How To Wash Throw Pillow Covers?

Keeping throw pillow covers clean not only maintains the aesthetics of your living space but also ensures a hygienic environment. To wash throw pillow covers, first, remove them from the pillows. Check the care label for washing instructions. Most pillow covers can be machine washed with mild detergent on a gentle cycle using cold water. Air dry or tumble dry on low heat if allowed by the care instructions. Avoid using bleach unless the care label specifies it’s safe. For delicate fabrics, hand washing or professional cleaning might be recommended. Now, let’s delve into the process in more detail to ensure your throw pillow covers are refreshed without damage.

Understanding Different Types of Throw Pillow Covers

Before you begin the washing process, it’s crucial to understand the type of material your throw pillow covers are made of. Different materials will require different care instructions. Here are some common materials and their general care guidelines:


Cotton pillow covers are generally machine washable. Use a gentle cycle with cold water to prevent shrinkage and preserve color.


Linen can also be machine washed but is prone to wrinkling. Ironing may be necessary after washing to restore appearance.

Polyester and Microfiber

Synthetic materials like polyester and microfiber are typically durable and machine washable. They can often tolerate warmer water than natural fibers.


Velvet may require dry cleaning or special fabric care due to its plush nature. Check the care label for specific instructions.


Silk throw pillow covers should be either dry cleaned or hand washed, as they are very delicate.

Preparation for Washing

Before washing your throw pillow covers, preparation is key to prevent damage and ensure cleanliness.

Read the Care Label

Always start by reading the care label for specific instructions. The manufacturer knows the material best and will provide the safest cleaning guidelines.

Empty the Cover

Carefully remove the throw pillow insert or stuffing. If zippers or buttons are present, close them to prevent snagging during the wash.

Pre-treat Stains

For any visible stains, use a stain remover or gentle detergent to pre-treat affected areas. Gently rub the cleanser into the stain and allow it to sit for a few minutes before washing.

Sort by Color and Material

Sort pillow covers by color and fabric type to avoid dye transfer and to apply the appropriate washing method for each material.

Washing Throw Pillow Covers

Once prepared, you can proceed with the washing process tailored to your pillow covers’ specific requirements.

Machine Washing

Put the pillow covers in the washing machine. It’s best to wash them with similar colors and fabrics to prevent damage. Add a gentle detergent and select a gentle cycle with cold water. Heavier fabrics may require a more robust cycle, but always err on the side of caution to avoid wear and tear.

Hand Washing

If the care label recommends hand washing, fill a basin with cold water and a small amount of mild detergent. Submerge the pillow cover and gently agitate the water with your hands. Avoid twisting or wringing the fabric, which can cause deformation or damage.

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Rinsing and Drying

After washing, rinse the covers thoroughly to remove all soap residue. When machine washing, a second rinse cycle can help. For hand washing, change the water until it runs clear.

Depending on the fabric, you can air dry by laying the covers flat on a clean towel or hang them up to dry. If machine drying is permitted, use a low heat setting. Remove the covers promptly once dry to prevent wrinkling.

Maintenance Between Washes

Proper maintenance can reduce the need for frequent washing, extending the life of your throw pillow covers.

Regular Fluffing and Rotation

Regularly shake out the throw pillow covers and rotate them to endure even wear and maintain their shape.

Spot Cleaning

Immediately attend to spills and stains by spot cleaning. This can prevent set-in stains that are harder to clean later on.

Using Pillow Protectors

Consider using a pillow protector underneath the throw pillow cover. Protectors can be washed more frequently and will shield the outer cover from dust and spills.

Special Considerations

Some throw pillow covers may have specific requirements or decorative elements that need special attention.

Beading and Embellishments

For pillow covers with beading, embroidery, or other decorations, consider hand washing or spot cleaning to prevent damage. Removing such covers before washing might be necessary, or placing them in a mesh bag for added protection in the machine.

Vintage or Delicate Fabrics

Antique or especially delicate covers may need professional cleaning. If you do wash at home, do so gently and sparingly to avoid deterioration.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoiding common mistakes will help protect your throw pillow covers and keep them looking fresh.

Using Too Much Detergent

Excessive detergent can leave residue and may not be entirely rinsed out, leading to stiffness.

Washing with Harsh Chemicals

Bleach and fabric softeners might damage or wear out fabrics faster. Use these products cautiously and according to care instructions.

Overloading the Washing Machine

Stuffing the washing machine can result in poorly cleaned covers and excessive wrinkling. Wash in small batches for optimal results.

Finishing Thoughts

Taking good care of your throw pillow covers will keep them looking their best and ensure they contribute to a clean and inviting atmosphere in your home. Remember to pay attention to care labels, prepare appropriately, and choose the right washing method for your covers’ material. With the correct approach, you can preserve the quality and appearance of your throw pillow covers over many washes. With your throw pillow covers clean and fresh, your space will now not only look good but also be more appealing and comfortable to relax in.


  • Ollie Lane

    My name is Ollie Lane, the zestful spirit and sleep enthusiast editor at GoodSleepHub. Blending my expertise in Sleep Technology with a dash of whimsy, I'm all about transforming your nights from blah to ta-da! I believe great sleep is a blend of science, art, and a bit of fairy dust. When I'm not knee-deep in the latest sleep gadgetry or jotting down notes for my next blog post, you can find me strumming on my ukulele or chasing after my mischievous beagle, Benny. My approach to sleep is like my music: playful, innovative, and always in tune with your needs.

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