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Can You Wash Latex Foam Pillows?

Do you own a natural latex pillow? If so, then this article is for you. Latex pillows are great because they last much longer than traditional foam or down pillows and provide more support. However, like any other type of pillow, they need to be cleaned now and again to avoid the buildup of bacteria which can cause odour or allergies. This guide will give some tips on how to clean your natural latex pillow and what not to do when cleaning it!

As a general rule, latex pillows can NOT be washed in a washing machine without the risk of severely damaging the latex foam. However, by using cold water and a mild detergent or isopropyl alcohol, you can safely wash latex foam pillows.

You should avoid placing your natural latex pillow in the dryer because the heat can cause the pillow filling to vulcanise or melt.

You should make sure to wash your natural latex pillows at least once a year to help maintain good hygiene or when you spill food or other substances on latex foam.

The rest of this article will explain each step you should take to clean your latex pillow and some cleaning methods you should avoid.

How to Wash Latex Foam Pillows

Things You’ll Need

  • 1 cup warm water
  • Large container
  • 3 to 4 drops of mild liquid dish detergent
  • 2 white cotton cloths
  • 2 large towels
  • Isopropyl alcohol

In general, you should always first check with the cleaning instructions on the label of your pillow cover.

If there are no cleaning instructions on your latex pillows, you can also consider speaking with a cleaning company or dry-cleaner for further guidance.

General Latex Pillow Washing

This is how you can best wash your latex pillow without damaging them:

Spot Cleaning:

How to remove stains from your latex pillow:

  • Dab away excess moisture – a freshly stained pillow should be dabbed with a clean, white cloth in order to remove any excess moisture. Avoid using coloured clothes to avoid the dye may transfer. Do not rub the stain with an aggressive motion since this may damage the latex foam and push the stain deeper.
  • Apply the isopropyl alcohol – take a clean white cloth and wet it with isopropyl alcohol. Gently dab at the stain with the wetted cloth. Keep the stain from spreading by dabbing it from the outer edge toward the centre.
  • Air dry – After the stain has gone, air-dry your pillow fully before you use it. Don’t place it in the dryer.


It is best to use isopropyl alcohol in most cases, but a mild detergent is sometimes required for more difficult stains.

It is critical not to rub too strongly because this can make the stain worse and damage the latex foam.

Rinsing Latex Pillows:

  • Remove the pillow cover – unzip your pillow cover if possible and clean according to the instructions on the label.
  • Rinse your pillow in the sink or bathtub – rinse the dirty part or the entire pillow under the tap using cold water. Make sure to avoid letting the pillow absorb too much water by not letting it sit in the water.
  • Prepare a mild detergent solution – to dissolve dirt and grease, use a teaspoon of mild detergent (dishwashing liquid) per gallon of water into the large container.
  • Submerge the pillow- you need to push down on the pillow into the detergent solution so that it penetrates the foam and removes the dirt and bacteria. Don’t be tempted to twist, wring, or push the pillow because it is made of latex foam that is prone to tear if wet.
  • Rinse out the detergent- empty your container, clean it with water, and then filter and refill it with clear water. Place the pillow in the water, and repeatedly press downward until all the soap has been expelled.
  • Press between towels the pillow should be pressed between two towels in order to wick up as much liquid as possible. This should be repeated at least 10 times as the liquid will be deeply embedded into the latex foam.
  • Air out – before putting your pillowcase back on, you’ll want to air dry your latex foam pillow until it’s completely dry. Avoid using direct sunlight or placing the pillow in the dryer.


The deep cleaning process can remove more deep-rooted dirt and bacteria embedded within the latex foam.

The best practice is to deep clean your latex foam pillow only once a year. It would be best if you prevented moisture retention, which can lead to mould, mildew, odour, and material degradation. At the same time, you need to prevent the detergents from detrimentally affecting the foams.

Also, natural latex foam naturally is antimicrobial and hypoallergenic, which may reduce the need for frequent deep cleaning.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Latex Foam

Here are some things to avoid while caring for your pillow to prevent damage and extend its life:

  • Avoid the washing machine – this can cause your pillow to tear and could damage the foam.
  • Avoid baking soda-
  • Avoid sun drying – latex foam is highly sensitive to sunlight.
  • Avoid the dryer – the heat can cause the materials to melt and become distorted.
  • Avoid bleach – harsh chemicals like bleach can cause the foam to break down.
  • Avoid wring – twisting latex foam can cause it to tear.
  • Avoid warm water –  warm water may help to increase bacteria and damage the foam. Using cold water can avoid these problems.
  • Avoid using damp foam pillows– a damp latex foam pillow can produce mould if the pillowcase is placed on it.

When you accidentally wash a foam pillow in the washing machine, dry it with towels and let it air dry. Make sure not to twist the foam as this may cause it to tear.

Conclusion: Spot and Light Cleaning Is Best

A solution of cold water and mild detergent or isopropyl alcohol is recommended for cleaning natural latex foam pillows. It would help if you then rinsed the pillows without completely submerging them in the water. The full explanation for cleaning a latex pillow is outlined above.

With a light clean, you will remove much of the surface dirt and grease without submerging the pillows too much so that they become difficult to dry out.

Therefore, deep cleaning should be applied sparingly – spot cleaning can be used as needed.

Common Latex Pillow Cleaning Questions

What Happens if You Wash a Latex Foam Pillow in the Machine?

When you wash a latex pillow in a washing machine, you risk tearing and damaging the foam. As the rinse cycle begins, the foam will begin to absorb water which increases the weight of the pillow, and the rotations then cause the foam to tear.

This also soaks the pillows, which can make them difficult to dry.

What Should You Do if You Washed Your Latex Foam Pillow in the Machine?

When you accidentally wash a foam pillow in the washing machine, dry it with towels and let it air dry. Make sure not to twist the foam as this may cause it to tear.

You Should Avoid Getting Latex Foam Wet

As a general rule, you should avoid getting latex foam wet. Natural latex foam has an open-cell structure that is highly resilient which gives latex pillows their supportiveness. Water can damage this cell structure and reduce the comfort and supportiveness of natural latex pillows.

Don’t Steam Clean a Latex Foam Pillows

You should avoid steaming a latex pillow. This can vulcanize the foam and cause it to disintegrate.

You Can Wash a Latex Pillow

As a general rule, you can lightly wash your natural latex pillow. By using isopropyl alcohol or a mild detergent, you can clean your pillow without causing significant damage to the foam. If you wash your pillow, make sure to properly dry the latex foam using towels before placing a pillow cover or case back on the pillow.

How Often You Should Replace Your Latex Pillow

You should replace your latex every 2-4 years. While natural latex pillows are the longest lasting pillow type, for hygiene reasons, you should regularly replace your pillow to avoid bacteria and ensure that you get proper neck and head support.

How To Get the Smell Out of Latex Pillows

As a general rule, the best way to get the smell out of latex pillows is to air them out during the day. It can take up to a week for the smell of a natural latex pillow to subside.

How Long Latex Pillows Last

A natural latex pillow can last a long time if you take care of it. Natural latex pillows are the longest-lasting type so make sure to replace your pillow every two or four years for hygiene reasons and general comfort!