How to Clean & Whiten Yellow Pillows [DIY Solution]

The infamous yellow pillow…[dun dun daa] a problem that’s been bothering me for quite some time now.  I suppose it’s sort of embarrassing, but then again, I’m pretty sure 90% of the world has the same problem.  The yellowing of pillows, pillow cases and even bed sheets seems inevitable, even if you wash them regularly. This is due to the fact that we spend a good chunk of time in our beds, where we tend to sweat – which releases acids & salts that cause yellowing…sounds gross, I know. You could throw out these discolored pillows & bedding (which I’ve contemplated many times), but I could never bring myself to part with my favorite fluffy pillows.  Instead, I set out to find a solution!  After experimenting with many different ingredients & combinations, I found an amazing solution for cleaning yellow pillows & bedding!  Our favorite pillows,  which have yellowed over the past few years, look shockingly white again, see for yourself in the before & after photo!  So, without further ado, here it is…

How to Clean & Whiten Yellow Pillows [A DIY Solution]

how-to clean-yellow-pillows-solution

My first inclination when mixing up my yellow pillow solution was to add bleach.  It whitens everything, right?  WRONG.  Surprisingly, I found that although bleach may work on some types of stains, the chlorine in bleach can actually CAUSE linens to yellow & even make existing discoloration (from sweat) appear worse!  Not to mention the fact that bleach can leave linens smelling sort of funky…

So it was with a little insight from past cleaning solutions, along with lots of research (we found some great info on ehow) that I found this shocking yellow pillow solution!

How to Clean & Whiten Yellow Pillows [DIY Solution]


  • 1 cup dishwasher detergent (I used Cascade)
  • 3/4 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. laundry detergent (for HE washers)
  • 3 cups HOT water

how to clean yellow pillows


Mix ingredients together in a large container, make sure water is HOT!

white pillow solution

Pour solution into your washer’s tub, then put pillows in.  Run a very hot (or sanitize, if you have it) cycle.  how to whiten yellow pillows

Once the cycle is complete, place the pillows in the dryer on air dry (or with a dryer ball) to keep pillows nice and fluffy.

That’s it!  Enjoy your fresh white pillows & notice how much fluffier they are too!

PS. I used the same solution to clean my pillow cases and white bed sheets too :^)

Find more amazing DIY cleaning solutions here!

new jordan sig

23 responses to “How to Clean & Whiten Yellow Pillows [DIY Solution]

  1. Pingback: How to Clean & Whiten Yellow Pillows [DIY Solution] |
  2. I tried this and it worked for me. Love the way they came out. This will save me money, I won’t have to buy pillows as often. Thanks for sharing

  3. You may have used lemon cascade. You need to use plain not with the lemon. Chefs use plain cascade all the time to whiten their chef jackets!

  4. Baking soda in the washing machine might kill your washer eventually. Baking soda is salt which means corrosion. Washers are just not made for that kind of abuse.

    1. Is washing soda the same as baking soda? Recipe calls for washing soda. Still a salt I think? I use Baking soda when anyone has been around poison ivy, it neutralizes it. I would rather shorten the life of the washer to avoid having poison ivy. Our washers still have lasted years, but maybe they would have lasted even longer…

  5. Jordan very smart ! Thank you for posting ! I make my own laundry detergent comes out to about 13 cents per Mason jar and I must say your mixture is impressive ! Baking soda is fine for the washer dear , the vinegar counteracts no damage done . Know your chemistry people ! Love saving money and this is a keeper , thanks again 💕 !

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