How To Remove Sweat Stains From Pillowcases: 2 Effective Approaches

Remove Sweat Stains From Pillowcases

Last Updated on July 24, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

To remove sweat stains from pillowcases, follow these steps:

  1. Pre-treat stains with a mixture of water and vinegar or baking soda.
  2. Wash pillowcases in the hottest water suitable for the fabric.
  3. Add a laundry booster like oxygen bleach.
  4. Dry in the sun, if possible, to help further remove stains and odors.

Practical Techniques Of Removing Sweat Stains From Pillowcases

Soaking Approach

What you require:

  • 1 cup of white vinegar (distilled) 
  • ¼ cup of Borax (baking soda can be a substitute)
  • 4 spoons of liquid dish soap

The soaking approach combines vinegar, Borax, and dishwashing soap in hot water to remove sweat stains from pillowcases. Distilled white vinegar works to remove the blemishes, eliminate sweat odors, and soften the pillowcase fabric. Borax which can be substituted with baking soda acts as a stain remover and a natural bleach. The dish soap, on the other hand, eliminates body and hair oils. 

Follow the steps below:

  • Add vinegar, Borax, and dishwashing soap to a bucket full of hot water. Use the recommended measurement since more or less may lead to undesirable results. Swirl the mixture to ensure they combine well. 
  • Put the pillowcases in the mixture
  • Stir the pillow aggressively in the mixture with your hands to ensure it is well soaked. The process lightens and releases the stains. 
  • Stir 2-3 times one hour apart
  • Let the pillowcases soak overnight to allow the mixture to work on even the stubborn stains. 
  • After 12-24 hours, remove the pillowcase from the mixture, squeeze it to get rid of excess liquid, and then hand wash in clean water.
  • In case of left stains, use powder detergent soap and rub them off. Most stains will come off.
  • Rinse the pillowcases with clean cold water. 
  • Alternatively, after squeezing off excess liquid, you can throw the pillowcases into the washing machine. Run the wash and rinse cycle, which will leave your linen sparkling. 
  • Sundry the pillowcases. Sun is also the best natural bleacher.

The Washing Machine Approach

What you will require:

  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • ¼ cup of Borax
  • 2 spoons of liquid dishwasher soap
  • ¼ cup of powder/liquid laundry detergent

Follow the steps below:

  • Add laundry powder detergent with Borax in the same compartment of the washing machine. Use the recommended amount of Borax as more than ¼ cup can react badly with your beddings. 
  • Adjust your washing machine to the hottest setting 
  • Pour the liquid dishwashing soap directly into the water
  • Throw in your pillowcases
  • Switch on your machine and set it to a normal wash cycle and leave it to wash up.
  • Put ½  a cup of vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser. If your machine doesn’t have the compartment, pour the vinegar into your linens during the rinse cycle.
  • Pour through the dispenser on top for the front-loading machines
  • For the top-loading machine, you pour through the door
  • Nonetheless, if your washing machines lock while washing, pour the vinegar before beginning the wash cycle. 
  • ½ a cup of vinegar is enough for a pair of pillowcases and sheets. Add more if washing many pairs. 
  • Once your pillowcases are rinsed, put them in the dryer or hang them under the sun to dry them 
  • Your pillowcases will be clean and look new. 

What Causes Sweat Stains On Pillowcases?

Everyone values a good night’s rest, but sometimes, one may wake up to an unexpected, unpleasant surprise: sweat stains on their pillowcases. What causes this? Let’s explore this further.

1. Night Sweats

The foremost reason for these stains is night sweats. They are episodes of excessive nocturnal perspiration which can originate from:

  • Underlying health conditions: Certain medical conditions like menopause, hypoglycemia, or infections like tuberculosis can trigger night sweats.
  • Medications: Some medicines, such as antidepressants or pain-relieving drugs, have night sweats as a possible side effect.

2. Room Environment

The conditions in the room you sleep could influence your body temperature.

  • High temperature: A room that’s too hot can cause excessive sweating during sleep.
  • Lack of ventilation: Poorly ventilated spaces can escalate humidity levels, inducing sweat.

3. Bedding Material

The quality and type of bedding used might contribute to sweat stains on pillowcases.

  • Non-breathable materials: Using synthetic materials like polyester can obstruct airflow and trigger sweating.
  • Thick pillows: Thicker and denser pillows retain more heat, contributing to an increased temperature and hence more sweating.

4. Stress and Anxiety

Emotional health plays a critical role in sleep-related sweats.

  • Sleep disorders: Conditions like insomnia and sleep apnea can lead to night sweats and subsequent stains on your pillowcase.
  • Stress: Increased stress creates a natural fight-or-flight response, escalating body temperature and hence, sweating.

In conclusion, there are numerous factors, both physiological and environmental that can cause sweat stains on pillowcases. Tracking and addressing these factors where possible may help reduce the frequency of unsightly stains.

How to Stop Sweat from Getting Onto Pillowcases?

Excessive sweat during sleep, known as night sweats, is a common issue that many people suffer from. To maintain both personal hygiene and prolong the lifespan of your bedding, including pillowcases, it’s crucial to implement measures to prevent sweat. Here are several strategies you could adopt to mitigate this issue.

1. Regulate Room Temperature

Decreasing the temperature in the bedroom can massively reduce body heat and consequently, sweating. Thereby less sweat will reach your pillowcases.

  • Maintain a cool 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit (15-19 degrees Celsius) for optimal sleep.

2. Adjust Sleeping Clothing

What you wear when sleeping can directly affect your body temperature and potentially make you sweat less.

  • Opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics such as cotton, bamboo, or linen.
  • Stick to loose, comfortable sleep garments.

3. Utilize Specialized Pillows

Some pillows are manufactured specifically to stay cool, which could lessen the chance of sweat seeping into your pillowcase.

  • Consider investing in cooling-pillow or moisture-wicking pillowcases.

4. Hydrate Before Sleeping

  • Drink reasonable amounts of water before going to bed. It will help your body to cool down and regulate your body temperature preventing heavy sweating.

5. Sound Diet and Exercise Regime

Apart from enhancing your overall health, a balanced diet and regular exercise can reduce night sweats.

  • Consume less spicy or hot food before bed.
  • Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.

6. Consider Medical Remedies

If your night sweats are severe or stem from a medical condition, you may benefit from specific treatments.

  • Ask your health professional about over-the-counter antiperspirants, prescription medications or, if necessary, surgical procedures.

Here’s a comparison table of different ways to manage sweat.

MethodsEffort NeededEffectivenessCost
Regulate Room TemperatureLowHighMinimal
Adjust Sleeping ClothingMediumMediumDepends on clothing
Specialized PillowsLowMediumHigh costs
Hydrate Before SleepingLowLowMinimal
Balanced Diet and ExerciseHighHighVaries
Medical RemediesLow-HighHighVaries

Tips To Avoid Stains On Your Pillowcases

The sight of dirty pillows can be heartbreaking. Before you think of how to clean your pillowcases, consider taking necessary precautions to avoid stains. Here are some of the important tips:

1. Early Treatment 

When you see any staining on the pillowcases, soak it quickly to avoid solid stains. Dry stains are harder to remove, so the sooner you work on them, the better. Even so, wash your bedding at least once a week with the products we have mentioned. This way, you get rid of the dirt before it can stain your pillowcases. 

2. Use Cleaning Fabrics To Clean Your Cosmetics Before You Sleep

If your pillowcases keep staining, identify the cause. Mostly it is the sweat and cosmetics you wear. Removing all cosmetics using cleaning fabrics to limit the chances of discoloring your pillowcases. 

3. Change Your Pillowcases

Some cushion texture attracts more sweat than others. If you notice facial oils on your pillowcases, especially when using sporting cosmetics or creams, the texture might not be right for your skin. Change to other cushion textures and check if the situation improves, i.e., fewer stains on your pillowcases. 

4. Clean Your Pillows After Six Months

You might be dealing with dirty pillowcases while the problem is mainly on the pillow. People clean the pillowcases regularly and forget about the pillow that gets dirty over time. This means the pillowcases will also be getting dirty as soon as you change. So, consider washing the pillow every six months to avoid sweat buildup that can attract microbes and bacteria. 

5. Wear Breathable Clothes When Sleeping

Overheating causes you to sweat a lot. Wearing breathable clothes prevents overheating and by extension reduces sweat.

6. Reduce Your Bedroom’s Temperature 

If your room is too warm, you sweat a lot. Consider using fans and conditioning units to keep the temperature down, which reduces sweat, thus preventing the yellowing of your pillowcases.  

Why Do Pillows And Pillowcases Turn Yellow?

 Are you concerned about your pillow and pillowcases turning yellow? Check some of the reasons below:

1. Moisture 

When the pillowcase is exposed to moisture for a long time, it will eventually turn yellow. Moisture comes from:

1. Hair: If you maintain your hair short and bathe every evening, you might not dry your hair well. As such, some moisture will get to your pillow, and with time your beddings turn yellow.

2. Saliva: You cannot control drooling at night when you sleep. As a result, saliva gets on your pillow, eventually turning it yellow.

3. Perspiration: An average person loses 1 liter of water overnight, some through perspiration. The sweat gets to your bedding, including the pillowcases yellowing it with time. 

2. Skin Oils And Lotions

Skin oils contribute to the yellowing of your pillow. However, it can take a long time before you feel the impact. Though you might not overcome it, you can manage it to minimize the effect on your bedding.

The worst contributor to yellow bedding is the lotions you apply after bathing in the evening. So, though you might not control your bathing patterns, regulate the amount of cream you use after bathing in the evening. You can even choose to sleep naturally all the same.

Effective Ways Of Cleaning Yellow Pillowcases

Method 1: Lemon Juice And Hot Water 

This is a natural anti-stain method where you soak your pillowcases in a mixture of lemon juice and hot water. Let it sit there for hours and finally hand wash or throw in the washing machine using a normal circle. 

Method 2: Vinegar, Bicarbonate, And Hot Water 

The method is best for getting rid of sweat stains that cause yellowing over time. Mix 89 grams of baking soda and 125 ml of vinegar in hot water and soak your pillowcases in the mixture for hours. Squeeze off excess water and throw your pillowcases in a washing machine. 

Method 3: Bicarbonate And Tea Tree Oil 

Combine a tablespoon of tea tree oil (melaleuca essential oils) and 100 grams of bicarbonate and sprinkle the mixture in your pillowcases. Leave the mixture for about 45 minutes, rub it off, and machine wash your linens.

Method 4: Hydrogen Peroxide, Lemon, And Hot Water 

Hydrogen peroxide lightens your pillowcases. Add 250 ml of 10-vol of hydrogen peroxide to a mixture of hot water and lemon juice. Throw in your pillowcases to the mix, let it soak for some hours, squeeze off excess liquid then machine wash your bedding.

Can You Use Bleach To Remove Stains From Pillowcases?

Bleach is not a suitable solution for removing stains from pillowcases. This is also true for any product that contains chlorine. The bleach not only makes stains more pronounced, but it will also ruin the quality of your bedding as it destroys the fabric. 

Besides, bleach is dangerous, and if mixed with other cleaning products, it can lead to toxic reactions. 

Final Thought!

We trust up to this point you can easily clean your pillows and get rid of sweat stains. Avoid using bleach as it can cause toxic reactions with other cleaning detergents which is not safe. Clean your pillowcases and other beddings at least weekly, your pillow after every six months, and purpose to minimize chances of staining your pillows.

Avoid too many lotions after bathing in the evening, wear breathable clothes to bed, and turn down the temperature of the bedroom for a good night’s sleep. Otherwise, if cleaning using the recommended products doesn’t work well, consider investing in new pillowcases!