Most of us use a deodorant; after all, it is an essential part of grooming and does wonders to our self confidence. A deodorant not only makes us smell fresh and clean, it also prevents underarm sweating. The downside of using deodorants (both the spray and the roll on-varieties) is that they tend to leave stains on clothing. This is due to the aluminum content of deodorants. So, even the most hygienic person is likely to develop yellow or dark armpit stains on clothes. Black or dark colored clothes are also at a risk of getting stained with white streaks caused by roll on deodorants.
So let us take a look at some easy ways to remove these ugly and unsightly deodorant stains from armpits of shirts.
1. Use fabric softener sheets
Those laundry sheets you toss in the dryer help remove static cling and lint but they also help you remove white deodorant stains from dark colored clothes. If you have just applied deodorant and worn your clothes only to notice ugly white streaks on the sides’ of your shirt or favorite blouse, then remove them using a fabric softener sheet. Simply rub the sheet on the stain several times and the stain will come out easily. Always keep a sheet in your wallet or purse to remove deo stains when you reuse your deodorant at work or school.
2. Baking soda
White shirts, tops and blouses made from cotton are at a great risk of developing yellow stains beneath the armpits. These are due to the aluminum content of deodorants. If you are doing your laundry and you notice these ugly yellow or dark stains in the armpits of your favorite clothes, you need not rush to donate them to Goodwill. Simply sprinkle baking soda (liberally) over the stains and spray some vinegar (white distilled vinegar) to make the soda fizz and bubble. Let the soda and vinegar work on the stain for a bit. Now, you can do your laundry as usual. You will find that this simple hack will get all the ugly yellow deodorant oil stains out of clothes easily.
Many people use organic, oil based deodorants these days. Deodorants made using essential oils and coconut oil are great for the skin since they do not contain harsh chemicals or preservatives. However, oil based deodorants leave nasty greasy stains in armpits of clothes. To remove these stains, simply apply a paste of cornstarch (mixed with water) all over the greasy stains. Let the cornstarch absorb all of the grease and oil from the armpit area. Wash off your clothes as usual in warm water.
4. Deodorant stain removers
These days, good quality stain remover products are available in the market and some of them are specially designed to target deodorant stains. A great product is deodorant stain removal pads. These pads easily remove the chalk-like white stains from dark colored fabrics and garments with relative ease. Deodorant removal pads are easily available online and in department stores.
5. Rubbing alcohol
Dip a cloth or tissue in rubbing alcohol and place or fold this treated cloth around the armpit stain. Leave it on for a few hours and then launder the garment as usual. This simple trick can get deodorant stains out of polyester and cotton clothes.
6. Stain remover laundry bars
Laundry soaps like the Fels Naptha® stain remover bar are very efficient in removing deodorant stains out of black bras, white clothes or cotton or polyester clothing. Such soaps are also highly effective in removing yellow stains from armpit sweat or dark stains caused by oil based deodorants. Wet the bar and rub it on the stain. Leave the soap on the garment for a few minutes and then launder as usual. You can use this method to remove deodorant stains even before they arise on new clothes.
7. Enzyme based products
Many enzyme based soaking detergents are useful for removing dark or white deodorant stains under armpits on shirts and blouses. Make a paste of the product in cold water and apply the stiff paste on the armpits of your garment. Place the garment in a plastic bag and leave it on overnight or for 6-8 hours. Wash off in hot water. If your fabric cannot withstand hot water, simply pour a few tablespoons of hot water only on the armpit area (drape the remaining garment carefully over the sink) and scrub lightly with a brush. Launder as usual. Biz All Fabric Bleach® is a great enzyme based product you could try for this purpose.
8. Hydrogen peroxide
Food grade or 3% hydrogen peroxide is a safe remedy to remove deodorant stains from clothes. Spray the hydrogen peroxide on the stain and leave it on for a few hours. Rinse off or launder as usual. You can also use OxiClean®-a stain remover that contains hydrogen peroxide and sodium percarbonate. These work wonders in removing ugly sweat smell and stains from clothes. (Always test to ensure that peroxide does not discolor colored fabrics. Never use hydrogen peroxide products on delicate fabrics like silk, cashmere etc)
9. Color-safe bleaching products
Color safe bleach can be used on white and colored clothing safely to remove stains from armpit areas. Products like Brilliant Bleach® work wonders in this regard. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of the bleach with some warm water. Soak the fabric in the solution for a day (or at least up to 8 hours) before laundering as usual.
10. Dish soap
Make a frothy solution by mixing liquid dishwashing gel with warm water in a bucket. Soak the stained garments in this solution for a few hours before tossing them in hot water.
11. Meat tenderizer
This simple remedy removes hard deodorant stains out of shirts. Make a paste of meat tenderizer and water and rub it on the stains. Launder as usual after a few hours. The tenderizer breaks down the proteins in the sweat making it easier for removal.
12. Vinegar and Borax
It is very easy to remove deodorant stains from clothes with vinegar and borax. Mix distilled white vinegar with 20 Mule Team Borax® in equal proportion. Spray the solution on all the stained shirts. You can wrap the garments in plastic and leave them overnight or for a few hours. Launder as usual. You can also use only white vinegar on the sweaty stain. Simply soak the garment in diluted vinegar overnight and launder as usual. You can also spray the diluted vinegar on the armpit areas before laundering.
Many times, shirts and blouses get discolored due to deodorant stains and armpit sweat stains. Rub some diluted ammonia using a sponge on these discolored parts. Rinse thoroughly.
14. Lemon juice
Liberally apply lemon juice all over the yellow stains and leave the garment out into the sun for few hours. This easy remedy will get rid of deodorant stains under armpits.
15. Never iron stained clothing
When you iron over the armpit sweat stain or deodorant stain, the stain goes deeper into the fabric setting in the process and making it a lot harder to remove. So avoid ironing over the stained area of the fabric.
16. Prevent stains
You can easily avoid nasty yellow stains and deodorant stains under arms and on armpits of clothes by taking a few easy precautions. Use underarm pads to absorb the sweat. This will prevent oily stains and also reduce yellowing of white or light colored garments. Use this precaution each time you wear white or light colored clothes. Also check out our guide on easy ways to sweat less.