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How To Wash & Spot Clean Decorative Throw Pillows

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Decorative throw pillows are not only stylish additions to your home but also cosy additions to our couches, beds and chairs.

However just like every other pillow, they can accumulate dust, stains, and odours over time, diminishing their beauty and freshness.

Regular cleaning of decorative throw pillows is essential to maintain their vibrant appearance and ensure a clean and inviting atmosphere in your home.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of washing and cleaning decorative throw pillows, ensuring they remain beautiful, fresh, and ready to enhance your decor.

By following these techniques, you can revitalize your throw pillows and enjoy a vibrant and well-maintained living space.

Washing & Cleaning Decorative Throw Pillows: Preserving Beauty and Freshness

There are 3 ways you can clean your decorative throw pillows. Machine washing is he most popular but most risky option. Washing by hand is a great alternative but takes a bit of knowhow to get it right. Finally, many people choose to take their decorative pillows to the dry cleaners.

Let's explore the options in more detail, but first:

Assessing Pillow Materials & Fillings

Before beginning the cleaning process, it's important to assess the materials used in your decorative throw pillows. Different fabrics and fillings require specific cleaning methods. This step will help you determine the appropriate approach for your pillows.

Preparing for Cleaning

Checking Care Instructions: Read the care labels or manufacturer's instructions on your decorative throw pillows. They may provide specific guidance on cleaning methods, recommended products, or whether the pillow is washable.

Spot Cleaning: Inspect the pillows for any visible stains or spills. Spot clean these areas promptly using a gentle detergent or stain remover suitable for the fabric.

Cleaning Techniques

Machine Washing

Machine washing is suitable for many decorative throw pillows, but it's crucial to consider the fabric type and construction.

Check the care label to ensure the pillow is machine washable. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics.

Place the pillows in a laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them during the wash. Once the cycle is complete, remove the pillows and reshape them while damp.

Allow them to air dry completely before returning them to your decor.

Hand Washing

For delicate or non-machine washable decorative throw pillows, hand washing is the preferred method.

Fill a basin or sink with cold water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Gently agitate the pillows in the soapy water, focusing on stained areas.

Rinse thoroughly with clean water, ensuring all detergent is removed. Squeeze out excess water gently without twisting or wringing.

Reshape the pillows while damp and air dry them flat on a clean towel. Read our guide on 'how to dry your decorative pillows after washing' for a full explanation.

Dry Cleaning

Some decorative throw pillows may have specific care instructions indicating they should be dry cleaned.

If this is the case, take them to a reputable dry cleaner that specializes in delicate fabrics and decorative items.

Provide any necessary information, such as stain details or fabric type, to ensure the best cleaning results.

Spot Cleaning Techniques

Fabric Spot Cleaning: For small stains or spills on decorative throw pillows, spot cleaning is an effective option. Prepare a solution of mild detergent and water, or use a specialized fabric cleaner according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Dampen a clean cloth or sponge in the solution and gently blot the stained area. Avoid rubbing, as it can spread the stain or damage the fabric.

Continue blotting until the stain is lifted. Rinse the area with clean water and blot with a dry cloth to remove any residue. Allow the spot to air dry.

Filling Spot Cleaning: In case the filling of your decorative throw pillow requires spot cleaning, it's essential to use appropriate techniques. Remove the pillow cover, if possible, and address the stain on the filling.

For foam-filled pillows, gently dab the stained area with a clean cloth or sponge dampened with mild detergent and water.

Avoid saturating the foam. Blot with a clean, damp cloth to rinse, and allow the filling to air dry thoroughly.

Maintenance Tips

To keep your decorative throw pillows looking fresh and beautiful between cleanings, consider these tips:

  • Regular Fluffing: Give your throw pillows a good fluffing and shaking to redistribute the filling and maintain their shape. Do this at least once a week or as needed.

  • Vacuuming: Use a soft brush attachment or upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove dust and debris from the surface of the pillows.

  • Pillow Protectors: Consider using removable pillow protectors to shield your decorative throw pillows from dirt, spills, and stains. These protectors can be easily removed and washed separately.


Cleaning decorative throw pillows is an essential part of maintaining a fresh and inviting living space.

By assessing the materials, following the appropriate cleaning techniques, and addressing stains promptly, you can keep your pillows looking vibrant and beautiful.

Whether you choose to machine wash, hand wash, or spot clean, always refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

With regular maintenance and proper cleaning, your decorative throw pillows will continue to enhance your decor, providing comfort and style for years to come.

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