Laundering a pillow isn’t difficult, though it can take a bit of time to dry.
If your pillow has a wet stain that you’re trying to remove, immediately spot treat the pillowcase and pillow with a stain cleaner that targets that type of stain before popping it into the wash.
If your washing machine is large enough, wash two pillows at a time. That will help balance the load, allowing the water and detergent to circulate more effectively. The agitator on conventional top-loaders can be tough on pillows, so it’s best to agitate on the gentle cycle only for a few minutes (or the shortest possible setting, if you can’t control the time). Alternatively, you could make a special trip to the laundromat to use its front-loaders.
Follow these directions for specific types of pillow fills.
Down or feather: Most down pillows can be put in the washing machine, but use cool water and a mild detergent, then dry on low heat. (High temperatures can damage the down.)
Memory foam or latex: Washer agitation can break up foam, so these pillows will probably need to be hand washed. Vacuum dust off of the pillow, then spot clean with a clean, damp cloth and a small amount of mild detergent. Then lay the pillow flat to air dry.
Polyester: Wash with warm water on the gentle cycle, preferably a few pillows at a time to balance the load. Be sparing with the detergent. Use about 1 tablespoon of liquid soap.
Buckwheat hulls: Empty the buckwheat filling onto a large cookie sheet or wide, shallow bowl. Set the buckwheat out in the sun, which will eliminate odors, and wash the shell casing using cold water and a mild detergent.