Sweat stains are just one of life's problems. Ironically, almost all sweat stains are the result of deodorants and laundry detergents, products that were originally thought to keep clothes clean and sweat-free. Learn how to get rid of these stains, then switch to a deodorant that doesn't leave stains.
Step 1. Understand the cause
White or yellow stains on clothes result from the reaction of two products: an aluminum-based armpit deodorant and an alkaline laundry detergent with carbon compounds. While there aren't many steps you can take to replace detergent, this sweat stain problem can be solved by using deodorant products without antiperspirants. If product changes aren't effective in dealing with the stain problem, you'll need an acid treatment to dissolve the aluminum bond. Read this article for further instructions.
Not all antiperspirants are the same. Neutral, odorless antiperspirants usually leave dark spots that are harder to spot, but easier to remove. Meanwhile, natural plant-based deodorants can leave yellow stains, even if the product doesn't smell
Step 2. Check for stains
There is no one particular treatment that is most effective in removing sweat stains because there are differences between different brands of deodorant. Examine the stain for steps that may be effective in removing the stain:
- If the stain is white, hard, and rough, an acid product will usually lift the stain. Use the most appropriate option from the following explanations.
- If the stain is bright white and elastic/flexible (easy to bend), you will need a stronger acid cleaning product. Try one of the harsh products below, such as lemon juice or vinegar.
- If the stain is yellow, the material that needs to be used is more difficult to determine. Try using the available options first. If it doesn't work you will need to use some tougher product/handle.
Step 3. Choose a light treatment
If you have any of the products below, you can try using them. These products tend to have milder acids than other harsh products:
- Clear soda or fizzy drinks (carbolic and phosphoric acids). Avoid soft drinks that have color
- A paste of baking soda and a little water (despite being an alkaline substance, this paste contains carbonic acid)
- Crushed aspirin (acetyl salicylate)
- Meat tenderizer or meat tenderizer (not a recommended option due to different ingredients for each brand)
Step 4. Choose a tougher product
If the stain is difficult to remove, try stronger acid products such as:
- Strong white vinegar (acetic acid)
Do not use balsamic vinegar because it can damage clothes
- Lemon juice or other raw citrus fruit (citric acid)
- Professional laundry or cleaning services may use stronger acid products. Use this as a last resort as using strong acidic products can cause holes in the fabric.
Step 5. Soak the clothes in acid
Wet the stain with the selected acid product. Leave it on for 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how long and how heavy the stain is. Wring out the wet part of the garment before moving on to the next step.
Step 6. Clean white clothes with hydrogen peroxide (optional)
Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent that can stain or stain colored clothes. If used on white clothes, sweat stains can be disguised. Wet the stain with hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for 20 minutes.
As an optional step, add baking soda and salt to lift the stain
Step 7. Put the clothes in the washing machine
You can combine clothes that have been cleaned with an acid product with other clothes. If you're afraid the stain will stick, try washing your clothes without detergent. However, people usually use detergent when rinsing clothes.
If the stain starts to appear, but hasn't completely disappeared, wash it a second time using the washing machine
Step 8. Clean the stain using a stain remover and bleach product
While it can remove stains well, bleach can bleach or bleach colored clothes. If that doesn't work, apply a stain-removal product to the sweat stain and wash the clothes again. Pour a spoon or two of bleach on the clothes directly.
Run the washing machine on the highest speed setting so that the bleach adheres to the clothes evenly
- If you use an animal-based, odorless armpit deodorant but still see yellow stains on your clothes, it's possible that the stain is a reaction between organic molecules in your skin. You can't prevent stains from appearing like this, but luckily they're easy to remove.
- Wear underwear to "lock in" sweat stains so they don't stick to outerwear.
- Fragrances in deodorants are usually based on aldehydes or ketones. Both substances can react with other components and create the most stubborn yellow stains.
- For best results, wash your clothes as soon as possible. While the stain is still damp, try scrubbing it off with a wet tissue.
- Hard, rough white stains are caused by deodorants that contain collecting agents. This substance is usually calcium carbonate or magnesium hydroxide. Fortunately, these kinds of stains are easier to clean.