How to Clean and Whiten Yellowed Pillows Naturally

Maintaining a clean home involves countless chores, from washing dishes to polishing cutlery. Yet, bedding maintenance, particularly cleaning yellowed pillows, is crucial for health and hygiene. Pillows can harbor bacteria and allergens, despite being covered with a pillowcase. Here’s a simple, natural, and highly effective method to clean and whiten your pillows, making them almost new again.

The Problem with Yellowed Pillows:

Over time, pillows can accumulate sweat and body oils, leading to yellow staining and bacterial growth. Notably, pillows are a haven for dust mites, which thrive in the warm, moist environment provided by our nightly use. These allergens can contribute to various respiratory and skin diseases.

Natural Cleaning Solution:

To tackle yellowed pillows without resorting to harsh chemicals, try this eco-friendly method that utilizes common household ingredients. Before starting, ensure your pillows are washable.


  • 1 cup laundry detergent
  • 1 cup dish soap
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • Hot water

Steps to Clean Your Pillows:

  1. Preparation:
    • Fill a large basin or bathtub with hot water.
  2. Create the Cleaning Solution:
    • Add the laundry detergent, dish soap, white vinegar, and baking soda to the hot water.
    • Stir the mixture until all the ingredients are completely dissolved.
  3. Soak the Pillow:
    • Submerge the pillow in the cleaning solution.
    • Let it soak for about an hour to loosen the dirt, oils, and yellowness.
  4. Machine Wash:
    • After soaking, place the pillow in the washing machine.
    • Run a normal wash cycle with an extra rinse to ensure all cleaning agents are thoroughly removed.
  5. Dry Thoroughly:
    • Dry the pillow in the dryer on a low heat setting with dryer balls or clean tennis balls to help fluff up the pillow.
    • Ensure the pillow is completely dry to prevent any mildew.

By using these simple and natural ingredients, your pillows will not only be cleaner but also free from the chemicals found in many commercial products. This method is not only better for the environment but also for your health, reducing exposure to allergens and potentially harmful chemicals.

Additional Tips:

  • Regularly change your pillows every six months to two years, depending on usage and manufacturer recommendations, to maintain optimal cleanliness and comfort.
  • Consider using allergen-proof pillow covers to further protect against dust mites and other allergens.