How To Wash A Body Pillow

How To Wash A Body Pillow

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Last Updated on Jan 31, 2023

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    When it is time for bed, many of us reach over and feel a cushy body to hug. After all, our body pillows serve as confidantes and comforters for a de-stressing night's sleep!

    But when it comes to maintaining them, regular and proper cleaning is necessary to ensure that your pillow lasts long. 

    This article will explain how to wash a body pillow and the factors you must consider during the process.

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    Things to Consider Before You Clean a Body Pillow

    When cleaning your body pillow, it must be done with care, as failing can cause irreversible damage and lessen its lifespan. 

    The correct method of washing a body pillow depends on several factors, including the pillow material, temperature, type of detergent, and the washing technique. 

    Here are a few things to consider -

    Identify the Material of Your Body Pillow

    Washing your body pillow particularly depends on its material. Check if it is made of cotton, down, or memory foam. Since it is composed of down and feather fibers, you can use a washing machine. But if that is different from the case, you might have to switch your method. 

    Identify Ideal Washing Temperature And Compatible Detergent 

    When cleaning a body pillow, it is crucial to determine the maximum washing temperature and detergent compatibility. If you’re using a regular detergent, ensure that it is compatible with the fabric type. 

    Ideally, the temperature should be 60 degrees to err on the side of caution. However, it is better to follow any washing instructions, if given.

    Use The Right Detergent Based On Your Pillow's Material

    Body pillows come in various materials, from natural fibers like cotton and wool to synthetic options like polyester and memory foam. And each type of material requires a different type of detergent to keep it looking its best.

    For example, if your pillow consists of polyester and you are wondering how to wash a polyester body pillow, using warm water and a mild detergent can do the job for you. But using a harsh detergent on a delicate natural fiber like silk or cotton can cause the fabric to break down and fray over time.

    Choose the Right Washing Technique

    If you are wondering what can be an ideal washing technique for your body pillow, you will probably face one question - can you put a body pillow in the washer?

    Well, it always calls for an appropriate method, and body pillows are usually made from delicate materials like cotton or down. Therefore, washing them incorrectly may result in damage, and they could start to smell bad over time. After all, who would want to cuddle with a smelly pillow? 

    You can use gentle detergent and warm water with a mild fabric softener. But if your pillow is dirty or stained, pre-treat it with a stain remover before washing.

    By choosing the proper washing technique for your body pillow, you can keep it looking and smelling fresh for years to come!

    Tumble Dry or Air Dry 

    When it comes to drying your body pillow, you can either go for air drying or tumble drying. If you choose to air dry, simply place your pillow in a well-ventilated area until it is completely dry. The process usually takes 24 hours. 

    However, if you choose to tumble dry on a low setting then remove any excess moisture. This process takes approximately 30 minutes.

    How to Machine Wash a Body Pillow

    When it comes to keeping your pillow clean, you might wonder how to clean a body pillow. In that case, machine washing is one of the best options due to its convenience. However, you still need to be careful with the process since it can be tricky if you do it for the first time. Here's a quick step-by-step guide for you on machine-washing a body pillow. 

    Wash Your Pillows Alone

    If you are machine-washing a body pillow, it's better to wash it alone. Just add a mild detergent and run the machine on a gentle cycle.

    Use a Mild Detergent

    If your body pillow is made with natural fibers, it is recommended to use a mild detergent. Also, avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, which can damage the fibers. If your pillow is made with synthetic materials, you can use a mild detergent or one designed for delicate fabrics. 

    Air Dry on Low Setting

    Since body pillows are often made of delicate materials, it's essential to take extra care when cleaning them. Air drying helps preserve the shape and quality of your pillow, while tumble drying on a low setting will prevent shrinkage.

    Fluff Your Body Pillow

    Make sure to fluff your pillow to loosen any dirt or debris clinging to the fabric. To do this, you can also use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment to gently go over the pillow's surface. Be sure to vacuum both sides of the pillow for the best results.

    How to Hand Wash A Body Pillow

    If you have wondered how to wash a body pillow by hand, the process may seem daunting. But don't worry! Here's a quick overview of the steps you need to take during hand-washing your body pillow.

    Fill a Bathtub or Large Bucket With Cold, Soapy Water

    If you're using a bathtub, fill it with cold water and add a few drops of dish soap. If you're using a bucket, fill it with cold water and add 1/4 cup of dish soap. 

    Work the Soapy Water into Your Pillow

    For this step, you will need to add soap to the water and mix it to create suds. Next, take your pillow and submerge it in soapy water. Once you have done this, let the pillow soak in the soapy water for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.

    Thoroughly Rinse

    When ready to rinse your body pillow, thoroughly wet it with clean water. Use your hands to work the water into the fabric, and squeeze out as much water as possible. 

    Air Dry

    If your pillow is filled with down or feathers, you'll need to fluff it periodically throughout the drying process. This will help to keep the fill from matting down and prevent clumping. Second, prop up your pillow on a drying rack or towel so that air can circulate it. 

    Spot Cleaning

    Body pillows can be a breeding ground for dust mites and other allergens. Therefore, it is essential to spot-clean them regularly. Here's how to do it -

    Wash With A Mild Detergent And Damp Cloth

    If you need to do spot cleaning on your body pillow, it's best to use a mild detergent and a damp cloth. First, pre-treat the stained area with a small amount of detergent. Then blot the area with a damp cloth until the stain is gone.

    Gently Scrub Off the Stains

    Next, gently use a mild detergent to scrub off the stains on your body pillow. Remember to rinse the spot well.

    Pat the Area Dry and Air Dry

    After the above step, pat dry the area with a clean towel and air dry. You can use a blow dryer on the low setting but hold it at least six inches away from the fabric to avoid damaging it. Once the area is dry, you can put the pillowcase back on your body pillow.

    How to Wash a Body Pillow Cover?

    If you've got a body pillow cover, you'll want to know how to wash it. After all, it will be close to your body for extended periods, so you'll want it to be clean.

    Your body pillow cover will last a long time if you take good care while washing it. Below are a few useful tips to help you.

    Check the Label for the Instructions 

    Most body pillow covers are machine-washable. However, checking the label before washing is always a good idea. Most body pillow covers are made from cotton or polyester, which are easy to machine-wash. 

    Determine the Material of Cover

    Before washing your body pillow cover, proceed according to the material. For example, if it is a cotton cover, you can go for a regular cold water machine wash, given that the cover is not dirty or stained. 

    Whether to Wash Separately or With Similar Colored Fabrics

    Another thing to keep in mind while washing your body pillow cover is to identify whether you will wash it separately or with other stuff of similar fabrics. Because most covers are made of similar material, you might not need to wash them separately. Regardless, it is always a safe option to wash it with fabrics of the same color.

    Common Stains and the Cleaning Techniques

    Stain TypeCleaning Technique
    AdhesivesUse some ice and rub it on the pillow to harden the stained surface; scrape the hardened adhesive using a knife.
    BloodUse cold water or mild detergent if needed; hot water is not recommended since it might set the bloodstain.
    Dried StainsUse warm water and add some mild detergent; soak the stained spot and rinse with water.
    Red WineThe use of mild detergent might not be enough; stronger detergent can damage the pillow. Try using specific detergents that are not too strong but still good for stain removal.

    As long as you have a body pillow, you're likely to experience confusion around 1 question: Can you wash a body pillow with tough stains?

    Thankfully, yes. There is always a risk that your dear pillow may get stained with the toughest stains. So while it is normal to feel confused, it is equally necessary to stay aware of how to deal with a particular stain. Here is a quick overview of some common stains and how to remove them effectively.

    1. Adhesive 

    It is a prevalent stain your body pillow may get exposed to. However, if that never happens, you might wonder if there is any way to get rid of it. 

    Cleaning Technique - While cleaning an adhesive stain from a body pillow, you must use ice and gently rub it to induce hardness on the spot. You can also scrape the hardened part with a knife or sharp object. 

    2. Blood 

    The washing process will be slightly different if your body pillow is exposed to the blood stain. 

    Cleaning Technique - In this case, you must prefer using cold water or mild detergent if required. 

    3. Dried stains

    While dealing with a dried stain, you must approach the washing process slightly differently. 

    Cleaning Technique - To remove dried stains, use warm water with mild detergent. Remember to soak the stained spot and later rinse with water. 

    4. Red wine

    It is one of the toughest stains to get rid of. A mild detergent won't be effective, while a stronger one might damage the material.

    Cleaning Technique - In this case, try to use a detergent that is neither too strong nor too mild but effective enough to remove the stain.


    The entire process of washing a body pillow can seem daunting. However, it would be different if you knew when to hand wash and when to go for machine washing to ensure the pillow stays in good condition. Moreover, good know-how of handling the washing process and possible stains your body pillow may get exposed to is equally important to ensure a long and healthy life for your cuddly and supportive companion!

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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