How to Clean a Body Pillow

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You have a wide variety of luxe and cozy body pillows ranging from anime merchandise to ordinary pillows in the market. But, unlike regular pillows, body pillows require a little more attention while cleaning. This step-by-step guide on how to clean a body pillow will help you.

How To Clean A Body Pillow

Material Required

  • Mild powdered detergent
  • Oxidizing detergent
  • Large size tub
  • Wool dryer balls
  • Few ice cubes
  • Dry cloth
Long body pillow on a bed

Step #1: Identify the Filling of the Body Pillow

The very first step, to begin with, is to identify the stuffing of your body pillow. As you know, there are various types available in the market like cotton, down, down alternative (down feathers), polyester, latex, memory foam, etc.

All of these materials are different from each other in quality, and that’s why there is no single method to wash all of them.

To know more about your body pillow, check the instruction tag stitched on its side.

Step #2: Choose the Right Materials to Clean the Body Pillow

Picking the right material to clean your body pillow is the second most crucial step. Not every type of stain is the same. For instance, if there is an oil/grease mark on your pillow, then that can be removed using mild detergent along with few drops of dishwashing liquid. 

But you can’t use the same method to remove sticky adhesives and blood stains from your body pillow.

Moreover, choosing the right detergent for your body pillow is also very important. You cannot use harsh detergents to wash your pillow. That’s why mild powdered detergents are recommended.

Refer to the instruction label on the side of your pillow for better clarity. Here is a video on how you can choose the right supplies to clean your body pillow.

Step #3: Pick the Correct Washing Process

Some of the fillings are delicate and cannot be loaded in the washing machine, while some cannot be washed. Thus, one needs to determine the compatible method of cleaning to their cushiony body pillows.

Usually, people employ the following cleaning methods for their body pillow depending upon what type of filling it has.

Method #1: Machine Wash

Today almost every kind of body pillow can be washed in the machine. Machine wash is one of the most convenient methods of dry-cleaning and requires less time and energy. Materials like down, down-feathers, and cotton stuffed pillows can be washed in washing machines.

  • Toss your body pillow inside the washing machine.
  • If you have a front load washing machine, fold your pillow in half and toss it inside the machine.
  • Don’t wash your socks or any other clothing in the washing machine when you are cleaning your body pillow.
  • Use powdered laundry detergent instead of liquid machine wash liquid. It is because; liquid soap can cause clumping of the feathers, cotton inside the pillow and thus, spoil the texture of the pillow.
  • Use warm to cold water for cleaning. Run the machine on gentle cycle mode and select the second cycle for better cleaning.
Laundry room with washing machine and dryer

Method #2: Hand or Manual Wash

Unlike polystyrene and cotton, not every material can withstand machine wash. Pillow stuffing like latex and memory foam are advised to be handled manually.

Memory foam is very similar to a sponge that can absorb moisture from the surrounding. This makes it a perfect ground for molds and mildew to breed.

Meanwhile, latex pillows are delicate and thus, can get damaged during machine wash. To clean your body pillow(s) manually:

  • Grab a big tub for cleaning.
  • Fill the tub with warm-cold water.
  • Take a few milligrams of mild laundry detergent and mix it with water.
  • Soak your body pillow(s) in the solution and gently clean your pillow using your hands in a circular motion.
  • Squeeze the detergent solution out of the pillow and repeat the process once again.
  • Throw away the dirty water and refill the tub with clean, warm to cold water.
  • Soak your body pillow(s) in the water and squeeze out the excess lather.
  • Repeat the process until the water comes out clean.

Method #3: Spot Cleaning Method

If your pillow has minor spot marks, then spot cleaning is best. You don’t have to cleanse the entire pillow-like in the above methods. All you have to do is,

  • Grab a damp cloth and a mild laundry detergent.
  • Apply the detergent over the spot and rub it using the damp cloth in circular motions.
  • You can also add oxidizing detergent along with regular detergent for better results.
  • Repeat the process until the stain fades away.
  • Clean that area using another damp cloth. Use warm water to clean dry stains.


If there is a stain on your body pillow because of adhesives, use ice cubes to make the gum hard. Next, scrape the adhesive using your fingers or a knife and repeat the above steps.

Woman leaning on her body pillow while looking at her phone

Method #4: Dry Cleaning Methods

In the ‘No Cleaning ‘cleaning method, you don’t have to wash your body pillow(s). As per the instructions, these pillows can get spoiled after coming in contact with excess water. Thus, one can pat their pillows or blow dry them to make them clean.

You can also put them under sunlight the whole day. This will kill the germs breeding over its surface and make the pillow fluffy.

Step #4: Dry the Body Pillow

Once you are done cleaning your body pillow(s), it’s time to dry them. The pillows that are machine-washed can be dried in the dryer. For pillow stuffing like down feathers, you can use tennis balls or wool dryer balls for quick drying as they take a long to dry in the dryer.

For manually washed pillow(s), you can dry them under sunlight in your outdoor concrete, or do a quick blow-dry. Follow the instructions carefully while putting them under sunlight. Some pillow(s) cannot be dried under direct sunlight, while some cannot be blow-dried. Hence, pick the right way of drying your body pillow to avoid lumps.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Freshen Up My Body Pillow(s)?

Body pillows can smell awful as they absorb your sweat. And since the pillows aren’t washed in a while, the smell can turn intolerable.

This situation often arises in foam pillows as the sponge absorbs the sweat from your body. But you can freshen them up with ease. Just follow this guide to refresh your body pillows and get rid of the stinky smell.

How Shall I Get Rid Of Blood Stains From My Body Pillow?

The pillow surface gets pigmented if the blood stain isn’t removed on time. To remove blood stains from the body pillow, take 1 cup of mild laundry detergent, 1 cup of chlorine bleach, and ½ cup of borax.

Mix it well and apply it to the stain. Wash the solution and repeat the process to obtain better results.


Research reveals that body pillows serve as an excellent pain reliever while performing upper endoscopic examinations. 

It promotes better blood circulation and relieves joint pain. Thus, it promotes a healthy sleep cycle for its users.

But, after few months, these pillow surfaces can become unhygienic to use. Some may even impart a foul smell. Therefore, they have to be cleaned every 3-6 months.

By following this step-by-step manual, you can clean your body pillow and enjoy a healthy good night’s sleep once again.