How to Remove Sweat and Body Oil from Pillowcases

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No matter how often you shower or how well you care for yourself, natural body oils and sweat are going to have an effect on your pillowcases. Everyone needs to know how to remove sweat and body oil from pillowcases...but most people don't.

Once they have already been through the washer and dryer, the question of how to remove sweat and body oil from pillowcases becomes even more complicated. Stained pillow cases don't look very inviting and even when you know they're clean, they are off-putting and that can affect your sleep.

Remove Body Oil from Pillowcases

Pillowcases get stained by natural body oils. These blemishes can make your linens look filthy, no matter how often they're cleaned.

You don't have to worry about hunting down new pillowcases that match your existing sheets every time you spot a stain. These stains can be difficult to clean but there are plenty of ways to DIY this away.

Things You Need

You don’t have to purchase a lot of chemicals or special cleaners to learn how to get oil out of sheets. Stained pillow cases can be treated with very common household materials that you probably already have right now and if you don’t, you can get them at any grocery store.

1. Dish Soap

Dish soap is designed to get rid of oil. It doesn't only work with cooking oil, it can be used to remove body oils and de-grease just about anything.

When you’re wondering how to get body oil out of sheets, do the same thing you do for dishes: soap.

Mix a couple of drops of liquid dish soap into a cup of water and rub some of this directly onto the stain. Work gently, moving in a circular motion.

Thoroughly wet the stain with the dish soap solution and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Wash the pillowcases in the washing machine in hot water.

Hang the pillowcase to dry so you can examine the stain. You don't want to use the dryer in case the stain isn't fully removed.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda naturally absorbs oils and can even pull them out of fabric. Mix equal parts baking soda and water to make a paste.

Rub this directly on the stain. You want to rub it into the fabric.

Let this sit for about 30 minutes. Next, soak the pillowcase in a tub or sink of water overnight.

Wash the pillowcase and see if the stain is now gone. Baking soda can be highly effective when you want to learn how to get oil stains out of sheets without a lot of work.

3. Add Vinegar

Put the pillowcase in the washing machine and add about one-third a cup of vinegar directly to the fabric softener dispenser. If there is no fabric softener dispenser, add the vinegar during the rinse cycle.

Allow the pillowcases to soak in the water for about 30 minutes before completing the wash cycle. Vinegar can take a lot of the guesswork out of the problem when you’re wondering how to remove body oil stains from bed sheets.

How to Remove Sweat Stains from Pillowcases

Stains on pillow case after sleeping are not uncommon but they’re also totally unwanted.

Sweat can leave a yellowish tint on pillowcases that looks very unpleasant and remains there no matter how many times you wash sheets. Get rid of these stains to get your pillowcases looking nice again.

1. Lemon Juice

Mix about two to three drops of lemon juice for every gallon of water and fill a sink, tub, or bucket. Soak your pillowcase here for at least four hours.

Wash the pillowcase in clean water with mild detergent and see if the stain is now removed.

2. Aspirin

Dissolve white, uncoated aspirin tablets in a cup of water. Place the pillowcase in a pot or waterproof container and pour the aspirin water directly on the stained area.

Let this soak for about two hours, then wash the pillowcase. This might seem like an odd answer to the question of how to get sweat stains out of pillowcases, but DIYers swear by this method.

3. Meat Tenderizer

This is one of the more unusual solutions but many claim it does work. Use a clean, wet cloth to dampen the stained area

Sprinkle half a teaspoon of meat tenderizer right on the stain. Let this sit for 30 minutes and then wash the pillowcase.

Meat tenderizer is weirdly great at treating stains on pillow case after sleeping.

4. Salt

Many people swear by salt as a DIY solution to remove sweat stains from all sorts of fabric items, including pillowcases and sheets. Mix four tablespoons of standard table salt into a gallon of near-boiling water.

Keep the water over the heat until the salt dissolves completely and remove it from the heat. Let the solution cool so that it won't burn your skin.

Sponge the stain with the water repeatedly until it has disappeared. You can use this same method when you’re learning how to get sweat stains out of pillows.

Tips for Stopping Stains

While some staining and yellowing over time may be unavoidable, there are ways to lessen the staining and prevent stains from happening to keep pillowcases looking newer and cleaner.

Why Do Pillow Cases Get Yellow?

While knowing how to remove body oil stains from pillowcases, you might wonder what’s causing them in the first place.

As you might know, human beings are not the cleanest creatures out there. People are always shedding dead skin cells, for instance, along with random strands of hair.

Human skin and hair creates its own oils, fluids that can accumulate in one spot while you are lying still in sleep. Sweat is a common enough occurrence during sleep that creates further staining.

Best Night Routine to Follow to Avoid Sweat or Body Oil from Pillowcases

There are some things you can do to avoid the buildup of oil and sweat on pillowcases.

  • Get good sheets. If you sweat a lot at night, the problem could be your sheets. Look for sheets made in a lightweight, breathable material such as linen, cotton, or bamboo.
  • Add a mattress topper. A mattress topper is designed to keep the bed cooler, which reduces sweat.
  • Wait after washing. Wait about 30 minutes after you have finished your nighttime routine for lotions and moisturizers to sink into skin, so they are less likely to get all over your sheets and pillowcases.
  • Wrap your hair. Wrapping your hair in a silk handkerchief can prevent the transfer of hair oils onto your pillows. This has the added benefit of protecting your hair from breakage.

Pillowcase Wash Routine and Stain Prevention Tips

Establish some good regular habits with your pillowcases to prevent stains, and you can spend less time treating stains in the future.

Best Pillowcase for Night Sweats?

Keep your pillows cooler with cooling fabrics that either dry quickly or wick moisture and provide breathability to keep your skin cool and moisture-free. Many manufacturers make pillows that are specifically designed to be cooling using various types of material and technology that make pillows very airy and lightweight.

Which Type of Fabric is Best to Use?

The type of fabric your pillowcases are made from is exceedingly important and has an effect on your overall sleep quality. To sweat as little as possible, look for fabrics that are light and breathable and don't hold in a lot of moisture, which will keep wet fabric against your skin as you try to sleep.

Silk and bamboo are highly breathable and cool on the skin. They dry very quickly, so they won't stay wet on your skin.

Wash Routine

Washing your pillowcases the right way will help prevent staining and yellowing and keep them looking nicer for longer. Get into the habit of washing your pillowcases at least once a week.

When washing pillowcases, use hot water and mild detergent. Hot water is an essential step in the process of how to get body oil out of sheets.

There is no one best laundry detergent for removing body oils. Use a detergent that is compatible with your washing machine and doesn’t irritate your skin, wash with hot water, and have a good wash routine.

How to Clean a Pillowcase Without Washing It?

If you want to spot-clean or freshen up a pillowcase without going through the whole process of washing it, spray the pillowcase with a mist of vinegar and water. Now, take a dampened cloth that has a couple of drops of liquid soap on it and use this to wipe down the pillowcase.

If you have stains that are discoloring the fabric, gently dampen these with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab.

How to Whiten Pillow Cases Without Bleach?

Baking soda and vinegar lift dirt, oil, and stains so well from fabrics, they will make fabrics look brighter and whiter again. Use a combination of vinegar and baking soda, sask the fabric in it for 2 hours or more, and you will see a difference.

How to Clean Sweat and Body Oil from Pillowcases?

There are many ways to clean oil and sweat from pillowcases and keep your bedding looking much nicer and fresher. Use cleaning hacks and good prevention to make it easier on yourself and keep those pillowcases looking good, so you don't have to replace them so often.

Questions People Also Ask

How do you get sweat out of pillowcases?

Soaking pillowcases in baking soda, dish soap, or vinegar is a good way to break up and dissolve oils and sweat, removing stains and discoloration. Wash pillowcases in hot water and don't machine dry them unless you're sure the stains and discoloration are gone, or the durer may bake in the stain further.

How do you get body oil out of bed sheets?

Liquid detergent that is designed to dispel grease and oil works very well to remove body oil from pillowcases and bed sheets. Rub this with water directly on the stains and wash the fabric in hot water.

How do you get skin oil out of fabric?

Soak up and remove oil stains using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Create a paste with these two agents and put it directly on the stain, letting it sit for about half an hour before washing the fabric.

How do you get oil out of cotton sweats?

Baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar are highly effective at removing oil from fabric of all kinds. Create a mixture using these three, rub it gently into the fabric in circular motions and let it sit before washing it in hot water.

You can also try soaking fabric in vinegar-infused water overnight to break up and dissolve oil.

How do you get body sweat out of sheets?

Swat can be removed from sweats in a number of ways, but natural acidic like vinegar and lemon juice are highly effective. Let sheets and pillowcases soak in a solution of water and vinegar or water and lemon juice overnight and then wash the bedding in very hot water to remove sweat stains.

Why is my husband's side of the bed yellow?

If you notice more discoloration and more stains on one side of the bed over than the other, it is simply because your partner is hot at night while they are sleeping. Men tend to have more body hair, which can create more sweat than women or men who have less body hair.

Find ways to make the bed cooler at night to prevent sweat. This will also improve sleep quality.

Why are my sheets drenched in sweat?

If your sheets get very wet with sweat while you sleep, it is because the room or your bedding or your bedclothes are too hot. Change things up by switching to cooler, lightweight bedclothes and cooler, lightweight sheets and pillowcases.

What causes body oil stains on sheets?

Natural human skin oils, as well as various lotions and perfumes that are regularly applied to human skin, can cause body oil stains on sheets and pillowcases.

Further Reading

A Monthly Deep Cleaning Schedule to Keep Your House in Order

DIY Laundry Detergent

Will Using Baking Soda in My Laundry Cause Colors to Fade?