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Are your bed pillows are old and musty-smelling? If they're cheapies, you're better off chucking them. But if they're quality pillows, you'll obviously want to wash and reuse them. Question is: how to wash your pillows without ending up with an ugly, lumpy result? That's my conundrum, and for advice I turned to those icons of domesticity: Woman's Day and Good Housekeeping.

According to the expert consulted by WD, any pillow – yes, even feather pillows! – can be machine-washed. Just stick with both a gentle cycle and a gentle detergent. Finish up by machine drying with some clean tennis balls, which help to re-plump loose fillings.

GH expands a bit on that advice with these handy hints: rinse pillows twice to rid them of as much soap residue as possible, and dry them with a few clean tennis shoes if you're out of tennis balls. To help kill stubborn odors dry them in the sunshine (weather permitting) rather than trying to get them totally dry in the machine.

Finally, be warned: foam pillows are best washed by hand. Yes, it's a tedious task, but worthwhile. Trust me, I've machine washed them before with disastrous results!

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