Remove Yellow Stains From Your Pillows With These 4 Simple Ingredients

When you start seeing your white pillows turn yellow, your first instinct might be to throw them out. However, there's an easy fix to restore them to their original color before replacing them. One method you've presumably tried is washing them like a regular load of laundry. Instead, try using a mix of laundry detergent, bleach, dishwasher detergent, and borax the next time you wash them. Sometimes laundry detergent isn't strong enough to remove stains, and using these four ingredients together can do the trick.

The yellow color results from sweat, saliva, and body oils from your skin and hair seeping into your pillow. It's normal for pillows to get stained, but it can be frustrating when they turn yellow a few weeks after you buy them. Not removing the yellow stains could disrupt your sleep or hurt your health because they contain allergens and bacteria. Dust mites on your pillows can cause allergic reactions, and the bacteria and moisture can cause breakouts on your skin, so it's vital to wash your pillows thoroughly. Here's how to remove those pesky yellow stains.

How to remove the yellow stains

Before removing the stains, you want to ensure your pillow is safe to use in the washing machine. You don't want to destroy it with the washer, so checking the laundry tag is important. We mentioned that you only need four ingredients: 1 cup of powdered laundry detergent, 1 cup of bleach, 1 cup of dishwasher detergent, and ½ cup of borax.

First, soak your pillow in hot water with the four ingredients. You can soak it directly in your washing machine using the soak function. If you don't have the soak feature, boil water and soak your pillow in a large pot or bucket. You can also let the hot water run in the bathtub and soak it there. Before washing the pillow, you want the ingredients to activate and work on the yellow stains so that they're easier to remove as they're being washed. Allow the cushion to soak for an hour and flip it halfway — you want it to get completely sodden.

After an hour, wash your pillow with hot water and include an added rinse to clean it thoroughly. Finally, dry your pillow in the drying machine or let it air dry. The laundry tag should tell you what setting to dry it with; if it doesn't, use a low heat setting to be safe.

Tips to prevent your pillows from turning yellow

While keeping your cushions pearly white is impossible, you can do a few things to care for and clean your pillows and make them last for years without turning yellow immediately. For example, keeping a pillowcase over them when you sleep will prevent oils and sweat from staining your cushions. Also, even though you can't cover your face when you're sleeping, you can cover your hair. Wearing a satin bonnet to bed can help protect your hair and limit the oils it transfers to your pillows. You can also apply your skincare products a couple of hours before bed so that your skin is dry by the time you go to bed.

On the other hand, washing your pillows and pillowcases regularly can help remove stains early rather than letting them sit on the pillows for weeks or months, making them harder to eliminate. Clorox's in-house scientist and cleaning expert, Mary Gagliardi, recommends washing your pillowcases and sheets once a week. You can add the load to your other ones on laundry day and get them out of the way. However, you should wash your pillows every four to six months. If you use a pillowcase regularly, you can get away with going a long time without washing your cushions.