My pillow cover is very dirty, contains lot of hair oil which over the time pilled from my head. When I wash it with my clothes washing soap, leather do not produce from soap and a scum like material is formed. How to wash pillow cover efficiently?

2 Answers 2


Use dish soap, which is meant to cut through oil/grease, to wash by hand. After you have hand washed it, run it through a normal clothes wash cycle.

  • Thanks for answering. Will give a try to solution provided by you. Jun 30, 2016 at 16:01
  • Agree and would specifically try Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (if not available to locally, can order online) - has reputation for being gentle enough to save animals effected by oil spills, yet strong enough to cut through industrial-grade oil.
    – Ceylon_17
    Jul 9, 2016 at 0:26
  • @Ceylon_17 I don't understand the meaning. Can you please elaborate your words. Jul 16, 2016 at 13:30
  • A cleaning agent with a reputation for being able to gently treat heavy oil/grease conditons: Dawn dishwashing liquid. You can apply it to the soiled area and rub the cloth together surrounding the affected area. Read under the STAIN MAGIC heading of th]is article: redbluffdailynews.com/article/ND/20160714/NEWS/160719940
    – Ceylon_17
    Jul 18, 2016 at 21:39

If the pillow slip is or contains cotton, it may be impossible to completely remove the skin oil, which is a fat secretion. One of the chemical characteristics of all fats (plant or animal) is that they bind to cellulose (which is the main component of cotton) and are almost impossible to remove. Treatment with a strong hydroxide (lye, for instance) will convert the fat to a soap which can be washed out, but will also generally destroy the cotton.

Degreasers, such as dish soap, trisodium phosphate, etc. won't debond the fat from cotton, thought they will effectively remove any that's not bonded. That likely won't help much, however. The only real solution is to replace the item, then wash the new frequently, before the oil has a chance to bond to the cotton.

  • its pillow cover and I can remove it from pillow. Jun 30, 2016 at 16:03

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