Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow? Pillows turn yellow because of sweat, oils, and dead skin cells. When these things mix with the detergent and bleach in your washing machine, they create a yellowish color. But how can you keep your pillows from turning yellow?

Try using cold water and less bleach in your laundry detergent – or better yet, skip the bleach altogether!

This blog post will discuss what causes pillows to turn yellow and some ways to prevent it from happening. We hope this information helps you keep your pads looking fresh for longer!

READ ALSO: How to Mix and Match Pillows on a Sofa?

What Causes Pillows to Turn Yellow Over Time

Things that cause pillows to turn yellow over time are:

  1. Damp hair: When you sleep with your head on a pillow that has contact with your wet hair, the oils and sweat on your scalp will transfer to the pillowcase and the pillow itself. This will cause the fabric to become discolored over time.
  2. Cosmetics products: If you sleep on your side and have products such as foundation, blush, or bronzer on your face, these will rub off onto the pillowcase and the pillow. This will also cause the fabric to become discolored over time.
  3. Hair products: If you sleep on your side and have products such as hair gel, mousse, or hairspray in your hair, these will transfer to the pillowcase and the pillow.
  4. Sweat: When you sweat, the skin oils and sweat will transfer to the pillowcase and the pillow itself.
  5. Dirt: If you don’t regularly clean your pillow, it will accumulate dirt and dust over time and cause the fabric to become discolored.
  6. Drool: Lastly, the saliva will transfer to the pillowcase and the pillow itself if you drool in your sleep.

How to Prevent Your Pillows from Turning Yellow

The number one thing to do is get yourself a pillow protector. A pillow protector helps cover your pillow from any tiny things that may build up like sweat, oil, moisturizer, and stains.

You should know that you need to place your pillow protector on your pillow before inserting it into the pillowcase.

It would be best to stop sleeping with wet hair, wash out your hair product, and dry your hair completely before bed. Wash off any cosmetic products from your skin and avoid putting on any face creams before sleep. These interventions will help to prevent your pillow from turning yellow. 

The Benefits of Using a White Pillowcase

The white pillowcase looks good on high-quality material. The good thing about it is that when the pillowcase is used for some time without washing, it will show dirt easily. The dirt wil look unattractive, which is a clear sign you need to wash it.

The white pillowcase is a bright color, and you can bleach it to remove any dirty layer and oil that may build up. The white fabric fits well with most furniture and brightens up a room.

How to Clean Yellowed Pillows

Before washing your pillow, always check your pillow care tag. Checking your pillow tags will help you know how to wash your pillows. Some pillows are machine-washable, while others may need to be spot cleaned or dry cleaned depending on each pillow material.

Next, you need to spot-treat any stains before washing them. Use paste, baking soda, and water to remove the stains, then use a standard stain removal to finish your work.

After that, put your pillow in the washing machine, add detergent mixture and baking soda, then wash in a gentle cycle motion.


Although the cause of yellowed pillows is still debated, there are a few things you can do to try and prevent it. First, use a pillow protector to keep your pillow from coming into contact with oils and sweat.

Second, invest in a good quality down or synthetic pillow that will hold its shape and color longer. Finally, wash your pillowcase regularly and fluff your pillows every week to help them keep their shape.