Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow

Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow

Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow

Have you ever noticed that your pillows turn yellow over time? It can be frustrating to constantly wash them and still not be able to get rid of that unsightly discoloration. But have you ever wondered why this happens?

Pillows are an essential part of our daily lives. They provide us with comfort and support while we sleep, and can even help alleviate neck and back pain. However, despite our best efforts to keep them clean, over time they can start to look yellow and dingy.

Understanding the cause of yellow pillows is the first step to preventing and reversing discoloration. In this article, we will explore the reasons why pillows turn yellow and provide tips to help keep your pillows looking fresh and clean for longer.

Key Takeaways 

  • Pillows are an important part of our sleep routine, but over time they can become yellow and dingy.
  • Understanding the reasons behind this discoloration is crucial in preventing and reversing it.
  • This article will provide tips on how to keep your pillows looking fresh and clean for longer.

What Causes Pillows to Turn Yellow?

Pillows are a great way to rest your head at night, but they don’t always stay white and fluffy. Many people have experienced the disappointment of finding their pillows turning yellow over time. This is typically caused by sweat, skin oils, and dust mites that accumulate in the pillow over time. In addition, exposure to sunlight can cause the yellowing of pillows as well.

When you sweat while sleeping on a pillow, it can seep into the fabric and turn yellow when it oxidizes. Similarly, our skin produces natural oils that also get trapped in the pillow fabric and can cause discoloration. Dust mite droppings contain proteins that can create an unpleasant odor but also cause yellowing in pillows over time. Sunlight has ultraviolet rays which can further damage fabric and result in discoloration or fading of colors.

Therefore, if you want to keep your pillow looking fresh and new for longer, try to keep it away from direct sunlight and limit contact with sweat and skin oil as much as possible. Regularly washing your pillow will help reduce any build-up of dust mites or other allergens that may contribute to discoloration. With proper care and maintenance, you can extend the life of your pillows while avoiding dreaded yellow stains!

Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow

Why Do Some Pillows Turn Yellow Sooner Than Others?

Pillows can turn yellow for the same reasons regardless of the type of material they are made from, but some pillows may discolor sooner than others. Factors like quality of material, care and maintenance, and usage can influence how quickly a pillow will turn yellow. For example, a low-quality pillow with a thin fabric layer is more likely to discolor faster due to sweat or skin oils.

Additionally, if you do not regularly wash your pillow or keep it out of direct sunlight, it will be more prone to yellowing. On the other hand, higher-quality pillows with thicker fabric layers that are maintained properly will keep their color for longer.

Usage also matters; if you sleep on your pillow every night without washing it for long periods of time, it is more likely to become discolored compared to one that is used less frequently. In general, taking proper care of your pillow and washing it regularly can help extend its life and prevent early yellowing.

Common Causes of Yellowing

Yellowing of pillows is a common issue that can affect the quality and lifespan of them. There are several potential causes of yellowing, but some are more common than others.

One of the most common causes is sweat and skin oils from sleeping on the pillow, which can seep into the fabric over time and cause discoloration. Sunlight exposure is another culprit; UV rays can cause fading and yellowing if your pillow is kept in direct sunlight.

Additionally, low-quality materials or poor care and maintenance can also contribute to yellowing. Proper cleaning and storage habits such as washing your pillow regularly and keeping it out of direct sunlight will help prevent early discoloration. It’s also important to choose quality materials when buying a new pillow; thicker fabrics better resist sweat and oil absorption, so they stay looking new for longer.

Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow

Body Oils and Sweat

Body oils and sweat are major cause of pillows turning yellow. As we sleep, our skin releases natural oils and sweat onto the pillow, which seep into the fabric over time and cause discoloration.

To prevent this from happening, it’s important to regularly wash your pillow with detergent and hot water to remove any accumulated oils or sweat. It’s also helpful to use a pillow protector that is made of breathable material so that your skin can still breathe but won’t be in direct contact with the pillow itself.

Additionally, sleeping on a softer pillow can help reduce sweat buildup as it absorbs less moisture than a firmer one. Taking these steps will help keep your pillows looking clean and new for longer.

Hair Products

Hair products such as shampoo, conditioner, and styling products can also cause pillows to turn yellow over time. These products contain ingredients that can build up on the fabric of your pillow and create discoloration. To prevent this, it’s important to wash your hair before going to bed so that any product residue is removed from your hair and doesn’t get transferred onto the pillow while you sleep.

Additionally, washing your pillowcase regularly will help remove product buildup and keep your pillow looking fresh. If you use a lot of hair products, it may also be helpful to invest in a special type of pillowcase or protector that is designed specifically to resist staining caused by these products. Taking these steps will ensure that your pillows stay looking clean and new for as long as possible.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic organisms that live in house dust and can be found in all kinds of fabrics, including pillows. As they feed on dead skin cells, these tiny creatures produce droppings that contain proteins that can cause allergic reactions in some people. To reduce the presence of dust mites, it’s important to keep your home clean and dust-free. Vacuuming regularly and washing pillowcases in hot water every week or two will help remove mite droppings from your pillows.

Additionally, encasing your pillows in special dust mite covers is an effective way to create a barrier between them and the mites. Finally, replacing your pillows every 2-3 years with hypoallergenic options will ensure you maintain a healthy environment free from harmful allergens caused by dust mites.

How to Prevent Pillow Yellowing

Pillow yellowing is a common problem caused by years of use and exposure to dirt, dust, and other environmental factors. Fortunately, there are some easy steps that you can take to help keep your pillows looking bright and new.

First, be sure to wash your pillowcases frequently in hot water to remove any build-up of dirt or sweat. If the fabric allows it, you can also throw your pillowcases in the dryer for an extra cleaning boost.

Second, try using a hypoallergenic pillow cover to protect from dust mites and other allergens. This will also help reduce the amount of sweat that may accumulate on the pillow over time. Additionally, rotate your pillows at least once a week to ensure even wear and tear throughout them.

Finally, if you find that your pillows are starting to look yellowed or dingy over time, consider replacing them with brand-new ones every two or three years instead of attempting to clean them yourself. Taking these simple steps will help ensure that your pillows stay comfortable and free from yellowing for many years to come!

Choose the Right Pillow Protector

Choosing the right pillow protector is essential for keeping your pillows clean and free from yellowing. Pillow protectors come in a variety of styles and materials, so it’s important to choose the one that best meets your needs.

Cotton covers are lightweight and breathable, making them a great option for those who tend to get hot while they sleep. Polyester covers are also lightweight, but offer more protection against dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens. Vinyl protectors provide the most protection of all against liquids and spills, making them an ideal choice for households with young children or pets.

When selecting your pillow protector, be sure to measure your pillow first to ensure you get the correct size. It’s also a good idea to look for one that is machine-washable so that you can easily keep it clean over time. Finally, make sure it comes with a zipper closure so you won’t have to worry about it slipping off during the night.

By taking the time to choose the right pillow protector for your needs, you can help extend the life of your pillows and keep them looking their best for years to come!

Use a Memory Foam or Machine Washable Pillow

Memory foam and machine-washable pillows are two great options for those looking to invest in a quality pillow that will last. Memory foam pillows offer superior support and comfort, as they conform to your body’s shape and provide pressure relief. They also tend to retain their shape better than traditional down or feather pillows over time, making them an ideal choice for people who want a more consistent sleep experience.

Machine washable pillows are also a great option for those looking for an easy-care solution. Most machine-washable pillows are made from synthetic fibers that won’t shrink or clump when washed, ensuring you get the same level of comfort night after night. Plus, by being able to throw your pillow in the washing machine every few weeks, you can keep it clean and free from dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens.

No matter which type of pillow you choose, investing in a quality one is essential if you want long-lasting comfort and support while you sleep.

Regularly Wash Your Pillows According to Care Instructions

Regularly washing your pillows is an important part of keeping them looking and feeling their best. Washing your pillow can help remove dirt, dust mites, and other allergens from the fabric, while also refreshing its appearance. The key to properly caring for your pillow is to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions carefully.

For down or feather pillows, these should generally be spot cleaned with a gentle detergent and lukewarm water. After letting it stand for a few minutes, rinse it off with cold water and let it air dry completely before using it again. Machine washable pillows should be washed in cold water with a mild detergent on a gentle cycle setting. Afterward, they should be tumble-dried on low heat until thoroughly dry.

Memory foam pillows typically do not need to be washed as often as other types of pillows since they don’t absorb dirt or oils as the fabric does. However, if you want to get rid of any odors or refresh its look, you can spot-clean them with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent every few months. Be sure not to use too much soap when cleaning memory foam pillows since this can damage the material.

No matter which type of pillow you own, regular cleaning according to the manufacturer’s instructions is essential for maintaining its comfort level and extending its lifespan.

Use Cold or Warm Water Instead of Hot Water in the Washing Machine

Hot water in the washing machine can be damaging to your pillows, especially if they are made of down or feathers. The heat from the water can break down the delicate fibers and cause them to lose their shape and softness. Additionally, hot water can also fade the color of fabrics over time, which can turn them yellow.

To keep your pillows looking their best, use cold or warm water instead of hot when washing them. Cold water will help preserve the shape and fluffiness of down and feather pillows while gently removing dirt and other debris from the fabric. For machine-washable pillows, using a gentle cycle with warm or cool water works best. Warm temperatures are usually ideal for removing dirt without shrinking or fading fabrics.

By taking care to use cold or warm water when washing your pillows, you can help maintain their quality and extend their lifespan for years to come.

Use White Vinegar in the Washing Cycle

Using white vinegar in the washing cycle can be a great solution for keeping your pillows looking their best. Vinegar is a natural and versatile cleaner that helps remove dirt, odors, and even sweat stains from fabric. It is also an effective whitener and brightener, which can help keep your pillows looking new for longer.

To use vinegar when washing your pillows, simply add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of a cold or warm wash with detergent. The vinegar will help break down dirt and oils while maintaining the color of fabrics without fading or discoloration. Additionally, it can also help keep your pillows feeling soft and fluffy.

To get rid of stubborn stains or odors, you can also pre-soak the pillow in a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 4 parts water before laundering it. Soaking for 15 minutes should be enough time to effectively remove any tough grime or smells.

Using white vinegar in the washing cycle is an easy way to keep your pillows looking fresh and clean without damaging them over time.

Don’t Overload the Washing Machine with Too Many Pillows at Once

It’s important to be mindful of how many pillows you are washing at once, as overloading your washing machine with too many pillows can lead to poor cleaning results. This is because the machine won’t be able to move and agitate the items inside, meaning they won’t get properly cleaned. For best results, it’s best to limit each wash cycle to two or three pillows at most.

Additionally, overcrowding the washing machine can also put unnecessary strain on its components and cause the appliance to malfunction or break down altogether. If this happens, you may be left with a hefty repair bill that could have been avoided had you taken preventative measures in the first place.

By being aware of load size and following manufacturer instructions for pillow laundering, you can ensure that your pillows remain looking and feeling their best for years to come.

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Cleaning Solutions for Removing Existing Stains and Discoloration

If your pillows have already begun to discolor or show signs of staining, there are a few cleaning solutions you can use to help remove them. For light stains, a mild detergent and hot water should be enough to do the trick. If the stain is more stubborn, however, you may need to try a stronger solution such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide.

Be sure to always follow manufacturer instructions when using stronger cleaning solutions and test on an inconspicuous area first before applying it over the entire pillow. Additionally, if you’re unsure of how your pillow will react to certain chemicals, consider consulting with a professional cleaner for advice.

In addition to harsher chemical cleaners, there are also several natural methods for removing stains from pillows. Baking soda and vinegar can work wonders in some cases, while club soda has been known to effectively lift out tough food-based stains without damaging fabric fibers. As with any other stain removal method, it’s always best to spot-test these solutions prior to applying them over the entire surface of the pillow for best results.

  • Basically, you’re going to want to do the same thing to remove stains, but along with your usual detergent, add 1/2 cup of bleach and 1/2 cup of borax, then finishing washing and drying according to the pillow’s instructions. (lifehacker.com)

Dishwasher Detergent on Brown Stains

Dishwasher detergent may be an effective solution for removing brown stains from pillows. When used properly, it can help lift out discoloration without damaging the fabric fibers of your pillow. To use this method, make a mixture of one part detergent and three parts hot water in a bucket.

Soak your stained pillows in the mixture for at least 20 minutes before rinsing them with cold water and allowing them to air dry. If necessary, you can repeat the process until your pillow is free of discoloration. Be sure to spot-test any detergent you plan to use on your pillow before applying it over the entire surface as some products may cause fabric damage or further discoloration if they react with certain fabrics.

Laundry Detergent on White or Yellow Stains

Laundry detergent is a great solution for removing white or yellow stains from pillows. To use this method, combine two tablespoons of laundry detergent and one quart of warm water in a bucket. Soak the stained pillow in the mixture for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it with cold water and allowing it to air dry.

If necessary, you can repeat the process until your pillow is free of discoloration. Be sure to spot-test any detergent you plan to use on your pillow before applying it over the entire surface as some products may cause fabric damage or further discoloration if they react with certain fabrics.

Additionally, avoid using bleach on your pillow as this could lead to further discoloration and fabric damage.

Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow


Tips for Keeping Your Pillow Covers Clean Longer

Keeping your pillow covers clean is essential for a comfortable, hygienic sleep. To keep your pillow covers looking and feeling fresh longer, consider the following tips:

1. Wash Pillow Covers Often: Washing your pillow covers at least once a week helps to remove dirt, oil, and another build-up that can lead to discoloration or fabric damage over time. For best results, use a mild detergent and cool water on delicate fabrics and avoid using bleach or fabric softener.

2. Air Out Your Pillows: Allow your pillows to air out in the sun for at least an hour each day if possible. This helps to reduce odors and fade any stains that may have built up over time.

3. Replace Old Pillow Covers: Old pillow covers can become stretched out or lose their shape over time, so consider replacing them every couple of months depending on usage.

4. Use Protective Covers: Investing in a protective cover can help extend the life of your pillow by keeping dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens away from the fabric surface. Be sure to wash these covers regularly as well for best results.

Change Your Bed Linens Frequently

Your bed is your sanctuary after a long day, so it’s important to keep it clean and comfortable. One of the easiest ways to maintain the comfort level of your bed is to change the linens frequently. Not only will new linens give your bed an inviting look, but they can also help reduce allergens and bacteria that accumulate over time.

Change out your bed sheets at least once a week or more often if you tend to sweat during sleep. Wash in hot water and use a mild detergent for best results. You should also replace pillowcases every two weeks since oils from your face, hair, and body build up on them quickly. If you have allergies or sensitive skin, consider investing in hypoallergenic sheets and pillowcases for extra protection.

Don’t forget to wash blankets, duvets and mattress covers as well; these are all susceptible to dirt, dust mites and other allergens that can affect the quality of your sleep. Most blankets can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with cold water while mattress covers should be spot-cleaned or dry-cleaned depending on the fabric type.

By following these tips and changing out your bed linens regularly, you’ll create a clean sleeping environment that leads to better restful nights ahead!

Dry Wet Hair Before Going to Bed

Dry wet hair before going to bed is an important part of a good night’s sleep. Moisture from wet hair can cause your pillowcase and bed sheets to become damp, leading to the growth of mold and mildew. Not only does this create an unpleasant sleeping environment, but it also has the potential to cause skin irritations and allergies.

The best practice is to towel-dry wet hair until it’s just damp before going to bed. If you’re in a rush, use a blow dryer on low heat to get rid of excess moisture. Don’t forget about your scalp either; massage it gently with a microfiber towel so that any soap residue or shampoo lather is completely removed.

For extra protection against nighttime moisture, you can also invest in silk or satin pillowcases which are more breathable than cotton ones. These fabrics help reduce friction between your hair strands for easier styling in the morning, while also protecting your pillow from sweat and oils that accumulate during sleep.

Store Extra Pillows Properly When Not In Use

When not in use, extra pillows should be stored properly to prevent them from turning yellow. The yellowing of pillows is caused by a buildup of oils and sweat that have been absorbed over time. To keep your pillows looking fresh, store them in an airtight container or vacuum bag, away from direct sunlight and moisture. This will help reduce the amount of oil and sweat that accumulates on the fabric.

You can also use pillow protectors to help keep your pillows clean while they are being stored. Pillow protectors are removable covers made from a thin breathable material that fits over the pillow. They keep dust, dirt, oils and sweat off the fabric while still allowing your skin to breathe at night. It’s important to wash these covers regularly as well so you don’t end up with a musty-smelling pillow when you take it out for use again.

Final Thoughts

Taking care of your bed linens is an important part of creating a comfortable and healthy sleeping environment for yourself. Make sure to change out sheets, pillowcases, and blankets frequently, as well as dry wet hair before going to sleep. If you’re not using extra pillows, be sure to store them properly in an airtight container or vacuum bag away from direct sunlight and moisture. With regular care and maintenance, you can help prevent your pillows from turning yellow.