How To Clean Throw Pillows That Have No Zipper?

Throw pillows provide that warmth and coziness to any room that no other home decorative piece can. For cleaning purposes, you need to pick throw pillows that have covers fitted with handy zippers. Here's the problem: how do you clean pillows without a zipper? Well, it's not as hard as you think. We've carefully scavenged the internet to show you a concrete method to clean your zipperless throw pillows. 

Here's a list of steps you can use to get the dirt off non-removable throw pillow covers:

  1. Get rid of any fur, hair, or dirt with a vacuum cleaner.
  2. Perform a thorough spot test.
  3. Hand-wash your pillows. 
  4. Sanitize and deodorize your pillows using a steam cleaner.

These steps look pretty straightforward, but there's more to each one than meets the eye. Lucky for you, we've taken our time to comprehensively expound on each one so that you gain a clearer understanding of what to do. After reading this detailed, well-researched post, we hope you'll think twice about shopping for a new cushion cover!

Grey comfortable couch with colored throw pillows in living room, How To Clean Throw Pillows That Have No Zipper?

How To Clean Throw Pillows That Have No Zipper

1. Get Rid Of Any Fur, Hair, Or Dirt With A Vacuum Cleaner

Kickstart the cleaning process by using your vacuum cleaner on your pillow. Doing so will prepare it for some even more thorough cleaning later on. Since most vacuum cleaners include an upholstery attachment, you won't need to spend extra on that. 


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Vacuum cleaners do a remarkable job at clearing out any fur, hair, or dirt from any fabric. Once finished vacuuming, give your pillow a soft wipe down. The best way to do this is by using a damp sponge that's slightly soaked in some warm water. 

2. Perform A Thorough Spot Test 

It's always a good thing to do a spot test if you're not sure of your pillow's fabric type. Spot testing is particularly useful for light-colored fabrics that tend to run easily. Use the same water temperature you usually use on your pillows and mix it with some mild detergent. 

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Pour a little of the detergent mixture on a small part of the fabric first. Some fabrics react harshly to some detergents, and most leave unsightly stains. If there's little to no adverse reaction, proceed to the next step. Alternatively, if you notice an adverse reaction, try another detergent. 

3. Hand-Wash Your Pillows

For throw pillows without zippers, we strongly recommend regular hand-washing above all other cleaning methods. It's the safest way to ensure that your throw pillows don't get damaged in any way. 

Handwashing your pillows must be done the right way, or else you might not achieve your desired results. Here's what you'll need for this procedure:

  • Bathtub, bucket, or basin
  • Mild detergent
  • Upholstery shampoo

Step 1: Fill your vessel with a sufficient level of lukewarm water that can accommodate your pillows.

Step 2: Add a tablespoon of mild detergent or upholstery shampoo. Mix the solution with gloved-hands until foam develops on the surface.

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Step 3: Submerge your pillows into the soapy water.

Step 4: Scrub each pillow precisely as you would with ordinary clothes. Froth the pillows around the water to ensure the water gets inside throughout. 

Step 5: When you're sure the pillows are clean enough, rinse them through some cold running water until it becomes soap-free.

Step 6: DO NOT dry your pillows in the sunlight – the heat might be too intense and ruin your fabric. Instead, hang them under warm shelters until the water dries. 

4. Sanitize And Deodorize Your Pillows Using A Steam Cleaner

Although this step isn't necessary, it does help give your pillows a clean finish. Steam cleaners use a generous amount of heat to sanitize and deodorize for a remarkably thorough clean. 

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By the time you've finished steam cleaning, your pillow will be somewhat damp. You can either leave it shaded, outdoors to dry, or place it in front of a fan for a quicker dry. Use steam cleaners on a wide variety of furniture. 

You could decide to extend the same cleaning method on your sofas for a matching level of cleanliness as your throw pillows. Doing this once or twice a month – or even a week – is a sure way to keep your living room fresh and clean at all times.

Can I Machine Wash "Spot Clean Only" Pillows?

Pillows with a "Spot Clean Only" tag should neither be machine washed nor dry cleaned. These materials are fragile, hand-made, and often contain different kinds of decorative trims such as delicate lace. 

In this case, hand washing the pillow is the safest cleaning option you have. Clean it with either steam or a local spotting agent. If you use cleaning solvents on a "Spot Clean Only" pillow, they may leave some residual watermarks that affect its overall appearance.

The next time you're buying a pillow with a "Spot Clean Only" tag, ask the salesperson for some tips on how to clean it. Since you can only hand wash it, you need to find out exactly how to do it to avoid costly mistakes. Yes, throw pillows can be expensive. Read all about it on Why Are Throw Pillows so Expensive?

How Do You Disinfect A Pillow Without Washing it? 

Before washing your pillows, you need to consider the fact that not all pillows are water-friendly. Clean a water-resistant fabric pillow by using less concentrated household bleach or an alternative cleaning agent that contains at least 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. 

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Into a quart of water, add four teaspoons of bleach and mix it into a spraying bottle. Spray the solution on every area of your pillow until it's somewhat damp, then rinse it with clean water. Evenly spraying will help to prevent any damage or discoloration. 

When finished spraying, wash your hands with running water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

How Can I Freshen My Pillows Without Washing Them?

If your pillows have a pungent smell that you'd like to get rid of, you should know that ordinary detergent isn't the only way to do it. Depending on the intensity of the smell, you can use a fair amount of baking soda.

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Baking soda is considered as one of the best traditional odor neutralizers in the market today. Not only does it mask the pungent smell, but it also eliminates the source of the odor to keep your pillow smelling fresh for the longest time. 

Using it on your pillow is pretty straightforward. Just sprinkle some baking soda on every area of your pillow. Allow 30 minutes for the soda to take effect, then vacuum it thoroughly. Next, spray a light scent of vinegar over the surface. Use a white cloth or sponge to wipe away any excess vinegar. 

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Air-dry the pillow under non-humid conditions for at least a day, and voila! A fresh-smelling pillow ready for use.

How Do You Get Stains Out Of Decorative Pillows?

If your pillow has any stubborn stains on it, there's a lot you can do to get rid of it. As with detergents, you need to first perform a spot test on any stain removal agent you want to use. You'll be pleased to know that most pillow fabrics do pretty well with the variety of stain removers in the market today. 

On that note, here are some common stains and how you can quickly get rid of them:


Sprinkle some cornstarch over any oil stain and allow it to stay overnight. The next day, clean the cornstarch using a brush and soap solution.

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Dab a soft cloth dipped in some rubbing alcohol over the ink stain. 

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Soak your pillow in some cold water for about 15 to 20 minutes. Pour some white vinegar over the stain, let it soak for 10 minutes. Hand wash your pillow and allow it to dry. 

Can I Put Throw Pillows In The Dryer? 

Quickly put most machine washable throw pillows in the dryer with zero risks of damage. In fact, dryers preserve the fabric's decorative appearance long after cleaning. 

When using a dryer, you need to understand that different pillows have varying dryer settings. We recommend that you adjust your dryer's temperature down to the low-heat cycle. Here are some of the materials in pillows and their respective settings:

  • For feather-filled pillows, adjust your dryer to the "no heat/fluff/air" setting.
  • For synthetic pillows (those made from thick rayon or polyester fibers), switch your dryer to the lowest heat. 
  • For memory foam pillows, avoid putting them in the dryer. The heat will gradually melt and ruin the foam. The safest option for this type of pillow is air-drying. 

If you need more information about this topic, please read How To Wash Throw Pillows [5 Easy Steps]

Final Thoughts

Because your throw pillow has no zipper, that should be no reason to skip cleaning. Use the simple method and straightforward tips provided in this post to get the best out of your decorative home accessory. 

Remember to do the spot check first before anything else! Spot check immensely helps if you're not sure about the kind of material used.

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