Do you know that down/feather pillow inserts can be bleached and cleaned? If you’re sick of those ugly yellow stains on bed pillows, or just want to totally refresh and plump up your decorative pillow inserts, here’s the recipe for you!
Unlike faux-down and polyester filled pillows, which bunch up terribly after washing, feather pillows clean up beautifully as long as you follow a few easy steps.
This uses quite a bit of cleaning product and dryer energy, so we usually only wash ours twice a year, and be careful not to breathe in the fumes as you are filling the washing machine.
Here’s our recipe!
1. Place the inserts in your washing machine, make it as balanced as possible. Two or more dirty feather pillow inserts work best to balance the washer out.
2. Add one cup (8 oz) of each cleaning product:
- Detergent of choice
- Laundry booster such as Borax, Arm & Hammer, or simple Baking soda
3. Soak for a half hour if your washer has that function (It still works well without a soaking period too).
4. Choose the hottest setting for your water temperature and a heavy duty cycle.
5. Wash and then check to see if the stains have lifted. Once is usually enough but if they’re very stubborn stains, you’d want to repeat the wash steps again before the dryer, as dryers tend to set stains permanently.
6. Place in the dryer with a set of dryer balls, or just put two tennis balls into a tube sock, that works too! The dryer balls beat the pillows as they are drying which loosens up clumps of feathers and helps the filling get dry much faster. Set on the highest heat and use dryer sheets if desired.
7. After the first dryer cycle, remove insert(s) and smell it to see if it has any “wet dog” smell. If it feels damp or smells even a little like a wet dog, repeat the whole dryer cycle again until they’re completely dry and smell very neutral. If there’s any dampness left, the small clumps of feathers will almost certainly mildew (and that smells horrible!!)
Remember, this is not intended for any faux-down or polyfilled inserts, only feather inserts. There is always some feather loss, it will show up on your dryer's lint screen, and that is totally normal.
Hopefully this helps you keep your feather inserts fresh and clean for many years to come!