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How to Wash Your Pillows Without a Washing Machine

Washing our pillows regularly is crucial for maintaining their cleanliness and extending their lifespan over the years and months.

However, what do you do if you don't have access to a washing machine?

Don't worry! In this blog post, we will explore various effective methods for washing your pillows without a washing machine.

In fact, hand washing is a better and safer method of cleaning your pillows anyway. Also, there are cases when hand washing is the only option, such as if you have a memory foam pillow.

From handwashing to spot cleaning techniques, we've got you covered. By following these methods, you can ensure your pillows remain fresh, clean, and ready for a good night's sleep.

How to wash your pillows without a washing machine

To wash your pillow without a washing machine, you will need to do it by hand. You can fill a bathtub or sink with warm soapy water, let your pillow soak for around 15-20 minutes and agitate the pillow with your hands in that time at least twice. Deal with stains separately with a suitable stain remover.

Full Guide:

Identifying Your Pillow

Before proceeding with the cleaning methods, it's important to assess the materials used in your pillows.

Different pillow types and fillings require specific cleaning approaches.

Take a look at our pillow cleaning guides, if yours is here, it will explain the best way to clean your particular style of pillow:

This step will help you determine the most suitable method for your pillows.

Handwashing Techniques

Bathtub Soaking Method:

Fill a bathtub with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Submerge the pillow in the water, gently squeezing and pressing it to allow the soapy water to penetrate.

Let your pillow soak for 15-20 minutes, occasionally agitating the pillow. Drain the bathtub and refill it with clean water to rinse the pillow thoroughly. Squeeze out excess water without wringing (This could potentially cause a clumpy pillow) and allow the pillow to air dry completely.

Sink or Basin Handwashing Method

If you don't have access to a bathtub, you can use a sink or basin for handwashing. Fill it with warm water and mild detergent, creating a soapy solution.

Immerse the pillow and gently squeeze and press it to release dirt and stains. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and squeeze out excess water. Air dry the pillow on a clean towel.

Spot Cleaning & Odour Removal

Stain Removal: Spot clean any visible stains or spills on your pillows. Create a mixture 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.

Odour Elimination: If your pillows have developed unpleasant odours, sprinkle baking soda liberally over the surface.

Let it sit for a few hours or overnight to absorb odours. Vacuum the baking soda off using a brush attachment, and your pillows will be refreshed.

Drying Your Pillow

  • Air Drying: After handwashing or spot cleaning, proper drying is essential to prevent mildew or mould growth. Place the pillow on a clean towel in a well-ventilated area. Flip and fluff it periodically to ensure even drying. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can fade or damage the pillow's fabric.

  • Using a Dryer: If you have access to a dryer, you can use it to dry your pillows. Place the pillow in the dryer on a low heat or air-only setting. Add clean tennis balls or dryer balls to aid in fluffing and prevent clumping. Monitor the pillow closely to prevent overheating, and remove it from the dryer when it's completely dry.


Even without a washing machine, you can still achieve a fresh and clean pillow using these effective methods.

By handwashing, spot cleaning, and employing proper drying techniques, you can ensure your pillows remain hygienic, odour-free, and ready for a comfortable sleep experience.

With regular cleaning and maintenance, your pillows will provide the necessary support and comfort for a great night's sleep.

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