These dreamy pillow cleaning hacks will keep your sleep game fresh

Fluffy and fab ☁️

A stack of pillows on a cloud background
(Image credit: Future)

Let me tell you a horror story: one time, I took off my pillowcase to find that a load of mold had been growing on the pillow. It was super gross, and made me remember to always clean my pillows. So this is your reminder to do the same, whether yours are cheap or you've invested in some of the best pillows money can buy.

Yes, even though I know you’re probs cleaning your pillowcase fairly regularly, I bet you aren’t thinking to clean your whole pillow very often. Even though it has a fabric case over it, this doesn’t stop dirt and moisture from seeping onto the pillow itself. And you’re sleeping on your pillow every night, so you don’t want to be breathing in gross stuff while you’re catching Zs.

But don’t worry: cleaning your pillow doesn’t have to be a major chore. I’ve rounded up hacks that will make this task so much easier and that will do an amazing job of cleaning too.

Sounds like the dream? Scroll on to find out what to do…

8 seriously incredible pillow cleaning hacks 

From stacking your machine just right to putting in unusual products, these hacks are major game-changers…

1. Use dishwasher tablets to get stains out

There’s another cleaning product that’s amazing for getting out pillow stains, and you probs already have it in your cupboard. Yes, I’m talking about dishwasher tablets (Finish ones are Amazon bestsellers if you need to stock up). They’re so great for cutting through grease, which is why they can make light work out of stains. Simply add them to your washing machine drum along with your pillow, and let it does its magic. BTW, dishwasher tabs can be used to clean loads of other household items too. 

2. Add a few dryer balls for fluff and drying power

Our head e-commerce editor Annie Collyer swears by using dryer balls (she rates these Amazon ones) to fluff up household items such as towels. They’re also great for making sure the filling stays plump AF.  Pop a few in your dryer before the cycle begins to reduce the drying time of your pillow. If you don’t have dryer balls in and you’re in a hurry, you can use tennis balls instead for a similar effect. 

3. Use eucalyptus oil to kill dust mites

You can’t see dust mites without a microscope, but trust me — they’re deffo on your pillow. Invisible crawlies crawling on your face? That’s the stuff of nightmares. But by putting a few drops of eucalyptus oil (NaturoBliss’ is Amazon’s Choice) into your pillow wash, you’ll send them up to heaven. Not only will the oil make your pillows smell gorgeous, but you’ll be able to sleep more peacefully. 

4. Balance the pillows in the drum to keep ‘em fluffy

I love sleeping on two pillows (I’d have three but that feels a bit Princess and the Pea), which means I have double the pillows to clean. Luckily you can put two pillows in the machine, and there’s a clever way to stack them in there too. Prop the two pillows on the left hand and right hand sides of the washing machine, and press them into the machine so they fit the curve of the drum. This way, the fluff won’t go out of shape when washing, and they won’t make a loud sound spinning ‘round either.  

5. Add soda crystals for squeaky-clean results

Tried cleaning your pillow a few times and still have stains that just won’t budge? Try using soda crystals instead (this 1kg Dri-Pack bag is Amazon’s Choice). Put your pillow in the washing machine, and pour a cup of soda crystals into the machine, before running the machine. Not only will the crystals get the stains out, but they’ll also clean your washing machine too. 

6. Add hydrogen peroxide to remove yellowing

We all sweat — that’s just human nature, baby. If your pillow has gone really yellow from sweating in bed (I’m not judging why), you'll need something a li’l stronger than laundry detergent alone to get the yellowing out. Hydrogen peroxide (you can get a pack of 6 from Amazon) isn’t just fab as a first-aid antiseptic: it’s actually amazing for getting out nasty stains. Pour a cup of this into your washing machine before spinning your pillows, and your white pillow will be dazzling once more.

7. Remove small spots with a clothes pen

My Saturday morning treat is having a cup of coffee in bed, as it just feels so much more luxurious than chugging caffeine at my desk. That being said, I’m a massive clutz, and I have been known to splash a few drops on my pillow. For stains that aren’t massive but still need to be cleaned, I use a clothes pen to get these out — Tide pens are my heroes, you can buy them from Amazon and I always get a pack of three as I like to have multiple around the house. To use this on your pillow, press down the pen onto the stain, and give it a good rub. Hey presto, instant result. 

8. Slot scented coffee filters into your pillow case

Now your pillow is nice and clean, you’re in for a lovely night’s sleep. Want to make that sleep even dreamier? Make your pillow beautifully scented by sprinkling a few drops of your fave essential oils onto a coffee filter (paper towels will work too), and slotting them into your pillowcase. The scent will go through the whole pillow, so you can get seriously relaxed before you head off to dreamland. Oh and if you’re looking for a new essential oil, over 87,000 Amazon shoppers rate this Laguna Moon set five stars.

Eve Smallman
Staff Writer

Hi there! I’m a staff writer at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses.