Why Pillows Turn Yellow, and How to Clean Them

Those yellow spots on the pillows may be disgusting, but they are not permanent.

Although we know that the human body – including our own – can sometimes be disgusting, we prefer not to remember it. So when you change your sheets and find that your once perfectly white pillows are now covered in a web of yellow and brown stains, it can be unsettling.

But these discoloured pillows look worse than they really are. There is a reasonable explanation for the origin of these stains, and they can be removed. Here’s what you need to know.

Why do pillows turn yellow?
There are several reasons why pillows turn yellow, but the most common cause of these spots is sweat. People sweat while they sleep, some more than others. The more you sweat, the more moisture seeps into the pillowcase and onto the pillow, causing the stains. And when you think about how many hours your head and face are on that pillow, that’s a lot.

In addition to sweat, your hair can be the culprit: specifically, if it’s particularly oily or if you often go to bed with wet or damp hair. Certain types of make-up and skin care products can also be the cause of these yellow spots. It can also be drool. Putting a waterproof pillow protector before your pillowcase can help prevent much of the discoloration.

How to wash pillows in the washing machine

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