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Can You Put Pillows in the Dryer? Facts & FAQs

a pillow in the dryer

Pillows are an important part of our everyday lives. We use them to sleep on, to prop up our heads when we’re reading in bed, and sometimes even as a place to hide a secret stash of cash.

While pillows offer great utility, washing them is a whole other story. Unlike clothes, pillows can’t just be thrown in the washing machine and called good-as-new. You must also be careful about putting them in the dryer.

So can you put pillows in the dryer? The answer is “yes”. But you must take precautions.

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Can Your Dryer Handle Pillows?

The short answer is yes. It’s perfectly okay to put pillows in the dryer. However, you do need to be careful to ensure that your pillows come out of the dryer in good condition.

For starters, make sure you check the care label on your pillows before putting them in the dryer. Some pillows are not meant to go in the dryer at all, while others can only be dried on a low or delicate setting.

Another thing to keep in mind is that pillows can take a long time to dry, even on the highest heat setting. So, if you’re in a hurry, you might want to consider air-drying your pillows instead.

pillows on white background
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Is Putting Pillows in Your Dryer a Good Idea?

Now that we’ve answered the question, “Can pillows go in the dryer?”, it’s time to address the second part of this equation:” Is putting pillows in your dryer a good idea?”

The answer to this question is a bit more complicated. While it is technically safe to put pillows in the dryer, doing so can cause them to lose their shape and become lumpy. Additionally, pillows that are dried on too high of a heat setting can become discolored or shrunken.

That said, there are still some good reasons to put pillows in the dryer. For instance, if your pillows are starting to smell, a trip through the dryer on a high-heat setting can help eliminate the odor.

So, while there are some risks associated with putting pillows in the dryer, it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether or not the benefits outweigh the risks.

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How to Use the Dryer for Your Pillows Correctly

If you’re going to put your pillows in the dryer, it’s best to do so correctly. Here are a couple of tips for doing just that.

Don’t Put a Wet Pillow in the Washer

This might seem like common sense, but it’s worth mentioning. Never put a wet pillow in the dryer. Not only will this make your pillows take longer to dry, but it could also lead to mold or mildew growth.

Use a Low or Delicate Setting

If your pillows can go in the dryer, make sure you use a low or delicate setting. Pillows are designed to be soft, so they can become misshapen if they’re dried on too high of a heat setting.

Use a Dryer Ball

If you’re worried about your pillows losing their shape in the dryer, consider using a dryer ball. A dryer ball is a small, round ball that helps fluff pillows as they dry. This will help to keep your pillows from becoming lumpy.

dryer balls on wooden floor
Image Credit: Miro Vrlik Photography, Shutterstock

Run a Couple of Cycles

Pillows can take a long time to dry, even on the lowest heat setting. To be safe, run your pillows through the dryer two or three times. This will help ensure that they’re completely dry before you put them back on your bed.

Be Patient

As we mentioned before, pillows can take a long time to dry. So, if you’re putting them in the dryer, make sure you have some time to spare. Don’t expect them to come out of the dryer as quickly as your clothes do.

Fluff After Every Cycle

Take your pillows out of the dryer after each cycle and fluff them. This will help to keep them from becoming lumpy.

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How to Wash Your Pillows Correctly

As mentioned earlier, washing pillows is easier said than done. But here are a few tips to ensure you have fresh, squeaky-clean pillows for a good night’s sleep.

1. Plop Them in Your Washing Machine

The first step is to plop your pillows into your washing machine. You can always wash two pillows at a time; just don’t try to squeeze any more than that in there. Doing so could damage your washing machine.

2. Add the Right Amount of the Right Detergent

Once your pillows are in the washing machine, it’s time to add detergent. But not just any detergent will do. You’ll want to use a mild, color-safe detergent that’s designed for delicate fabrics.

As for how much detergent to use, a general rule of thumb is to use 1/2 cup of detergent for a standard-sized washing machine. If you’re using a high-efficiency washing machine, you can use 1/4 cup of detergent.

pillows in the washing machine
Image Credit: lowe99, Shutterstock

3. Choose the Right Water Temperature

When it comes to pillows, hot water isn’t always better. In fact, using hot water could cause your pillows to shrink. So, unless your pillows are extremely dirty, it’s best to use cold water.

4. Wash on the Delicate or Permanent Press Cycle

Once you’ve added detergent and chosen the right water temperature, it’s time to start the washing machine. But not just any cycle will do. You’ll want to use the delicate or permanent press cycle. These cycles are gentle enough to protect your pillows from damage.

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Final Thoughts: Keep Your Pillows Clean and Dry

Pillows are an important part of a good night’s sleep. But they can be difficult to clean. So, if you’re going to put your pillows in the dryer, remember to do so correctly. Also, don’t forget to check the label on your pillows to see if they’re dryer-safe. If not, you can always hand-wash them or take them to a professional cleaner.

Featured Image Credit: Sunvic, Shutterstock


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