Do Your Pillows Stink? Here’s How to Wash and Keep them Smelling Fresh

Last Updated on July 10, 2020 by Kimberly Crawford

When it comes to making your bedroom comfortable and classy, throw pillows are the best choice. But like all other pillows. they become dirty after a while and start to stink. And this is quite natural because of the natural oils in our body, sweat, or outside dirt and dust.

This is clearly something you can’t avoid and so you should clean and wash your pillows on a regular basis. 

Before washing the pillows, do read the labels attached as some are washable in machines and some can only be washed with hands. We have the easiest and most effective solutions on how to wash both types of pillows and how to go about their daily maintenance so they don’t stink.

Machine Washable Pillows

pillow bedroom dragonfly

Some pillows such as synthetic, fiberfill and down pillows are safe to be washed in a washing machine. But certain pillows like foam pillows are spot-clean only. Do look at the stuff before putting them in the washing and read their label so you save yourself from the agony of destroying your favourite set of pillows.

Machine washable pillows can rid your pillow of dirt, dust, hair, sweat, skin oil, dead skin, and even makeup; but only if you go by these essential steps. This method will make your pillows smell fresh again and also look brand new.

First off, clean the visible stains on the pillowcase by dabbing it with a towel dipped in baking soda and water paste. By dabbing the pillowcase with baking soda, stains will go away immediately. After cleaning the pillowcase, put two pillows in the washing machine for balance purposes. 

Apart from the laundry detergent, pour vinegar, washing soda and dishwasher solution in the washing machine. These ingredients will help with whitening as well as get sweat stains out of pillows. One can also use bleach but in most cases it worsens the stains and adds even more blotches. 

After you’ve washed them, add a second round with some hot water so the remaining detergent and washing soda can be removed from the thick pillows. Now that your pillows have been washed and ridden of the bad odour and dirty stains, it’s time to dry them out.

Put the pillows in the dryer but on a low heat setting. In order to maintain their fluffiness and shape, you can add tennis balls too. And in case you’re worried about their rubbery smell, you can always wrap them in a sock. Your pillows will come out stain-free, smelling fresh as ever and fluffed too!

Hand Washable Pillows

pillows bedroom

Memory foam pillows are only to be washed by hands. Never make the mistake of washing them in a washing machine or you’ll completely ruin them. As they can’t be risked in a washing machine, cleaning them can be a bit tricky and so careful instructions should be followed.

Just like all the other pillows, foam pillows are also the victim of dirty stains and bad odour. Repeat the process mentioned above for pillowcases. But if the odour is really stinky, add 50% vinegar in water. Then dab the pillowcase with a towel dipped in this solution. This will not only clean the surface but also remove the stinkiness. After cleaning, put it in the sunlight for a while to discolour any remaining spots. 

Hand wash the pillow in a basin under warm water with a regular laundry detergent. Squeeze the pillow lightly so that the detergent can go inside the foam easily. Be sure not to rub it or squeeze too harshly otherwise the material inside will loosen and the pillow will lose its shape and won’t be able to serve its purpose. 

After you’ve cleaned the pillow, don’t put it in a dryer. Place it in a well ventilated area where it can be dried. Some take more than 24 hours to dry so have patience. You can also lightly squeeze the pillow so all the water can be rinsed out. But be gentle so you don’t damage the foam. 

Some Easy-to-Follow Cleaning Tips

No doubt washing pillows and cleaning their stains is quite a task. Wouldn’t it be better if you changed your habits and tried to take care of your pillows?  You can follow these simple tips to help keep yourself on track.

  • Remove makeup every night before going to bed
  • Wash your face at night to remove excessive skin oil
  • Don’t eat in bed to avoid food stains on your pillow
  • Sleep in a comfortable temperature so your body doesn’t sweat throughout the night
  • Change pillow cases weekly

These tips are quite easy to follow and will keep your pillows much cleaner. Make a habit of keeping your bedroom clean and cool to avoid stinking pillows. Most importantly, do remember to read the labels before you go on to wash the pillows.