How do you remove armpit stains from shirts? Are there any additives you can add to the wash cycle to keep them from developing?
By Leslie from Riverton, WY
Perioxide - If the shirt is light colored. Peroxide can sometimes fade darker colors. You can either pour it on, or spray it on. It's best to let it sit for a few minutes before laundering. I'll spray it on, then let it sit for the time it takes my washer to fill up. I buy the peroxide when it's on sale at 2 bottles for $1 at Wallgreens or a local drug store. I then put it in a well marked spray bottle & keep it in my laundry area. It's good to remove any organic stain (for example, it will remove grape juice, but not grape kool-aid which has an artificial dye).
Oxyclean in the wash cycle can also help. Another thing that can help is for the shirt's owner to exfoliate their armpits once a week by scrubbing with a hand full of plain sugar while in the shower to remove built up deodorant & old skin cells & to use regular deodorant in place of an antiperspirant.
Try soaking the area with white vinegar / baking soda paste and let it sit for a day then launder as usual but add a little more vinegar and baking soda to the water. It worked for me.
I have been using cold water Tide with amazing results. I put a small amount and rub the insides of the shirts and wash inside out. I also use around the collar area. I line dry and/or use a rack to dry shirts. I find they last longer and the underarm odor is not set by the heat of dryer.
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How do I get out yellow stains from the underarms of my shirts?
Try peroxide. (It's easy, cheap, and clean). Pour or spray it on the armpit of the shirt, then wait 10 or 15 minutes, then launder as usual. (The peroxide works by fizzing the stain out with oxygen). Another technique: Try pouring a "Free and Clear" liquid laundry soap directly on to the stain. The "Free and Clear" is laundry soap without dyes and perfumes.
If you are using an antiperspirant instead of a deodorant, it may be adding to the problem because antiperspirant leaves a residue whereas plain deodorant does not. Antiperspirants can also have a "rebound" effect (at least I've found this is true with me) which means your body can rebel with antiperspirants and actually sweat more. Try switching to plain deodorant without the added antiperspirant. If you really want an antiperspirant, try using a "crystal deodorant" it's available in health food stores in both a large solid crystal as well as a liquid roll on. I've found this doesn't cause the "rebound" effect.
Another hint: In the summer when I really perspire like crazy, I like to splash rubbing alcohol on my arm pits. Alcohol kills the germs that cause odor. I'll then follow the alcohol with another coat of plain deodorant.
Sometimes yellow spots can be caused by left over dirt and dead skin cells. It makes sense to exfoliate your armpits once a week. I just take a handful of regular sugar (or table salt) then scrub my pits when they are moist in the shower. Then wash them with soap and shave as usual. This technique removes old dead skin cells and tiny bits of antiperspirant that are left behind. It can really make a difference, and a bag of sugar goes a very long way. (04/20/2009)
I have a problem with the underarms of my shirts. I buy reasonably expensive shirts for work but they are ruined after a period of time by the build-up under the arm pits. I am not particularly sweaty and there is no smell, but there is an awful stain left after a few months. Its usually hard and dried in.
I've tried washing with Vanish and soap to remove it or stop it from building up but nothing seems to work. I have to throw the shirts away before they wear out. I have used various deodorants, aerosol and roll-ons, but it makes no difference. Please help!
By ianp44 from Worthing, West Sussex
Are you wearing undershirts with short sleeves? They will provide a layer between you and the shirt, and hopefully decrease the staining. How often are you laundering? You might need to do so more often, even though the shirts are not dirty. Good luck! (03/31/2009)
You might try a prewash stain treatment like Shout. You can also make a paste of OxyClean and rub it into the stained area. I put a scoop of OxyClean in every wash and fill my fabric softener cup with vinegar and turn out very clean wash. You need to rub something into the stain before washing. (03/31/2009)
I would change my brand of deodorant immediately and use a spray can type to see if the sediment is from the deodorant. (04/03/2009)
How about using a layer of powder to form a barrier, or removable underarm pads (they hook to your bra), or a t-shirt under your blouse? When you remove your shirt, it might help to let it air (not crumble up with the other dirty clothes).
Pretreat before you wash. How about stronger deodorant? (04/09/2009)