How to Whiten Pillows

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Whiten Pillows

It's natural and easy for pillows to get dirty, stained and to lose their natural whiteness. General contact, facial oils and humidity, among other things, may contribute to the loss of the neutral color of our pillows. However, you will already know that down pillows - or pillows made from other natural materials - are cleaned differently than other synthetics. So at we explain how to whiten pillows. Follow these simple tips and get your pillows white again without damaging the fabric. Take note!

You'll need:
  • Whitener
  • Soft detergent
  • Cold water
  • Lukewarm water
You may also be interested in: How to Wash a Memory Foam Pillow
Steps to follow:

Let's start at the beginning: the strong yellow color on pillows is due to two things: sweat and saliva. Therefore, unless you don't sleep with your mouth open or don't sweat, this is totally normal and natural. Depending on the type of fabric your pillow case is made of, sweat can filter through it. When sweat dries, it usually leaves this classic yellow mark on the pillow. Even when using two pillowcases, this can usually happen.


The first step to whiten pillows is to add a cup of clothes whitener to a basin of cold water. This container should be large enough for you to fit the pillow into it, as you need to leave it soaking. Place the bowl in a large area so that you can work comfortably. If you can't find a good container, you can do this process in the bathtub or in the washing machine.


Leave pillows soaking in the solution of cold water and whitener for about five minutes approximately. You must make sure that the liquid covers the entire pillow. While soaking, the chlorine will work on the stains and dirt as well as eliminating bed bugs.


After the soak time, remove the pillows from the bowl. Then, rinse with warm water and place them in the washing machine. Remember to add a mild detergent so as not to damage the down. In addition, we recommend that you choose a delicate wash cycle. You can also wash the pillows by hand if you want to be extra delicate.


If your pillows are not white after this process, there is another more aggressive method, as it is done with warm water. Put warm water in the washing machine or, if you have an automatic machine, use a cycle with warm water. Put the pillows in. Next, add all the rest of the ingredients to the washing machine.

When the cycle has ended, wash them on your usual long cycle, but only with normal detergent and softener.


Once this second cycle has finished, leave it the pillows to dry naturally. Make sure they're completely dry, both on the inside and on the outside, before putting the pillowslip back on. In the picture you can see the comparison. The result is spectacular if you follow the steps mentioned above.

You're done! Your pillows are now soft and clean again.

How to Whiten Pillows - Step 6

If you want to read similar articles to How to Whiten Pillows, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

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