How to wash a straw-covered pillow?
October 12, 2020 5:31 PM   Subscribe

I bought a straw-covered throw pillow at the thrift store. All the tags are gone and the cover is not removable. How do I clean this?

Normally, I’d machine wash and dry all soft goods on hot when bringing them home, but I worry I’ll completely destroy the straw if I do this; there are some loops and snags that are ok for now but I don’t want them getting worse. Trying to search for an answer on this brought up an article about getting mold on tatami mats due to excessive moisture, so I’m even more nervous about washing it now. A similar pillow sold on Target says to spot clean only.

It is not visibly dirty, smelly, or full of bugs. All the tags are gone, so I don’t know if it’s made of paper or raffia or what.

1) How can I wash it? Will washing the straw destroy it?
2) Do I really even need to wash it, or am I just being paranoid?
posted by music for skeletons to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
For a straw covered pillow I would vacuum really well and spot clean only. I would not wash it since the wet/damp straw will be ruined and possibly develop mold. If you have any warm sunny days, I would place it outside and let the sun cook it. If you are worried about the innards, you can always unpick a side seam and put in a brand new pillow form or restuff with brand new filler and resew. When its empty I would vacuum the inside too.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 8:04 PM on October 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

Is that straw or is that hemp or jute or something?

Nthing the vacuum well and spot-clean approach.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:30 AM on October 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

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