How to Remove Pillow Case Stains

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Stained pillow cases are inevitable when you have a sick child.
Stained pillow cases are inevitable when you have a sick child. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Pillow cases often attract a variety of stains, such as blood, saliva, vomit or even baby food. Most of the stains found on pillow cases are protein stains, caused by bodily fluids. Treat these stains as soon as possible because the longer they remain on the fabric, the more difficult they are to remove. The heat of the dryer sets the stains making them even more difficult to remove.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • 1 tbsp. ammonia
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Food and Saliva Stains

Pour enough liquid laundry detergent onto the stain to cover it. Rub the fabric between your fingers so the detergent permeates the fabric.

Fill the sink with warm water and 1/2 cup ammonia. Soak the pillowcase for 30 minutes. Drain the sink and rinse the pillow case in clean water.

Wash the pillow case on a normal wash cycle, using warm water.

Blood or Vomit Stains

Rinse the pillow case immediately in cold water.

Dab the stain with 1 tsp. hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia. Wait 30 minutes and rinse with clear water.

Wash the pillow case in a regular cycle on warm water, using heavy duty liquid detergent.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add oxygen bleach to the wash cycle for heavily stained items, but don't use chlorine bleach, which may yellow light-colored pillowcases over time.
  • Try an enzymatic cleaner to remove vomit or pet stains. These products break down the proteins in biological stains, removing the stain and odor.
  • Wash pillowcases and sheets in cool or warm water, unless you are sanitizing them. Washing with hot water regularly shrinks sheets and shortens their life.
  • Remove sheets and pillowcases from the dryer while they are slightly damp. They'll shrink less and have fewer wrinkles.

References

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