Some reasons for cleaning your throw pillows are extremely obvious, such as: they are covered in dirt, the pets lay on them, they smell bad, the baby drools on them, etc. However, there are also some less obvious reasons.
Through everyday exposure to air, bacteria, mold, and dust mites tend to accumulate in your pillows. This is a much more significant concern for your head pillows (the ones you sleep on every night.) However, it is still a concern for those decorative throw pillows you throw on your bed, couch or anywhere else, especially if your throw pillows get heavy use.
Your throw pillows are probably getting heavier than normal use if: you have parties, have kids, or spend a lot of time on the couch in general. As a result your throw pillows have plenty of opportunity to collect dust, mold, and overall grime. The more people that handle your pillows the more bacteria and dirt they can collect.
If someone in your home gets ill, be sure to wash any pillows they were exposed to in addition to the pillows on their bed. If you are washing some of your throw pillows, especially smaller ones, then you might as well wash them all. All throw pillows should be washed on a regular basis, but a regular basis can mean a lot of different things. There are several different factors that determine how often you should wash your pillows.
Every so often you may spill something on your pillows, or in some other way expose them to dirt, or other impurities. In these cases a full washing may be necessary as soon as possible. A complete washing isn’t always necessary however; sometimes a spot clean will be sufficient. If you rarely use the throw pillows then 1-2 times yearly should be plenty to keep your throw pillows clear of dust, germs and dust mites.
If your throw pillows are exposed to a lot of action then once a month may be necessary. High traffic pillows should be washed a minimum of once every two or three months. That way sweat, grime, dust mites, oils, etc. don’t build up. If you decide to have a party, then it is may be a good idea wash your throw pillows afterwards, even if nothing got spilled. If you have throw pillows on the guest room bed and frequent guests then it is also a good idea to wash these pillows monthly or at the very least seasonally.