Removing pillow stains for a germ-free, clean sleep

Dec 29, 2021

The average human spends a third of their life sleeping. With that being the case, it’s important that what you’re sleeping on is clean and germ-free.

Most people manage to stay on top of cleaning their sheets and pillowcases. But how often do you get around to also cleaning your pillows to remove any of the causes of unsightly yellow stains? Fortunately, there are simple ways to remove those unsightly yellow stains and keep your pillows fresh and clean.

Domestic service entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Hygea, Lily Li, says there are a number of reasons yellow stains form on pillows, with the biggest culprit being sweat.

“People sweat while they are sleeping even though they don’t realise it. Sweat travels through the pillowcases, into the pillow and starts colouring the pillow,” says Li.

“Lying down with wet hair or makeup can also bring yellow stains to the pillows because chemicals such as hair products, makeup, and other types of skin products can discolorise the pillow. The natural oil from people’s skin can also cause yellow stains on pillows.”

When it comes to keeping your pillows fresh and clean, prevention is better than cure with Li suggesting washing out “hair product, dry your hair, remove makeup or any face cream before you go to bed”.

For a little added protection Li suggests adding “a pillow protector over your pillow before you put it into a pillowcase”.

“This gives a layer of protection between the pillowcases and pillows. Buy pillows that are made from fluid-preventing fabric. They are designed against sweat and spills,” she says.

If you’ve left it too late and yellow stains have taken hold of your pillows there is still hope. Li suggests “using a stain removal spray or a paste of baking soda water before you put the pillow into the washing machine” for smaller stains. If the stains are proving to be a little too stubborn “use a combination of detergent mixed with soap. Keep in mind that you need to read the instructions on the care label to avoid any damage to your pillows”.

“It is very hard to remove yellow stains if they have been there for a long time. So, the best way to remove yellow stains is to prevent them from the beginning. Remember to fully wash your pillows at least twice a year, it will help reduce the number of yellow stains that appear on your pillows,” she said.

Fantastic Cleaners’ cleaning expert Dean Davies suggests a combination of “laundry detergent, washing soda, dish detergent and vinegar in a small container” to get pillows back to as good as new.

“Put the pillow in the washing machine and add the cleaning solution afterwards. Keep in mind that a second wash cycle is required because the cleaner is thick and sticks on the pillow surface,” says Davies.

What's your method for cleaning stained pillows?

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