How To Get Yellow Stains Out Of Pillows

Yellow stains on pillows are not only visually unappealing but also unhygienic. Over time, pillows need cleaning to remove and reduce bacteria, dead skin cells, sweat, and dust mites. Do you have questions about how you can safely and effectively get yellow stains out of pillows? We researched various methods and products that restore your pillows to a more pristine appearance. 

Removing yellow stains from pillows is an easy task to accomplish if you have the right tools. Check out the following methods to keep pillows looking fresh, white, and like-new.

  1. Spray your pillows with a surface commercial cleaner and scrub out stains with a damp brush or sponge.
  2. Apply a paste of baking soda to stains and rinse clean with diluted vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Throw your pillows in the washing machine after a spot treatment, and add baking soda and vinegar to the wash along with laundry detergent.

No matter what method you choose to remove yellow stains from pillows, it is essential to maintain a clean bed and good health. For further directions and other answers to questions about whitening pillows, keep reading.

A pillow with yellow saliva stains, How To Get Yellow Stains Out Of Pillows

Whiten And Brighten Your Pillows

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White pillows on bed with modern white lamp on wooden table side

Even in the cleanest of homes, pillows can develop yellow stains from sweat, bacteria, and regular use. In addition to regularly changing your pillowcases, it is essential to check your pillows for discoloration, odors, and lumps.

Thankfully, there are more than a few methods to eradicate yellow stains from your pillows. If you are not going to clean the surface of your pillow, you should give it a deep clean at least every 6 months. Also, it is good practice to clean and change your bedsheets frequently too, if you are prone to sweating or your pillows look dirty.

Before you resort to throwing your pillow in the washing machine or trashing it, read the care tag. Pillows made from memory foam or latex may need to be dry cleaned or cannot be machine washed. Usually, pillows made with goose down or fiberfill can be thrown in the washing machine.

Ensure that your pillow is thoroughly dry to prevent moisture from creating mildew or mold. And give it a good fluff before returning it to your bed. Expect your pillows to last anywhere from 1 to 2 years before you will need to buy a replacement.

Why Are My Pillows Yellow?

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Woman's hand finger pointing to saliva stain on white pillow

It's not your fault if your pillows are turning yellow. Even if you use a pillowcase, pillows love to soak up sweat, dead skin cells, bacteria, dust mites, mold, and mildew. The yellow-colored stains on your pillow are predominantly caused by sweat when you lay your head or face on the pillow. So, it is imperative to use pillowcases and to clean and change your pillow bed linens often.

Now let's look at the three methods to whiten and brighten your yellowed pillows.

1. Spritz The Surface

One of the easiest things you can do to remove yellow stains and deodorize your pillow is to spray it with a surface cleaner. Typically, a commercial-based laundry stain remover that will not cause stains or discoloration can be used.

Make sure to do a test patch to see how much product will be needed to wet the affected area and how it responds. Also, be mindful of any ingredients in a cleaner may cause an adverse reaction to the skin or trigger an allergy.

You can clean your pillow naturally with a spritz of vinegar diluted with water and allow it to sit on the stain for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure to sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the pillow to help remove tough stains that won't budge. Afterward, give it a good scrub with an old toothbrush or damp sponge, and rinse it with a spritz of water with a hint of lemon juice. Allow the pillow to air dry or give it a once over with a handheld hair dryer before replacing the pillowcase.

Check out this laundry stain remover on Amazon.

2. Apply Paste

Buff away yellow stains off a pillow using a paste of baking soda and water, baking soda and lemon juice or vinegar, or a bit of borax and water. If you need to, soak your pillows in borax or baking soda with water, following the manufacturer's directions.

Typically, a 1:4 ratio should be sufficient. Allow any paste to sit on the stained pillow for 15 minutes before agitating it with a brush or damp cloth. Allow the pillow to air dry after wiping it clean with a wet sponge.

You can apply a paste of baking soda or borax to a pillow as a pre-treatment before throwing it into the washing machine. Use this method or the spray method if you can only surface clean your pillows. If possible, allow your pillow to dry in the sun to take advantage of the sun's beneficial UV rays.

Check out this baking soda on Amazon.

3. Boost Your Washing Machine

It is beneficial to give your washing machine and laundry detergent a boost of cleaning power to remove yellow stains from pillows. Add a bit of borax, vinegar, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide to your wash when on the pre-soak cycle, or during the wash cycle.

Aside from choosing a commercial laundry cleaner with agents to help brighten, whiten, and deodorize your pillow and bedding, pre-treat your pillows with a paste or spray if needed.

Throwing pillows in the wash is only necessary every 6 months. But, if you feel that applying a paste or spraying the pillow with a cleaner is not sufficient, give it a pre-soak and throw it in the washing machine.

Check out this powerful washing soda on Amazon.

Is It Safe To Wash Pillows With Bleach?

Studies have been conducted showing that a pillowcase has more bacteria than a toilet seat in as little as a week's time being unwashed, so imagine a pillow? Because a pillow can develop odors, stains, mold, and mildew, you may want to wash a pillow with bleach.

But is it safe? According to experts, it is fine to add bleach to the washing machine alongside laundry detergent on the hot cycle. However, make sure that you give your pillow an extra rinse cycle to ensure that all of the bleach is removed from the pillow.

Is It Good To Put Pillows In The Sun?

Pillows out in the open to dry

Sun bleaching isn't only for hair in the summertime, as pillows can be bleached gently by the UV rays of the sun. If the weather is permitting and your pillows are not too damp, feel free to put pillows in the sun to dry after giving them a good cleaning. Your pillows will smell fresher and look cleaner with the power of nature.

When Should You Replace Pillows?

Are you suffering from sleepless nights? Does your pillow feel lumpy and misshapen or you have aches and pains? Then it is time for a new pillow! If your pillows constantly harbor foul odors or make sleeping comfortably impossible, it is time to toss them in the trash.

On average, you will have to replace your pillows after 1 to 2 years' time. Additionally, if you are replacing your pillows, you should consider how often you need to replace other things in your bedroom for your health.

In Closing

If you spot yellow stains on your pillow, don't panic and think you have to replace your pillows. It is possible to use commercial based cleaners or natural products to revive your pillow and eradicate yellow stains. Over time, sweat gets trapped in pillows and leads to stains. Spot-treating your pillows with a spray or paste, or throwing it into the washing machine is necessary for good health and beautiful pillows.

Before you go, check out the following articles about pillows and bedding:

How To Clean Pillows: The Ultimate Guide

How Often Should You Change Your Pillowcase?

Why Do My Bed Sheets Turn Yellow?

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