Unilever logo
Cleanipedia ZA logo

How to Revive White Pillow Cases?

There is nothing better than getting into bed after a long day and feeling the crisp, cool linen on your skin. There is nothing worse though, then being greeted by tired and dirty-looking pillows.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

How to Revive White Pillow Cases?

Unfortunately, the reality is that pillowcases do start to look dingy and stained as a result of the natural oils secreted from our hair and skin during the night, that build up on the fabric over time. There is nothing you can do to stop your skin from secreting oils, but there is something you can do to revive your white pillowcases and have them looking crisp and clean in no time.

In this guide, we give you tips on how to get pillowcases white again and looking as bright as the day you bought them. If you want to know how to get pillows clean and white, then this blog is for you.

What Causes White Pillow Cases To Go Yellow or Grey?

As awful as it sounds, it’s your own sweat and natural oils from your skin and hair that causes white pillowcases to turn yellow. You might think using bleach is the answer to the question, how to whiten pillows but it’s not the solution. Bleach is not strong enough to remove the body oils from the fabric and can damage the fabric over time.

You might be wondering then if bleach won’t clean it, what will? Follow these five easy steps on how to whiten white pillows for best results.

5 Steps To Properly Clean White Pillowcases

Step 1 - Prepare a Cleaning Solution

It is always best to soak the pillowcase first. Fill a basin with very hot water and add a bit of dishwashing liquid which helps to remove the oils from the fabric together with a ¾ cup of baking soda to the water. You can also use a good laundry detergent like Surf Hand Washing Powder, with super whitening granules to help keep fabrics white without damaging them, as a pre-wash cleaning solution in water too.

The Poll

How do you choose your cleaning products?

0 Votes

Step 2 - Soak the Pillowcases

This is a very important step in the process. Make sure your pillowcases are completely submerged in the hot water. Swirl them around a bit to ensure that the cleaning solution can penetrate all areas of the pillowcases. Let these soak for at least 10 minutes before starting the scrubbing process.

Step 3 - Use a Soft Brush to Scrub the Stains

Brushes with softer bristles work well for this step. Be careful not to use a brush with hard bristles as this can damage the fabric. Choose a brush that is easy to grip for easier scrubbing. If you don’t have a brush, take a piece of the pillowcase in each hand and scrub the fabric against itself. Scrub one pillowcase at a time and give each one a good scrub all over.

Step 4 - Soak in Warm Water

Once you have scrubbed all your pillowcases, drain the basin and fill it again with clean, hot water. Place the pillowcases back into the basin, ensuring they are fully submerged, and leave them to soak. The longer they can soak, the better - overnight will give the best results if you can.

Step 5 - Rinse Thoroughly

Once they are finished soaking, they need to be thoroughly rinsed under a running tap of warm water. Rinse until the water runs clear. This will ensure that all the soap has been rinsed out and your pillowcases are not stiff from any soapy residue left behind. Squeeze out the excess water and hang them outside in the sun to dry.

How to Deep Clean White Pillow Cases

Washing your pillowcases and bed linen on a regular basis is a must. For a deep clean, handwashing is a necessity, and following the 5 easy steps above will go a long way in keeping your pillowcases clean and white without using harsh chemicals which can damage the fabric.

How to Prevent Yellowing of White Pillow Cases?

Regular washing of pillowcases as well as following the hand washing routine will help prevent the yellowing of pillowcases and keep them white and bright. Keen to know how to wash other types of bedding too? Read our blog on How To Wash and Store Seasonal Bedding and Clothes for more titbits.

If you are trying to remove yellow stains and dirt from your pillowcases or trying to prevent them from yellowing in the first place, then follow our easy-to-use steps. If you wash your pillowcases regularly and deep clean them with the steps above you are on the road to white, fresh-looking pillowcases every night.

For more laundry tips and tricks, visit Cleanipedia now.

FAQs on Washing White Pillowcases

What are some common causes of yellowing on white pillowcases?

Yellowing on white pillowcases can be caused by a buildup of sweat and oils, regular washing with hard water, and using too much detergent. Other factors such as smoking, body lotions, and certain medications can also contribute to yellowing. To prevent yellowing, it is important to wash pillowcases frequently and consider using a laundry booster or whitening agent.

How can I remove yellow stains from white pillowcases?

To remove yellow stains from white pillowcases, you can use Surf washing powder. Start by mixing 1 scoop of Surf powder with water to make a paste, then apply the paste directly onto the stained area. Let it sit for 30 minutes before washing the pillowcases in the washing machine with a scoop of Surf powder.

How often should I wash my white pillowcases?

It is recommended to wash your white pillowcases at least once a week to maintain hygiene and freshness. However, if you have allergies or acne-prone skin, it is recommended to wash them every 2-3 days. Additionally, if your pillowcases become soiled or stained, they should be washed immediately.

Can I revive yellowed white pillowcases, or should I replace them?

Yes, yellowed white pillowcases can be revived using various methods such as soaking them in a solution of baking soda and vinegar or bleach, or washing them with a laundry detergent that contains enzymes for stain removal. However, the effectiveness of these methods will depend on the severity of the yellowing and the age of the pillowcases. If the yellowing is too severe or the pillowcases are too old, it may be better to replace them.

Are there any natural methods for reviving white pillowcases?

Yes, there are some natural methods for reviving white pillowcases. One method is soaking the pillowcases in a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Another method is to use lemon juice and sunlight to naturally bleach the fabric. A third option is to use hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to remove stains and whiten the fabric.

Originally published