How to Remove Sweat Stains From Pillowcases: 3 Quick Fixes

You can use distilled white vinegar to soak your stained pillowcases. Mix it with hot water and soak your pillowcases for about 30 minutes. Finally, wash as usual in the washer. Not only this, there are various other ways too!

Sweat stains won’t come off no matter how many times you wash your pillowcases in the washing machine with harsh detergents. That’s where this article kicks in and saves you time, money, and headache!

All the cleaning solutions we will share below include common household products such as distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, Borax, baking soda, dishwashing soap, and laundry detergent, so they’re effective but also cheap.

Now, let’s learn how to remove sweat stains from pillowcases in greater detail using common household products and elbow grease.

Why Do Sweat Stains Turn Yellow?

Sweat stains turn yellow because of different reasons, including the composition of a person. Human sweat consists of water, urea, ammonia, and sugar, so it’s colorless and odorless.

When your sweat reacts with bacteria and chemicals in different products such as laundry detergents and deodorants, it changes color and odor, leaving stubborn yellow stains.

How to Remove Sweat Stains From Pillowcases: 3 Quick & Easy Methods

The natural oils of your body keep your scalp and hair well-hydrated. They’re made under the scalp and get attached to the hair as your hair grows longer.

The production of oils varies from individual to individual, but no matter the level of oil production under your scalp, the oils can stain your pillow while sleeping.

When left untreated, those oils cause discoloration and attract dirt and dust. So, you might confuse oil stains with sweat stains. The worst part? Whether it’s hair oils or sweat, they’re both horrible as they can cause facial acne. You wonder how?

Think of all those times you woke up with half of your face buried into your pillow. If you sleep for about 8 hours every night, that’s about 56 hours of sleep weekly.

Therefore, it’s safe to assume that your dirty pillowcase could be causing your facial acne because of bacteria caused by hair oils and sweat.

No matter what types of stains you’re dealing with, the following techniques can help clean your pillowcases in no time.

Quick Fix 1: Baking Soda to the Rescue

The baking soda method includes common ingredients that you usually have lying around. 

Step 1

For a pair of pillowcases, you will need 4 teaspoons of liquid dishwashing soap, 1/4 cup of Borax or baking soda, and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar.

The dishwashing soap removes oils, whereas baking soda or Borax, also known as natural bleachers, banish stains. And lastly, distilled white vinegar eliminates odors and softens materials.

Step 2

Grab a bucket, fill it with hot water, and mix everything in the provided amounts. Keep in mind that adding more than the suggested amounts can result in unwanted outcomes.

Step 3

Add your stained pillowcases into the water once you’re done mixing all ingredients.

Then, stir the pillowcases using your hand as this will help the ingredients mix better and clean the stains. Stir a couple of times again within 1 hour for better results. 

Soak for a few hours. If you’re dealing with stubborn stains, soak overnight, as deep stains will take longer than usual.

Step 4

The next day, remove your wet pillowcases from the bucket, squeeze the water out of the material, and toss everything in the washing machine.

Wash your pillowcases as usual, but don’t use the dryer until you’re certain they’re 100% clean. Otherwise, the heat will help the stains settle into your pillowcases.

Step 5

You can also wash by hand with powder detergent soap. It’s totally up to you. If you wash by hand, finish by rinsing into plain cold water.

Quick Fix 2: Hydrogen Peroxide, Lemon Juice, or Ammonia

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to soak your pillowcases overnight, give this method a try. It’s perfect for cleaning sweat and makeup stains.

Step 1

Get either hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, or lemon juice. All of these products clean stains equally well. And once you pick your favorite, mix the selected product with hot water. 

Then, let your pillowcases sit in the mixture for about 30 minutes.

Step 2

Finally, hand-wash your pillowcases with cold water and laundry detergent before the mixture dries.

If you opt for ammonia, dab it onto the stain and scrub the pillowcases for a few minutes after making the mixture.

Each of these products will make your stained pillowcases look new.

Step 3

Note that the final mixture should have the same amounts of water and product, no matter which product you use.

Otherwise, you might not yield the desired results.

Quick Fix 3: Washing Machine

The washing machine method requires minimum knowledge of using a washer. So, make sure to read the user manual before using your washing machine.

Step 1

Make sure your washer works properly to avoid any disruptions during the process.

Step 2

For a pair of pillowcases, you’ll need 2 teaspoons of liquid dishwashing soap, 1/2 of baking soda or Borax, 1 cup of distilled white vinegar, and 1/4 cup of powder or liquid laundry detergent.

Step 3

Mix Borax and laundry detergent and put the mixture inside the washer. If you have a lot of pillowcases, double the amount of Borax.

Then, add the dishwashing soap to the washing machine and set the temperature to the hottest setting.

Step 4

If you have a top-loading washer, add the vinegar right inside it. And if it’s a front-loading washing machine, pour the vinegar into the dispenser on top.

If you have a dryer, place your pillowcases into it after they’re washed. After that, your pillowcases will look new.

You can also let your washed pillowcases air-dry as heat from the dryer can set any remaining stains that you haven’t noticed yet. Furthermore, if your dryer isn’t in good working condition, you will end up with damp pillowcases.

How to Stop Sweat from Getting Onto Pillowcases?

To prevent your hair, face, and body sweat from getting onto pillowcases, consider the following solutions.

Shower Before Bed

shower and towel

If possible, shower before going to bed so that no sweat can be passed from your hair, face, and body onto your pillowcases and bed sheets.

Use Air Conditioner or Fan

Make sure the temperature in your bedroom isn’t too high. Otherwise, you will sweat while sleeping, and that sweat will go into your pillowcase. You can easily turn down the temperature with air conditioners or cooling fans.

Wear Breathable Sleepwear

Wear sleepwear made of 100% cotton. It’s a very breathable material that doesn’t allow your body to overheat and sweat excessively.

How to Keep Your Pillowcases in Good Condition?

The following few tips can help you take better care of your pillowcases and prevent any stains from becoming permanent.

Tackle Stains Immediately

If you notice any stains on your pillowcases, toss them in your washer right away, as stains can contain bacteria that can cause skin breakouts.

Also, if left untreated for a long period, they can become permanent.

Moreover, lay a clean towel over the pillowcase if you sweat excessively or use facial, hair, or body treatments overnight.

The towel will protect your pillowcases. Make sure you wash each towel in the washing machine after each use and use a clean one every night.

Change Your Pillowcases Regularly

Lastly, make sure you change your pillowcases at least once a week. Also, if you notice any stains, wash as usual in the washer to prevent them from becoming permanent.

Important note: Always check the care tag of your pillowcases and wash as suggested. Otherwise, you might damage your pillows. And if you notice that they’re damaged, toss them.

Damaged pillowcases with holes or rips can let the sweat from your face and body transfer onto your pillows, and you don’t want to deal with a stained pillow as they’re harder to clean.

FAQs on How to Remove Sweat Stains from Pillowcases

Does OxiClean remove sweat stains?

OxiClean makes a great stain remover as it’s versatile, so you can use it to remove sweat stains on colored pillowcases, sheets, blankets, or mattress protectors.

Does Vanish remove sweat stains?

Vanish can remove all types of stains, including sweat stains. You can soak, wash or pre-treat your pillowcases with Vanish and watch the stains disappear.

Can bleach remove stains from pillowcases?

Bleach and other products with chlorine aren’t suitable for removing stains on either pillowcases or bed sheets, even if they’re white. They will ruin the fabric and cause toxic reactions if mixed with other cleaning products.

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