5 Reasons Your Pillow is Stinking up the Bedroom & What You Can Do About It

Nothing could be more embarrassing than bringing your guests to your home and your bedroom’s stinking like a dead mouse. Are you here looking for a way to eliminate the odor from your pillows? You have landed just the right place! In today’s post, we have gathered the best methods to say goodbye to the stinky pillows.
Why Your Could Be Stinking up the Bedroom

There could be several reasons behind the smell coming from your pillow. Generally, it is due to the oils our bodies excrete and dust particles in the atmosphere. A combination of these elements results in stains on the pillow complimented with an unpleasant odor. There are mainly two ways to get rid of the pillow’s smell depending upon the intensity of smell and stains. The first is hand washing, and the other is machine washing. 

What Causes a Pillow to Smell Bad? Explained in Detail

There could be numerous reasons behind the smell coming from your pillow. To find the culprit behind your stinky bedroom, we have discussed all of these reasons in detail. 

Here are the factors that can make your pillows smell bad:

Accumulation of Oils

You might be aware that our bodies excrete oils along with sweat. The sweat itself has a distinct odor which is certainly not the most wonderful smell on the planet. You won’t be bothered by the smell when the pillows are new. However, over time, you will start feeling the difference when the pillows get old. 

The smell of these oils and sweat is unpleasant. When ignored for long, these smells can become a huge turn-off.

Organic Smell

Are you using an organic or natural pillow? Most of such pillows carry an odd smell. Mostly, the smell is not bad such as the smell of body oils. However, sometimes, these smells can be irritating and kill your bedroom’s whole vibe. 

To verify if this is the case, simply check the manufacturing details of your pillow. See if any organic material is used in the pillow or manufacturing the cover. 


All of us love our pets so much that we often let them be comfortable in our bedrooms. Deep down inside, we all know that having pets on the bed is not a good idea. Still,  the love we have for our cats and dogs doesn’t let us think much about the consequences. 

It could result in a stinky bedroom or, more precisely, smelly pillows. As a pet owner, you will admit that, no matter how much clean we try to keep them, they don’t smell the nicest. Consequently, when our pets interact with the pillows on our beds, the pillows smell bad afterward. 


Now, this is not a normal one, but if you or your partner smokes in the bedroom, the place can become stinky over time. It is due to the amount of tar accumulating on and inside the surface of the pillows. You know what to do in this case. Simply make sure that no one smokes in the bedroom.

Food And Beverages Spillage

Bringing breakfast for your spouse in the bed sounds so romantic, but it can lead to smelly pillows. Most of us habitually use our pillows as trays when eating on the bed. Sometimes, beverages spill on the pillows and the rest of the time food crumbs fall over them. It not only leads to staining the pillows but also brings an unwanted smell.

These were the common reasons why our pillows stink generally. There could be some other environmental factors that can worsen these situations. Therefore, you should try your best to prevent these factors from piling up and making your pillows stinky.

How Do I Stop My Pillow from Smelling?

Now that we know what causes our pillows to stink let’s find out how to clean them. There are two main methods to clean the pillows. The method you choose should base on the type of pillow you want to clean.

Following are the processes that you can use to clean the pillows:

  • Machine Washing 
  • Hand Washing

You will most likely figure out the best method for washing your pillow by reading the instructions tag. However, if your pillow doesn’t come with an instruction tag, read the following methods:

Machine Washing Step-By-Step Guide

An important detail that we can’t miss here is whether your pillow is machine wash safe or not. To save you from the trouble, here is the list of pillows that you can clean in your washing machine:

  • Fiberfill
  • Organic Cotton
  • Synthetic Pillows
  • Down Pillows
  • Down Alternative Pillows 

Didn’t find the type of your pillow? The pillows mentioned below are not categorized as machine washable:

  • Memory Foam Pillows
  • Pillows containing cooling gel

Procedure Of Washing Pillows In Machine

Washing your pillows in a machine is pretty simple. Follow this step-by-step guide for the desired results:

  1. The first step is removing any deep stains from the pillow. For this, you start by taking off the pillow covers or pillow protectors. Take a good-sized piece of cotton or a terry towel Dip this cotton or terry towel in a paste of baking soda and water. Now, remove any visible stains on the pillow by dabbing on its surface. If you can get hands-on with a stain removal spray, you can get rid of stains more easily.
  2. Start by taking half a cup of vinegar. Mix it with 1 cup of dishwasher detergent. Add 3 tablespoons of laundry detergent to the mixture you have prepared. Lastly, put ¾ cup of washing soda in the mix.
  3. Now put a pair of pillows in the washing machine. At least two pillows are recommended as a single pillow can deform during the wash. Add the mixture you prepared in the last step into the washing machine. The mixture is precisely prepared to make your pillows white again. Bleach, on the other hand, can destroy the filling of your pillow.
  4. Once the washing cycle is complete, drain the washing machine. Once the washing machine is drained, fill it again with hot water. Now, give your washing machine another run. In most cases, the hot water will rinse off the detergent and baking soda in one cycle. However, if you feel that’s not happening in your case, give the washing machine another run.
  5. The last step is drying the pillows. For this, you can use direct sunlight(if you have plenty of time), or you can go with the option of a dryer. Set the dryer on low settings or air drying to keep your pillows from damaging. To maintain the shape of the pillow, wrap some tennis balls in plastic bags and place them along with the pillow in the dryer. 

It was the procedure to wash pillows in a washing machine. Let’s jump to how you can wash pillows with your bare hands. Don’t worry. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

Washing Pillows With Hands Simplified

Memory foam pillows are the best way to reach the dreamland effortlessly. However, the only drawback of these plushy pillows is that you can put them in the washing machine. So, you will have to go the hard way and wash them with your hands.

I have simplified the process of washing pillows with your hands as much as possible. Down below are the simple steps you have to follow for washing pillows with your hands:

  1. The first step in both procedures is the same, and that is the removal of the protective cover. After that, mark all the stains you see on the pillow’s surface. Use baking soda and water paste to spot clean all of the stains. If the pillow is too smelly, create a mixture of 50% vinegar and 50% water. Now, spray this mixture evenly on the surface to eliminate odors. Let the pillow rest for at least 5 minutes, and then clean it with a towel. 
  2. The second step is to place the pillow in direct sunlight. It will help in the restoration of decolorized areas. 
  3. To hand-wash, your pillow, place it in a sink filled with warm water. Now add some good quality detergent and soak the pillow properly. Carefully rinse the detergent out of the pillow. 
  4. Let the pillow air dry properly. For this, place the pillow in a well-ventilated area. In most cases, the pillow will be dry within a day. 

This is all you have to do when it comes to washing pillows with your hands.


Why Does My Bed Sweat Smell Like Vinegar?

There could be a lot of reasons behind your sweat smelling like vinegar. These reasons include some diseases, for example, diabetes, trichomycosis, and kidney-related problems. Apart from these medical conditions, factors like skin infections, hormonal changes, and some diets can also result in vinegar-like smelling sweat.

Why Does My Night Sweat Smell Sour?

Your sweat smells sour because of the bacteria living on your skin. The good news is that this bacteria is not harmful. However, when these bacteria interact with our sweat, a chemical reaction occurs, and our sweat smell becomes sour.

How Do You Get Vinegar Smell Out of Pillows?

Getting rid of the vinegar smell out of your pillows is pretty simple. You simply have to prepare a mixture of water and baking soda and add it with a detergent with a pleasant smell in the washing machine. One cycle in the washing machine will be enough in most cases.

Stinky Pillows Explained And Treated 

The stinky pillow is a problem that you will find in every other household. This post discussed the possible causes behind the foul smell coming from the pillows. These causes include oils excreted from our bodies and some environmental factors. 

Furthermore, we also discussed two effective methods to get rid of the unwanted pillow’s smell. Machine washing and hand washing are the two methods we emphasized today. By following the step-by-step guide, you can restore your pillows without damaging them.