Are your comforters and pillows starting to turn yellow? Don’t worry, it’s quite normal. Over time, factors like dust mites and sweat can affect the quality of your bedding.

Luckily, with the right tricks, you can easily turn those yellowed pillows into pristine white ones. Discover three simple and effective washing methods, along with practical tips to always keep your bedding clean.

As you may already know, everything related to bedding needs to be washed regularly, and pillows are no exception. It is important to disinfect them and get rid of any yellow stains that may have settled in.

Additionally, pillows can easily become a breeding ground for dust mites, viruses, and bacteria. These unwanted guests come from sweat and dirt particles that accumulate over time.

But even with the yellow stains and odors that may emanate from your pillows, you don’t always have to throw them away. This is especially true if they are of good quality and have not exceeded a lifespan of 2 years.

What Causes Pillow Yellowing?

As you can probably imagine, the primary and most common reason is sweat. Each night, your body’s sweat gradually and irreversibly turns your pillow yellow.

The body sweat seeps into the pillow fibers before appearing on the surface. But while sweat remains the most frequent cause, other factors come into play, such as saliva.

The fluids we secrete indeed contribute to the yellowing of the pillow that absorbs them. Moreover, this discoloration is not just an aesthetic concern, as it is evidence that bacteria and dust mites have made a home in the heart of the fibers. And this is natural, as these creatures need moisture to thrive. They can cause conditions such as asthma, allergies, or rhinitis.

Here Are 3 Effective Methods to Wash Your Yellowed Pillows:

1. Hot Water and Lemon

Lemon is an invaluable and highly effective ally when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep in optimal comfort. The following trick will allow you to take advantage of the bleaching and disinfecting properties of citrus fruits.

Start by boiling 2.5 liters of water and adding 6 cups of lemon juice. Then soak the pillow in this lemon water for about 2 hours. You will only need to wash the pillow with soapy water to remove any stains before rinsing and drying it. You can add more water so that the pillow is completely submerged in the solution.

2. White Vinegar and Baking Soda

To naturally lighten and soften the pillow’s textile fibers, a combination of white vinegar and baking soda is an excellent solution. You can rely on the antibacterial and bleaching properties of these two ingredients to eliminate all the dirt, sweat, and stains present on the pillow. Additionally, it will also help combat any unpleasant odors that may have been trapped inside.

To use them correctly, it’s very simple. Place the pillow in a basin filled with hot water and add half a cup of white vinegar mixed with the same amount of baking soda.

Let it soak for 1 hour. Then choose a normal washing cycle and put it in the washing machine, then air dry it. Note that baking soda can also be used to clean your mattress.

3. Lemon and Hydrogen Peroxide

Ideal for replacing bleach, this anti-stain and anti-dust treatment consists of combining lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide to whiten your clothes. These two ingredients contain active ingredients capable of easily removing sweat or saliva stains.

To take advantage of their virtues, prepare a bucket of hot water in which you will put half a cup of lemon juice and double that amount of hydrogen peroxide.

Place the pillow in the bucket and let it sit for an hour. After this time has passed, run a regular washing cycle in the washing machine to rinse the pillow and then let it dry in the sun.

Practical Tips for Washing Pillows

To ensure the optimal washing of your pillows, it is important to consider a few recommendations:

  • Always read the label: regardless of whether it’s polyester, cotton, or down, each type of pillow needs to be washed according to the washing instructions on the label in order to maintain its quality. So always make sure yours is compatible with the machine.
  • For large capacity machines: include two pillows at a time to maintain balance.
  • Air dry or sun dry: once you’re done washing, all you need to do is hang your pillows in the sun so that they can benefit from the UV rays. Sunlight promotes the bleaching of the fabric, making it the best way to dry your bedding while also getting rid of dust mites. The result will be bright white pillows for a peaceful night’s sleep.
  • If you choose machine drying, opt for a fresh air program. If it’s a feather pillow, add tennis balls to maintain fluffiness. But be careful not to put more than two balls, as it could damage the machine drum.

3 Tips for Pillow Care

In addition to washing, it is equally important to take preventive and beneficial measures for proper pillow maintenance, so that they remain soft, clean, and comfortable:

1. Use a Pillow Protector

You can provide your pillow with a second line of defense against dead skin cells, sebum, or sweat secreted by your skin. All you have to do is get a pillow protector and put it under the pillow, so that allergens cannot enter it. Also, make sure to wash these pillow covers every month.

2. Wash Pillows 3-4 Times a Year

This is especially true if you find that they are turning yellow. As for the pillowcases, which are obviously the first to be exposed to our body fluids, once or twice a week is a proper frequency.

3. Replace Pillows After 2-3 Years

While many people keep their pillows for an exceptionally long time, it is best to replace them after 2 or 3 years of use. Indeed, over time, pillows lose their firmness and are no longer able to properly support your head. However, yellowing should not always be a reason to replace them.

How to Wash Pillows Based on Their Type?

Depending on the filling of your pillows, the washing instructions may vary. Here’s how to do it for each type:

Memory Foam Pillow:

Considering the risk of the washing machine damaging the foam filling and the viscoelastic behavior of the memory pillow, it may be best to go for a manual wash. You’ll need to start by fully submerging it in water, pressing the pillow for 10 minutes.

Then rinse until the water runs clear, ensuring that it is well squeezed before air drying. If there are stains, wipe them off with a damp cloth moistened with a small amount of mild detergent or stain remover. The result will be a firm pillow, perfect for spinal support.

Polyester Pillow:

For this type of pillow made from synthetic fibers, wash it in warm water on a gentle cycle. The amount of detergent should be minimal. One or two teaspoons is sufficient for machine washing.

Feather or Down Pillow:

Place these pillows in the washing machine using cold water and a mild detergent. Then dry them on a low heat setting to avoid damaging the feathers. The quality of the feathers can indeed deteriorate due to high temperatures.

How Often Should Bed Sheets Be Washed?

The bedroom is a place with humidity and warmth, providing the perfect conditions for the accumulation of bacteria, germs, and other dirt. To avoid these issues, it is necessary to wash your bed sheets and duvet cover every two weeks or even every week. There are also natural solutions to effectively clean your mattress.

How to Properly Wash Bed Sheets?

Bed sets and bed linen should benefit from regular washing so that you can enjoy bedding that always smells fresh. Therefore, it is advisable to wash them at the right temperature, favoring warmth.

It is indeed a high temperature that will eliminate all the pathogens that may have taken refuge in the microfibers of the sheets. However, always make sure to check the recommended temperature on the label. This will help you avoid damaging the quality of your clothes.


Washing pillows is essential to maintain their cleanliness and extend their lifespan. By following the tips and tricks mentioned in this article, you can easily turn your yellowed pillows into fresh and white ones.

Remember to regularly wash your bedding, including bed sheets, to create a healthy and comfortable sleeping environment. So go ahead and give your pillows the proper care they deserve for a restful night’s sleep.