How To Prevent Your Pillowcases From Turning Yellow, According To Cleaning Experts

A good night's sleep is essential to our overall health and well-being, and a clean and fresh bed can significantly contribute to it. Unfortunately, over time, the buildup of substances such as body oils, perspiration, and beauty products can lead to unpleasant yellowing on your pillowcases. Fortunately, there are several preventive measures that you can take to ensure your pillowcases stay in their pristine condition. Once you understand what causes yellowing, you can take the necessary steps to prevent it.

One of the most crucial preventive measures is washing your pillowcases regularly — with the right technique and detergent — and drying them correctly. Additional precautions, like changing them frequently and avoiding excessive use of skin care products, will help keep your pillowcases bright and new looking. If your pillowcases already have a yellow tinge, you may be able to restore them to bright white using bleach, bluing, or solar power. 

Proactive measures to prevent yellowing

Washing your pillowcases every time you launder your bedsheets – at least once a week – helps remove accumulated body oils, sweat, and dirt contributing to discoloration. To prevent color transfer, sort by colors before washing. Follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer and use a gentle laundry detergent suitable for your pillowcase material. Pre-treat any stains before tossing them into the wash by applying a stain remover. You can also pre-treat by gently rubbing a mixture of water and mild detergent directly onto the stain. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before laundering.

Another way to help prevent pillowcases from turning yellow is to cleanse your face and allow moisturizing products to absorb before bedtime. This helps minimize the transfer of oils and residues onto your pillowcases. Also, consider keeping multiple bedding sets and rotating them regularly. Additionally, tying your hair back using a silk hair wrap or bonnet before sleeping helps protect your pillowcase from hair products, oils, and sweat. By incorporating these preventive measures into your routine, you can effectively maintain the brightness of your pillowcases.

Yellowing reversal methods

If your pillowcases have become discolored and turned yellow over time, there are a few effective methods to help restore their brightness and remove the unsightly stains. Consider adding laundry boosters such as oxygen-based bleaching agents to enhance the cleaning process. You can also try whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide or baking soda. Adding a cup of hydrogen peroxide or a quarter cup of baking soda to the wash cycle (along with your regular detergent) can help brighten whites. Always follow the care instructions, and conduct a patch test before applying any products or techniques to the entire pillowcase.

Another option is using bluing products that counteract the yellow tones. Add a small amount of liquid bluing to the rinse cycle for whiter pillowcases. Additionally, taking advantage of sunlight can have a natural bleaching effect. After washing, hang the pillowcases outside or lay them flat in direct sunlight to allow the sun's UV rays to lighten the yellowing. 

It's important to note, however, that excessive exposure to sunlight can weaken fabrics over time — so it's best to rotate and alternate drying methods. With patience and persistence, you can successfully remove yellow discoloration and rejuvenate the brightness of your pillowcases. And that means a fresh, clean sleep environment.