The method used for cleaning throw pillows depends on what type of pillows you have. While some can be tossed into a front loading washing machine, others require that they only be spot-cleaned or hand-washed to prevent damage.
The first step is determining the proper cleaning method for your pillows. Look for a manufacturer’s care label on your pillow. Some will say dry clean only and others might say to hand wash the pillows with a mild detergent. Still others will tell you to spot clean only.
If no care label is available, determine the fabric type. Silks and velvets typically require the use of dry cleaning fluid. For other materials, like cotton or polyester, gentle washing with water is safe.
Do a spot test of the fabric by using a white towel with the proper cleaning solution for the fabric. Blot it against the throw pillow and hold it for 30 seconds. Then inspect the towel for any color transfer, allow to dry, and inspect again to ensure the color has not faded.
Sponge cleaning is possible for some throw pillows. You can clean them with a good upholstery shampoo and a good-quality sponge. Work the foam shampoo into the pillows in circles, paying special attention to piping and other crevices. Blot the excess moisture and shampoo with clean white towels.
If dry cleaning is indicated, use a clean and dry sponge dipped into the dry cleaning solution to clean the fabric using the same circular motion, working it into the piping, creases and folds of the pillow. Again, blot it with clean white towels.