How to Wash and Whiten Pillows

Washing and whitening pillows is an excellent way to maintain them clean, fresh, and stain-free. Here’s a step-by-step approach on washing and whitening pillows:

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Pillow(s)
  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Tennis balls (optional, for fluffing)


1. Check the Care Label:

  • Always start by checking the care label on your pillows. Some pillows may have specific cleaning instructions that you should follow. If the care label allows machine washing, continue with the following steps.

2. Remove Pillowcases and Covers:

  • Take off any pillowcases, shams, or covers from the pillows. Wash these separately following their care instructions.

3. Pre-Treat Stains (if necessary):

  • If your pillows have any visible stains, spot treat them with a mixture of water and mild laundry detergent. Gently rub the stained area with a soft cloth or sponge.

4. Load the Washing Machine:

  • Place two pillows in the washing machine to balance the load and ensure thorough cleaning. If you have more than two pillows, wash them in separate loads to prevent overcrowding.

5. Add Baking Soda:

  • To help whiten and deodorize the pillows, add about 1/2 cup of baking soda directly to the washing machine drum.

6. Use a Gentle Cycle:

  • Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with cold water. Use a mild laundry detergent. Avoid using bleach, as it can damage the pillow’s fibers.

7. Rinse and Spin:

  • After the wash cycle is complete, run an extra rinse and spin cycle to ensure all detergent and residue are thoroughly removed.

8. Add White Vinegar (Optional):

  • To help whiten and soften the pillows, you can add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. This can also help eliminate any lingering odors.

9. Dry the Pillows:

  • Place the pillows in the dryer with a couple of clean tennis balls (if available). Tennis balls will help fluff the pillows and distribute the filling evenly.
  • Use a low heat setting to avoid damaging the pillow’s fibers. Check the pillows periodically and fluff them by hand to ensure even drying.
  • Drying may take several hours, so be patient.

10. Final Inspection:

  • Once the pillows are completely dry and have regained their fluffiness, remove them from the dryer.
  • Give them a final inspection for any remaining stains or clumps.

11. Fluff and Replace:

  • Fluff the pillows by giving them a few good shakes and punches to distribute the filling evenly.
  • Replace the pillowcases, shams, or covers once the pillows are clean and dry.

Your pillows should be cleaner, fresher, and whiter now. Regularly washing and maintaining your pillows will help them last longer and provide a more sanitary sleeping environment.

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