How to Clean Feather Pillows

I never thought I would say this, but I actually think the more you clean, the more you actually want to clean. It is addicting to look at the immediate results of your hard work. You see the sparkling surfaces, smell the freshly scented air, and your whole life starts to look a little crisper and clearer. So I want to keep that feeling going by adding more cleanliness and purity to my life.
So when I went to sleep the other day and took a deep contented breath, I was more than a little grossed out my a not-so-fresh hitting my nose. You’re welcome for that overshare.
Feeling empowered and invigorating by all the new cleaning products and tips I have been trying this spring, I took that momentum and used it to tackle my pillows. So on an oddly snowy Sunday this past weekend, my feather pillows got a bath in the washer.
Grab your feather pillows – whether sleeping or inserts. We are just talking feather pillows now because cotton and other fills are different to clean.
Wash two pillows at a time to balance the washer. I also recommend using my no-grate laundry detergent to give a nice fresh scent.
Make sure to wash on delicate!
After the wash cycle toss them into the dryer on your hottest setting with a tennis ball, clean tennis shoes, or dryer hedge hogs like me! In the beginning I liked to fluff them every 15 minutes and just make sure they were doing okay.
The hedge hogs I used that are made for the dryer. These ensured my pillows were fluffy while also helping them dry quicker!
I was really curious on how these pillows would turn out. For some reason I was dubious if this would work. I am thrilled with how clean, fresh, and fluffy these came out of the dryer. So fluffy. I actually have a Despicable Me unicorn moment (“It’s so FLUFFY!!”)
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Megan Aubrey

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 21 questions
  • Danette
    on Feb 1, 2019

    How do I clean non feather yellow pillows so they are white again?

    • Dronerg
      on Mar 2, 2020

      Just soak the pillows with Oxi action powder for a few hours in the bathtub (Note what it says on the tub as to how much powder to add. It does take quite a lot,but it's far cheaper than buying new pillows). Soak for no longer than 6 hours in total and turn them half way through. I usually squidge mine up and down every now and again. Drain the water away or lift them over a broom stale or similar placed across the bath, if you want to reuse the water to soak another batch of pillows. The pillows are very heavy when wet, so drain if possible before transferring them in a bucket to your washing machine. Mine come up so well they only need a rinse and spin cycle then dry them. They come up like brand new.

  • DC
    on Oct 23, 2019

    I am so inspired.. but a little nervous to try this on my feather pillows. I tried once, years ago and it was a disaster. I was left with two extremely heavy, hard, soping wet lumps that I could not dry and had to throw out as they began to stink as the vore could never dry. Neither the washer, nor the dryer seemed to be able to handle getting rid of the wetness that they absorbed .. How can I avoid this? I love feather pillows, but believing I could never wash them, mine go from human, to pets to compost :(

    • Sue
      on Mar 3, 2020

      Thanks for all of these comments! I have a feather pillow I am getting ready to wash, it has a stain on one end from storage. Always I wash my foam pillows in hot bleach water, rinse, and hang on line to dry usually but sometimes machine dry. Never a problem but on my feather pillow I am more concerned with the process so thanks for all of these, plan to wash this week.

  • Karen Deer
    on May 4, 2020

    I have "chicken feather" pillows from my grandmother that my husband lives to sleep on, but they smell terrible!! Can you wash/dry "chicken feather" pillows in the washer/dryer???? Help!!

Join the conversation

3 of 99 comments
  • Teach_manners
    on Jan 24, 2019

    I wash my down pillows and down comforters every 6 months, they are 24 years old!!

    Hot hot water, 2 cups bleach , regular laundry soap, AFTER I soak them in my sink in just laundry soap, since I have a front loader.

    To dry: 4-6 tennisballs and 4 large balls of crumbled foil, they get very hot and speed up drying big time. They are always in my dryer!


    my pillows are thick and fluffy, smell wonderful and no bacteria from hair/face. Feel warmer also.

  • Darlene Moore- Krohn
    on Dec 18, 2019

    Reading the review on the hedgehogs, I’ll stick with the wool balls!

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