Washing throw pillows

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Pillows are a great and relatively inexpensive way to add some pizazz
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Washing throw pillows is easy but some may have to go to the dry cleaners

If you are on a tight budget - and even if you arenít - throw pillows are a great way to spruce up your home.

You can get a lot of mileage out of throw pillows and it wonít set you back financially. Throw pillows add color, design, texture and sometimes even a humorous element into the interior of your home. And the best part, when they get dirty, which they will if your life includes children and pets, washing throw pillows is usually simple.

There is a multitude of styles to choose from when shopping for pillows: contemporary throw pillows, modern retro, traditional and classic, country pillows, urban casual and global pillows.

Likewise there are as many materials to choose from including hemp pillows, linen, faux fur, rayon/viscose, silk, suede and microfiber suede, velvet, tapestry, sheepskin and wool, outdoor fabric pillows, cotton and chenille.

Pillows get quite a work out. People sit on them, put their heads on them and kids engage in pillow fights. Consequently, they do need to be washed occasionally to get rid of dirt, grime, odors and soiled areas. Pillows can also harbor bacteria if they are handled by a lot of people and pets.

How you wash your throw pillow depends on the fabric. Make sure that you read the cleaning instructions on the label before you proceed.

Many homeowners simply toss their throw pillows into the washing machine on gentle cycle, cold water, and then dry them in the dryer and thatís it. They come out looking like new. If there are bad stains on the pillow, apply a spot removal treatment before tossing the pillow in the washer.

If the cover of the pillow is removable, take it off and wash it separately from the pillow itself. If the cover zips, zip it shut before washing. When you retrieve the cover from the washing machine, stretch it out to its original shape. You may prefer to line dry the cover or you can toss it in the dryer. However, there is a risk that the heat of the dryer may shrink the cover.

If the pillow has elaborate details on it, such as embroidery or embellishments or any type of fragile material, it may not be suitable for the washing machine. Spot clean the pillow cover using cold water. If there are serious stains on the pillow cover, such as coffee or wine, you will need to take it to the cleaners.

Polyester and fiber-filled pillows with cotton or polyester covers wash well in the washing machine. However, some throw pillows canít be washed, including those made of silk, suede or leather. These should be taken to the dry cleaners.

If your pillow is foam filled it can be washed. If the filler is actually solid foam, remove the foam and soak it in a sink in warm water using a gentle detergent. Rinse the foam until the water runs clean and squeeze out excess water. Let the foam air dry. Donít put it in the dryer.

Let the foam or a newly washed foam-filled pillow dry completely in an area that is well ventilated because if the stuffing of the pillows stays damp, itís going to have a mildew odor, which is nasty.

If your pillows are old and have stitching on them that has seen better days, itís better not to put them into the washing machine because the stitching may come undone altogether.

If you decide that your throw pillows are so tired that cleaning won't help, re-cover them or toss them out and buy new throw pillows.

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