Pillow Cleaning 101: How To Clean Pillows That Can’t Be Washed

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Tired of seeing stained, dull pillows on your bed? It might be time to freshen them up, but what if they can’t be washed? Fear not, there are plenty of methods available to restore their cleanliness and appealing scent. This blog post shares simple yet effective ways to clean pillows or cushions deemed unsuitable for washing. We have all the solutions, whether you need to spot clean or eliminate odors. It’s time to give your pillows the gentle care they have long been craving.


Common Methods Of Cleaning A Non-Washable Pillow


Vacuuming a non-washable pillow can help remove dust, dirt, and other debris that accumulates on the surface of the cushion. The suction of the vacuum cleaner can help lift away these particles, leaving the pillow looking and smelling fresher. Vacuuming can also help fluff up the pillow, restoring its shape and making it more comfortable to use.

Spot cleaning

Spot cleaning is a method of cleaning that involves treating small, specific areas of a non-washable pillow that are stained or soiled. This method is a great method, especially if you don’t want to deform your cushion.


Allowing a non-washable pillow to air out can help get rid of any lingering odors or mustiness. To air out a pillow, place it in a well-ventilated area, such as a porch or balcony, where it can be exposed to fresh air. This can help dissipate any odors and freshen up the cushion. It’s important to note that airing out the pillow alone may not be sufficient to remove deep-seated stains or odors.


Deodorizing a non-washable pillow can help get rid of any unpleasant odors that may be lingering in the fabric. This can help absorb any odors and leave the pillow smelling fresh and clean. You can also use a commercial fabric freshener or deodorizer on the pillow, following the instructions on the product label.

Types Of Specific Pillow That You Can’t Washed

Here is a list of some common types of pillows that cannot be washed:

  • Down feather pillows
  • Memory foam pillows
  • Latex pillows
  • Buckwheat hull pillows
  • Gel pillows

How To Clean Pillows That Can’t Be Washed

🟩 Down feather pillows

Photo credits: Duvets N’Beddings

Down feather pillows cannot be washed in a washing machine. To clean them, spot clean any stains using a mild detergent and water. Mix a small amount of detergent with water and gently dab the solution onto the stain using a clean cloth. Avoid soaking the pillow, as this can damage the feathers and cause them to clump together. 

Once the stain has been removed, blot the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove any excess detergent. Allow the pillow to air dry completely before using it again.

🟩 Memory foam pillows

To clean a memory foam pillow, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove any debris or dirt. If the pillow has any stains, you can spot-clean them using warm water with a small amount of mild detergent. Be sure to blot the stain, rather than rubbing it, and allow the pillow to air dry completely before using it again. 

It’s important not to use too much water when cleaning a memory foam pillow, as this can damage the foam. Additionally, avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach on the pillow, as these can also damage the foam.

🟩 Latex pillows

Photo credits: Uratex

You can spot-clean the pillow by using a mild latex cleaner and a damp cloth to gently scrub away any stains. Be sure to avoid getting the pillow too wet, and allow it to air dry completely before using it again. You can also use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to remove any surface dirt or debris. If the pillow has a removable cover, you can remove it and wash it according to the care instructions.

🟩 Buckwheat hull pillows

First, remove the hulls from the pillow cover. Once the hulls have been removed, vacuum the pillow cover to remove any remaining debris or dust. If the pillow cover is not removable, or if spot cleaning is not effective, you can try using a handheld steamer to remove any stains or odors. Be sure to test the steamer on a small, inconspicuous area of the cover first to ensure that it does not damage the fabric.

Once the cover has been cleaned, allow it to air dry completely before reinserting the hulls and using the pillow again.

🟩 Gel pillows

Photo credits: Serta HK

Gel pillows typically cannot be cleaned by washing them, as the water could damage the gel material inside. Instead, you can try spot-cleaning the pillow by gently dabbing at any stains or dirt with a damp cloth. Be sure to use a gentle touch and avoid rubbing or scrubbing the pillow, as this could damage the material. 

Once you have spot-cleaned the pillow, allow it to air dry completely before using it again. It’s important to note that this method may not work for all types of gel pillows, so it’s always best to refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer for the best way to clean your specific pillow.

What To Do If You Accidentally Washed A Non-Washable Pillow?

If you accidentally washed a pillow that is not meant to be washed, the best course of action is to try to salvage it as best as you can. Here are some steps you can follow:

  • Remove the pillow from the washing machine as soon as you realize your mistake. The longer it stays in the water, the more damage it will suffer.
  • Shake the pillow to remove as much water as possible. You can also use a towel or other absorbent material to blot the water from the pillow.
  • Place the pillow in a well-ventilated area to air dry. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight or near a heat source, as this can cause the pillow to become misshapen or damaged.
  • Once the pillow is dry, fluff it up to restore its shape. You may need to use your hands or a rolling pin to do this.
  • If the pillow is still in good condition, you can use it as usual. However, if it has become misshapen or damaged, it may be best to discard it and purchase a new one.

What To Do If You’re Not Sure A Pillow Is Washable Or Not?

If you’re not sure if a cushion is washable, it’s best to check the care instructions that came with the pillow or check the manufacturer’s website for more information. If the care instructions are not available, it’s generally safer to spot-clean the cushion (like what is mentioned on the tips above), rather than washing it in a machine. It’s also a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous area of the pillow first to make sure it doesn’t damage the fabric or cause the colors to run.

But the best way to clean your pillows is to let professional cleaners do the task. Check the next section to know more!

How To Clean The Pillows That Can’t Be Washed: Giving the task to the hands of a professional cleaner

Professional cleaners, like SURECLEAN, have the equipment and knowledge to properly clean non-washable pillows. This can help extend the life of the pillows and keep them fresh and clean. It can also help remove stains and improve the overall appearance of the pillows. In addition, using a professional cleaner can save time and effort, as it can be difficult to clean non-washable pillows effectively at home. Overall, using a professional cleaner can help maintain the quality and hygiene of your non-washable pillows.

Final Words

As you can see, the most common way of cleaning your non-washable pillows is by blotting technique. But how can you be assured that blotting removes the stains and microorganisms completely?

Non-washable pillows can be a breeding ground for dust mites and other allergens, which can be detrimental to your health. Hiring a professional cleaning company, like SURECLEAN, to clean these pillows is a cost-effective and safe way to ensure that your pillows are clean and free of allergens. Professional cleaners have the experience and equipment necessary to properly clean your non-washable pillows without damaging them. This will not only improve the air quality in your home, but it will also extend the life of your pillows.

Don’t know who to contact? We’ve got you covered! Dial the numbers provided below to receive quotations from the best housekeeping company in Singapore: SURECLEAN!

About Sureclean

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