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How To Whiten Pillows

How To Whiten Pillows


How To Whiten Pillows: Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to whiten pillows and restore their freshness and cleanliness. Over time, pillows can accumulate stains, yellowing, and unpleasant odors, making them less inviting for a restful night’s sleep. Fortunately, with the right techniques and a little effort, you can revitalize your pillows and extend their lifespan.

We will explore various methods to whiten pillows, ranging from natural remedies to effective cleaning agents. You’ll learn step-by-step instructions on how to tackle different types of pillow fabrics and materials, ensuring that your pillows not only look brand new but also remain comfortable and supportive.

We will delve into the importance of regular pillow maintenance, providing valuable tips on stain removal, washing, and drying methods. Additionally, we’ll discuss preventive measures to keep your pillows fresh for longer periods, promoting a healthier sleep environment for you and your loved ones.

So, if you’re ready to transform your dingy pillows into fluffy, pristine cushions, join us on this journey to cleanliness and comfort. Let’s get started on the path to rejuvenating your pillows and enhancing your sleep quality.

How To Whiten Pillows

Can you make pillows white again?

Toss old pillows in the washing machine and set to soak. Washing two at a time balances the washing machine so they clean evenly. Add the hydrogen peroxide and vinegar to the drum of the washing machine. (Hydrogen peroxide is a natural whitener, and vinegar tackles deep-set stains.)

Reviving the whiteness of pillows depends on various factors such as the fabric, type of stains, and washing instructions. Generally, most pillows can be brought back to their original white color with proper care and attention.

Check the care label on the pillow. Different fabrics require different cleaning methods. If the pillow is machine washable, use a mild detergent and bleach alternative suitable for the fabric. Wash the pillow in warm water to help remove stains and dirt.

Pre-treat stains before washing. For stubborn stains like sweat or makeup, apply a small amount of stain remover or liquid detergent directly to the stained area and gently rub the fabric together. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing.

Consider using natural whitening agents. Lemon juice and sunlight can work wonders on white fabrics. Mix lemon juice with water and apply it to the stained areas, then let the pillow dry in direct sunlight. The combination of lemon juice and sunlight acts as a natural bleaching agent, helping to remove stains and restore whiteness.

Regular maintenance is key. Rotate and fluff your pillows often to prevent them from becoming flattened and discolored. Also, use pillow protectors to shield them from sweat, oils, and other potential stain-causing substances.

By following these steps and considering the specific care instructions for your pillows, you can restore their white appearance and keep them looking fresh and clean for a long time.

How do you turn yellow pillows white again?

Remove the cases and spot treat any yellow stains with a commercial stain remover. Let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth. Machine-wash pillows with 1 cup (240 mL) of dish soap, 0.5 cups (120 mL) of laundry detergent, ¾ cup (6 oz) of washing soda, and 0.5 cups (120 mL) of white vinegar.

Restoring yellowed pillows to their original white color can be a straightforward process with the right approach. Firstly, it’s crucial to check the care instructions on the pillow. If the pillow is machine washable, start by laundering it using a high-quality laundry detergent and a natural whitening agent like oxygen bleach. Avoid using chlorine bleach as it can damage the fibers over time.

Pre-treating stains is essential. For yellowed pillows, make a paste of baking soda and water, then gently rub it onto the stained areas. Let it sit for about half an hour before laundering. Baking soda is a natural whitening and deodorizing agent, making it effective in removing stains and odors.

Consider soaking the pillows. Fill a bathtub or a large basin with warm water, add laundry detergent and a cup of oxygen bleach. Submerge the pillows, ensuring they are fully soaked. Let them soak for a few hours or overnight. Periodically agitate the water to help dislodge dirt and stains. After soaking, wash the pillows in the washing machine following the care label instructions.

Sunlight can work wonders. After washing, let the pillows air dry in direct sunlight. Sunlight has natural bleaching properties and can help whiten the fabric. Make sure the pillows are completely dry before using them again to prevent mold growth.

By combining proper washing techniques, stain treatment, and the natural bleaching power of sunlight, you can effectively turn yellowed pillows back to their original white, revitalizing both their appearance and freshness.

How do you get yellow stains from pillows?

Other Mrs Hinch fans on the Facebook page also suggested using soda crystals to remove yellow stains from pillows. One user advised: ‘I add a cup of soda crystals to my washing machine when cleaning my pillows. It works wonders.

Yellow stains on pillows are a common issue, primarily caused by sweat, body oils, and saliva. These natural body fluids can penetrate pillowcases and seep into the pillow, leading to discoloration over time. To prevent yellow stains, regular maintenance and proper care are essential.

Using pillow protectors is an effective preventive measure. Pillow protectors act as a barrier between the pillowcase and the pillow, shielding it from sweat, oils, and other bodily fluids. They are usually waterproof and can be easily removed and washed, keeping the pillow clean and stain-free.

Regular washing of pillowcases is crucial. Pillowcases should be laundered at least once a week, using a good quality detergent and warm water. Washing pillowcases frequently helps remove the accumulated oils and sweat, reducing the chances of these substances reaching the pillow itself.

Maintaining personal hygiene also plays a significant role. Showering before bedtime can minimize the transfer of oils and sweat to the pillow. Additionally, tying hair back and removing makeup before sleep can prevent these substances from staining the pillowcase.

Proper pillow care is vital. Check the care label on the pillow and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Some pillows are machine washable, while others require spot cleaning or professional dry cleaning. Regular fluffing and airing out pillows can also help in maintaining their freshness.

By implementing these preventive measures and practicing good personal hygiene, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of yellow stains on pillows, ensuring they stay clean and comfortable for a longer period.

Does vinegar whiten pillows?

Step 2: Put up to two pillows (for balance purposes) in the washing machine and wash in a mixture of detergent, vinegar, washing soda and dishwasher detergent. The added ingredients help whiten pillows.

Yes, vinegar can help whiten pillows to some extent due to its natural cleaning properties. Vinegar is mildly acidic, making it effective in breaking down stains, dissolving odors, and brightening fabrics. When used in the laundry, vinegar can act as a natural fabric softener and brightener. However, it’s important to note that vinegar might not work as effectively as commercial bleach or other strong chemical agents when it comes to heavily stained or discolored pillows.

To use vinegar to whiten pillows, start by checking the care label on the pillow. If the pillow is machine washable, add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar along with your regular laundry detergent. The vinegar can help break down sweat, body oils, and other stains that cause yellowing. Wash the pillows on a gentle cycle with warm water.

You can pre-treat specific stains by applying a mixture of vinegar and water directly to the stained area before washing. Let it sit for a few minutes to penetrate the stain before laundering.

After washing, ensure the pillows are thoroughly rinsed to remove any vinegar residue, and then dry them completely. You can air-dry them in the sunlight, which also helps in naturally bleaching and freshening the fabric.

While vinegar can contribute to whitening pillows, for severe stains or delicate fabrics, it’s advisable to consult the care instructions or consider professional cleaning methods for optimal results.

How To Whiten Pillows

How can I naturally whiten pillows without using harsh chemicals?

Naturally whitening pillows without resorting to harsh chemicals is not only eco-friendly but also safer for your health. One effective method involves using the power of the sun. Sunlight is a natural bleaching agent that can help break down stains and disinfect pillows. Begin by thoroughly drying your pillows in direct sunlight, flipping them occasionally to ensure even exposure. The ultraviolet (UV) rays not only bleach the fabric but also kill bacteria, viruses, and dust mites, leaving your pillows fresher and whiter.

Another natural approach involves utilizing the cleansing properties of baking soda and vinegar. Start by sprinkling baking soda liberally over your pillows. Baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive that helps lift stains and odors. Let the baking soda sit for a few hours or overnight. Then, mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Lightly spray or dab this solution onto the stained areas. The vinegar’s acidic nature breaks down stains while neutralizing odors. After letting it sit for a while, blot the pillows with a clean, damp cloth to remove excess vinegar solution and baking soda residue. Finally, air-dry your pillows in the sun to complete the process.

Incorporating natural laundry boosters like lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide can enhance the whitening effect. Lemon juice acts as a natural bleach and also leaves a refreshing citrus scent. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water, and apply it to the stains. Let it sit for some time before washing. Hydrogen peroxide, when mixed with water (1:1 ratio), can also be sprayed on stains to lift them. Always spot-test any solution in an inconspicuous area of the pillow to ensure it doesn’t damage the fabric.

By harnessing the power of sunlight and using common household items like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and hydrogen peroxide, you can naturally whiten your pillows, effectively removing stains and ensuring a healthier, chemical-free sleep environment.

What are the best methods for removing tough stains and yellowing from pillows? 

Removing tough stains and yellowing from pillows requires a combination of patience, the right techniques, and sometimes a bit of creativity. One effective method involves using a paste made from baking soda and water. Baking soda is a natural abrasive that can lift stains and brighten yellowed areas. Create a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water, then apply it to the stained or yellowed areas of the pillow. Let the paste sit for a few hours or overnight before brushing or vacuuming it off.

For stubborn stains, consider using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap. Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful stain remover and can be mixed with a small amount of dish soap to create a cleaning solution. Apply this solution to the stained areas and gently rub the fabric together. Allow it to sit for about 15-30 minutes before laundering the pillow as usual.

Another effective method involves the use of white vinegar and water. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and spray the solution onto the stained or yellowed areas. Let it sit for an hour or so before blotting the excess moisture with a clean cloth. Launder the pillow afterward, following the care instructions.

Enzyme-based cleaners are also valuable for tackling tough stains, especially organic ones like blood or sweat. These cleaners break down proteins in stains and can be applied directly to the stained area following the product’s instructions. Always make sure to test any cleaning solution in a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire pillow to prevent potential damage to the fabric.

Regular maintenance is key to preventing deep-set stains and yellowing. Using pillow protectors and washing pillowcases frequently can significantly extend the lifespan of your pillows and keep them looking fresh. By employing these methods and staying proactive in your pillow care, you can effectively remove tough stains and yellowing, ensuring your pillows remain clean, comfortable, and inviting.

Can I whiten different types of pillows, such as memory foam or down-filled, using the same technique?

No, you cannot use the same technique to whiten different types of pillows, such as memory foam or down-filled pillows, as each material requires specific care to maintain its integrity and cleanliness.

Memory foam pillows, for example, are highly absorbent and can easily be damaged by excessive moisture. Using water-based cleaning methods, such as those involving soaking or washing the entire pillow, can lead to the foam losing its shape and developing mold or mildew issues. Instead, spot cleaning with a damp cloth and mild soap is recommended for memory foam pillows. Ensure you don’t oversaturate the foam and allow it to air dry completely to prevent moisture accumulation within the pillow.

Down-filled pillows are delicate and require gentle cleaning to preserve their fluffiness and loft. While sunlight can help freshen them, washing down-filled pillows should be done with care. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, usually found on the pillow’s tag. Most down pillows can be washed in a large capacity machine on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent. It’s crucial to dry them thoroughly using low heat and tennis balls or dryer balls to fluff the filling. Regularly fluff and air out down-filled pillows between washes to maintain their volume and shape.

In contrast, synthetic-filled pillows are generally more durable and can withstand a machine washing process. However, always check the care label to confirm the manufacturer’s recommendations before washing. Using a mild detergent and following the specific washing and drying instructions provided will help maintain the pillow’s quality and color.

It’s essential to tailor your cleaning approach to the specific type of pillow you have. Understanding the material and following the appropriate care guidelines will ensure your pillows remain clean, comfortable, and long-lasting.

Are there specific washing machine settings and detergents recommended for pillow whitening? 

Yes, there are specific washing machine settings and detergents recommended for pillow whitening to ensure effective cleaning without damaging the fabric or filling.

Machine Settings:

When washing pillows, use a large-capacity washing machine to allow the pillows enough space to move freely. Opt for a gentle or delicate cycle with a slow spin speed. High-speed spins can strain the stitching and fabric, especially for down or feather-filled pillows. Additionally, it’s advisable to wash two pillows at a time to balance the load and maintain the machine’s stability during the cycle.


Choose a mild, liquid detergent that is free of bleach, harsh chemicals, and strong fragrances. Avoid using fabric softeners, as they can leave residues on the pillow fibers and reduce their fluffiness. Alternatively, you can opt for specialized laundry detergents designed for delicate fabrics or allergies. These detergents are often formulated to be gentle on fabrics while effectively removing stains and odors.

Stain Removers:

For stubborn stains, pre-treat the affected areas with a stain remover or a mixture of water and mild soap. Gently rub the solution into the stain and let it sit for a while before washing. Always check the pillow’s care label and test the stain remover on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fabric.


After washing, thoroughly rinse the pillows to remove all detergent residues. It’s crucial to dry the pillows completely to prevent mold and mildew growth. Use a low heat setting in the dryer, and add clean tennis balls or dryer balls to help fluff the pillows as they tumble. Periodically check the pillows during the drying process to ensure they are drying evenly.

By following these specific washing machine settings and using the right detergents, you can effectively whiten your pillows without compromising their quality, ensuring they come out of the wash looking clean, fresh, and revitalized.

How To Whiten Pillows


Revitalizing your pillows doesn’t just enhance their appearance; it also improves your overall sleep quality and health. By following the techniques outlined in this guide, you’ve taken the essential steps toward a cleaner, fresher, and more comfortable sleeping environment.

Regular pillow maintenance is crucial for eliminating allergens, dust mites, and unpleasant odors, ensuring you enjoy restorative sleep every night. Remember to choose methods that align with your pillow’s material, whether it’s down, memory foam, or synthetic fill, to preserve their integrity while cleaning effectively.

By implementing the knowledge gained here, you’ve empowered yourself to maintain a hygienic sleep sanctuary. Clean pillows promote better respiratory health, reduce allergy symptoms, and contribute to a more refreshing sleep experience. As you bid farewell to stains and odors, you’re not just enhancing the aesthetics of your bedding; you’re investing in your well-being.


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Sophia is a creative and passionate entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Bubble Slides, a rapidly growing company that designs and produces innovative and eco-friendly children's water slides. She continues to innovate and improve her products, always keeping in mind the well-being of children and the environment.

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