How to clean and whiten yellowed pillows

Did you know that the most common reason for pillows to turn yellow is sweat? Now that you know this

Did you know that the most common reason for pillows to turn yellow is sweat? Now that you know this disturbing fact here is how to clean your pillows and have them back to sparkling white.

You will need:

  • Hot water
  • 1 cup laundry detergent
  • 1 cup powdered dishwashing detergent
  • 1 cup bleach
  • 1/2 cup borax


  1. Check the care label of the pillow and remove any pillow protector or casing.
  2. Fill the 1/3 of the washing machine with hot water, boiling water can have the best effect.
  3. Add the ingredients and start the machine so that they dissolve.
  4. Add the pillows and allow the machine to add hot water. Two pillows at a time will evenly balance the machine.
  5. Allow the machine to agitate the pillows for several minutes and then turn them over.

Drying your pillows

Using a low heat setting place the pillows in the dryer. Also add a few tennis balls covered in socks to help fluff the pillows as they tumble dry.

If you don’t have a dryer than simply setting them outside in the sun to dry will work just as well.

How do you clean difficult things?

    • Ruth Hoye  

      Too right Debera. toss them out. most of our pillows have a use by date printed on the attached docket, and even if not, I would rather sleep on clean, than sleep on er… yuk, spittle and such! Ruth

  1. my pillows end up lumpy after washing. anyone else have this problem?

    • We had the same problem Lyn until I suggested to her that has made Google redundant that she should wait until I get up before she washes them.

  2. I bought the bamboo pillows a couple of months ago. You can take their covers off and wash them in cold water every time you change the bed. I find them really good. I’ve tried to wash pillows before and they’ve ended up out of shape like Lyn Pride says.

    • Elizabeth Griffey There was a stall in our local shopping centre. I had been thinking about it for some time and when I saw the stall I just took the plunge. I did see them later in another shopping centre a bit cheaper. I forget how much I paid but I think it was around $100 for 2

    • All the pillows claiming to be bamboo around here are shredded memory foam with bamboo covers,where do you find the genuine ones.

      • Etty Sharkey  

        That is what Bambillo pillows are – shredded foam, no bamboo. The name and image on them suggests otherwise but it’s just a marketing ploy. Google Bambillo reviews if you don’t believe me – they’re not very promising. The ‘or your money back’ claim is a con too – the phone number that takes your order (without divulging the actual cost up front) is not the one you can call if there are any problems with payment, delivery or the pillows themselves. You’re referred to “customer service” which is the biggest misnomer… they are total rip-off artists.

    • Shirley Carr l’m with you, just the cover says bamboo, and the foam is very hard bits of chopped up memory foam, and they look exactly the same as the ones on TV, with all the same claims, l did buy two, and if the person had still been selling them, l’d have asked for a refund, you can feel how hard the insides are. Live and learn

  3. Pillows now have use by dates on. I had a pillow for 20 years I took it everywhere with me was de estates when I eventually had to buy a new one. It did not go yellow as I had a cover on it

    • I had an old feather one that came from the UK with me when I was little. Over the years it lost more feathers until in the end my hubby said it had to go. Broke my heart the day it went in the bin. Would have been about 40yrs old.

  4. Use pillow protector & wash it every couple of days, especially in summer, replace pillows every 12 mths

    • Izzy  

      Couple of days? Are you serious?

  5. I just wash mine in Nappy San , works brilliantly

    • Chris  

      Wouldnt the pillow fibre bunch up? I usually buy new pillows after two years. would love to be able to give them a wash. The yellowness would be from dribbling too……….

  6. These instructions are for a top loader, what about front loaders ?

    • Jill Friend  

      I was also wondering about this, as you can’t put dishwashing liquid in a front loader

      • Gael  

        Front loaders – why do people buy them? Really.

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