At some point, just about everyone who does laundry has wondered how to clean grimy pillowcases. Parents of teens are all-too-familiar with how their hormones lead to greasy hair and skin that stains their pillows. Those who work outdoors find themselves in the same boat, and then there are pillowcases that get dirty when someone doesn’t adequately remove their makeup.
The thing is, grimy pillowcases tend to be stinky ones, too. Who wants to lay their head on a pillow that smells? Let’s fix that.
How To Clean Grimy Pillowcases
Wash in hot. Cold water washing doesn’t cut through the hair and skin oils that promote grime, so the first step is properly washing linens in HOT, HOT, HOT water with an equally hot rinse. Use the usual amount of detergent, but add 2 cups of white vinegar to the load. Vinegar is an excellent degreaser and is often sufficient to cut through the grime that builds up on pillowcases. For added impact, pause the cycle so the load soaks for 20 minutes before the rinse cycle.
Get tougher. If the grime remains after proper laundering then it’s time to switch tactics. Fill a basin sink with very hot water then add 1/4 cup Dawn Original dish detergent (Fairy or Sunlight in the UK), and 1 cup baking soda. Swirl to combine then add the pillowcases. If the basin has a scrub board, use it. Allow the cases to soak for 1-2 hours (or even overnight) then rinse well in HOT water until the water runs clear. Toss in the dryer or line dry.
Keep pillowcases from getting grimy again.
You may not be able to talk your family into showering every night before bed, but you can still take a few steps to keep your pillowcases from getting grimy again.
First, skip the fabric softeners and dryer sheets. These work by coating fabric with a very light layer of wax or grease, both of which attract and hold onto skin and hair oils.
Second, use an oxygenated bleach (like Oxiclean) and white vinegar when washing your linens. Chlorine bleach doesn’t degrease as well and should never be mixed with vinegar! Also, remember to wash your bed linens in hot water every time.
It only takes a few minutes to clean grimy pillowcases, and a few simple steps to keep them from getting grimy again. Why not tackle yours today?
Equipment I’ve Used For This: