How to Get the Smell Out of a Pillow

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Nothing ruins a good night's sleep more than a foul-smelling pillow, which can be caused by the pillow's material, perspiration and body fluids. In addition, stale perfume, old makeup and hair products can also cause your pillow to retain unpleasant odors. You can take some steps to get the smell out of your pillow by using a few common and cost-effective household products, and by using these, and some simple cleaning techniques, you'll be sleeping like a baby.

Things You'll Need

Instructions

  1. Take your pillow outside to soak up the sun and fresh air. The sun will absorb odors and leave your pillow with a fresh, clean smell.

  2. Wash your pillowcase in the washing machine with hot water, laundry detergent and household bleach. Fill up your washing machine with hot water, a cap of laundry detergent and 1/4 cup of bleach, and wash on a heavy cycle. Dry the laundered pillowcase in your clothes dryer.

  3. Launder your soft foam pillow in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Fill your machine with hot water, laundry soap and fabric softener, which will eliminate smells and impart a fresh scent. Dry your pillow in the dryer with a clean tennis shoe to hasten drying time and fluff up the pillow.

  4. Hand wash hard latex or foam pillows in the sink with cool, soapy water. Gently wash the pillow by submerging it in the water and concentrating on heavily soiled areas. After thoroughly washing the pillow, rinse with warm water. Softly squeeze out excess liquid and gently blot with a soft cloth to dry.

  5. Sprinkle baking soda on your pillow and allow it to sit for an hour, then shake the pillow out over a trash can to collect the powder. The baking soda will absorb the bad pillow smell and replace it with a fresh, clean scent.

  6. Mist your pillow with a household odor neutralizing spray to freshen and eliminate smells. Neutralizing sprays are available at retail stores, grocery chains and drugstores.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spritz your pillow to eliminate stale odors.
  • Replace your pillows if odors persist. A strong odor can indicate the growth of mold or mildew deep in the fibers, which can make you sick if you're exposed.
  • Do not wash your pillows with chlorine bleach, which can damage fibers and cause them to fall apart.

References

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  • Photo Credit Janie Airey/Lifesize/Getty Images

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