Throw pillows are the perfect way to spice up your living room, bedroom, or foyer and the furniture in it. Everyone loves them for decorating sofas with pillows because they’re easy to swap out with the season or to suit your current aesthetic. However, to keep them looking their best, you must know how to wash and care for them properly. For pristine and plush-looking pillows, follow these step-by-step instructions on how to clean throw pillows. We even share our best care tips to help keep them looking fresh regularly.

Discover all you need to know about washing and caring for throw pillows!

Washing Instructions for Throw Pillows

how to wash throw pillows

Decorative throw pillows can quickly become dirty and dingy, so it’s important to keep them clean. While cleaning your throw pillows is a chore, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some steps to follow for washing throw pillows.

  1. First, check the care tag on the throw pillow and make sure you know how to safely wash the fabric. Some decorative pillows may be hand or machine-washable, but certain fabrics must be dry-cleaned.
  2. If your throw pillow is machine-washable, use a mild detergent and a cool or warm water setting.
  3. Put the throw pillow cover in a mesh laundry bag before you put it in the washing machine to protect the fabric. If you’re washing several pillows, do not overload the washer.
  4. After washing the pillows, put them in the dryer on low or no heat. You can also air dry them by laying them out flat and turning them over every few hours until they’re completely dry.
  5. Once the throw pillows are dry, fluff them up to restore their original shape and texture. If you have any stubborn wrinkles, you can iron the decorative pillow on a low setting with a damp cloth over the fabric to avoid any damage.

With these steps, you can safely wash your decorative throw pillows at home and keep them looking new. Remember that the instructions above may not apply to all throw pillows, so be sure to check the care tag for proper cleaning instructions. For example, polyester pillows may have different instructions than memory foam pillows.

Tips for Keeping Throw Pillows Clean

how to clean throw pillows

The key to keeping your throw pillows clean is to upkeep regular maintenance and spot cleaning as needed. With these helpful tips, you can keep your throw pillows stain free and in tip-top shape between deep cleanings:

  • Vacuum regularly – Vacuuming your throw pillows regularly will help prevent dust and debris from accumulating. Make sure to use the upholstery attachment for gentle vacuuming of delicate fabrics.
  • Spot clean – For stains and spills, use a mild detergent and a damp cloth to spot clean. Test any cleaners on a small, hidden area first to ensure they won’t damage the fabric.
  • Fluff your cushions – Fluffing your cushions on a regular basis helps keep the shape of the pillow and distributes wear evenly.
  • Give them sunlight & air – Sunlight and fresh air are great ways to keep your throw pillows smelling clean and fresh. If possible, hang them out in the sun for a few hours at least once a month.
  • Wash throw pillows regularly – When needed, you can also wash your throw pillows in the washing machine. Be sure to read the care label first to determine what type of laundry detergent and cycle to use. Generally, a cold or warm water delicate cycle with gentle detergent works best for washing decorative pillows.

Following these tips for regular maintenance and spot cleaning should help you keep your throw pillows looking and smelling great for years to come!


Throw Pillow Care FAQs

How often should you wash throw pillows?

The recommended frequency for washing pillows depends on the amount of use they receive. For pillows that are used in high-traffic areas of your home, like the living room, you should wash them every 2-3 months. If you don’t use your throw pillows as often, you can wait longer between washes.

If you are prone to allergies or have a respiratory condition, you might want to wash them more regularly to avoid accumulating pesky dust that might trigger you.

Can you put throw pillows in the washer?

Yes, you can! But first, check the tag for washing instructions. In most cases, you can machine wash throw pillows with cold water and gentle detergent. For best results, use a gentle cycle and air dry.

Can you put pillows in the dryer?

It depends on the material. Generally, it is safe to put synthetic and down decorative pillows in the dryer on a low heat setting. However, for best results and to avoid any damage or shrinkage in throw pillow size, it’s recommended to air-dry all pillows after washing them by hand or in a machine.

When Should You Replace Throw Pillows Altogether?

how to clean throw pillows

While regular cleaning and maintenance will keep your throw pillows lasting longer, over time, they may start to look less than their best. With that in mind, you may need to replace them periodically. Knowing when it’s time to toss out your old pillows and invest in some new ones can help you keep your home looking its best.

A survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that bed pillows should be replaced every 1-2 years. However, since most people don’t rest their heads on throw pillows as often as bed pillows, you can likely double that time or simply look out for a few key signs.

Some common signs that it’s time to replace throw pillows include:

  • A flattened or lumpy shape
  • Discoloration
  • Stained covers
  • Odors

If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to get rid of your current pillows and invest in some new ones.

Switch Up Your Throw Pillows With Society6

If your throw pillows are starting to look lifeless or have stubborn stains you can’t get out, no matter how much you clean them, it may be time to invest in some new ones! At Society6, you’ll find a wide variety of throw pillows in unique designs suited for any home aesthetic.

Whether you’re looking for something modern and timeless or funky and maximalist, there’s we have it all. Plus, our throw pillows have a durable UV-resistant material that can be removed for easy cleaning. With simple washing instructions, you’ll have no trouble keeping your pillows clean and fresh.

If you’re interested in learning how to style couch pillows or are ready to update your living room or bedroom decor, browse Society6’s selection of stylish throw pillows and give your home a fresh look. Clean decorative pillows await you!


  1. Telloian, C. (2022) Here’s why you might want to wash your pillows, Healthline. Healthline Media. Available at: (Accessed: May 1, 2023).
  2. Breus, D.M. (2022) When should you replace your pillow?, The Sleep Doctor. Available at: (Accessed: May 1, 2023).