How to Clean Decorative Pillows at Home

Decorative pillows are a great way to add a pop of color, texture, and personality to any room in your home. However, over time, these decorative accents can accumulate dirt, dust, and stains. Learning how to clean decorative pillows at home is essential to keep them looking fresh and vibrant.

Understanding the fabric of your decorative pillows is key to determining the best cleaning method. Different fabrics require different cleaning techniques to ensure that they remain in optimal condition. From preparing the cleaning solution to spot cleaning stains and machine washing, there are several methods you can use to effectively clean your decorative pillows at home.

In this article, we will explore the various ways you can clean your decorative pillows at home, including spot cleaning, machine washing, hand washing, and air drying. We will also provide some final tips and tricks for maintaining clean decorative pillows at home. Whether you have silk, cotton, or polyester decorative pillows, this guide will help you keep them looking as good as new.

Understanding the Fabric of Your Decorative Pillows

Decorative pillows come in a variety of fabrics, and it’s important to understand the specific type of fabric your pillows are made of before attempting to clean them. Different fabrics require different cleaning methods to ensure that the decorative pillows remain in good condition and keep their vibrant colors and patterns. Common fabrics used for decorative pillows include cotton, linen, silk, wool, polyester, and blends of these materials.

Cotton is a popular choice for decorative pillows due to its durability and easy maintenance. It can typically be spot cleaned with mild detergent or machine washed in cold water on a gentle cycle. Linen is another natural fabric commonly used for decorative pillows. It is best spot cleaned with a mixture of mild soap and water and should not be exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods to prevent fading.

Silk decorative pillows add an elegant touch to any room but require more delicate care when it comes to cleaning. Avoid using water-based cleaning solutions on silk, as they can cause water spots or stains on the fabric. Instead, opt for dry cleaning or gently hand washing with specialized silk cleansers.

Polyester is a synthetic material commonly used for decorative pillows because of its resistance to wrinkles and shrinking. It can generally be safely machine washed in warm water and tumble dried on low heat.

As you can see, each fabric requires special attention when it comes time to clean decorative pillows at home. By understanding the specific fabric of your pillows, you can ensure that they stay looking fresh and vibrant for years to come.

Fabric TypeRecommended Cleaning Method
CottonSpot cleaning or machine washing in cold water
LinenSpot cleaning with mild soap and water; avoid direct sunlight
SilkDry cleaning or gentle hand washing with specialized silk cleansers
PolyesterMachine washing in warm water; tumble drying on low heat

Preparing the Cleaning Solution for Your Decorative Pillows

When it comes to cleaning decorative pillows at home, it’s essential to ensure that you use the right cleaning solution for the fabric of your pillows. Different fabrics require different cleaning solutions to avoid damaging the material. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare the perfect cleaning solution for your decorative pillows.

Identifying the Fabric

The first step in preparing a cleaning solution for your decorative pillows is to identify the fabric. Look for the care label on your pillow which should provide instructions on how to clean it. Common fabric types include cotton, linen, silk, wool, and synthetic materials such as polyester. Once you’ve identified the fabric type, you can proceed with choosing the appropriate cleaning solution.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Solution

For most decorative pillow fabrics, a gentle detergent or mild soap mixed with water is sufficient for cleaning. However, delicate fabrics like silk or wool may require a specialized cleaner designed specifically for those materials. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach as they can damage the fabric and cause discoloration. It’s important to test a small, inconspicuous area of the pillow with the cleaning solution before proceeding with full-scale cleaning.

Mixing and Testing the Solution

Once you’ve chosen the appropriate cleaning solution for your decorative pillows, mix it with water according to package instructions or in a ratio that will be gentle on your pillows. After mixing, test a small amount of the solution on a hidden area of your pillow to ensure that it does not cause any adverse effects like color bleeding or staining.

If there are no negative effects after testing, you can proceed with using this solution to clean your decorative pillows.

By following these steps and taking into consideration the fabric type of your decorative pillows, you can prepare a suitable and effective cleaning solution that will help you maintain clean and beautiful pillows in your home without causing any damage.

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Spot Cleaning Stains on Decorative Pillows

When it comes to maintaining the cleanliness of your decorative pillows, spot cleaning stains is an essential skill to have. Whether it’s a small spill or a stubborn mark, knowing how to effectively tackle stains on your decorative pillows can make a big difference in keeping them looking fresh and beautiful. Here are some simple and effective methods for spot cleaning stains on decorative pillows at home:

  • Identify the stain: The first step in spot cleaning a stain on your decorative pillow is to identify the type of stain you’re dealing with. Whether it’s food, liquid, or something else, knowing what you’re up against will help you choose the right cleaning solution.
  • Create a cleaning solution: Depending on the type of fabric your decorative pillow is made of and the type of stain you’re dealing with, you’ll need to create a cleaning solution. For example, for light-colored fabrics, you can mix a small amount of gentle detergent with water. For tougher stains, consider using a mixture of water and vinegar.
  • Blot the stain: Using a clean cloth or sponge, gently blot the stained area with the cleaning solution. Avoid rubbing the stain vigorously, as this can cause it to spread and potentially damage the fabric.

Knowing how to clean decorative pillows at home involves being able to effectively spot clean stains as they occur. With these simple tips and tricks, you can tackle any stain that comes your way and ensure that your decorative pillows stay looking their best for years to come.

Machine Washing and Drying Decorative Pillows

Decorative pillows can add style and comfort to any space, but they also require regular cleaning to maintain their beauty and freshness. Machine washing and drying decorative pillows is an effective way to remove dirt, dust, and odors, and it is relatively easy to do at home.

Before tossing your decorative pillows into the washing machine, it’s important to understand the fabric they are made of. Some decorative pillows may be made of delicate or fragile materials that are not suitable for machine washing. Always check the care instructions on the tag of your decorative pillow before attempting to clean it in the washing machine. If the tag specifies that the pillow is safe for machine washing, proceed with caution.



To prepare for machine washing your decorative pillows, you will need a mild detergent and cold water. Use a small amount of detergent to avoid excessive sudsing, which can be difficult to rinse out completely from the pillows. Additionally, consider adding an extra spin cycle at the end of the wash to ensure that all excess water is removed from the pillows before drying.

After cleaning your decorative pillows in the washing machine, it’s time to dry them thoroughly. Most decorative pillows can be safely dried in a household dryer, but again, always refer to the care instructions on the tag of your pillow. Use a low heat setting and consider adding a few clean tennis balls or dryer balls to help fluff the pillows as they dry.

Machine Washing Decorative PillowsDrying Decorative Pillows
Check care instructions before washingUse low heat setting in dryer
Use mild detergent and cold waterAdd tennis balls or dryer balls for fluffing

Hand Washing Decorative Pillows

Decorative pillows are a beautiful and versatile addition to any home decor, but they can also be a breeding ground for dirt, dust, and allergens if not properly cleaned. While some decorative pillows may be suitable for machine washing, others with delicate fabrics or intricate designs may require hand washing to ensure they retain their shape and color. Here’s how to clean decorative pillows at home through the gentle method of hand washing:

To start the hand washing process, gather the necessary supplies:

  • Mild detergent or gentle laundry soap
  • Clean basin or sink
  • Cold water
  • Soft-bristled brush

Next, fill the basin or sink with cold water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Swirl the water to create suds, then submerge the decorative pillow in the soapy water. Gently agitate the pillow in the water, pressing down on any heavily soiled areas to release dirt and grime.

After allowing the pillow to soak for 15-20 minutes, drain the soapy water from the basin and rinse the pillow thoroughly with cold water to remove all traces of detergent. Gently press down on the pillow as you rinse to help squeeze out excess water without wringing or twisting, which can damage delicate fabrics.

Once rinsed, lay the decorative pillow flat on a clean towel and carefully roll it up, applying gentle pressure to help absorb excess water. Unroll the towel and transfer the pillow to a drying rack or clean, dry surface away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Allow it to air dry completely before fluffing and returning it to its rightful place in your home decor.

By following these simple steps for hand washing decorative pillows at home, you can keep your beloved accent pieces looking fresh and vibrant for years to come.

Air Drying and Fluffing Decorative Pillows

After cleaning your decorative pillows, it’s important to properly dry and fluff them to maintain their shape and appearance. Air drying is the best method for preserving the fabric and preventing damage from high heat. To air dry your decorative pillows, find a well-ventilated area with plenty of sunlight and place the pillows flat on a clean surface. Make sure to flip them every few hours to ensure even drying.

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Fluffing your decorative pillows after they have dried is essential to restore their fullness and shape. Gently pat and shake the pillows to distribute the filling evenly. You can also use a fabric brush or a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to fluff the pillows and remove any remaining dust or debris. Avoid using excessive force as this could damage the fabric or stitching.

In addition, consider adding a couple of clean tennis balls or dryer balls to the dryer when fluff-drying decorative pillows in the machine. The balls will help break up clumps of filling and prevent them from becoming lumpy during the drying process. Once your decorative pillows have been properly air dried and fluffed, they will be ready to be placed back on your furniture, adding charm and comfort to your living spaces.

These are just some simple steps on how to air dry and fluff decorative pillows at home after cleaning them. By following these steps, you can ensure that your decorative pillows remain clean, fresh, and beautiful for years to come.

Final Tips and Tricks for Maintaining Clean Decorative Pillows at Home

Regular Maintenance

To keep your decorative pillows clean and fresh, it’s important to regularly fluff and vacuum them. This will help remove any dust, dirt, or debris that may have accumulated on the surface of the pillows. Additionally, rotating and flipping your pillows will help distribute wear and tear more evenly, ensuring that they maintain their shape and appearance for a longer period of time.

Use Pillow Protectors

One effective way to protect your decorative pillows from stains and spills is by using pillow protectors. These covers act as a barrier between the pillow and any potential messes, making it easier to clean and maintain the pillows over time. Pillow protectors are also machine washable, so you can simply remove them and throw them in the laundry along with your regular bedding.

Professional Cleaning

If you find that your decorative pillows are particularly delicate or have stubborn stains that won’t come out with at-home methods, consider taking them to a professional cleaner. Professional cleaning services have the expertise and tools to effectively clean and restore decorative pillows without causing any damage to the fabric or embellishments. Be sure to communicate any specific concerns or requirements when dropping off your pillows for cleaning.

Overall, maintaining clean decorative pillows at home requires consistent care and attention. With proper routine maintenance, protective measures, and occasional professional cleaning, you can ensure that your decorative pillows remain beautiful and fresh for years to come.

Conclusion and Recap of Cleaning Decorative Pillows at Home

In conclusion, decorative pillows are a stylish and versatile way to add personality and charm to any room. However, they can also easily collect dust, dirt, and stains over time, making it essential to know how to clean them properly. Understanding the fabric of your decorative pillows is crucial in determining the best cleaning method, whether it’s spot cleaning stains, machine washing and drying, or hand washing.

When it comes to cleaning decorative pillows at home, it’s important to remember that prevention is key. Regularly fluffing and airing out your pillows can help prevent dirt buildup and extend the time between deep cleanings. Additionally, using removable pillow covers can make laundering easier and protect the inner pillow from spills and stains.

In this article, we’ve discussed various methods for cleaning decorative pillows at home, from spot cleaning stains to machine washing and air-drying. By following these tips and tricks for maintaining clean decorative pillows at home, you can ensure that your pillows remain fresh, vibrant, and inviting for years to come. With the right care and attention to detail, you can keep your decorative pillows looking as good as new.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Clean Decorative Pillows That Can’t Be Washed?

Decorative pillows that can’t be washed can be cleaned by spot cleaning with a mild detergent and water. Use a soft bristle brush to gently scrub any stains, then blot with a clean cloth and let air dry.

Can You Put Decorative Pillows in the Washing Machine?

While it is possible to put some decorative pillows in the washing machine, it’s important to check the care label first. If the label indicates that they are machine washable, use a gentle cycle and mild detergent, then air dry or use low heat in the dryer.

How Do You Wash Decorative Down Pillows?

Washing down pillows requires a delicate approach to avoid damaging the feathers. Use a small amount of mild detergent in warm water, then gently squeeze the pillow to work the soapy water through. Rinse thoroughly and squeeze out excess water before air drying completely.



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