How to make old yellowed pillowcases and sheets white again

Written by marianne descott
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How to make old yellowed pillowcases and sheets white again
Hanging yellowed sheets directly in the sun can help whiten them. (sealine/iStock/Getty Images)

Over time and many washings, the white fabric dye in pillowcases and sheets can fade and become yellow. There could be a build-up of detergent and bleach residue, or maybe you've washed them with coloured items in the past. Long-term storage could be to blame. Still, it's possible to restore your white pillowcases and sheets to their original brightness.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Oxygen bleach
  • Stain remover
  • White vinegar
  • Bucket or tub
  • Washing machine
  • Whitening agent or dye

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  1. 1

    Fill a clean bucket or bathtub with water and a half to 1 cup of oxygen bleach and mix around.

  2. 2

    Add your unfolded, yellowed pillowcases and sheets one at a time.

  3. 3

    Let your old yellow pillowcases and sheets soak overnight.

  4. 4

    Treat any specific stains on the wet fabric by rubbing in thoroughly a stain remover.

  5. 5

    Wash your pillowcases and sheets alone and using a hot water cycle, unless otherwise specified on the care instructions. Set your washing machine for a delayed final rinse cycle.

  6. 6

    Add a half cup of white vinegar to the wash just before the final rinse cycle.

  7. 7

    Hang your sheets and pillow cases to dry outside and in the direct sunlight all day.

  8. 8

    Wash your sheets with a whitening agent or a white fabric dye if they are still not white enough. Follow the instructions on the package.

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