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]
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
Mix ingredients together in a large container, make sure water is HOT!
Pour solution into your washer’s tub, then put pillows in. Run a very hot (or sanitize, if you have it) cycle.
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!
31 responses to “How to Clean & Whiten Yellow Pillows [DIY Solution]”
Good, I’ll try this method in summer time.
Thank you for your recommendation.
Sorry- tried this today and it did not work. Clean, yes. Yellow gone- no. Bummer.
OH, yes. It is really a good method. I will have a try.
This did NOT whiten my pillows.
I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work for your pillows. I’m wondering if there could be a certain point where your pillows will not recover at all.
Hi – I have a front load washer. When I poured the mix it, it looked like it drained out. Did you have this issue?
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
Use lemon juice to whiten clothes and linens. Wash in hot water, vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, dry in sunlight.
I will try this in the summer and let you know thanks
Hi. how many pillows or sheet does this dosage clean? It seems like a lot of soap for just pillows.
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!
Does this recipe work with top loading washers?
Cascade has bleach in it people…
Amazing! Couldn’t believe my eyes. Thanks for the post!
Would this be bad for down pillows?
I haven’t tried it with down. You may want to consult the care instructions on your pillows…if they’re washable I’d say give it a shot!
I’ve done this with feather pillows. It will work. Just dry it in the sun. Flip the pillow over several times if you lay it flat on a table.
Where would I buy cascade from please. X
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.
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…
Not the same thing, but you can use it as a substitute. It may not work exactly the same, but it’s worth a try!
You can make washing soda by baking baking soda in the oven. There is a chemical change that takes place.
Wow, I had no idea! Thanks for the tip Carla. I’ll definitely try “DIY washing soda” next.
Oh well, good thought, but this will not work for us. We do not have a high-efficiency washing machine and dryer. And no I am not going to run right out and buy one either. Our normal washer and dryer work fine for use. Looks like I will just throw out the yellow pillowcase my husband uses. Thank you anyway for this post.
I don’t think a high-efficiency machine is needed for this.
You’re correct, you don’t necessarily need a high efficiency machine to get results!
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 💕 !
My husband’s sweaty, bald head leaves our pillows so stained, I have to take the filling out and wash the pillow covers at the same time as I wash the pillow slips and the pillow protectors as well. I keep at least four additional pillow covers on hand, to slip the pillow filling into them when I change the bed linen
My husband’s sweaty, bald head leaves our pillows so stained, I have to take the filling out and wash the pillow covers at the same time as I wash the pillow slips and the pillow protectors as well. I keep at least four additional pillow covers on hand, to slip the pillow filling into them when I change the bed linen, closing the open end with a quick slip-stitch.