How to Clean, Wash, and Dry a Body Pillow
A body pillow is a long, narrow pillow that is bigger than a regular pillow. Body pillows are used for a variety of purposes, but the primary use of a body pillow is to support and comfort your body. Body pillows are especially useful for pregnant women who experience back pain or any discomfort while sleeping or relaxing. Like all things, body pillows get dirty and accumulate dust and allergens. The bigger size of a body pillow can make the cleaning process feel exhausting. Many people struggle with how to clean a body pillow.
To clean a body pillow you can spot-clean, machine-wash, or hand-wash. However, these steps are specific to certain body pillow materials. The general steps to cleaning a body pillow are:
- Identify the material of the body pillow
- Choose the right detergent and technique (based on the material and manufacturer instructions)
- Dry the body pillow
- How to store a body pillow long term
- What are the benefits of body pillows
- 11 ways to use a tempurpedic body pillow
Five Quick Steps Before You Clean a Body Pillow
Step 1. Identify the Material Your Body Pillow Is Made of
To figure out how to clean your body pillow it’s first important to identify the material it’s made of. Generally, body pillows are made from one of the following materials: down feathers, latex, or foam. Most of the pillows have unique labels stating the materials used for the production of that particular pillow.
In case your body pillow did not come with a label providing detailed information, you can quickly identify the material by simply touching it.
This step is essential to properly clean the pillow without damaging it.
Step 2. Determine the maximum washing temperature and detergent compatibility of your body pillow material
After identifying the material your body pillow is made of, it’s crucial to get some extra information about its characteristics, including the maximum temperature that it can handle while washing, or what chemicals can be used in the cleaning process. For some of the products, machine-wash might not be an option. In this case, the materials are too delicate and require hand washing.
Usually, such characteristics are also noted on the label, making it easier for you to set the water temperature and choose the appropriate washing technique and chemicals.
If there is no additional information provided on the label, you can just use Google and search for specific details about the material.
Step 3. Choose the Right Detergent for your Body Pillow, based on its material
As discussed in Step 2, it is essential to follow the instructions provided on the label of your body pillow. Similarly, it is also crucial to stick to the guidelines presented on the packaging of any washing chemical.
For instance, while some detergents are specifically designed for washing clothes by hand, others are machine-washing powders that are only intended for use in washing machines.
To choose the right detergent for your material and washing technique, Ariel provides a handy guide that you should check out before proceeding to the cleaning process.
Step 4. Choose the Proper Washing Technique For Your Body Pillow
Considering the tips provided in the previous steps, you should choose the appropriate cleaning technique (spot-cleaning, machine-washing, or hand-washing), depending on the material your body pillow is made of. Another thing you should consider before cleaning the pillow is how dirty it is.
For instance, there might be a small stain on the body pillow, meaning that there is no need to hand or machine-wash it. Spot cleaning would be a better option in this case, since extra washing might damage the pillow (even if you do it in the right way).
If the pillow has not been washed for a while and is quite dirty, it probably needs a deep clean. Whether you hand-wash or use a washing machine depends on the material of the pillow. In most cases, the proper laundry sign for hand- or machine-wash is indicated on the label of a pillow. If not, you can just google which washing technique suits best the type of pillow you possess.
Different washing techniques and must-know tips will be discussed in the next sections.
Step 5. Dry the Body Pillow
Last but not least, properly drying your newly cleaned/washed pillow is one of the most critical steps. This will prevent additional accumulation of dust or dirt particles.
Further information about how to dry your body pillow will be provided throughout the article.
Can You Put a Body Pillow in a Washer?
One of the ways to wash a body pillow is to use a regular washing machine. First, you should make sure that the material that your body pillow is made of is suitable for machine-washing. You should also know the size of your body pillow to make sure it will fit.
For instance, it is recommended to implement dry cleaning techniques to wash pillows that are made of down feathers. In the case of memory-foam body pillows, the washing machine might affect its shape and quality after a number of washes.
If the label on your body pillow states that putting it in a washer will not damage the material, then you should go ahead and use a washing machine. Still, there are several tips you should consider in order to maintain the softness and shape of your pillow.
If your body pillow perfectly fits in the washer, wash it alone. If there is too much free space left in the washing machine, wash either more than one pillow at once, or add some towels (any soft fabric) so that the water flow is balanced and the pillows do not move too much. Make sure that the pillows and towels that you wash together are of the same color; Otherwise, the light-colored items might change the color.
Another thing you should consider is the use of proper detergent. You should always use a mild detergent, no matter which washing technique you have decided on. Mild detergents consist of surfactants that dissolve any dirt and grease accumulated in a body pillow, without damaging the material.
Last but not least, set the temperature to about 40oC (~100°F). Again, this should also be indicated on the label of your pillow. Note that high temperature can warp the shape of memory-foam pillows!
Can You Put a Body Pillow in a Dryer?
The short answer to whether you can put a body pillow in a dryer is “YES.” But still, there are several things you should consider before doing so.
First, check the label, if there are specific instructions for properly drying the pillow, you should follow them.
If there are no instructions, adjust the settings of the dryer according to the material of your pillow. In the case of down feather pillows, you should choose an air-dry option (fluff) without any heat. If the pillow is made of synthetic material, you can dry it by selecting a “low heat” option.
Several articles suggest adding two or three tennis balls wrapped in separate socks into the dryer to maintain the fluffiness of the pillow. To check out the articles, follow the links to doityourself.com and wikihow.life.
In the case of memory-foam pillows, the heat might damage the overall shape. Therefore, it is recommended to air dry them, or put them into a dryer and turn off the heat.
How to Wash a Body Pillow Cover?
Washing a body pillow cover is easy. Simply remove the cover and wash regularly. Keeping your body pillow cover clean will also help to keep your body pillow cleaner for longer.
The following three steps will help you wash your body pillow cover.
Step 1. Check the Label for the Instructions on How to Wash the Body Pillow Cover
Check the label for instructions on how to wash and dry the cover. Follow the instructions to clean the cover without damaging it.
If you can't find any washing information on the label, follow the next two steps.
Step 2. Identify the Material of Your Body Pillow Cover
Identify the material of your body pillow cover. You might need to hand-wash the cover or use a washing machine to clean it. As discussed in previous sections, the temperature and the detergent type can impact the result and depend on the material. Therefore, it is essential to identify the material your body pillow cover is made of.
Check out the article by DIY Network to get detailed instructions on how to clean different fabrics in the right way.
Step 3. Decide Whether to Wash the Body Pillow Cover Separately or With Similar Colored Fabrics
Generally speaking, body pillow covers are made of regular material similar to clothing fabrics. Thus, there is no need to wash the cover separately. Instead, you can just wash it along with clothes of the same/similar color. Make sure not to wash a light cover with dark clothes and vice versa. This might cause the lights to change color.
If the material of the cover is delicate or fluffy, try to hand-wash it or wash it in a machine separately. Do not forget to use a mild detergent and laundry softener to maintain the softness and good smell.
How to Hand-Wash a Body Pillow?
As mentioned earlier in the article, choosing the proper technique for washing a body pillow is entirely dependent upon the material of the pillow. If the material is too sensitive and delicate, hand-washing the pillow might be the best option. Washing by hand helps maintain the shape of the pillow and its quality for a longer period of time.
Although most body pillows have a detachable cover, there are a few that do not. These pillows tend to get dirty quite quickly, and washing is required pretty often. The pillow will lose its shape after machine-washing it too many times. Body pillows will maintain their shape and last longer if you simply hand-wash them.
Handwashing is especially important for fluffy body pillows, which are very delicate and need to be handled with extreme care.
The following steps will help you properly hand-wash your body pillow:
Step 1. Choose the Proper Detergent to Hand-Wash a Body Pillow
The first step to hand-washing a body pillow is to choose an adequate detergent, meaning that it should be suitable for the material of the pillow as well as designed for handwashing. You should use a mild detergent not to damage the material of the pillow.
Step 2. Put the Body Pillow Into the Laundry Bowl, Thoroughly Wash and Rinse It
Fill a laundry bowl with water and add some mild detergent to it. Remove the cover (if any) and put the pillow into the laundry bowl. Note that you should never wash the pillow along with its cover. It will make it harder for the dirt and stains to come out of it if you do not remove the pillowcase first.
Keep squeezing the pillow until it is spotless. If the water gets too dirty, change it, and gently squeeze the pillow for another round.
Make sure that the pillow is really clean before rinsing it. Also, ensure that all the detergent is removed from the pillow before proceeding to the next step.
Step 3. Dry the Pillow and You Are Ready to Go!
Squeeze out any excess water and prepare for drying the body pillow. Check the pillow label for further instructions or check the section “Can You Put a Body Pillow in a Dryer?” above.
How to Spot-Clean a Body Pillow?
Since body pillows can be easily damaged by too much washing and drying, it is not recommended to wash them very often. If there is a stain on a body pillow cover, you can just throw it in the machine. But if the stain is on the pillow itself, you should just spot-clean it rather than washing the entire pillow.
The following easy steps will help you to quickly spot-clean your body pillow by hand:
Step 1. Identify the Type of Stain on Your Body Pillow and Use Suitable Detergent
Different stains require different techniques and detergents. Although you might think that cleaning a small stain is an easy job, you should be aware that using improper detergents and cleaning techniques might create a bigger mess on the pillow.
The following table lists some common stains and the cleaning techniques that might help you get rid of them.
|Stain Type||Cleaning Technique|
|Adhesives||Use some ice and rub it on the pillow to harden the stained surface;Scrape the hardened adhesive using a knife;|
|Blood||Use cold water or mild detergent if needed;The use of hot water is not recommended since it might set the bloodstain.|
|Dried Stains||Use warm water and add some mild detergent;Soak the stained spot and rinse with water.|
|Red Wine||One of the stain types that is very hard to remove;The use of mild detergent might not be enough;The use of stronger detergent can damage the pillow;Try to use specific detergents that are not too strong but still good for stain removal.|
Step 2. Make Sure to Remove All the Detergent From the Pillow Before Letting It Dry
Since detergent contains chemicals that are toxic to inhale, any excess detergent left in the pillow might cause health problems. Therefore, you should thoroughly rinse the cleaned spot with small amounts of water. You can use a soft cloth or sponge and soak it in water to easily remove the detergent.
Step 3. Remove Any Detergent or Water Spots Left As the Pillow Dries
After the body pillow is completely dry, you might notice some soap or water spots. Do not worry, this is quite normal, and you can quickly get rid of such spots. All you need to do is get a clean sponge, soak it in some water, and pat the spot on the body pillow. Allow the pillow to dry and repeat the same procedure if the spots have not disappeared. This might require a couple of rounds for the spot to vanish.
How to Get Rid of Body Oil from a Body Pillow?
Body pillows accumulate not only dust particles but also sweat and body oil. For this reason, light-colored body pillows can easily become yellow or orange. Cleaning such pillows is not as easy as one might think.
To get rid of body oil and yellow stains on your body pillow, follow these steps:
Step 1. Choose the Proper Detergent for Removing Body Oil and Grease
The most important step to properly cleaning a body pillow is to choose a suitable detergent. Getting rid of body oil stains from the body pillow is harder than just removing dust and dirt. Therefore, you might need a combination of mild detergent and dishwasher detergent.
Laundry detergent will remove any dirt and dust particles, while dishwasher detergent will ensure that all the oils and grease are also removed from the body pillow. Add these detergents to some hot water, and you are ready to go!
Using strong detergents is not recommended since they might damage the body pillow.
Step 2. Hand-Wash the Body Pillow
To remove each and every grease stain from the pillow, it is better to hand-wash it first. In this way, you can soak the pillow in the solution you prepared in the previous step and squeeze any dirt and oil from the pillow.
As you notice that no more oil stains are coming out of the pillow, you can proceed to the next step.
Step 3. Machine-Wash the Body Pillow and Allow It to Dry
After hand-washing the body pillow, it is time to use a washer to ensure that there are no oil or grease stains left on the pillow. In order to properly wash the pillow without damaging it, follow the instructions provided under the section “Can You Put a Body Pillow in a Washer?” above. Here is the link to the article by Tip Hero, which provides detailed instructions on how to whiten and brighten old yellow pillows.
We hope you enjoyed this article on how to clean, wash, and dry a body pillow. If you're looking for a new body pillow, consider our list of the best body pillows.