How to Wash Foam Pillows in a Washing Machine?

Foam pillows are popular for many sleepers because of their comfort and support. However, like any bedding, foam pillows must be cleaned regularly to remove oils, sweat, and dirt that can build up over time. Washing foam pillows in a washing machine is usually safe if you take precautions. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on properly washing foam pillows in a washing machine by pain free aussies.

Prepare the Pillows

Before washing, check the care instructions on your pillows. Some foam pillows should only be spot cleaned. If machine washing is allowed, prepare the pillows by:

  • Remove the pillowcases and wash them separately if needed.
  • Shake off any loose debris or dirt from the foam pillows.
  • Spot treat any visible stains with a small amount of laundry detergent or spot remover.
  • Zip up any foam pillows in covers to prevent the filling from getting wet.

Set Up the Washing Machine

Wash the foam pillows in a front loading washing machine, which is gentler on the pillows compared to top-loading models.

  • Wash 2 pillows at most per load to leave room for agitation and water circulation.
  • Use the delicate or gentle cycle setting. Set the machine to cold water.
  • Add a mild laundry detergent or one made specifically for foam and down. Use less detergent than usual.

Read Also - 8 Methods on How to Deodorize Your Pillows

Wash and Rinse the Pillows

With the washing machine prepared, add the foam pillows. For best results:

  • Allow the machine to agitate for only 1-2 minutes then pause or stop the cycle if available on your model. Prolonged agitation can damage the foam.
  • Once washed, allow extra rinse cycles to remove all traces of detergent which can degrade foam and cause odor.

Dry the Pillows

After washing foam pillows, it's important to dry them thoroughly and as quickly as possible. This helps prevent mold or mildew growth.

  • Do not place foam pillows in the dryer, which can melt foam fillings.
  • Squeeze pillows to remove excess water and allow to air dry completely before using or storing.
  • Dry pillows in sunlight when possible, which naturally kills microbes.
  • Fluff pillows periodically as they dry to prevent matting.

Frequency and Cautions

  • Wash foam pillows every 3-6 months for health and hygiene. Wash more frequently if you sweat heavily.
  • Check for colorfastness on a hidden part of your pillow before washing. Discoloration can happen.
  • Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners which can damage foam fillings.
  • Wash foam pillows separately from other laundry.
  • Replace old foam pillows that are misshapen or yellowed. Washing cannot restore them.

With some care, washing foam pillows in the washing machine is straightforward. Proper drying is key for ensuring your pillows stay fresh and keep their shape. Investing in protective covers can also prolong the lifespan of your foam pillows between washes.

FAQ About Washing Foam Pillows

Can you put memory foam pillows in the washer?

Memory foam pillows can be washed in the washing machine but require extra care. Check the tag first, then use a delicate cycle, minimal detergent, and air dry the pillows completely before use.

How do you disinfect foam pillows?

You can disinfect foam pillows by washing them with hot water, drying them in sunlight, using a pillow-safe disinfectant spray, or spot cleaning with a disinfectant solution. This will kill germs and remove oils that can accumulate on pillows.

How do you get yellow stains out of foam pillows?

To remove yellow stains from foam pillows, make a paste with baking soda and water. Rub it gently onto the stains and let sit for a few hours before washing. For severe stains, use an oxygen based bleach. Test on an inconspicuous area first.

Can you put foam pillows in the dryer?

It's best to air dry foam pillows to prevent the heat of the dryer from melting the foam fill material. Tumble drying can also lead to shrinkage or misshapen pillows. Dry flat or line dry foam pillows instead.

How often should you wash foam pillows?

It's recommended to wash foam pillows every 3-6 months for optimal hygiene. Wash more frequently if you sweat a lot at night or live in hot, humid environments. Spot clean pillows whenever you notice stains or odors developing. Proper air circulation between the pillow and pillowcase also helps extend time between washes.


Washing foam pillows properly is simple and ensures they remain fresh and comfortable for sleep. With some basic preparation, a gentle wash cycle, and thorough drying, foam pillows can be kept clean and sanitary for years of continuous use. Follow these guidelines to extend the life of your foam pillows and save money on constant replacement. Investing in washable covers provides an extra layer of protection too.