For my first run through I added 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide – this is a bleach alternative.
1/2 cup of vinegar – this is a natural cleaner, breaks down stains, and fabric softener.
Editor’s Note: This post mentions using hydrogen peroxide with vinegar. This practice is fine to do, as long as you are not mixing them together in the same container (such as a bottle), rather using them in succession. Mixing hydrogen peroxide and vinegar creates peracetic acid, a corrosive acid that can harm the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
And 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Lemon juice is also acidic so same qualities as vinegar, & added a nice lemon smell.
Let soak for 30 minutes, then flip the pillows to make sure you get both sides and soaked for 30 more minutes.
I realized that my washing machine is a fairly large one and I was not satisfied after the 30 minutes how things were going so I added another cup of hydrogen peroxide. Everyone’s laundry tubs are a different size so take that into consideration. (So in the end I used 2 cups hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1/4 cup lemon juice.)
Add your laundry detergent of your choice and run your normal wash cycle.
Pull your pillows out and inspect them. If they are clean enough which mine were – put them in the dryer. If not you may need to start over and soak again or try an alternative method below.
I set my dryer to low, and it took about 30 minutes to dry my pillows.
Here is how they came out – and I was extremely pleased with the results.
What else did I try? (and why – this one is color safe)
Here is the next set of pillows and again they had been washed and dried before. I placed the pillows in the wash and added a mixture of 1 cup laundry detergent, 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup Borax, and 1 cup Castile soap. Soaked 30 minutes, flipped the pillows and soaked another 30 minutes, ran the wash cycle and here is how they came out…
Definitely made a difference but one pillow was still more yellow than I liked.
In the end, these are great alternatives to bleach if you want to stay away from chemicals. It works on pillows, pillow covers, and mattress pads.
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