can you put pillows in the dryer

Can You Put Pillows in the Dryer?

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

Bedding easily get dirty as we spend a lot of time in bed. From sweat and other body fluids to dead skin cells to dust and dust mites. This makes washing your linens once a week very normal and necessary. After all, you spend so much time on your bed that you want it to be spotless. However, the pillow is frequently overlooked. So, how does the drying part go whenever you remember to clean them? Can you put pillows in the dryer?

The answer to this question is yes and no. Don't feel confused; your pillow type determines how you care for it, including cleaning and drying. However, we shall discuss this more in the section below. So, keep reading to determine which pillow types are safe in the dryer and which ones aren't.

Can You Put Pillows in the Dryer?

As already stated above, you can put pillows in the dryer, but you will need to use the delicate cycle. However, most pillows cannot be put in the dryer, and for that reason, I would like to take you through the process of washing different pillow types and how to dry them. This will make it easier to know which pillows you can and can't put in the dryer.

Let's get started;

How to Wash Pillows

a). Cleaning Latex Pillows

Latex foam is made from ruer trees' sap. Latex pillows are a wonderful alternative if you're seeking organic pillows because they're made of all-natural ingredients. In addition, latex pillows are bouncy and come in various stiffness levels to fit your needs.

Cleaning and Drying

You cannot wash latex pillows as washing them damages the latex texture. To clean latex pillows, you only need to spot clean the stains.

After spot cleaning, air dry your latex pillows away from direct sunlight as the UV rays can also damage the foam, lowering their lifespan.

b). Cleaning Down Alternative or Polyester Pillows

Down or polyester pillows are some of the least priced pillows. They're a good choice for people who want to switch out their pillows regularly. Polyester pillows have a lot of bounce and are quite easy to clean.

Cleaning and Drying

You can machine wash your down or polyester pillows using warm water and a detergent on the gentle cycle. Then, air dry your pillows or use your dryer on the low heat setting. Also, note that polyester pillows dry faster than other types of pillows.

c). Cleaning Memory Foam Pillows

Memory foam pillows adjust to your neck's curvature, relieving pressure points and alleviating pain. The stuffing in these pillows is either shredded memory foam or a solid lump of memory foam. Memory foam pillows are incredibly soft, supportive, and long-lasting.

Cleaning and Drying Memory Foam Pillows

Like latex pillows, you cannot wash a memory foam pillow as washing can damage the sensitive memory foam. So, to clean these pillows, you can simply vacuum them using the upholstery brush on your vacuum cleaner.

If the memory foam pillow is dirty and stained, you can spot clean it with a clean cloth and a mild detergent.

Air dry your memory foam pillows on the clothesline. You can let them air dry in direct sunlight for a few hours every six months to kill the microorganisms.

d). Cleaning Down or Feather-Pillows

Pillows are commonly filled with feathers or down from ducks or geese. The soft feathers on the birds' bellies are referred to as "down feathers." The warmth of down pillows is comforting. However, compared to down alternatives or polyester pillows, they are more expensive.

Down pillows can cause itchy throats, runny noses, watery eyes, and breathing problems in people with allergies. In addition, some particles of dust and dust mites may linger in the feathers or down after washing, triggering allergic responses.

Cleaning and Drying

Cleaning pillows is easy as you can use your washing machine in a warm setting. Instead of using a liquid clothes detergent, use a powder soap as liquid ones may not rinse well, leaving a sticky residue on the fabric surface, leading to clumping.

Because an agitator can damage your pillows, it's best to wash them in a washing machine without one. If your washing machine includes an agitator, placing your pillows vertically in the washer decreases the risk of harm. Placing two pillows in the washing machine at a time will also keep the machine balanced and prevent overload.

You can dry down, or feather pillows on the no-heat-air dry setting or naturally air dry.

e). Cleaning Buckwheat Pillows

Buckwheat hull pillows are springy when subjected to pressure but provide excellent support to the neck and head. In addition, the hulls provide air circulation within the pillow, which keeps you cool as you sleep.

Cleaning and Drying

Cleaning buckwheat pillows involves emptying the buckwheat hulls into a small basin and washing the pillow cover. To wash the pillow covers, check the care label and follow the instructions. Depending on the care instructions, you can hand wash it or machine wash it. Keep the buckwheat hulls in the sun to remove any odors caused by moisture.

How to Dry Pillows in the Dryer

If the care label on your pillow shows that it is safe to dry in the dryer, you can do so. Therefore, if you would like to use the dryer, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

a). Set the dryer to low heat

Due to their natural insulating characteristics, pillows tend to heat up quickly. The heat will be trapped in the dryer pillow, just as it is trapped in your body. You can avoid fire concerns by using a low heat setting.

b). Run several cycles

The dryer heat only touches the moist surface. Therefore, you will need to run the pillows through several cycles so that they dry all through.

c). Fluff the pillow after every cycle

Using the dryer to dry your pillows makes them clump up or shrink. It is better to take the pillow out of the dryer and fluff it up after every cycle.

d). Use dryer balls

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If dryer balls are available, you can use these rather than fluff them after each cycle. By striking the pillows with the spin cycle, they help to fluff them. Dryer balls are also made to keep your pillow supple and smelling good. If you don't have dryer balls, you can also use tennis balls instead.

e). Do not leave your pillow wet

The fillings will clump up if you leave your wet pillow in the washer. Material may also hold enough moisture that the dryer fails to dry completely. Leaving the pillow wet could also make it grow molds and mildew. So, toss it in the dryer as soon as you get your pillow out of the washer.

Drying Pillows in the Dryer Vs. Air Drying Them

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Which is the best option? Naturally air drying them or using the dryer to dry your pillows? That may be a tricky question to answer but let's look at a few advantages of air-drying them.

a). Saves Money and Energy

Drying clothes in the air saves a lot of energy. Each dryer cycle needs between 2 to 6 kilowatts of energy, and it takes several cycles to dry a pillow. If you have a lot of pillows, drying them in the sun can help you save money on your energy bills.

b). Increased Durability

After a few washes, the friction between the garments and the dryer spinning cycles might wear out your cushion. On the other hand, the sun does not affect the pillow shell and hence does not shorten its longevity.

c). Time-Consuming

When air-drying pillows, begin early in the day because they may need to be exposed to the sun for the full day. You must also return to them from time to time to flip them. If you have many pillows, you can air-dry them all at once, but you'll have to machine-dry them in batches, which takes even more time.

d). Effective Disinfectant

Air-drying provides a unique advantage, which is the sun's UV rays. It eliminates all bacteria from your pillows. To get rid of the same bacteria during machine washing and drying, you may have to use soap and other cleaning chemicals, which can cause allergic reactions.

e). Bleaches

UV rays from the sun have bleaching effects. Your pillows will be whitened as a result of this. They will appear cleaner and less soiled as a result. Compared to machine drying, air drying gives the pillows a fresher appearance.

f). Air drying clumps down and feathers

Air drying might take longer, especially if the pillows aren't exposed to direct sunlight. The longer it takes for a pillow's down-and-feather stuffing to dry, or in other words, the longer it stays wet, the more it clumps. So putting them in the dryer is the best option.

g). Pillows may catch pollen

It's crucial to monitor the pollen count on the day you will dry them. After being outside for several hours, your pillows will almost certainly capture some of the pollen in the air. Machine drying is a better alternative if you have allergies.

h). Weather dependent

If you're air-dry your pillows, the weather will play a big role in choosing when to wash them. Pillows can only be washed on a sunny, breezy day. Furthermore, you must examine the weather forecast to ensure no risk of rain.

Frequently Asked Questions On How to Dry Pillows in the Dryer.

1. How do you know if your pillow is completely dry?

A hot pillow can appear to be dryer than it is! Give your pillow a final touch test before putting it back in its pillowcase or using it to ensure it's completely dry. To check for any damp places, vigorously pat both sides.

2. Can you dry pillows on high heat?

Feather and down pillows should never be dried in the dryer on any heat level. Always utilize a no-heat air-dry setting. To keep down and feathers from clumping, use drier balls. Your down and feather pillows can also be hung to dry, but make sure they are completely dry before making the bed.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.