No one wants to sleep on pillows covered with sweat stains. Don’t miss this chance to learn how to get sweat stains out of pillowcases so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep all over again, free from smelly and gross stains.
What are the main components of sweat
Sweat or also called perspiration is mostly made up of mostly of water with small amounts of some other chemicals such as ammonia, salts, sugar, and urea. Urea and ammonia are left over when protein is broken down in your body.
What causes sweat stains
It is not really sweat itself that causes the stains. The sweat in itself actually doesn’t have any color. This is the case most of the time except for people with a condition known as chromhidrosis that makes them have blue, green, or yellow sweat.
However, most people have colorless sweat. Once your sweat combines with bacteria present on your skin, your antiperspirant, your deodorant, and even your clothes, this can lead to yellow stains showing up on your clothes and pillowcases. Again, it is the mixture of sweat, chemicals, and bacteria that causes sweat stains and not sweat alone.
Do sweat stains come out
Yes, sweat stains come out. This means that you can still remove sweat stains that might have already set in on your clothes or pillowcases. However, it might take a little bit more work on your part than simply putting the stained fabric in cold water.
You can try several home remedies to remove sweat stains but it is important to make sure that you use the right one for the specific type of stained item you are dealing with. For instance, the process of getting rid of sweat stains from colored pillowcases is different from the process of removing stains from white ones.
Why do sweat stains turn yellow
There are different factors that can make sweat stains turn yellow including the sweat composition of an individual. Human sweat, as stated earlier, is made up of water, urea, sugar, and ammonia and is odorless and colorless on its own.
But, once sweat reacts with bacteria or chemicals like the active ingredients in your laundry detergent and antiperspirant, this can turn yellow that can lead to some stubborn and unsightly yellow stains.
What can remove sweat stains from pillowcases
Five products that are accessible and easy to obtain that can work well when it comes to getting rid of sweat stains from pillowcases include:
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
- Hydrogen peroxide
- White vinegar
All you have to do is mix any of these items with water then soak the sweat stain for around 30 minutes. Wash the pillowcases using regular detergent and cool water before the solution can dry up.
How about tempurpedic pillow? Can you wash a tempurpedic pillow too? We have another in-depth guide for that.
How do you get sweat stains out of pillowcases
Your body perspires at night when you sleep that leaves sweat behind that can stain your pillowcases and bed sheets. More often than not, these yellow stains cannot be removed using the usual washing methods. The sweat stains can build up overtime that can leave your pillowcases looking discolored and downright gross.
The good news is that you don’t need to purchase new pillowcases each time it happens. You can try two approaches for getting rid of sweat stains from pillowcases.
The first method is soaking approach that combines borax, dish soap, and vinegar to eliminate the stains. Dish soap gets rid of body and hair oils. The baking soda or borax acts as the natural stain remover as well as bleach.
- Fill a bucket with hot water then add in four spoons liquid dish soap, ¼ cup baking soda or borax, and one distilled white vinegar.
- Soak the stained pillowcases in this solution.
- Stir around the cases in this solution using your hands every now and then to make sure that everything is mixed well. This releases or lightens the stains.
- Do it 2 to 3 times, one hour between every stir.
- Let the pillowcases soak overnight. It will be better if the soak is longer if the sweat stains are really bad.
- Take out the cases from this solution the next morning. Wring out any excess liquid before transferring it to your washing machine.
- At this point, almost all the sweat stains will already be removed since the liquid dishwashing soap has broken the oils down, the yellow stains will be lighter because of the borax, while the vinegar has lifted everything.
- You can hand wash the pillowcases by scrubbing off gently the leftover sweat stains and using powdered detergent soap.
- Use cold clean water to rinse the pillowcases.
- Hang and dry your pillowcases under the sun.
The second approach is using your washing machine.
- After washing, remove any excess water first before you transfer the pillowcases to your washing machine. The pillowcases must be damp without dripping wet.
- Add borax to the washer together with your usual laundry powdered detergent. Place these together on the same spot. You should use only ¼ cup of borax as this is safe for majority of pillowcases. Avoid adding more than this amount to any laundry load.
- Set the washer to its hottest setting.
- Put two spoons liquid dish soap in the water.
- Put the pillowcases inside the machine.
- Turn your machine on to regular wash cycle to wash everything up.
- Add one half cup vinegar into the dispenser for fabric softener. If this option is not available in your machine, vinegar can be poured in during rinse cycle. Just open the door in a top-loading washing machine and pour in the vinegar. For a front-loading washer, you can pour the vinegar in at a dispenser found at the top. If the washer locks the dispensers or doors when the machine runs, vinegar should be added before wash cycle starts. This vinegar amount is already enough for one pair of pillowcases and sheets. You can increase or decrease the amount depending on the number of pillowcases being washed.
- Put the pillowcases inside the dryer so you can dry them after you are done with washing and rinsing.
- Your pillowcases will look fresh, clean, and like new all over again when they come out.
Sweat stains FAQs
Here are other things you need to know about sweat stains:
Does dry cleaning remove sweat stains?
Yes, dry cleaning can get rid of sweat stains. If the fabric has dry clean only label, especially when it is a delicate fabric such as wool or silk, it is strongly recommended to take it to the professional dry cleaners instead of trying machine washing or other home remedies.
Make sure you point out the stain to the dry cleaner when you drop off the garment since successful treatment of sweat stains calls for special attention. Traditional cleaning process will not likely remove these stains.
However, it is recommended that you limit the formation of sweat stains if possible because frequent dry cleaning, despite being effective, is pricey and can affect the durability of the fabric.
Does Vanish remove sweat stains?
Yes, Vanish can remove sweat stains. Vanish can handle stubborn sweat stains. All you have to do is soak, wash, or pre-treat the item in the product.
Does bleach remove sweat stains?
No, bleach should never be used for getting rid of sweat stains. Although it seems like bleach is the best choice when it comes to getting rid of sweat stains, it is not really the case. The truth is that bleach only makes the stains worse. This is why you should never use bleach for getting rid of sweat stains.
Bleach and other products containing chlorine are not really suitable for sweat stain removal from pillowcases or bed sheets even when these are white. Aside from making the sweat stains look more visible and pronounced, bleach may end up destroying the fabric and ruining the quality of your pillowcases. Bleach is unsafe as well for you as it may cause some toxic reactions when mixed with other types of cleaning products.
Does OxiClean remove sweat stains?
Yes, OxiClean is a versatile stain remover that can help you get rid of sweat stains on non-white pillowcases, blankets, sheets, or mattress protector.
Does lemon juice remove sweat stains?
Yes, lemon juice removes sweat stains. Lemon juice is similar to vinegar as both are acidic. The citrus contains acid that can attack and dissolve the acid in sweat stains.
Does Shout remove sweat stains?
Yes, Shout is one of the best products that can help you get rid of sweat stains.
Does borax remove sweat stains?
Yes, borax is also an effective product you can use for getting rid of sweat stains although it is not recommended to be used on delicate fabrics.
Does hydrogen peroxide remove sweat stains?
Yes, hydrogen peroxide removes sweat stains. It breaks down the proteins present in the stain and helps reduce if not totally remove it.
Does salt remove sweat stains?
Yes, salt removes sweat stains. The use of salt is actually a trick that can work with different kinds of stains.
Curious to learn how to disinfect pillows too?
Craig Canapari, MD, is the director of the pediatric Sleep Medicine Program at Yale Medicine. He is the expert in mattress.