The Best Way to Clean Pillows and Get Them White Again

When you first receive your brand-new pillows, it's like seeing a newborn baby for the first time. 

They're pristine, soft, and oh so white! 

But after a few days of restful sleep with them every night, your once-pristine pillows start to look quite dingy. 

Fortunately, you don't have to throw them away just yet.

There are ways to clean those pillows and get them whiter than ever before. 

Today, we'll cover a few ways to do it, but first, let's answer a crucial question.

Why Do Pillows Get Yellow Stains in the First Place? 

The key is to understand the causes of discoloration in the first place. 

The most common causes of discoloration in white fabrics include:

UV damage

UV damage can cause fabrics to become yellow, brittle, and faded. 

For white fabric items, this damage usually begins to show up as yellowing or browning, depending on the fabric itself. 

Since UV damage is caused by exposure to the sun, this process can be sped up quickly if you leave your white pillows outside. It's best to keep them away from direct sunlight when possible. 


This type of discoloration is caused by interaction with other compounds in the environment, leading the fabric to take on a yellowing or browning tint. This type of discoloration is most commonly seen in fabrics that are dyed with a reddish pigment. 

Oxidation can be prevented by storing your white pillows in an area that is free of chemicals, smoke, and other airborne pollutants.

Microbial growth

This type of discoloration is caused by the growth of mold, mildew, or bacteria on the fabric. 

Microbial growth is often the result of poor hygiene or storage conditions. 

To prevent this type of discoloration, make sure to regularly wash your white pillows and store them in a clean, dry place.

Soil staining

This type of discoloration is caused by the transfer of soil or other particles onto the fabric. 

Soil staining is often the result of improper cleaning techniques or using the wrong type of cleaner for the fabric. 

To prevent this type of discoloration, make sure to regularly vacuum your pillows and spot-clean them with a gentle cleaner.

What Tools and Materials Do You Need to Clean Your Pillows?

To clean your pillows and get them white again, you will need the following tools and materials

  • Wool dryer balls. These will work even better than fabric softener sheets, and their scents are more subtle. 
  • White vinegar. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener, and it can also help to remove stains from your pillows.
  • A clean brush. This can be used to brush away dust and other debris from the pillows' surface. 
  • A vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. This is the best way to remove dust and other particles from your pillows.
  • Water. You will need this to wet the wool dryer balls and white vinegar solution.
  • Baking soda. Baking soda is a natural cleaning agent that can help to remove stains and odors from your pillows.

How to Clean Your Pillows and Get Them White Again

Now that you know the causes of discoloration and what tools and materials you need, it's time to get started on cleaning your pillows.

To clean your pillows and get them white again, follow these steps:

Start by vacuum cleaning your pillows. Use the soft brush attachment to remove as much dust and debris as possible.

Next, wet a wool dryer ball with water and vinegar solution. Rub the ball over the surface of the pillow to help loosen any dirt or stains.

If any stubborn stains are remaining, use a clean brush and baking soda to scrub them away.

Once you're finished scrubbing, rinse the pillows with clean water and allow them to air dry.

And that's it! 

Following these steps, you can easily clean your pillows and get them white again.

Alternative Ways to Cleaning Your Pillows

If you don't have the time or patience to clean your pillows yourself, there are a few alternative methods you can try.

  • Pillow covers. Pillow covers are designed to protect your pillows from dirt, dust, and stains. They can be easily removed and washed as needed.
  • Pillow protectors. Pillow protectors are made of a durable, waterproof material that will prevent your pillows from getting dirty or stained.
  • White pillowcases. White pillowcases will help to keep your pillows clean and fresh-looking. They can be easily removed and washed as needed.

Also, if you don't want to use a whitening agent, then you can opt for a steam cleaning service. This will thoroughly clean and whiten your pillows, and it's much more effective than doing it yourself. 

Steam cleaning delivers a high-pressure blast of steam that is hot enough to kill 99.9% of bacteria and germs on your pillows. It will remove stains and odors, and it will even get rid of allergens like pollen or animal dander. 

Another great thing about steam cleaning is that it can remove allergens and dust mites trapped inside your pillows. You might find lots of droppings and other unpleasant things when you open your pads up again.


Discoloration is a common problem with white pillows. However, it is not impossible to clean your pillows and get them white again.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily clean your pillows and remove any dirt, dust, or stains.

And, if you don't have the time or patience to clean your pillows yourself, you can try a few alternative methods, such as using pillow covers or pillow protectors.

You can also hire a cleaning company, like Custom Maids, to clean your pillows.

Custom Maids is a professional cleaning company that offers a wide range of services, including pillow cleaning. We use only the latest and most effective cleaning techniques and products to ensure that your pillows are clean and free of dirt, dust, or stains.

Please contact us today if you're interested in our pillow cleaning services. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and provide you with a free, no-obligation estimate.

Call our team to get a free estimate.

A weekly house cleaning service is the perfect way to spend quality time with your loved ones without having to worry about getting everything done around the house.

You spend so much time providing — let us take care of the cleaning.We'll come in every week (or every other week) and refresh everything just the way you like it. After just the first couple of regular cleans, we'll learn things about you that you wouldn't even know to let us know about