How to Get Smell Out of Pillowcases

A number of things can happen to pillow cases to cause them to smell. On a personal level, drooling, bad breath and nasty built-up hair oil can have a odorous effect on the linen fiber. Beyond these causes, pets and questionable night time activities can be contributing factors to the unpleasant aroma.


Despite how bad the odor may become within the pillow case, there are almost always solutions available for removing the funk from pillowcases. By using some of the below solutions, you can be sure that your pillowcase will be odor-free and smelling fresh on a nightly basis.


Deodorizing Solutions for Pillow Cases


1 White Vinegar Soak

The natural acid within white vinegar will work to cut through any organic residues within the linen fiber that may be causing the odor. Mix a solution of one part white vinegar with five parts hot water in a bucket and proceed to dunk the pillow cases in the formula. Allow the pillowcases to soak for 1-2 hours within the mixture before removing them and placing them through a normal detergent wash within the washing machine.


2 Baking Soda Boost

This household powder has fantastic absorption capabilities and can deliver results in deodorizing pillowcases. Place the smelly pillowcases and detergent within a hot wash cycle and proceed to add in a half cup of baking soda within the washing machine once the water level becomes half full. This will help to ensure that the baking soda properly dissolves within the water solution and does not clump and cling to the clothing within the mix. Upon completion, the baking soda will have had a nice freshening effect on the clothing.


3 Hydrogen Peroxide Soak

This solution can work well in wiping out odor within light colored pillowcases. Mix a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide with four parts warm water and dunk the affected pillow cases within the formula. Allow the pillowcases to soak for an entire hour before removing the and placing them through a detergent washing machine cycle.


4 Bleach (White Pillowcases)

This solution is highly effective in deodorizing bad odors within white pillow cases. The bleach goes to work in breaking down any smelly residues that may be infused within the linen fiber and leaves it smelling fresh. Begin a normal detergent wash cycle of your white pillow cases and add in a full cup of bleach within the mixture once the water has filled in within the machine.


5 Air Dry in Sun!

Air drying the pillowcases outside within the sun can have an enhanced deodorizing effect over drying the linen pillowcases within the drying machine. The fresh air and open space work to lift away any residual smells while the UV rays of the sun neutralize any remaining odorous residues on contact.

Photo credit: Victor Gregory


Published by

Joe Fresh

Joe is an odor combatant, chemistry extraordinaire and all around good guy. He has an over-productive olfactory system with absolutely zero tolerance for unpleasant aromas.

One thought on “How to Get Smell Out of Pillowcases”

  1. Regarding pillowcases: I have had good luck using a cup of ammonia in the wash. I just add it in the beginning with the soap and the pillowcases.

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