How to bring old yellowed pillows back to life: the best ways

Alina MilsentLifestyle
Life hacks for washing pillows. Source: Created with the help of AI

Pillows need regular, thorough cleaning, so it's not enough to just change the pillowcase. Yellowing can be caused by sweat, saliva, sebum, and more. Moreover, bacteria and dust mites can accumulate on the linen, causing serious health problems.

You should wash your pillows thoroughly at least twice a year, experts say. If your pillows have already turned yellow, there are a few ways you can try to get rid of the unsightly marks.

Baking soda

Baking soda is a natural alternative to harsher chemical solutions. Jackie Shepherd, a cleaning specialist, recommends putting the pillow in cold water for 30 minutes and then applying baking soda to the yellow stains. The abrasive particles should cover all the dirt. Wait 15-20 minutes and thoroughly remove the remaining product.

Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda combined with white vinegar will remove even the most stubborn stains. Emily Attwood, founder of Scooms, tells us how to make the most of this powerful combination. Create a paste by mixing baking soda with a little water and start by conducting a spot test on an inconspicuous area. Then apply the paste directly to the stained area and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Dampen a clean cloth with white vinegar, blot the stains, and rinse the cushion thoroughly with water.


Yellow stains on pillows are often caused by sweat, which seeps into the fibers over time and leaves noticeable marks. Salt can help. Just dissolve four tablespoons of salt in a liter of water. Gently wipe the stains on the pillow with the salt solution using a clean cloth or sponge.

Enzyme-based stain removers

Products containing chlorine-based bleach should be avoided and instead, enzyme-based powders should be preferred.

"Resist the urge to use chlorine bleach. Sweat stains are protein-based, and bleach is not an ideal solution as it can cause further yellowing," explained laundry expert Laurie Williamson.

Most stain removers simply bleach the fabric, and high concentrations of harsh chemicals can damage fibers and even irritate the skin. Instead, cleaners containing enzymes not only neutralize any odors but also break down stain molecules.

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