Can You Use Microban On Pillows? 🦠

Microban is a powerful disinfectant designed to help prevent mold, mildew, and bacteria. While Microban works best on nonporous surfaces, it can also work on soft surfaces, such as fabric. 

As pillows are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, you may consider using Microban for a cleaner sleeping environment. So, can you use Microban on pillows?

Using Microban on pillows and other fabrics (cotton, polyester, and rayon) should help prevent mold and bacteria from spreading. However, it may also cause mild skin irritation when applied to a pillowcase or an uncovered pillow. To reduce the risk of a negative reaction, spray the outer shell of a pillow lightly and allow it to dry before adding a clean pillowcase.

Microban spray may keep your pillows fresher longer, but there is more you should know before saturating your pillows with this disinfectant. Here is a closer look at the use of Microban on pillows.

What Is Microban?

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Microban is the name of a company and the company’s antimicrobial technology. Microban technology is designed to stop microbial activity. It is found in a wide range of consumer products to prevent mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Carpets, humidifiers, air conditioner units, and even bedding often include a Microban coating. Microban textile technology inhibits the growth of microbesOpens in a new tab. and cannot be washed out. It offers a lifetime of protection for your sheets and pillows. 

You can also purchase Microban products. The company sells Microban technology in three forms:

  • Sanitizing spray
  • Multipurpose cleaner
  • Bathroom cleaner

The sanitizing spray and the bathroom cleaner are intended for use on hard, nonporous surfaces. The Microban multipurpose cleaner can be used on almost anything except your body. 

Is Microban Safe to Use on Pillows?

Microban is likely safe to use on a pillow but may cause skin irritation when used on the pillowcase. You may want to avoid using it on bedding that directly touches your skin. 

For example, you can spray a bare pillow with Microban multipurpose cleaner and allow it to dry throughout the day. Before bedtime, place a clean pillowcase over the pillow. The disinfectant spray will continue to do its job of preventing microbes from growing. You also avoid directly touching a sprayed surface with your skin.

Microban multipurpose cleaner is recommended for use on soft surfaces, including fabrics. It should not cause staining or fading. However, the ingredients in the cleaner may cause a mild allergic reaction in some people and pets. 

Based on the safety data sheet for MicrobanOpens in a new tab. disinfectant spray, the product contains the following health risks:

  • Mild eye irritation
  • Skin irritation
  • Respiratory tract irritation
  • Abdominal discomfort

Abdominal discomfort and respiratory tract irritation occur when ingesting or inhaling the spray. Skin and eye irritation occur from direct exposure, which may be an issue when spraying a pillow.

Your head lays on the pillow for many hours each night. Even if the chemicals dry, your sweat and body oils may allow your skin to absorb some of the Microban, which is why you should spray the pillow and not the pillowcase.

How to Protect Pillows From Mold and Bacteria

A light spray of Microban should help prevent mold growth on your pillow. However, you should also regularly wash your pillows to kill bacteria. Along with removing mold spores and bacteria, washing pillows helps remove dirt, oils, and dust mites.

Your pillows may also require pretreatment. Pretreating your pillows with a disinfectant kills more odor-causing bacteria and softens the fibers in the fabrics and stuffing, which makes it easier to lift dirt and oils in the washer.

The washing method you use depends on the material used for the pillow. Pillows are made with a variety of types of stuffing, including down, polyester, buckwheat, cotton, and memory foam. Using the wrong washing techniques may damage your pillow. Use our guide on how to wash pillows to safely wash and dry your pillows.

How to Remove Mold and Mildew From Pillows

If your pillows are already discolored and musty, you may need to take extra steps to remove the mold and mildew. The following methods can kill mold spores on pillows and other fabrics:

  • Scrub with vinegar
  • Treat with Borax
  • Use lemon juice and salt
  • Kill mold with bleach

You can use any of these methods as a pretreatment for removing mold from your pillows. After soaking or scrubbing, wash and dry your pillow. Washing the pillow removes any residue from the cleaning solution you used. It also helps fluff your pillow, leaving it light and airy.

Scrub Your Pillow with Vinegar

Vinegar is an effective mold killerOpens in a new tab. and something that most people have in their kitchens. The acidity of vinegar kills mold spores. Add a cup of white vinegar to a spray bottle and spritz your pillow.

Allow the vinegar to dry on the pillow. It should help prevent mold growth and eliminate lingering odors. 

If the pillows are already musty and moldy, saturate the pillows in diluted vinegar. Combine equal parts vinegar and hot water. Pour the mixture into a tub or large container. Soak the pillow in the solution for several hours before washing and drying the pillow.

Use Borax to Kill Mold on Your Pillow

Borax is a powdery white mineral called sodium borate. It is highly alkaline. The alkalinity of the mineral increases the pH level of the mold, which inhibits its growth.

Mix the borax with hot water. Use one cup of borax for every gallon of hot water. 

You can either spot clean areas of the pillow with the mixture or soak the pillow in the solution. The borax should sit for at least several hours. After waiting several hours, wash and dry your pillow. If mold remains, repeat the process. 

NOTE: Always wear gloves when handling borax.

Stop Mold Growth with Lemon Juice

Lemon juice helps break down mold spores, making it easier to eliminate mold from pillows. It works well for spot cleaning, as you only need a few teaspoons of lemon juice. 

Combine two or three teaspoons of lemon juice with a few pinches of sea salt or table salt. Continue adding salt until the mixture forms a paste. 

Place the paste on a sponge and work it into your pillow. Scrub the mildewy areas and then throw your pillow in the washer. 

Kill Mold with a Bleach Solution

You can attempt to remove mold and stains using bleach. Add one-half of a cup of bleach to your washing machine and run it on the hottest cycle.

Bleach can remove surface stains and odors from mold. However, bleach is not the most effective solution for killing mold. Bleach only kills surface mold. It does not remove the membrane underneath the surface, which allows mold to return. 


You can use Microban on pillows, but should you? Microban spray is effective at stopping mold. However, it can also be a mild skin irritant. 

To avoid any irritation, remove the pillow cover and lightly spray the pillow. Allow the Microban to thoroughly dry before putting the cover back on. You can sleep without touching the sprayed surface.

If your pillow already has mold, you should use one of the methods discussed to spot treat the problem area. Use vinegar, lemon juice, borax, or bleach to kill the mold. You should also remember to wash your pillow.

Washing your pillow every two or three months can cut down on the buildup of oils and dirt that contribute to mold and bacteria growth.


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