorfastness, then apply the solution to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting dry.
  • Commercial Stain Removers: There are many stain removers specifically designed for fabrics available on the market. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully to effectively remove the stain.

By using these spot-cleaning methods, you can quickly address stains on your throw pillows without having to wash the entire pillow or pillowcase. Remember to always check the care label on your throw pillows for specific cleaning instructions and test any cleaning solution on a hidden area before applying it to the stain.

Hand Washing Throw Pillows: Step By Step Guide

Hand washing your throw pillows can be a gentle yet effective way to help maintain their shape and prolong their lifespan. Follow these simple steps for a thorough cleaning.

Step 1: Check The Care Label

Before starting the hand-washing process, check the care label on your throw pillows for specific instructions from the manufacturer. This will guide you on the appropriate water temperature, detergent, and any other special care precautions to take.

Step 2: Remove The Pillow Cover

If your throw pillows have removable covers, unzip them and take out the pillow inserts before washing. This will allow you to clean the cover thoroughly without risking damage to the pillow insert.

Step 3: Pre-Treat Stains

If you notice any stains on the pillow cover, pre-treat them with a gentle stain remover or a mixture of water and mild detergent. Gently dab the stained area with the solution and let it sit for a few minutes before proceeding to wash.

Step 4: Prepare The Washing Solution

Fill a basin or bathtub with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Swirl the water to create suds.

Step 5: Wash Gently

Place the pillow cover in the soapy water and gently agitate it with your hands. Avoid scrubbing or wringing, as this may damage the fabric. Allow the cover to soak for a few minutes to loosen dirt and grime.

Step 6: Rinse Thoroughly

After washing, drain the soapy water and refill the basin with clean water. Gently rinse the pillow cover under running water or by swishing it in the basin until all detergent is removed.

Step 7: Air Dry

Lay the clean pillow cover flat on a towel and gently press out excess water. Allow it to air dry completely before reassembling the pillow with the insert.

By following these steps, you can hand wash your throw pillows with care and keep them looking fresh and clean for years to come.

Machine Washing Techniques For Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are versatile home accessories that can easily accumulate dirt, dust, and stains over time. To keep them fresh and clean, machine washing can be a quick and effective solution. Here are some tips on how to machine wash your throw pillows.

1. Read The Care Label

Before tossing your throw pillows into the washing machine, always read the care label. This will provide important information on the recommended washing instructions, including water temperature, cycle settings, and any specific precautions to follow.

2. Remove Pillow Covers

If your throw pillows have removable covers, unzip them and take them off before washing them. This will prevent the pillow inserts from getting damaged and ensure a more thorough cleaning of the covers.

3. Pre-Treat Stains

For stubborn stains, pre-treat them with a gentle stain remover or a mixture of water and mild detergent. Gently dab the stained area with the solution and let it sit for a few minutes before throwing the pillow covers in the washing machine.

4. Use A Mild Detergent

When washing your throw pillow covers, use a mild detergent suitable for delicate fabrics. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the fabric and affect the color of your pillows.

5. Select A Gentle Cycle

Set your washing machine to a delicate or gentle cycle to prevent the pillow covers from getting damaged during the wash. Use cold or lukewarm water to maintain the quality of the fabric.

6. Dry Thoroughly

After washing, remove the pillow covers from the machine and air-dry them on a flat surface. Avoid using a dryer, as high heat can shrink or distort the fabric of your throw pillows.

By following these machine-washing techniques, you can keep your throw pillows looking fresh and vibrant with minimal effort. Remember to check the care label and use gentle cleaning methods to preserve the quality and longevity of your favorite home accessories.

Spot Cleaning For Quick Fixes

The Power Of Vacuum Cleaning

One of the most effective methods for cleaning throw pillows is using a vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners are not only convenient but also highly efficient at removing dirt, dust, and other particles from your throw pillows.

To begin, start by using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. This attachment is specifically designed to gently clean delicate fabrics like those found on throw pillows. Simply hover the attachment over the surface of the pillow, making sure to cover all areas, including seams and creases.

For throw pillows with removable covers, it's a good idea to first remove the cover and vacuum both the fabric cover and the pillow insert separately. This allows for a more thorough cleaning and helps prevent any dirt or debris from getting trapped between the cover and insert.

For throw pillows that cannot be opened or have embellishments like beads or sequins, be sure to use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to gently clean the surface. Take care to avoid applying too much pressure to avoid damaging any delicate decorations.

Regular vacuuming of your throw pillows not only helps keep them looking fresh and clean but also plays a crucial role in maintaining indoor air quality. By removing dust and allergens from your pillows, you can create a healthier living environment for you and your family.

Incorporating vacuum cleaning into your regular cleaning routine can extend the lifespan of your throw pillows and keep them looking as good as new for years to come.

Dry Cleaning: When To Consider Professional Help

While washing throw pillows at home can be cost-effective and convenient, there are instances where the expertise of professional dry cleaners may be necessary. Here are some scenarios where you might want to consider professional help.

Delicate Fabrics

If your throw pillows are made of delicate fabrics such as silk, wool, or vintage materials, it is best to leave them in the hands of professionals. Dry cleaners have the knowledge and tools to safely clean these materials without causing damage.

Stubborn Stains

Tough stains like ink, wine, or grease can be challenging to remove with regular household cleaning methods. Professional dry cleaners have specialized solvents and techniques to effectively tackle these stubborn stains without compromising the integrity of the fabric.

Large Or Bulky Pillows

Oversized or intricately designed throw pillows may not fit well in a home washing machine. Dry cleaning services are equipped to handle larger and bulkier items, ensuring a thorough and even cleaning process.

Time Constraints

If you're short on time or simply prefer to have someone else take care of the cleaning process, dry cleaning services can offer a convenient solution. Simply drop off your throw pillows and pick them up fresh and clean at your convenience.

By recognizing when to seek professional dry cleaning help, you can ensure that your throw pillows receive the care and attention they need to maintain their beauty and longevity.

Using Pillow Protectors: A Preventive Approach

When it comes to keeping your throw pillows in pristine condition, prevention is key. One way to safeguard your beloved throw pillows from spills, stains, and general wear and tear is by using pillow protectors. These handy covers act as a barrier between your throw pillow and any potential messes, making cleaning a whole lot easier.

Pillow protectors come in various sizes and materials so that you can choose the perfect fit for your throw pillows. Opt for waterproof protectors for added defense against liquid mishaps or dust mites. These protectors are a great investment in prolonging the life of your throw pillows and maintaining their fresh look.

To use pillow protectors, simply slide them over your throw pillows before putting on the pillowcases. Not only do they safeguard your pillows from spills and stains, but they also provide an extra layer of defense against allergens and other particles that can accumulate over time.

When it's time to clean your pillows, simply remove the pillow protector and toss it in the wash along with your pillowcases and other bedding. This will help keep your throw pillows looking and feeling like new for longer.

By incorporating pillow protectors into your bedding routine, you can enjoy a worry-free experience knowing that your throw pillows are well-protected against life's little accidents. So go ahead, add this simple yet effective preventive measure to your pillow care routine, and extend the life of your favorite throw pillows.

The Risks Of Washing Throw Pillows Incorrectly

Washing throw pillows incorrectly can lead to a variety of issues that may affect the appearance, texture, and longevity of your beloved home accessories. Here are some risks you should be mindful of.


Throw pillows, especially those made with natural fibers like cotton or wool, are prone to shrinkage if not washed properly. Using hot water or high heat settings in the dryer can cause the fabric to shrink, leading to misshapen and less plump pillows.


Exposure to harsh detergents, bleach, or direct sunlight during the washing and drying process can cause the colors of your throw pillows to fade. This can result in a dull and less vibrant appearance, diminishing the overall aesthetic appeal of your cushions.

Damage To Embellishments

If your throw pillows feature intricate embellishments like beading, sequins, or delicate embroidery, tossing them in the washing machine without proper care can damage or loosen these decorative elements. To preserve these details, follow specific washing instructions or opt for hand washing.

Clumping And Uneven Filling

Improper drying methods, such as using excessive heat or not fluffing the pillows periodically during the drying cycle, can cause the filling inside the throw pillows to clump together. This results in an uneven and lumpy texture, compromising the comfort and appearance of your cushions.

By understanding the risks associated with washing throw pillows incorrectly, you can take the necessary precautions to maintain the quality and beauty of your favorite home decor accessories. Keep these factors in mind to ensure that your throw pillows retain their charm and durability wash after wash.

When To Replace Instead Of Wash

Sometimes, no matter how much care and attention you give to your throw pillows, there comes a point when it might be time to bid them farewell and welcome in a fresh, new look. Here are some signs that indicate it might be time to replace your throw pillows instead of attempting to wash them.

  • Stains that won't budge: Deep, stubborn stains that refuse to come out even after multiple wash cycles may be a sign that it's time to let go. If the stain is altering the look and feel of your throw pillow, it may be best to replace it with a new one.
  • Faded colors: Over time, exposure to sunlight and regular washing can cause the colors of your throw pillows to fade. If your once vibrant throw pillows are now looking dull and lackluster, consider replacing them with fresh, vibrant ones to give your space a much-needed pop of color.
  • Loss of shape and support: If your throw pillows have lost their shape and support, no amount of washing can bring them back to their original glory. When they start to feel flat and lifeless, it's a clear sign that it's time to invest in new throw pillows that can provide the comfort and aesthetic appeal you desire.
  • Unpleasant odors: Despite your best efforts to wash your throw pillows, sometimes they may retain unpleasant odors that just won't go away. If regular washing methods fail to eliminate these odors, it may be time to part ways with your old throw pillows and introduce fresh ones that will breathe new life into your space.

Knowing when to replace your throw pillows instead of attempting to wash them can help you maintain a fresh and stylish aesthetic in your home.

When To Replace Instead Of Wash

Final Thoughts

Washing throw pillows doesn't have to be a daunting task. With the right approach and a little bit of know-how, you can keep your throw pillows looking fresh and clean for years to come. Whether you opt for the gentle hand-washing method, the easy machine-wash technique, or the spot-cleaning option, there is a method that will work best for your specific throw pillow needs.

Remember to always check the care label on your throw pillows for specific instructions and recommendations. And don't forget to choose a high-quality laundry detergent that is gentle on fabrics to ensure the longevity of your beloved throw pillows.

At Lush Décor, we understand the importance of caring for your home decor items, which is why we offer a range of throw pillows that are not only stylish and luxurious but also easy to maintain. Our commitment to providing high-quality products that are safe for you and your loved ones is unwavering.

So go ahead, and give your throw pillows the love and attention they deserve with these different washing methods. Your space will thank you, and you'll enjoy the fresh, clean look of your throw pillows for years to come.

Read also:

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Wash Throw Pillows

Can I wash throw pillows in the washing machine?

Yes, many throw pillows can be washed in the washing machine, but it's imperative to check the care label first. If the fabric is suitable for machine washing, use a gentle cycle with cold water to prevent any damage or shrinkage.

What type of detergent should I use for washing throw pillows?

Opt for a mild, liquid detergent that is suitable for delicate fabrics. Avoid using detergents that contain bleach or other harsh chemicals, as they can damage the pillow fabric or fade the colors.

Is it safe to use bleach on throw pillows?

Generally, bleach is not recommended for use on throw pillows, especially those with colorful patterns or delicate fabrics, as it can cause fading and weakening of the material. If you need to remove a stubborn stain, consider using a stain remover specifically designed for the type of fabric your pillow is made from.

How can I dry throw pillows after washing them?

The safest way to dry throw pillows is to air dry them by placing them flat on a clean, dry towel away from direct sunlight. If the care label permits tumble drying, use a low heat setting and consider adding tennis balls to the dryer to help fluff the pillows as they dry.

Can throw pillows with sequins or embroidery be machine-washed?

Throw pillows with sequins, embroidery, or other delicate embellishments should generally be hand-washed or spot-cleaned to avoid damaging the decorations. If machine washing is necessary, consider using a mesh laundry bag to protect the detailing and use a gentle cycle.

What should I do if the care label on my throw pillow is missing?

If the care label is missing, it's safest to either spot-clean the pillow or hand wash it in cold water with a mild detergent. For more delicate fabrics or intricate designs, consulting a professional cleaner may be the best option.

How often should throw pillows be washed?

Ideally, throw pillows should be washed every three to six months to remove dust, dirt, and allergens, and to keep them looking fresh and clean. However, this can vary based on the pillow’s material and usage. Pillows in high-use areas or those exposed to pets and children might need more frequent cleaning.

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