Restoring Pillows to their Original Brightness

Yellow pillows are gross – that’s undeniable. But it might not be time to pitch them yet!

A typical reason pillows become stained yellow is because of your sweat drying on them (hey, I warned you it was gross). This could mean they are still in perfectly good condition as far as shape and filling. They simply need a good cleaning!

With such yellow hues, I can see how you’d be tempted to toss them, but give the remedy below a try first.

To start, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:

  • HOT water
  • One cup of laundry detergent (your choice for kind)
  • One cup of powdered dishwasher detergent
  • One cup of bleach
  • Half cup of borax

I want to stop and make sure you’re aware of a few things before we start. It’s recommended this treatment is done at least once every six months. So, perhaps you could try to keep a schedule and wash a different room’s pillows every month. Also, before you throw your pillows in the washer, check the labels to make sure they’re machine washable. Most should be, whether they’re down or synthetic, but be sure to double-check.

The directions below are for a top-loading washing machine. If you have a front-loader, simply mix together all the ingredients (except the bleach) and place the mixture in the compartment where your detergent would normally be. Add the bleach separately in the bleach-only compartment. This will avoid leaving a trace of bleach in your regular detergent compartment.

  1. pillowswithnocasesNow for the first step of washing them! Remove any pillowcases, covers or protectors. They should NOT go in the washer with the pillow.
  2. Next, fill the washing machine about a third of the way full with hot water, and I mean steaming hot! So hot that it’s actually acceptable if it’s boiling.
  3. After that, add the rest of the listed ingredients and start the machine, allowing it to mix together before adding your pillows.
  4. twopillowsinwasherOnce all the detergents appear to be dissolved together, add your pillows (two per cycle) and more hot water, filling the machine the rest of the way. When adding the pillows, be sure to equally space them out so it’s not uneven for the spin cycle.
  5. Close the lid and let the washer go for a few minutes, soaking the pillows. Then come back and flip the pillows over so all sides are covered in the detergent.
  6. Make sure your washing machine is set on hot water and also on the 2nd rinse cycle, or you can run it through the rinse cycle twice.

Now, we’ll tackle drying the pillows! You can use your dryer, but please note the following settings, based on the type of fill:

  • For down or feather fill: use the air cycle.
  • For synthetics: use a low heat setting.

If you’re the type who uses clothes lines to dry things, you could definitely hang your pillows up to dry, instead!

sockballIf you decide on using the dryer, throw in a few dryer balls to help keep the pillows’ shape. You can use old tennis balls covered in clean socks if you need a quick, homemade remedy.

OK, so how’d they turn out? Aren’t you glad you didn’t throw them away? Post a few pictures of your shiny white pillows below, and let us know what you think about the process!