Can a dishwasher tablet help remove yellow pillow stains?
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The most common reason for a yellow stained pillow is sweat. You might not even be aware of it, but most people sweat to some extent during the night, and that sweat can seep through your pillowcase onto your pillow and build up over time, eventually causing yellow staining. Aside from sweat, other forms of moisture can also make your pillows turn yellow, including natural oils from your skin. Throw in facial oils, serums and moisturisers, not to mention products you have on your hair, and yellow stains on your pillows are inevitable. To eliminate them, two experts have exclusively shared with us their top tips.
Most people think of using bleach to get out yellow stains from pillows. However, this is “definitely not the right choice”, according to Sarah Dempsey, laundry expert at myjobquote.co.uk.
She said: “The yellow stains on pillows are usually due to sweat. Sweat stains are protein-based. Bleach is the worst solution for tackling these types of stains and it could actually lead to further yellow stains.”
Instead she suggested using laundry pre-treatment followed up by a whitener solution. She said: “If you want to remove the yellow stains from your pillows, begin by spraying the pillows with a laundry pre-treatment spray. Allow the pre-treatment to sit on the stains for the recommended amount of time.
“Then, use a toothbrush to scrub at the stain and gently loosen the stain debris. Then, use an oxygen-based whitener solution and add this to a bathtub filled with hot water. Soak your pillow in this solution overnight and then place the pillow in the washing machine as normal. Allow your pillow to completely dry all the way through before putting it back on your bed.”
Neil Wright, managing director of Fabric-Online, argued that yellow pillow stains can be removed “effectively” also without the use of bleach. He said: “For pillows that are stained, this is easily fixed – and the remedy is effective.”
The items needed are washing powder, white vinegar, laundry detergent and washing up liquid. He said: “Mix these in a small container and add the solution to the washing machine as you usually would during a wash.
“Put your pillows onto a second wash cycle to prevent the mixture from sticking to your pillows, and to remove any residue, and you will be left with sparkling white pillows, stain free.”
However, before adding a pillow to the washing machine it is important to check if it is machine washable. Sarah said: “When it comes to cleaning your pillows, the most important rule is to read the care label. Most pillows can be machine washed, however, not all of them can. To ensure you don’t damage your pillows, always read the care label before washing and follow the instructions accordingly.”
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Neil agreed: “Before washing any pillow or soft furnishings, check the care label for in-depth instructions. Be sure you understand what fill the pillow has, as this will determine what kind of care and washing setting your washing machine needs to be on.
“Two pillows at a time is often a good start, to prevent uneven weight distribution. When washing, set the spin cycle speed to a higher setting to remove as much excess water as possible.”
Day to day, households should give their pillows a good fluffing up to remove dust and help restore their shape. Every few months, hang your pillows outside on a clothes line for a few hours. For those who don’t have a garden or a clothes line or if the pillows can’t be hung outside, run them through the dryer on a non-heated cycle, advised Sarah. This is to keep them in good condition.
If your pillow is machine washable, the expert advised aiming to wash it twice a year in the washing machine. She said: “Washing your pillow in the washing machine is not that difficult. However, it can take some time to dry completely.
“If you have a washing machine that is large enough, you should aim to wash two pillows at once. This will help to balance the load and will allow the detergent and water to circulate much more effectively.”
However, Sarah explained that households will need to take a different method, depending on the filling in the pillow.
Down or feather pillows
Most down or feather pillows can be placed in the washing machine. However, a mild detergent and cold water will need to be used. Then, dry the pillows on a low heat. The expert warned: “High temperatures can damage this type of filling.”
Latex or memory foam pillows
These types of pillows may get damaged in the washing machine so will most likely need to be hand washed. To do this, vacuum all of the dust from the pillow and then spot clean it with a small amount of mild detergent and a damp cloth. Lay the pillow flat and allow it to air dry.
Wash polyester pillows with warm water on a gentle washing cycle. If you can, wash two pillows at the same time to help balance the load and use a small amount of detergent.
After washing a pillow it is important to get the pillow completely dry to “prevent the risk of mildew”. Sarah urged: “Don’t just rely on the auto dry setting on your dryer as this will only detect surface moisture and won’t completely dry the inside of your pillow.
“Most pillows can be dried for a good hour or so on a moderate heat setting. Add a couple of dry towels to the machine to help speed up the drying process. If you also put some clean tennis balls or dryer balls into the machine, this will prevent the filling from becoming clumped up.
“If you are drying feather pillows, you will need to dry them on the non-heated setting. Add some tennis balls or dryer balls to prevent clumps from forming in the pillows. Drying feather or down pillows can take a long time since no heat is used. Be patient and ensure the pillow is completely dry before using it again.”
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