Remove tough pillow stains without washing machine, vinegar or bleach

Pillow with yellow stains
-Credit: (Image: (Image: Getty))


Pillows are often overlooked when it comes to regular household cleaning, despite being a breeding ground for dust mites, bacteria and sweat.

Cleaning expert Karl Huckerby from Spare and Square emphasises the importance of giving pillows as much attention as other bed items to keep them fresh, clean and free from yellow stains.

He explained: "Pillows can get dirty easily as they collect the likes of dead skin, sweat, forgotten makeup and other bacteria as we sleep on them. This means they need to be cleaned thoroughly often, to avoid the likes of yellow stains becoming a permanent feature."

"If you notice a stain on your pillow, the first thing you need to do is check your pillow's care label, so you know how to wash it without damaging it."

"Although the majority of pillows can be cleaned in the washing machine, the likes of feather pillows and memory foam often need to be hand washed instead.", reports the Express.

"Many types of pillows can't just be thrown in the wash with the rest of the washing, due to their unique or delicate properties. Luckily, these pillows can and should still be cleaned just as thoroughly, through a method called spot cleaning."

Spot cleaning involves focusing on a specific area of the pillow rather than washing the entire item.

One of the initial techniques Karl recommended for spot cleaning to tackle yellow pillow stains is the use of lemon juice.

He explained: "Lemon juice is an acid that acts as a natural bleaching agent which takes out tough stains easily."

To try this method, mix two parts warm water with one part lemon juice. Then, using a clean cloth or towel, gently dab at the stain with the prepared solution.

Continue dabbing until the stain lifts and rinse with water if needed.

Should the lemon juice alone prove insufficient, Karl advises combining it with salt.

Salt serves as a gentle abrasive, helping to draw moisture from liquid stains.

Begin by slicing a fresh lemon or utilising lemon juice, applying it liberally over the stain to ensure full coverage.

Next, sprinkle salt over the lemon juice and stain. With a dry cloth, dab at the mixture of juice and salt until the stain vanishes, taking care not to rub to avoid scratching the pillow with the salt.

Conclude by rinsing the affected area with water.