How To Whiten Your Yellowed Pillows

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Sure, you may clean your pillowcases once every week or so, but what about your actual pillows? Over the course of time, these can get yellow and stained (and just plain icky). And when this happens, there’s luckily a way to bring them back to their former clean and white glory. One Good Thing by Jillee shares a miracle laundry whitening solution and technique that works like magic on dingy pillows.

It’s a gross topic, but it happens to all of us: we sweat when we sleep. Our bodies are working to keep us at a comfortable temperature, and that often requires a little excretion in the process. Not so pleasant to think about, we know.

But think about this. All that sweat, dirt, old makeup, and whatever else you can imagine is being absorbed through our pillowcases and onto our pillows. No wonder they get so yellow and dingy looking! They desperately need not only to be whitened, but to be disinfected.

Jillee’s method is incredibly simple and only requires a few cleaning products, most of which are probably in your laundry room right now. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


  • Really hot water
  • 1 cup of laundry detergent
  • 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent
  • 1 cup bleach
  • 1/2 cup Borax


  1. Fill your washing machine about 1/3 full of hot, hot water.
  2. Add your dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, bleach, and Borax.
  3. Turn on the machine and allow the ingredients to dissolve in the water.
  4. Place your pillows in the washing machine (she does two at a time to balance the washer). Allow the machine to fill the rest of the way with hot water and let it agitate for a few minutes. If you have a top loading washing machine, you may need to take the pillows out and turn them over.
  5. Allow the pillows to go throw two rinse cycles.
  6. After both cycles, take them out to dry, which will vary depending on the type of pillows you have.If you have a front loader, Jillee notes that you might not have to take the pillows out to flip them around halfway through. The only reason she did this was to make sure the mixture covered the whole pillow, but front loading washers will be rotating the pillows on their own.
    When it comes to drying your pillows, the method will depend on the pillows you have. Down or feather pillows should be dried on an air cycle, while synthetic pillows should just be dried on a low-temperature setting. To keep your pillows nice and fluffy, Jillee suggests using dryer balls. If you don’t have dryer balls, try wrapping some tennis balls in clean socks and tossing them in with your load!Have any of you ever had success with this method? Share your thoughts or alternative methods in the comments section below.

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