How to Wash a Nursing Pillow (Machine-Washing Guide)

how to wash nursing pillowSince it plays a pretty important role in giving our babies a comfortable place to eat, you’ll definitely want to learn how to wash a nursing pillow sooner than later. 

Nursing pillows can get VERY dirty very quickly – from baby spitting up to mom leaking breastmilk, and even the surprise blow-outs that sneak up on unexpecting moms while baby nurses! 

This guide to washing your nursing pillow in a laundry machine shares tips for: 

  • washing instructions for a variety of brands
  • how to machine wash and spot clean slipcovers
  • how often you should wash it
  • keeping your pillow clean

Let’s get started for the reason you’re here – there is a dirty nursing pillow in your home right now that needs some attention!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I could earn a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase using them.

How to Machine Wash a Nursing Pillow (Machine Tips)

wash nursing pillow machineWashing your breastfeeding pillow for the first time can feel a bit stressful – after all, some guides will tell you to spot clean only. 

But if have a front loading washing machine, you can get your dirty nursing pillow sanitized and looking like new again without much of a headache. 

Nursing Pillow Maintenance Tips

To prevent your favorite feeding pillow from getting soiled, consider the following ideas. 

  1. cover your pillow with a burp cloth (I cover mine with these extra long ones every time my baby nurses) 
  2. if you prefer, (or if all of your burp cloths are in the wash as mine often are!) you could also cover your nursing pillow with a swaddle blanket – these ones are extra soft and breathable which makes them great for hot or cold days
  3. check for any wet spots after feedings
  4. spot clean after every feeding
  5. purchase at least two different nursing pillows for when one of them is in the wash (this one is my ABSOLUTE favorite and this Original Boppy is my backup)

Nursing Pillow Washing Instructions

Trust me when I tell you that I’ve machine-washed a TON of breastfeeding pillows in a front-loading machine! 

After two babies, I’ve had to deal with a lot of vomit, spit-up, poop, and breastmilk on my nursing pillows. 

I also used four different brands including My Brest Friend, ErgoBaby, and Jolly Jumper before finding two that both my babies and I really liked. 

There are: 

I found my babies the least fussy with the Best Latch. 

breastfeeding baby on clean nursing pillow

Before Washing Your Nursing Pillow

  1. check the fabric to see if there are specific machine washing instructions
  2. use a gentle baby-friendly laundry detergent* 
  3. remove the slipcover from your nursing pillow (if it has one)

* Important as your baby’s face is directly in contact with your nursing pillow.

I like Nellie’s and this one by the Babyganics

My first baby had VERY sensitive skin and we even ended up cloth diapering because of it. 

Wash Your Nursing Pillow in a Front Loading Machine

  1. check for heavily soiled spots
  2. apply a bit of baby-friendly laundry detergent to those soiled spots and wait a couple of minutes
  3. wash your nursing pillow by itself*
  4. add the same detergent to your washing machine
  5. select a gentle cycle
  6. wash using warm water
  7. dry in a delicate cycle using low heat
  8. add wool drying balls to your dryer to help your pillow maintain its shape 

*I prefer to wash my nursing pillows on their own (or with another one) in order to get the best clean. 

I wash my nursing pillow covers, burp cloths, and swaddles (everything I use to protect my nursing pillows) with baby clothing. 

How to Spot Clean Nursing Pillow

Spot cleaning your nursing pillow keeps it looking clean and helps prevent stubborn stains from forming.

It may also help in preventing liquids from seeping further into the pillow. 

I like to clean ours after every feeding. 

This can be easily done with: 

I personally throw mine into the wash if it’s reasonably damp from breastmilk or spit up and obviously, any time my baby has had a big blowout while nursing! 

How Often Should You Clean A Nursing Pillow

Since it’s recommended that we as adults wash our pillow covers every two to four weeks, I like to do the same with my nursing pillows and give them a good machine wash at least once a month. 

If they’ve been soiled or have experienced breastmilk leakage at least a handful of times between washes, I’ll usually throw one of mine in that day though. 

I have a backup breastfeeding pillow for while one pillow is in the wash. 

5 hand drawn black hearts as a banner

And there you have it! 

To wash a nursing pillow in your washing machine, you’ll want to: 

  1. remove the slipcover
  2. pre-treat heavily soiled spots with a bit of baby-friendly laundry detergent
  3. add the same detergent to your washing machine
  4. select a gentle cycle
  5. wash using warm water
  6. dry in a delicate cycle with wool drying balls to maintain your pillow’s shape 

I also like to maintain my nursing pillows and prevent them from getting dirty by: 

  • laying down a burp cloth under my baby’s face every time she eats
  • spot cleaning them between feedings
  • keeping them out of reach from my oldest child who likes to play with them
  • washing it once a month in a front-loading washing machine

Enjoy the smell and feel of your new freshly washed nursing pillow, mama! I’m sure the little one will appreciate it too 🙂 

Happy laundering, friends!

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vancouver mom blogger nikki slivarich

Nikki Slivarich


Blessed mama of two beautiful little girls. I’m a full-time blogger and social media content creator who teaches moms and boss babes how to start an online business. Follow me on social for clever ideas to make money using the platforms you already love!

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