Can You Bleach Pillows in the Washing Machine


Have you ever wondered if you can bleach your pillows in the washing machine? It may seem like a simple question, but there are some important factors to consider before tossing your pillows in with your whites. Let’s explore whether it’s safe to bleach pillows in a washing machine and what alternative methods you can use to keep them clean.

The Risks of Bleaching Pillows in the Washing Machine

Can You Bleach Pillows in the Washing Machine

While bleach is a powerful cleaning agent, it may not suit all pillows. Some pillows are made with delicate materials, such as down or memory foam, which bleach can damage. Additionally, depending on their composition, bleach may not always effectively remove stains and odors from pillows.

Moreover, bleach can cause discoloration or weaken the fabric of your pillows. This can result in a shorter lifespan for your pillows, as they may become more prone to tearing or losing their shape.

Alternative Methods to Clean Pillows

If bleach isn’t the best option for cleaning your pillows, there are alternative methods you can try. Let’s explore a few of them below:

1. Washing Machine With Gentle Detergent

If your pillows can withstand a machine wash, opt for a gentle detergent instead of bleach. Make sure to check the care instructions on your pillows before proceeding. Use a mild detergent and select the gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine. This method helps remove dirt, sweat, and mild stains from your pillows without the risk of bleach-related damage.

2. Spot Cleaning

Sometimes, only certain areas of your pillows require cleaning. If that’s the case, consider spot cleaning the affected areas instead of washing the entire pillow. You can use a mixture of warm water and mild detergent to gently scrub away stains. Be sure to follow this up with rinsing the area thoroughly to remove any residue.

3. Sunning And Freshening

To keep your pillows smelling fresh and eliminate any odors, you can place them in direct sunlight for a few hours. The sun’s UV rays have natural disinfectant properties that can help kill bacteria. This method can especially benefit pillows made with natural fibers and materials as they tend to absorb odors more easily.

4. Dry Cleaning

If your pillows have a “dry clean only” label or you’re unsure about their washability, consider taking them to a professional dry cleaner. They have the expertise and equipment to effectively clean and refresh your pillows without causing any damage.

Can You Bleach Pillows in the Washing Machine


Can You Bleach Pillows in the Washing Machine


Tips for Maintaining Clean Pillows

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your pillows clean and fresh for a long time. Here are some key tips to help you maintain your pillows:

  • Always follow the care instructions on your pillow’s label for best results.
  • Use pillow protectors or pillowcases to shield your pillows from dirt and stains.
  • Wash pillowcases regularly to prevent the buildup of oils, dirt, and sweat.
  • Fluff your pillows daily to maintain their shape and ensure even distribution of filling.
  • Avoid eating or drinking in bed to minimize the risk of spills and stains.
  • Consider using pillow covers that are removable and machine washable for easier maintenance.
  • Replace your pillows every 1-2 years or as advised by the manufacturer.

By following these simple tips and utilizing the appropriate cleaning methods, you can ensure that your pillows stay clean, fresh, and comfortable for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Can You Bleach Pillows In The Washing Machine

Can You Bleach Pillows In The Washing Machine?

Yes, you can bleach pillows in the washing machine to keep them fresh and sanitary. But follow care instructions and use the right bleach for your fabric.

Is Bleaching Pillows Safe For Colors?

Bleaching pillows is generally safe for white or light-colored ones, but not recommended for vibrant or dark-colored ones.

How Often Should You Bleach Pillows?

It’s recommended to bleach pillows every 3 to 6 months or as needed to eliminate dirt, stains, and odors.

Can Bleach Damage Pillow Fabric?

Using too much bleach or the wrong type can damage the fabric of your pillows, so follow care instructions and be cautious.


In conclusion, it’s not always safe to bleach pillows in the washing machine, as it can damage certain types of pillows and fabrics. However, there are alternative methods like using a gentle detergent, spot cleaning, sunning, or dry cleaning that can effectively clean and refresh your pillows without the risks associated with bleach. Remember to read the care instructions on your pillows and regularly maintain them to extend their lifespan and keep them in optimum condition.

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