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 20 questions
  • Reenaroc
    on Jan 19, 2018

    Thank You Megan for you expert advice & where did you get your cute Hedge Hogs for the dryer?  Love Them!
    • Carey
      on Feb 3, 2018

      For your information, putting the pillows in HOT water and HOT dryer can make the feathers or down really stink and nothing you do will change that. New pillows were my only option.
  • Danette
    on Feb 1, 2019

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

    • Teri
      on Dec 17, 2019

      Use vinegar and baking soda as well as your detergent. Put vinegar blend (warning it bubbles up) in the prewash section of your dispenser tray. In dryer put item through air only cycle. Heat sets stains and can even burn some fills. Note--silicone dryer balls are too hard on down so use wool dryer balls instead. They are silent and reduce dryer time.

  • 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 :(

    • Shelli
      on Dec 17, 2019

      kind of messy but this worked. I put the feathers in a large trash bag. I cut one e d of the pillow case and held it and shook. My feathers are safe now. Then I washed the case only. At times I used a new dress case. Put the feathers back in and stitched it back up.

      note: I going to look on internet to see other ways to freshen feathers. Merry Christmas

      MPs. I washed a king comforter w the feathers. It took days to dry outside

Join the conversation

2 of 97 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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