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How to Clean Throw Pillows

Both functional and aesthetically-pleasing, throw pillows can tie together different-colored accents in rugs, home decor pieces, and living room sofas, lending a soft edge to the interior design of your living spaces. However, since they are frequently used for neck and head support, keeping your throw pillows clean and fresh can be a chore – but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these tips to help you maintain the vibrant colors of your pillows, almost effortlessly!

Throw Pillows Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

    The method used for cleaning throw pillows depends on what type of pillows you have. While some can be tossed into a front loading washing machine, others require that they only be spot-cleaned or hand-washed to prevent damage.
  • The first step is determining the proper cleaning method for your pillows. Look for a manufacturer’s care label on your pillow. Some will say dry clean only and others might say to hand wash the pillows with a mild detergent. Still others will tell you to spot clean only.
  • If no care label is available, determine the fabric type. Silks and velvets typically require the use of dry cleaning fluid. For other materials, like cotton or polyester, gentle washing with water is safe.
  • Do a spot test of the fabric by using a white towel with the proper cleaning solution for the fabric. Blot it against the throw pillow and hold it for 30 seconds. Then inspect the towel for any color transfer, allow to dry, and inspect again to ensure the color has not faded.
  • Sponge cleaning is possible for some throw pillows. You can clean them with a good upholstery shampoo and a good-quality sponge. Work the foam shampoo into the pillows in circles, paying special attention to piping and other crevices. Blot the excess moisture and shampoo with clean white towels.
  • If dry cleaning is indicated, use a clean and dry sponge dipped into the dry cleaning solution to clean the fabric using the same circular motion, working it into the piping, creases and folds of the pillow. Again, blot it with clean white towels.

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Tips for Washing Throw Pillows

clean throw pillows - decorative throw pillows

Washing throw pillows is not difficult, but it is vital to get them completely dry before using them again. Here are some quick tips:

  • First, remove any covers and wash them separately from the cushion.
  • Use pretreatment solution for stains by rubbing it in with a sponge.
  • Machine wash in warm water using a front loading washer on the delicate cycle. Use mild detergent.
  • Hang dry in a ventilated area until most of the way dry.
  • Fluff the pillows in a dryer with no heat, using a few dryer balls to reshape the pillows.

How to Keep Your Throw Pillows Clean Longer

Regularly dusting or vacuuming your throw pillows as you vacuum your upholstery will keep them from needing cleaning for a longer period of time. Also, using throw pillow covers in coordinating colors also makes it easier to clean them often, especially if they are machine-washable – as you won’t need to worry about dark dyes mixing in with lighter whites. Finally, keep hard to clean throw pillows above ground and in harder-to-reach places, where dogs, cats, kids, and people’s feet won’t soil them frequently.

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