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How to get rid of mold & mildew from pillows

Mold and mildew can eat away at your pillows and ruin them. Whether your pillows are washable or not, removing mould or mildew promptly and thoroughly is the key to keeping them clean, sanitary and usable. Mold and mildew spores can transfer to other surfaces easily, so it's important to treat mould and mildew on your pillows to prevent it from spreading to other surfaces.

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  1. Spray the pillows with a pre-wash stain removing spray, saturating the areas that have mould and mildew stains. Allow the pillows to sit with the pre-wash spray on them for 15 minutes.

  2. Fill your washing machine with the hottest water possible for the fabric on your pillows. Add 1 cup white vinegar. Place the pillows into the vinegar water and allow them to soak for two hours.

  3. Drain the washing machine, leaving the pillows in. Refill the machine, again using the hottest water possible, and add washing powder. Wash and rinse your pillows on a full cycle.

  4. Lay your washable pillows in the sunlight outside or by a window with direct sunlight. Allow your pillows to dry completely in the sunlight so the sun can kill any remaining mould or mildew.

  5. Mix one part table salt and two parts lemon juice in a bowl.

  6. Rub the lemon juice and salt combination onto the pillows, using a sponge. Cover the mould and mildew stains with the mixture. Lay the pillows in the sun and allow them to remain there for a few hours.

  7. Fill a bucket with cool water. Dip a clean sponge into the bucket and rinse the lemon juice and salt mixture off your pillows. Rinse the sponge frequently, then continue to wipe away your mould and mildew-killing agent.

  8. Move the pillows to the sunny location to dry completely. The sunlight will kill any tiny mould or mildew spores remaining in the fibres.

  9. Tip

    Substitute bleach for vinegar when washing white pillows.


    Hot, humid weather encourages mould and mildew growth. Check outside furniture frequently so you can get rid of mould and mildew at first sight.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pre-wash stain removing spray
  • Washing machine
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Washing powder
  • Table salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Bowl
  • Sponge
  • Bucket

About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

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