Skip to Content

How To Wash Pillows With Baking Soda

How To Wash Pillows With Baking Soda

We often loved to do general cleaning in our houses. From polishing the floor, wiping the tops of our cabinets, kitchen sink, regular washing of our bed sheets and pillowcases, however, we always forgot to wash and freshen our pillows.

Pillows, as one of the most-used items in our home, are prone to accumulate dirt, dead skin cells, stains, and even microbes. Sometimes used as back support, and every night, we used a pillow or three to cushion our heads. That is why no wonder they usually stink, and their surface becomes yellowish. Yuck! So, for today, I am going to help you how to wash and remove these stinky smell and yellowish linings on your pillows, as easy as one-two-three.

To wash pillows with baking soda; first, you prepare the baking soda paste by mixing baking soda with water. Then, get clean cotton or towel to dip into your baking soda paste. Finally, you dab the surface of your pillows, covering all the yellow stains and let it stay for half an hour before placing them in the washing machine.

As we knew already from the previous blog post (link) that baking soda is a natural deodorizer and has the ability to remove the unwanted smell from fabrics. It can also use to whiten pillows when mixed with vinegar, dishwasher detergent, and laundry detergent.

Later on, I will give you the step-by-step procedures on how to make the most out of baking soda. Knowing this information beforehand will save you from the agony of destroying and replacing your favorite pillow.

Before we start, prepare all the things listed below.
Things you will need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dishwasher detergent

After you have prepared all the materials, it is now the right time to reveal the steps on how to wash your pillows with baking soda. Just read and follow these instructions, and you will ace the washing of your pillows like a #pillowqueen. You go, girl!

Washing pillows with baking soda in the washing machine

Before you wash any of your pillows, remember the basic rule of a thumb to read the care labels first. While most pillows are machine-washed safe such as fiberfill, synthetic, and down pillows, some pillows might require spot cleaning only like foam pillows.

Therefore, it is better to know this first to save you and your pillows from damaging and wasting your time. Otherwise, you can start washing your pillows.

Step 1: Remove your pillow from pillowcase and pillow protector

Of course, how can we access the core pillow if we do not remove the pillow from its case? Therefore, after you undress your pillow, massage the surface and corners of your pillow first to fluff out and air out your pillow.

Step 2: Spot treat any stains in your pillow

Pillows are prone to staining and having some musty odor due to sweat, dirt, facial sebum, makeup, and sometimes food stains find their way to your pillow, especially when you love having breakfast in bed. Before you put your pillows in the washing machine, spot treat any stains using a stain removal spray.

What if the stain removal spray is not available in your household? Oops, no worries, I got you. You can still achieve the same effect even without using stain removal spray, by making an alternative using a baking soda paste.

Listed below are the steps on how to do it:

  • Mix baking soda with water until you make the same consistency as a paste.
  • Get clean cotton or towel to dip in the baking soda paste.
  • Spot clean any deep stain by dabbing the surface of your pillow
  • Let it stay for 30 minutes before tossing your pillows in the washer

Step 3: Wash your pillows in a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and detergents

Instead of washing your pillows in standard laundry detergent, try to run a load with your standard detergent together with vinegar, baking soda, and dishwasher detergent. The added ingredients will help to whiten your pillows.

Here are the steps on how to do it.

1. Mix the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup of vinegar
  • 1 cup of dishwasher detergent
  • ¾ cup of baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons of laundry detergent

2. After you mix all the ingredients, it is now ready to run for the first cycle.

Tip #1: Do not use bleach to remove stains, sometimes it can worsen stains, rather than removing them.

Step 4: Run the second cycle

After you have washed your pillows in the mixture, you can now run for the second cycle. Remember to use hot water only or in mixture with ½ cup of vinegar, as this can remove any remaining detergent that lingers after the first cycle, and this can give your pillows a quick sanitizing effect.

Step 5: Check the color of your pillow

After the second cycle of washing, remove your pillows from the washer, and check to see if the color of your pillows has improved. Otherwise, you can put your pillows back into the washer, this time treat your pillows with ¼ cup of peroxide, as this is a safer bleach solution.

After you run for the third cycle, check for the following signs whether your pillows are still capable of keeping or you need to replace it for a new one:

  • If the color of your pillow is still yellow after you strictly follow all the procedures, the color of your pillow cannot be salvageable.
  • If the color of your pillow is your only concern, and the pillow does not smell stinky, musty, or sweat, you can conceal the color of your pillow by placing your pillow in a pillowcase.
  • If your pillow still have that disgusting odor, it is time to replace and buy for a new pillow

Step 6: Place your pillows in the dryer

After you gave your verdict, if your pillows are still worthy to wash, it is time to dry your pillows. Toss your pillows in a clean dryer, and then set your dryer in "air dry or low heat setting."

Tip #2: Throw a couple of tennis balls to fluff your pillows, as tennis balls will punch your pillows as they dry and creating a more even dry cycle. However, these tennis balls may produce a rubbery smell to your pillows.

No problem here is my Tip #3: You can wrap the tennis balls in clean socks or an old shirt to mask the smell.

To dry your pillows completely, you can hang your pillows outdoors on a clothesline. Aside from drying your pillows under the sun, the sun's heat acts as a natural disinfectant leaving your pillows a fresh and natural smell while providing a natural bleaching agent against dirt, oil, and stains.

Once your pillows are completely dried, you can put your newly washed pillowcases to your pillows, and you are ready to catch some z's tonight!

Tip #4: Add 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil to your pillow for extra fragrance and aroma.

Finally, we are done with the first method. However, there are some instances where our washing machine is not available in our household.

Can we still wash our pillows? Of course, YES! You may still wash your pillows with baking soda by hand. Though this method requires most of your time, this will give you the same result as if you wash your pillows in the washing machine.

Without further ado, here are the steps on how to wash your pillows with baking soda by hand.

Washing pillows with baking soda by hand

Since you cannot use a washer, you can get creative with washing your pillows by placing them under the sun. Here are the steps on how to do it successfully.

Step 1: Follow the special care tags of your pillows

Do not ignore these warnings printed on your pillows. For memory foam pillows, these pillows are not water safe. Therefore, you may use spot treatments such as baking soda paste or vinegar mist to eliminate odor.

Step 2: Treating your pillows

Place your pillows under the sun to lighten them. After a few hours, spray the surface of your pillows with the white vinegar solution.
Here are the things you will need:

  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Essential oil

How to make the mist solution:

1. Fill the spray bottle with white vinegar

2. To mask the pungent smell of the white vinegar, add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Some good essential oils you could choose:

  • Lavender
  • Vanilla
  • Citrus
  • Rosemary

3. Mix the solution vigorously and then spray the surface of the pillow.

Alternatively, if there is no white vinegar in your household, you can apply baking soda paste to your pillow's stains.

Step 3: Place your pillow in a basin with warm water and gentle detergent

This step is only applicable to pillows that are best for hand washing, such as down pillows, feather pillows, wool pillows, and polyester fiberfill pillows.

You can visit this post to know more about pillows that are fit for machine-wash, spot cleaning, and pillows that are not suitable for any way of washing.

If you have fiberfill pillows, soak and squeeze your pillows 3-7 times, allowing the detergent to do its job. Hence, to make it more effective, you can make a paste of dishwasher detergent, vinegar, and baking soda.

Here are the steps to make it:

  • In a bowl, mix 1 cup of dishwasher detergent, ½ cup of vinegar, and ¾ cup of baking soda. Mix until you get the paste-like consistency
  • Using a toothbrush, scoop an ample amount of the paste, and brush to the surface of your pillow.
  • Leave it for 30 minutes, then rinse your pillows

Step 4: Rinse your pillows

Fill the basin with cool and running water to wash off the paste you applied a while ago. Rinse your pillows until the pillows do not feel soapy. Otherwise, your pillows are ready for drying.

During the process of drying, you can check this site for the detailed instructions on how to dry your pillows, especially if you do not have a dryer.

FINALLY, we are done on how to wash your pillows with baking soda. I hope you have learned something today about the steps and procedures on how to make the baking soda paste and how to apply it to your pillows.

I know most of you were in doubt, why I am always talking about baking soda. What is so special about baking soda when washing pillows?

Later on, as we move along, I will answer all your concerns about this talk of the town, the wonders of baking soda.

Why wash pillows with baking soda?

Surely, it is one of the key ingredients of grandma's deliciously chocolate chip cookies, however baking soda, aside from its use in baking, it also has the power to boost freshness and clean almost every spot of your home.

From cleaning greasy kitchenware, refreshing a foul-smelling fridge, scrubbing down kitchen surfaces, cleaning stuffed animals, eliminating mildew from bathrooms, and refreshing a smelly sneaker. Did you know that baking soda has the ability to de-stink your mattress and even pillows? WOW, what a lifesaver!

Here is the reason why baking soda does so much well. Due to its natural physical and chemical property that accounts for its many safe and effective uses, baking soda acts as a cleaning agent and deodorizing agent.

In cleaning household items, (in specific pillows,) baking soda, because of its mild alkalinity property, it can remove dirt, stains, and grease easily when dissolved with water.

That is why no wonder that when you make a baking soda paste and apply it to your pillows, it can remove the dirt and stains to your pillow.

When used as a deodorizing agent, baking soda has the ability to neutralize odors, rather than just masking up the odor with perfumes.

Just like when you wanted to freshen up your pillows, you sprinkle a pinch of baking soda to the surface of your pillows, and then you wait 15 minutes before you vacuum. And you will be amazed at the result!

There are other many uses of baking soda aside from its ability to clean and deodorize some kinds of stuff. Baking soda acts as a buffering agent to neutralize the pH level and can resist some changes in pH.

It also used as a leavening agent in baking pastries by increasing the surface area of a dough or batter. In addition, baking soda is effective as a fire extinguisher for grease and electrical fires because when it is heated, it releases carbon dioxide and water.

As you can see, baking soda can be used everywhere. No wonder they call it, "The Everyday Miracle" because it is a pure and simple, yet multipurpose product. To help you furthermore in choosing which brand of baking soda is best for pillow washing, here is the list below:

Which baking soda to use to wash pillows?

There are different brands of baking soda available in the market. In fact, I have here shortlisted of the well-rated brands of baking soda on Amazon for your reference:

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Cream Cleanser

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Cream Cleanser

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Cream Cleanser

It is made from baking soda, natural minerals, plant-derived ingredients, and essential oils.

Milliard 10lbs Baking Soda

Milliard 10lbs Baking Soda

Milliard 10lbs
Baking Soda

It is made from anhydrous pure powdered sodium bicarbonate with no additives or preservatives. It is odorless opaque white powder, available in 2lb., 5lb., 10lb., and 50 lb.

Dr. Clark Pure Baking Soda Powder

Dr. Clark Pure Baking Soda Powder

Dr. Clark Pure Baking Soda Powder

It is made from sodium bicarbonate powder USP.

Clabber Girl Baking Soda

Clabber Girl Baking Soda

Clabber Girl Baking Soda

This baking soda can be used as a great leavening agent, deodorizing agent, and cleaning agent. It is made from 100% sodium bicarbonate.

ARM & HAMMER Pure Baking Soda

ARM & HAMMER Pure Baking Soda

ARM & HAMMER Pure Baking Soda

This is the most well-known brand of baking soda, recognizing it as America's #1 trusted brand.

Based on the customer reviews, Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda is the best when it comes to cleaning and laundry. It is the most trusted brand of baking soda all around the world.

However, some of you might be wondering whether baking soda can kill germs while it cleanses and deodorizes.

No worries, I have spent a couple of hours researching to know whether baking soda can kill germs, and here are my findings below:

Can baking soda kill germs in the laundry?

Due to its mild, abrasive property, baking soda or also known as sodium bicarbonate, when mixed with water, can be used as a cleaning and deodorizing agent.

Although it is often used as a household cleaner, especially when washing your mattress and pillows, baking soda is not a disinfectant. In fact, baking soda is ineffective against most bacteria, such as salmonella, E.coli., and staphylococcus.

However, baking soda when mixed with a natural disinfectant like vinegar becomes effective only in disinfecting molds, bacteria, and viruses.

In addition to these findings, a study from the University of Florida implied that a mixture of vinegar with lemon juice and baking soda would result in a statistical reduction against staphylococcal bacteria.

Mixing vinegar with baking soda will result in a neutral compound, sodium acetate, that is effective in suppressing bacterial growth. This is because the acid in vinegar can cross the cell membrane of bacteria, which causes the cell to die.

In conclusion, baking soda has no antibacterial property. It is only effective when combined with a natural disinfectant like vinegar.

Nevertheless, baking soda is effective in cleansing and deodorizing some of your home furnishings, especially when doing laundry for your pillows. Here are the tips to guide you when you use baking soda when doing your laundry.

How to use baking soda in laundry

The box of baking soda you have stored in your fridge to de-stink foul-smelling odor, is the same baking soda you use in removing stains and odors from fabrics, boosting detergent and bleach performance, use in softening clothes, and it can control detergent suds.

Along with the white vinegar, baking soda ranked as one of the top two best natural household cleaners by reducing your dependence on chemical-based cleaners.

Moreover, using baking soda in the laundry is safe both in standard and high-efficiency washers. To sum it up, here are the things can baking soda do in your laundry:

  • Eliminate musty and stinky smell when laundering
  • Improve the performance of your laundry detergent and bleach
  • Devitalize fabric naturally
  • Smoothen iron glide
  • Minimize excess suds

Eliminate the musty and stinky smell

When you smell body odors on our clothes or even when our linens stink, it is a sign of the presence of bacteria. To flush out the icky smell on the fabrics, we often used high-end detergents in washing our clothes.

These expensive detergents have special molecules that help in breaking up the bacterial cells. However, most of us used the cheaper and the standard detergent that does not contain those special enzymes and needs adjunct to perform effectively.

Hence, this is where the importance of baking soda takes place by regulating the pH level of water in the washer. Baking soda helps in maintaining the water from being too acidic or basic.

Here are the tips on how baking soda can reduce and remove laundry odors:

  • When dealing with body odors in your clothes, just add ½ cup of baking soda to each laundry load, together with the detergent.
  • For environmental odors like cigarette smoke or grilled smoke, mix baking soda and water as an initial soak. Then fill the sink or washer tub with cool water while you are dissolving 1 cup to 2 cups of baking soda in warm water. Pour your dissolved baking soda alongside with your stinky clothes and submerge it down overnight. After soaking your stinky clothes overnight, you can finally wash them.
  • If you have apparel that is not washable or just needs refreshing, you can put them in a storage tub with an open box of baking soda. Leave it for at least a day or longer, to help in deodorizing musty odor.

Improve detergent and bleach performance

Bleach, especially chlorine, is one of the most used laundry items to help remove stains and odor. If our laundry water is too acidic or basic, bleach also needs an adjunct to performing efficiently.

By boosting the cleaning properties of your bleach, you will use less bleach to get the same result. This can save you money from buying bleach and can help in reducing your dependence on bleach.

Here are tips to guide you on how baking soda can boost the cleaning powers of your bleach:

  • To make your bleach work more effectively, just add ½ cup of baking soda along with ½ cup of bleach. Make sure you add the bleach at the right time, as this will regulate the pH level in the water. By doing so, your bleach will work more effectively and can reduce bacteria and stains.
  • If you are not using chlorine bleach, adding ½ cup of baking soda will improve the cleaning powers of your detergent. This is important, especially when you have hard water, or you use an expensive detergent.

Another thing that is worthy to note is that before you add your dirty laundry in the empty washer tub, make sure you already add first the dry baking soda. Keep this in mind, not to pour the baking soda in the washer's automatic dispenser.

Soften fabric naturally

As previously mentioned baking soda helps in maintaining the pH level of water in the washer from being too acidic or basic.

Baking soda acts as a natural mineral, can reduce the effects on the environment compared with the synthetic fabric softeners with added perfumes to mask odors.

In addition to this, it serves as a good choice for those people who have sensitive skin and allergies. Unlike the synthetic fabric softeners that can hinder the natural finish on children's nightgowns and pajamas, hence using baking soda is safer than synthetic fabric softeners.

Here is the tip on how baking soda can soften your fabrics:

In every rinse cycle, add ½ cup of baking soda to suspend detergent or mineral deposits in the water. This is because baking soda acts as a balance to keep your fabrics from re-depositing minerals on your clothes that can make it feel hard and stiff.

Smoothen iron glide

A mild abrasive property of baking soda can remove scratch and scorch build-up deposits from the metal plate of your iron. Here are the steps on how to smoothen the glide and clean your iron:

  • Make a paste of baking soda by dissolving it to water.
  • Using a small piece of cloth, dip an ample amount of baking soda paste
  • Rub the paste over the metal plate of your iron.
  • Leave it for 15 minutes.
  • Finish the process by wiping off the dried baking soda paste with dampened cloth soak in distilled white vinegar.

Note: If you have a tough build-up, scrub the metal plate of your iron gently and repeat until you have removed the build-up.

Following these steps will surely make your iron to glide more smoothly. This will make your ironing task much easier and will never leave telltale deposits.

Minimize excess suds

When you watch a TV commercial where the advertised detergent can make an overflowing suds look amazing and entertaining, however, when this happens to you when you do your laundry, are you still feel amazed, or you will feel annoyed?

Well, with the emergence of the new high-efficiency (HE) front-loading washers, before you decide to make a purchase, consider its capacity to control suds.

This washer only requires HE detergent, but when you use your standard laundry detergent, you will see overflowing suds begin to flow.

If ever this happens to you, just follow these steps to overcome those overflowing suds:

  • Immediately, turn off your washer when suds begin to overflow
  • Grab your box of baking soda
  • Get a pinch of baking soda, and then sprinkle it directly on the suds (this will quickly break down the suds)
  • Once the baking soda absorbed some of the moisture, it is time for a cleanup

At last, we are done with the use of baking soda when doing your laundry. Aside from cleaning your clothes, mattress, bedsheets, and pillows when you toss them inside the washing machine, did you know that baking soda could also clean your washing machine? Hmm, sounds intriguing.

To know how to clean your washing machine using baking soda, you can find below the step-by-step procedures below:

How to clean the washing machine using baking soda

To clean your washing machine using baking soda, just follow these simple steps to guide you on how to clean your washing machine properly:

  • Make a baking soda paste by dissolving baking soda with water
  • Using a clean cloth or sponge, apply the paste and scrub it inside the surface of your machine
  • Rinse your washing machine thoroughly with running water to wash off the baking soda paste

If bubble gum or candy canes get stuck on the washer

Using the same baking soda paste and a plastic stool, gently scrub the stocked bubble gum until you removed it. Once removed, rinse it off with running water

Note: The same baking soda paste can remove outside surface stains of your washing machine or dryer by scrubbing it gently with sponge or cloth.

To thoroughly clean and freshen your washing machine, a combination of vinegar and baking soda can be used. Just follow the below instructions on how to do it:

1. Set these settings on your washing machine:

  • Hot water cycle
  • Full load setting

Then add three to four cups of distilled white vinegar

2. Run your machine for a minute
Add ½ cup of baking soda. Let the machine run for another minute, then stop the machine and let the water to sit in the machine for half to an hour.

3. While waiting, you can scrub the detergent dispenser and the sides of the machine with the baking soda paste

4. After an hour of soaking, restart the cycle and allow it to finish completely before you run another cycle. For the second cycle, run it with hot water to rinse everything thoroughly.


People don't search for tips about washing with baking soda without a good reason. I guess that the main reason could be a yellow pillow. If this is the case I have a good resource for you:

How To Remove Yellow Stains On Pillow Cases?