When it comes to bed linen, homeowners are probably conscious of cleaning the bed shoes and pillowcases, but the same cannot always be said of the pillows. Since pillows can harbor a mixture of dust mites, bacteria, sweat and much more, it’s important to make sure they get as much attention as everything else on the beds. To ensure your cushions are fresh, clean and free of yellow stains, Spare and Square cleaning expert Karl Huckerby spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to share his tips on cleaning the best cushions.
He said: “Pillows can get dirty easily as they collect dead skin, sweat, forgotten make-up and other bacteria when we sleep on them. This means they need to be cleaned thoroughly often to avoid such yellow stains becoming a permanent feature.
“If you spot a stain on your pillow, the first thing to do is check the pillow’s care label so you know how to wash it without damaging it. While most pillows can be cleaned in the washing machine, things like feather pillows and memory foam often hand washed instead.
“Many types of cushions cannot simply be thrown in the wash with the rest of the wash, due to their unique or delicate properties. Fortunately, these cushions can and should still be cleaned just as thoroughly, through a method called spot cleaning.”
Spot cleaning is when you clean a specific spot on the pillow, instead of just throwing it all in the sink.
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With the paste made, run it into the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. After, use a wet cloth, remove all the paste. Households can also rinse the stain completely with more water, but this is not ideal if they do not want to get the entire pad wet.
Brits can also clean their pillows with lemon juice. Karl explained: “Lemon juice is an acid, and acts as a natural bleaching agent that easily removes stains.”
Begin this method by mixing two parts warm water with one part lemon juice and use a clean cloth or towel to gently dab the above mixture onto the stain. Repeat the dab until the stain comes out and then rinse with water if necessary.
The last home remedy recommended by the expert to remove yellow stains from pillows is a combination of lemon juice and salt. Salt can be used effectively as it acts as a gentle abrasive to help absorb moisture from liquid stains.
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Start by cutting a fresh lemon or use lemon juice and pour or squeeze the juice onto the stain. Make sure to cover the stain completely.
Then pour salt over the top of the lemon juice/stain. use a dry cloth and drip the juice and salt until the stain has disappeared. Be careful to dab rather than rub as the salt can scratch the cushion. Finish by rinsing the stain with water.
But for pillows that can be cleaned in the washing machine, Karl suggested swapping your average laundry routine for this method.
The expert suggested mixing in a bowl a cup of washing-up liquid, three-quarters of a cup of washing-up liquid, 45ml of washing-up liquid and half a cup of white vinegar.
Use this mixture as you would any detergent during a wash cycle, and follow the pillow’s care label to indicate how hot the temperature should be.
When this cycle is finished, run the pad through another cycle, this time with warm water and half a cup of white vinegar. Karl noted that this second cycle is to ensure that no residue is left on the pads from the original mix.
Afterwards, run the pillow through the dryer, with tennis balls wrapped in socks in the machine as well – this will ensure your pillows are nice and fluffy, and not completely flattened by the dryer.
The socks on the tennis balls ensure that the rubber smell of tennis balls does not affect the cushions. If you can’t run them through a dryer, leave the pillows to dry in the sun.