Reader's Questions: Fluffing Flat Pillows?

Reader's Questions: Fluffing Flat Pillows?
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From Old Fashioned Tips

I have a couple down feather pillows that I have had for a few years. Right after I got them, I sewed pillowcases over the pillows to help keep the feathers in, and I just put our decorative pillowcases over the sewed ones. The problem is that the pillows have begun to feel limp and not fluffy anymore. Is there any way to revive them without buying new ones? ~Barbara

From Heloise's Household Helpline:

Feather and down pillows can be cleaned in your machine, but make sure there are no slits or tears in the covers and that the ticking is secure. For balance, load two pillows at a time and use only a small amount of detergent. Set the machine on a delicate cycle and give the pillows a second rinse them in the dryer with several clean tennis shoes, which will aid in the fluffing process. It is also a good idea to take them out periodically and fluff by hand; use your fingers to break up any clumps. Pillows will take longer to dry than a normal load of clothes. If they have a musty smell, set them in the sun for a couple of hours.

Regarding problems with flat down pillows. I am an executive housekeeper at a hotel and we use feather pillows and foam pillows, when we wash them, we throw tennis balls in the dryer with them. They come out nice and fluffy, just like new. Hope this helps. ~Jean

On the down pillows, whenever we washed ours and dried them in the dryer we always put a couple of new tennis balls in the dryer with the pillows and that helps keep them from clumping as they dry. We do the same thing with our down sleeping bags. ~Reader

I also wash my feather pillow from time to time but in-between times I just put them in the dryer on the lowest setting and for about 15 minutes. This fluffs them up perfectly if you put a fabric sheet in too it will freshen the smell as well. ~Lola

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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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