How to Clean Buckwheat Pillows


Elizabeth  asked: How do I clean a buckwheat hull pillow? I have Japanese pillows filled with buckwheat hulls. I can and have cleaned the cloth bags by removing the hulls and keeping them in a plastic bag until the pillow cover is clean. Some are not fitted with a zipper opening through which I can remove the hulls. Is there any way to clean them?

Buckwheat pillows are known for their comfort and durability. While the pillow casings can easily be washed once the hulls are removed, cleaning them with the hulls in requires more time and care. If the hulls become soaked, it is nearly impossible to dry them out completely. Here are instructions to spot clean those pillows that don’t have removable hulls.

You Will Need:

  • Water
  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Soft cloths
  • Bowl or bucket

Steps to Clean the Pillow:

  1. Fill a bowl or bucket with cold water.
  2. Add a small amount of laundry detergent to the water and agitate to mix.
  3. Moisten a soft cloth with the soapy water and squeeze it out well. You want the cloth to be damp, but not dripping.
  4. Gently wipe away dirt or stains from the pillow’s surface. It is fine for the cover to get wet, but do not allow water to drip through the case into the hulls.
  5. Rinse by rubbing the area with a separate cloth moistened with clean water.
  6. Allow the pillow to air dry completely.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Never immerse a pillow in water with the hulls still inside. Once the hulls become soaked with water, it is unlikely that they will dry completely. This can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, and ultimately ruin the pillow.
  • If your pillow smells musty, hang it outside in the sunlight for a couple of hours. The sunlight and fresh air will freshen it up.
  • Pests are rarely a problem for buckwheat pillows. Since the hulls have little nutritive value, they naturally keep pests such as dust mites away.
  • Keep covers on the pillows to prevent the linings from becoming stained and dirty. These covers can be washed the same as bedding.


  1. Jan says:

    I would like to clean the buckwheat hulls in my pillow. Is it advisable to heat them in the oven at a low temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-20 minutes. I know not to wash the hulls, but believe my allergies are being aggravated by dust that may be in the hulls. The pillow is 12 years old.

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