How To Clean And Whiten Yellowed Pillows

Old dirty used yellow sweat stained pillow on a mattress

I’m willing to bet that if you looked at all your pillows right now, you’d find at least one that has begun to turn yellow. Even if you use pillow cases, your pillows will eventually turn yellow from the sweat and skin you shed while sleeping on them each night.

Eww, enough of that. I scoured the internet to find a solution to this irritating problem and here it is. The blog One Good Thing By Jillee has shared a winning tip for getting out those nasty yellow stains.


  • Very hot water (boil some on the stove if your hot water heater doesn’t get that hot)
  • 1 cup chlorine bleach
  • 1 cup powdered dishwashing detergent
  • 1 cup laundry detergent
  • 1/2 cup Borax


  • Fill your machine 1/3 way with very hot water. Add the cleaning solution.
  • Turn on your washing machine and let it agitate for a few minutes (so the mixture dissolves fully).
  • Put your pillows in (two at a time works best so your machine is balanced).
  • Fill your washing machine the rest of the way with water.
  • Wash in a full cycle (make sure you have the second rinse cycle turned on).
  • If you have a top loader, Jill recommends turning the pillows over halfway through the cycle so both sides get fully washed in the solution.

To Dry

  • For down and feather pillows, be sure to dry on air-dry mode.
  • Synthetic pillows should be dried on low-temp setting.
  • A tip from Jill: to help keep the fluffiness in your pillows, add a tennis ball or dryer ball in the dryer.

There you go! Now you don’t have to cringe every time you take the cases off of your pillows.

Keep on Stain Fighting

Cleaning & Organization, Home

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About the Author
C.M. Tenhundfeld
Animal Lover. Triathlete. Scuba Diver. Master Griller. Quirky Perfectionist. I believe talk is cheap, so I lead by example and let my work speak for itself. Naturally curly hair and a leftie – what else would you like to know?

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