How To Clean Toddler Pillows? A Detail Guide

Your toddler uses their pillow daily. Their pillows are often drenched in saliva, sweat, and oil or food stains. It’s essential that their pillows are always clean to not only keep them comfortable, but to avoid allergies and rashes.

So, how do you clean pillows? Is there a proper way to wash and dry them?Keep reading to discover the best way to clean toddler pillows, with tips and tricks along the way.

Also, find out when it’s probably best to just throw them away (plus, some recycling tips.)


How Do You Clean Pillows?

Some will simply spot clean the pillow, but you can use a washing machine for a more thorough cleaning.

See the pillow company’s description for guidance on washing care instructions. The best way to clean and wash your toddler pillow is to follow the instructions.

When you purchase a pillow, the website, packaging or label will usually contain cleaning instructions. Every pillow will have their own special way of cleaning and caring for them.

The manufacturer usually knows best when it comes to cleaning their product, so you might want to take their lead.

For example, Dreamtown Kids Toddler​​​​ Pillow’s care instructions are the following:

“Machine wash cold with like colors. Use only non-chlorine bleach as needed. Tumble dry with no heat to avoid clumping.”

Little Sleepy Head Toddler Pillow, on the other hand, recommends that you “Wash on cold, gentle cycle, and dry on low. Fluff and love again.

Do you need new toddler pillows? See the Best Toddler Pillows – A Complete Review.

Pillow Cleaning Tips & Tricks

It helps if your pillows are easy-to-clean, to begin with.

So, when you go pillow shopping, try to pick toddler pillows that are machine washable and dryable.

Pillows made out of a poly/cotton blend are affordable and cost-effective. This also allows it to be machine-washed and dried without worry for easy cleaning and care. When a pillow’s material is 100% cotton, on the other hand, it tends to shrink.

Some pillows are also mold and mildew resistant. Resistance to these types of dirt means that you won’t have to worry too much about mold or mildew on your toddler’s pillow. Usually, synthetic pillow fills and cotton-poly blends are the best options for resisting mold, mildew, and mites.

Dirty pillows or certain materials in pillows can cause allergies and exacerbate pre-existing allergies. To avoid an allergic reaction, there are toddler pillows which are 100% hypoallergenic.

However, if your pillow is not machine-washable and heat-proof, there are ways around it. To keep your pillow clean, regularly change and wash your pillowcases.

Before washing your toddler’s pillow, here are some more handy tips.

Unsure whether your current pillow will make it through the machine wash cycle? Check the condition by folding the pillow in half. If the pillow doesn’t spring open, the material inside will most likely break apart when machine washed.

Pop two pillows into the machine and wash them together to evenly distribute the load.

What You’ll Need

Check out the section below to find out what you’ll need when cleaning pillows.

You won’t need much. Mostly, its less than a handful of items. Gather what you’ll need below to get started!

  • 2 Pillows

  • Low-sudsing, high-efficiency liquid laundry detergent

  • Tennis balls or wool laundry balls

Now that we have our items ready, what are the steps to cleaning a toddler pillow?

How Do You Clean Pillows?

We’ve summed up the toddler pillow down to six steps, including drying. So, if you’re wondering how you can clean and dry their pillow, read on.

See the section below for step-by-step instructions to wash and dry toddler pillows.

1. As mentioned before, check the care label of your pillow to ensure that you properly wash your pillows. You’ll also want to know whether they can be run through the cycle.

2. Set the water temperature on your washing machine based on the label’s instructions (warm or cold).

3. Place two pillows in the machine (two to balance the load).4. Add a small amount of mild detergent and start the machine.5. To ensure that all the soap has been removed, run the pillows through the rinse cycle another time. (So, that’s 2x through the rinse cycle)

6. Finally, dry your pillows according to the care instructions. If your pillows are dryable, you can place some tennis balls in the dryer for faster dry time. It also helps decrease any chances of clumping. You may also air dry by placing them on a flat surface or out in the sun for a couple of hours.

When to Replace Your Toddler Pillows

toddler & pillow

Worn out old pillows are flat in certain spots and can feel uncomfortable.

The rule of thumb is to replace your pillow every couple of years. Some pillows last longer, but it’ll depend on the quality and construction of their materials.

You may want to replace them when there are lumps in the filler materials or foam. You might notice permanent stains from oil or sweat.

However, instead of throwing out old pillows, you can recycle them!

Your dog will appreciate them as padding for their dog bed. You can also reuse the stuffing for throw pillows.

To Round Up

Many parents forget to clean their toddler pillows. Pillows tend to be neglected as there usually is a pillow cover to protect the actual pillow. However, dust, mold, bacteria, and other allergens accumulate.

Remember to wash your toddler pillows at least twice every year. If you happen to live in a warmer, tropical climate, clean your pillows four to six times per year. Pillow covers are great for ensuring that they stay extra clean and hygienic!

Purchase dirt-resistant pillows that can be washed and dried using your machine for no-fuss cleaning.

Sarah Morgan

Chief editor of and striving mom-extraordinaire.Let me share and inspire you with my daily struggles to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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