How to Wash and Whiten Pillows

January 1, 2024


My initial approach involved the use of 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide as a bleach substitute.

Freshening Up Yellowed Pillows and More
I also added 1/2 cup of vinegar to the mix. Vinegar is a powerful natural cleaner that not only breaks down stains but also serves as a fabric softener.

A note to readers: The use of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar is mentioned in this post. It’s safe to use them in succession, but mixing them directly in the same container can result in peracetic acid. This is a corrosive acid that can cause harm to the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.

Energizing Yellowed Pillows and More
Next, I poured in 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Like vinegar, lemon juice has acidic properties that break down stains, and it leaves a refreshing lemon scent behind.

Reinvigorating Yellowed Pillows and More
Once your pillows are fully immersed, let them soak for 30 minutes. Flip them over to ensure they’re thoroughly soaked on both sides and leave them for an additional 30 minutes.

After the first half-hour, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the progress. Keeping in mind that my washing machine is quite large, I decided to add another cup of hydrogen peroxide. Everyone’s machines vary in size, so adjust the quantities to suit your requirements. (In total, I used 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice.)

Revitalizing Yellowed Pillows and More
Proceed to add your preferred laundry detergent and run your standard washing cycle.

Revitalizing Yellowed Pillows and More
After the wash, inspect your pillows. If they’ve reached your desired level of cleanliness (like mine did), you can proceed to dry them. If not, you might need to repeat the process or explore an alternate method outlined below.

I set my dryer to a low setting, and it took roughly 30 minutes for my pillows to dry.

Emerging from the dryer, the pillows were a sight for sore eyes, and I was incredibly pleased with the results.

Revitalizing Yellowed Pillows and More
What other methods did I experiment with? (Here’s one that is color safe)

Moving on to the next batch of pillows, which had also been previously washed and dried. I soaked them in a concoction of 1 cup of laundry detergent, 1 cup of washing soda, 1 cup of Borax, and 1 cup of Castile soap. Following a similar soaking and flipping process as before, I ran the wash cycle.

Revitalizing Yellowed Pillows and More
The change was noticeable, but one pillow remained yellower than I would have liked.

In conclusion, these methods provide excellent bleach-free alternatives for anyone wishing to avoid harsh chemicals. They work effectively on pillows, pillow covers, and mattress pads.

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