Revive Yellow Stained Pillows With An Essential Cleaning Ingredient

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

The problem kind of creeps up on us. One day we're changing the sheets like we do regularly (right?) and while stripping off the cases we notice that the pillows aren't looking so inviting anymore. Yellow stains have somehow accumulated, so the pillow is no longer as pristine. How did this happen? It's more common than you might think. Over time your sweat, hair and makeup products, and okay, probably also a little bit of drool land on your pillow while you're asleep. The result is a yellow haze exactly where you lay your head every night. 

Aside from the ick factor, this is something you want to address ASAP since your pillow has definitely also gathered dust, old skin cells, bacteria, and allergens that should be removed to prevent illness and other issues. Luckily, the best ways to remove yellow stains on pillows as well as other laundry items are all relatively easy. These suggestions include using baking soda, vinegar, salt, and even shaving cream. But the best solution may come in the form of an applied science, and that's using an enzyme cleaner to resuscitate yellow-stained pillows.

How enzyme cleaners work to dissolve tough stains

An enzyme cleaner is an environmentally friendly agent that breaks down the organic compounds that create stains as well as the associated odors. Using basic biology, enzyme cleaners literally eat and digest organic material, leaving your pillows, rugs, and laundry stain and smell free. These cleaners work on pet stains as well. Enzyme cleaners remove stains efficiently and cost-effectively, since only a small quantity is needed per wash load. They work best in the laundry at lower temperatures too, so you reduce your carbon footprint by washing pillows at a mild to cool temperature. Because of their sensitivity to heat, these cleaners should be stored in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

Examples of enzyme cleaners include Zout, Dirty Labs, Biokleen, Kind Laundry, and lots more, many of which are available on Amazon starting at around $15 each, as well as at home improvement stores. Enzyme cleaners are gaining significantly in popularity not only because they do the job, but because they are mild on your skin. Bleach and laundry detergents can sometimes cause a sensitivity or allergic reaction resulting in hives or a rash when your skin comes into contact with bedding or clothing washed with their strong chemicals. Enzyme cleaners tend to be dye- and fragrance-free, and by leaving these ingredients out of your laundry process, you can avoid these skin-related reactions.

Regularly washing pillows for clean comfort

Experts recommend washing your pillows at least twice a year, but more if you regularly eat in bed or if your pets share your sleeping space. Keep in mind that there are specific washing instructions for different types of pillows. Polyester, down-filled, or latex are all cleaned differently, so it's best to double-check how to care for and clean your bed pillows. Always take a look at what the manufacturer advises by checking the instructions in the packaging that came with your pillows or if that's long gone, simply look up what's recommended for your brand or type of pillow online. There are plenty of ways to help prevent or slow down yellow stains on your pillows including regular cleaning and avoiding moisture of any kind. 

For instance, try not to go to bed with wet hair. If you sweat a lot at night, consider a cooler temperature for your bedroom or using fewer blankets. And, if you apply face or body cream at night, allow a few minutes for it to absorb into your skin before tucking yourself into bed. You also might want to invest in removable, washable pillow covers that zip over the pillow, and then place your decorative case over them. Fortunately, with a bit of care your pillows will give you years of clean, healthy comfort that's perfect for a good night's sleep.