How To Clean Throw Pillows: A Comprehensive Guide

Throw pillows can add a pop of color and style to any room. They’re an easy way to switch up your décor without breaking the bank.

However, with constant use, throw pillows can accumulate dirt, dust, and stains. Cleaning them can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to clean throw pillows effectively.

Types Of Throw Pillows

It’s crucial to comprehend the various sorts of throw pillows and their materials before we start the cleaning process.

Throw pillows are most frequently made of cotton, polyester, wool, silk, and leather. You may choose the most effective cleaning technique by understanding the material.

How Often Should You Clean Your Throw Pillows?

The frequency of cleaning your throw pillows depends on how often you use them. It’s ideal to clean them every three to four months if you use them frequently. You just need to clean them once or twice a year if you use them less regularly.

Before You Begin: Check The Label

Before you start cleaning your throw pillows, check the care label. The care label will provide you with instructions on how to clean the pillow, including the recommended cleaning method and any special precautions you need to take.

How To Clean Throw Pillows?

There are three methods to clean your throw pillows: dry cleaning, machine washing, and hand washing. The method you choose will depend on the material of your pillow and the care instructions on the label.

1. Dry Cleaning

If the care label recommends dry cleaning, take your throw pillow to a professional dry cleaner. Dry cleaning uses solvents to clean the pillow without using water. It’s a gentle cleaning method that won’t damage the fabric.

2. Machine Washing

If the care label allows for machine washing, remove the pillow cover and place it in the washing machine. Use a mild detergent and select the delicate cycle.

Use cold water and add a fabric softener sheet to help reduce static. Once the cycle is complete, remove the cover and let it air dry.

3. Hand Washing

If the care label recommends hand washing, fill a basin with cold water and mild detergent. Submerge the pillow cover in the water and gently agitate it.

Rinse the cover thoroughly with cold water until all the soap suds are gone. Squeeze out the excess water and let the cover air dry.

How To Clean Throw Pillows
How To Clean Throw Pillows

Drying Throw Pillows

Regardless of the cleaning method used, it’s essential to dry your throw pillow thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew growth. To dry your pillow, lay it flat on a clean towel and let it air dry. Avoid using a dryer, as the heat can damage the fabric.

Removing Stains From Throw Pillows

Even with regular cleaning, throw pillows can still accumulate stains. Here are some tips for removing stains from your throw pillows:

General Stain Removal Tips

  • Act Quickly: The sooner you attend to a stain, the easier it will be to remove.
  • Blot, Don’t Rub: Rubbing a stain can push it deeper into the fabric. Instead, use a clean cloth to blot the stain gently.
  • Test On A Small Area: Before treating the stain, test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the pillow to ensure it won’t damage the fabric.

Common Stain Removal Methods

  • Oil-Based Stains: For oil-based stains like makeup or food grease, sprinkle baking soda on the stain and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then, use a vacuum cleaner or clean cloth to remove the baking soda. If the stain remains, use a mild dishwashing detergent and water to clean the stain.
  • Wine Or Coffee Stains: Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent and two cups of cool water. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and dab the stain gently.
  • Ink Stains: Apply rubbing alcohol to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Blot the stain with a clean cloth until the stain is gone.
  • Blood Stains: After rinsing the stain with cold water, use two cups of cool water and a solution of one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent to treat the stain. Blot the stain gently until it’s gone.

Preventative Measures

To keep your throw pillows looking their best, here are some preventative measures you can take:

  • Use Pillow Covers: Using a removable cover on your throw pillows can help protect them from spills and stains.
  • Rotate Your Pillows: Rotating your pillows every few weeks can help prevent uneven wear and tear.
  • Vacuum Regularly: Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove dust and dirt from your pillows.


Cleaning your throw pillows doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the tips in this article, you can keep your throw pillows looking clean and fresh for years to come.

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