Cleaning Yellow Stains on White T-Shirts

Yellow stains on your whites may be the result of perspiration or using bleach in your laundry. This is a guide about cleaning yellow stains on white t-shirts.
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March 30, 2008 Flag
1 found this helpful

My husband's white t-shirts have turned yellow from using bleach. How can I get them white again?

Karen from Dallas, TX

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March 31, 20080 found this helpful
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I used to work in the garment industry and know that most modern white fabrics are not made from white cotton, but from "greige" goods and are later dyed white and cannot be bleached without removing the white dye. If you check your labels before laundering, you will find very few of them that recommend bleach. Way back when (I'm dating myself here) in the fifties, they made colorfast fabrics which could be bleached no matter what color they were (except navy or black), but that seems to have gone with the nickel candy bar and the twenty-five cent quart of milk. Sigh.

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April 2, 20080 found this helpful
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In regards to Post By (Guest Post) (03/31/2008)

"most modern white fabrics are not made from white cotton, but from "greige" goods and are later dyed white and cannot be bleached without removing the white dye." If this is the problem, can't you just re-dye them white or another color he might like. GG Vi

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April 6, 20080 found this helpful
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If you live in the country, sometimes there is enough rust and iron in the water to cause a reaction to bleach in laundered clothing. I used to use Iron Out for some of the whites, but our water was so bad that I evenatually steered away from buying whites.

Later on, an old neighbor taught me that using my conventional washer, the wringer type, was the most economical and efficient. I would fill the machine with HOT water, and then add about two tablespoons of Lye, wait for the rust and iron to surface and then skim off the gunk. I could then wash whites first followed by other clothes according to color and how grimey they were. I actually went back to buying whites again since I could get them clean.

The problem is that Lye is sometimes difficult to find in the stores and it must be treated with care, since it can be dangerous.

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June 11, 20160 found this helpful
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Hi, when I bleached my son's sweat shirt turned yellow but immediately I add 3 teaspoons of Bicarbonate of Soda to a hot water & dip the shirt for a few minutes! Bang on! Worked! My son's shirt is pure white now!

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May 31, 20080 found this helpful

Clorox will eventually turn your whites yellow, so use it sparingly. Spray the shirts with Awesome. Let sit for a hour, then I soak white t-shirts in hot water, with baking soda. Put in wash cycle. If still yellow, try soaking them in bluing (add the bluing to the water and mix) then add shirts and wash again. It may take a few times, but they will get white after a few washings, sometimes I have added oxy-clean to the wash with a little detergent after I try everything else.

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January 4, 20090 found this helpful

How do you avoid them turning yellow in the FIRST place, thanks!

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July 31, 20110 found this helpful

Hi, This has also happened to me. I have a white embroidered shirt with a bit of stretch in, its 5% elastene, 95% cotton. I put some ariel stain remover and whitener powder in the wash that was a certain % chlorine bleaching agent. I didn't realize this at the time as I was doing the washing in zombie mode. The shirt has come out of the wash with a yellow tint and I'm really upset. It was my favourite shirt not to mention it was expensive. Does anybody know how to restore this?? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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October 6, 2009 Flag
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My bleach is leaving yellow spots on white T-shirts. Is this because I am buying a cheaper brand of bleach? How can I get these yellow stains out?

By louisemy from Pensacola, FL

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October 8, 20090 found this helpful
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The reason you are seeing yellow stains is because you are using too much bleach. Also bleach does not like body odors. The yellow is probably mostly under the arm pit area. Try to use less bleach this should work for you. Linda

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October 9, 20090 found this helpful
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Yellow Out is amazing product. Available in the USA and Canada. Check online where you can buy it. I believe Walmart, Ace Hardware carry it in Texas. What you have is Bleach Burn. As Linda says you probably used too much bleach. Yellow Out will do the trick. Hedera

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October 9, 20090 found this helpful
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My sister gave me several tops that she didn't want because they had yellow spots on them. She said it happened in the wash. I took clorox cleanup and sprayed the spots and then washed as usual and every spot was gone and I had about 15 perfect white tops.

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January 10, 2011 Flag
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How do you remove yellow stains from white t-shirts?

By Gene from Rochester, PA

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January 11, 20110 found this helpful
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If you've already tried soaking the clothing in vinegar or Oyx Clean; then try a great product called "IRON OUT." Soak the clothes in a solution of Iron Out and then wash as usual. We have well water and my whites yellow quickly. What Oxy doesn't get out, Iron Out does!

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January 13, 20110 found this helpful
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A better product by the same manufacturer, Yellow Out. It will remove any yellow based stain. Follow the instructions. It does an amazing job.

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August 27, 2007 Flag
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I seem to run into a problem with white shirts. For some reason, even with shirts I have never worn, if the shirt is white, after a few days these yellowish brown spots will appear on the shirt. Most of the time it's just small spots, but there have been times where the spot is much bigger, covering the large areas of the shirt. These spots also don't seem to come out in the wash. I have tried a variety of detergents and things. This only seems to happen to cotton t-shirts though. What is this and how can i get it out?!

xjussx from Parkersburg, WV

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August 29, 20070 found this helpful
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I use either WISK or TIDE detergent for my clothes. Occasionally, I get yellow or brown tiny spots on white clothes only. Here's what I do: Using hot water I use the normal amount of detergent, add about 1/2 of BORAX & 1 cup of bleach. Magic, the spots disappear. Good luck & let me know how you make out. Here's my e-mail address: thestaceys2 AT verizon.net

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

I had this happening to shirts stored only in one drawer of the dresser. There was something coming out of the wood that stained my shirts. I lined the drawer to stop the problem.

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

I have the same problem. It's with all of my clothes though, not just white T-shirts. It doesn't matter if they are hanging in my closet or folded in my dresser. They just appear and nothing, not even straight bleach, takes them out. If you find anything that works, would you please share it with me. LynetteOD856 @aol. com

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

Sounds familiar. Does anybody in your house smoke?

That could be a cause.

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August 28, 20070 found this helpful

It's a mystery to us all about the yellow stains.. I have a beautiful linen table cloth that belonged to my mom and it was put away in a cedar chest and still got the stains on it. If you find the answer i would like to know as well.

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July 31, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have a white embroidered shirt with a bit of stretch in, it's 5% elastene, 95% cotton. I put some Ariel stain remover and whitener powder in the wash that was a certain % chlorine bleaching agent. I didn't realise this at the time as I was doing the washing in zombie mode. The shirt has come out of the wash with a yellow tint and I'm really upset. It was my favourite shirt, not to mention it was expensive. Does anybody know how to restore this? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

By LaurenD from England

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August 4, 20110 found this helpful
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I don't think you'll be able to get the yellow out. I've done the same thing a couple of times and sadly had to give up on the garment. I even tried one of those colour strippers from Dyelon-didn't work. Sigh. My most heart felt condolences on your loss-finding the 'right blouse' is not easy nowadays and it's frustrating to lose something that is a favourite to a laundry accident!

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