Cleaning Yellow Stains on White Clothing

Removing yellow stains from white clothing is a common laundry task. This is a page about cleaning yellow stains on white clothing.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 23, 2007

Almost every piece of white clothing I own has a mysterious yellow stain on it. I think it might be rust from the washer, but I'm not sure. The stains' are very small, but I notice them. Anyways, does anyone know how I can get them out?

Kristen from Tempe, AZ


By Crystal (Guest Post)
September 23, 20070 found this helpful

I recently used OxyClean to wash a wedding dress I purchased at a thrift shop. It worked like a charm. I am a true believer. I have a large container I had bought at a Costco a while back. I filled my tub 3/4 with water. I added about 2 cups of OxyClean and dissolved it. I then soaked my dress while I was at work. Came back, rinsed it and it was great! I know there are many stain removers out there, but I would definitely recommend OxyClean. =) Good luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Roz (Guest Post)
September 23, 20070 found this helpful

It could be rust from the washing machine. Sometimes the tub gets cracked or damaged and will rust.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 23, 20070 found this helpful

Yes, they are from your washing machine because I've got the same problem. My DH's white undershirt has a yellow mark on the collar and I haven't figured out how to remove it yet.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By b (Guest Post)
September 25, 20070 found this helpful

Here's what I think is the "best" at removing rust stains from clothing: Simply wet the stain and apply a bit of ZUD cleanser from the can and brush it in with an old toothbrush or just rub the paste in. Wash as usual, and the stain will be gone! I've done this for about 20 years with my kid's clothes that got rust from overall hardware, etc. Works every time!! You can find ZUD at the supermarket in the cleaning aisle, with Comet, Ajax, etc.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Eeyore1950 (Guest Post)
September 25, 20070 found this helpful

Have you tried doing a load in your washer without clothes and running some white vinegar through it ? If that helps, use some 20 Mule Team Borax in each load after that. (That stuff is just wonderful !)

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 7, 20091 found this helpful

Well, I had this old, old white dress blouse that I liked to wear under my suits. I've had it for 6+ Years and back in the day I problems with sweating. Now my shirt had horrible yellow but I mean YELLOW pit stains. Not pastel yellow it was really yellow almost orange. (I know gross) I didn't want to get rid of it because I LOVE my blouse and I figured that since I wear it under my suits that I would be ok. So, yesterday I decided to do my own invention to try and get this stain out. I've heard some people tell me that Lime others told me Baking soda and vinegar so I tried all 3.


First I put Baking soda on the stains and then I put the vinegar (Next time I'll put vinegar first and then baking soda) and then I waited for it to stop bubbling and then I squeezed half a Lime into both pits and waited like 2 hours (I think it was more like I forgot that I had left the shirt outside he he he) I came back out took the shirt hand washed it with cold water and my detergent and put it outside to dry. I checked it like 3 hours later and VOILA! the pit stains were GONE! I couldn't believe it!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
April 19, 20160 found this helpful

Salt and lemon juice scrub. Don't let it sit to long. Repeat if Needed

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

I have two pair of white pants that are older. They both have severe yellow discoloration on top of the pants as well as down parts of the legs. What can be done to make them white again? I have tried the tip about using a mix of baking soda/white vinegar. That did not help.



July 10, 20190 found this helpful

You could have a food or suntan lotion stain. Fill a 5 gallon pail with hot tap water.


Add 2 T each hydrogen peroxide and dishwasher powder. Soak overnight. Wash in the morning. Good luck.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 10, 20190 found this helpful

This is a discoloration of both pants due to the age I believe.
Not a stain per se.
The discoloration on both pants seems rather deep so I am very eager to hear what can be done if anyone has a good suggestion

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 11, 20190 found this helpful

Liquid Cascade will bleach out most stains, but it will weaken the fabric. My son's BF had a white chef's coat that was filthy, and he'd been washing it in hot water. When I told him it should be cold only, he said, "But it's whites!" I told him that meant sheets and towels (what do you expect from a 17-year-old?) He was living with us through the end of their senior year.


I worked on the coat for him, coating the stains (from an Italian place, so you can imagine the red ones) with Cascade. I'd let it dry and it would eat the stain. I might have had to treat some of them more than once, but when I got through, his chef's coat was pristine.

Just be warned, it will weaken the fabric. I've only done this in desperation when other things, like Stain Stick or bleach, don't work.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 14, 20191 found this helpful

If these are stains from being in storage for a long time as you noted, I believe you can probably remove the stains by placing in direct sun.
Lay them out on a table - on a towel if you like - wet with plain water and keep putting water on the stains for 2 or 3 days. Leave outside if possible as the dew will also help to remove the stains.


I always use 2 tablespoons of baking soda in every wash of white and light colored clothes and it works better than any bleach to keep clothes white and bright - no fading and no wear on clothes.
Just add to wash with normal laundry detergent.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Answer this Question...


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

May 4, 2010

I have several white shirts that are becoming yellowed around the collar. I have tried bleach, but this is not working. Is there a safe, non-damaging way to remove these stains?

Prettybyrd, Vancouver, BC, Canada


Yellow Stains on White Clothing

Try soaking the shirts in a solution of one cup powdered dishwasher detergent and two gallons of lukewarm water. Mix well, dissolving all the powder before you soak the shirt. Soak overnight, or even longer. I once forgot a bucketful for 4 days. You might try one shirt (the oldest/least favorite one) first. I have used this on deodorant stained white undershirts, formula stained baby clothes, and ring around the collar, which sounds like what you are trying to get rid of. (05/13/2005)


By Jean

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

Rit Dye Remover whitens white shirts and blouses, even those which have been bleached and turned yellow because of poly content. (05/13/2005)

By siris

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

I had the same problem with my husband's white t-shirts. Although it doesn't smell so great, there is a product called "Iron Out" that is specifically designed to get rid of the yellow spots. You pour it directly into the wash with your detergent (I used Tide) and some bleach.

It worked wonders. Also, you may want to try Biz. It has removed everything my baby has thrown at it, including sweet potatoes. (05/14/2005)

By Michelle

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

If you mix together in very hot water the following:

  • 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent
  • 1 cup powdered bleach
  • 1 cup Calgon water softening powder.

Stir until powders seem to be mostly dissolved. Soak items for a few hours or overnight. Wring out and wash as usual. I've even removed stains on whites that were "set" by the dryer. (05/14/2005)

By Marian

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

Have you tried brushing the area with a shampoo? Shampoo is meant to take out oils and should work on your shirts. (05/14/2005)

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

My stepmom taught me the only detergent that removes yellow perspiration stains is Wisk and it works, works best though when you use it regularly for whites. I use Wisk, a bit of bleach and then hang the items in the sun. The same process also works to lighten cotton underwear and lighten whites such as towels, socks, and washcloths that have turned gray/dingy. (06/04/2005)

By Carie Novitzke

Yellow Stains on White Clothing


I imagine it would be a small amount of dishwasher detergent, borax, washing soda or baking soda to a larger amount of water. I remember seeing the recipe, but can't recall the exact ingredients.

The dishwasher detergent does contain chlorine which can be damaging to the fabric as well as to children's skin. I would add 1/2 of white vinegar to the rinse.

But I love OxiClean, specifically the Awesome brand powder from the dollar store. It's the only thing that removes "kid" stains from baby clothes, even ones that have been sitting. A scoop or two dissolved into hot water will brighten bibs, onesies and remove formula, baby food, and spitup stains from just about anything including mom's clothes. Plus since there's no chlorine, it's safe for colors. I still use a vinegar rinse just to be sure it won't irate little one's skin.

Good luck finding what you need.

Rebekah, mommy to 2 kids under 2 (02/17/2006)

By Rebekah

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

I put my white skirt out in the sun here in Colorado for about 4-5 days and the yellow stain went away. (09/10/2006)

By Lynneg

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

I made a paste of baking soda and cold water and put it on the stain to soak for about 5 minutes. Then I put the garment in the direct sunlight (with the paste still on it) for about 30 minutes. It worked. Then I rinsed and let air dry. Worked great. (10/03/2006)

By Joan

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

Using Cascade dishwasher detergenct directly on the stains works great. (10/12/2006)

By Kelly

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

I'll try the white vinegar/lemon on the white t-shirts that have yellowed over time. It's the only thing I can't get out. Sounds like it needs acid and the sun help it react.

For other stains:

  • Red wine: Salt (dissolve some in water first, which may help), then soak in hot water with lots of OxiClean. I got a huge red wine stain out of a white cotton sweatshirt doing this.

  • Lipstick: Dawn Dishwashing Liquid: the concentrated original. My 3 year old daughter put my lipstick on herself (and all over her shirt) last week. Regular washing did nothing, but the Dawn got it out right away with an old toothbrush. No stain.

  • Food grease stains, like tomato sauce or meat grease, Dawn. In silk, however, blot as much as you can out of the fabric with talcum powder first. Stuff works wonders.

  • Other grease stains: Automotive brake cleaner. (No kidding, my family has a service station and we've seen all kinds of grease in clothes.) It's basically an industrial solvent, so only use it outside because of the fumes. Put the garment on some brown paper bags and spray to soak, and blot it with more brown bags or some rags. Then wash with Dawn to get the cleaner and it's aroma out of the garment. (01/08/2007)

By Tammi

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

MY daughter swears by oxygen peroxide, my mother by VO5 shampoo. I like Awesome Oxiclean from the Dollar Tree (works as good as regular Oxiclean). For all other stains and a "quick rub in and let dry in the laundry basket" stain remover, try GOOP, a greasy hand cleaner, but the non-pumice one. It's taken every stain I've tried it on off from grease, to ink, and baby food. Some times you have to rub and let set again after 1st wash, though if it's a bad stain I rub in, let set over night, then rub in again, let set up again before washing. It needs a minimum of 30 minutes set up time, but what is so nice is that you use it on dried stains so it doesn't matter if you didn't catch the stain right away. (01/30/2007)

By Theresa

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

My white t-shirt was a disgrace. I tried everything to get the yellow underarm stains out and nothing worked. As a last resort I logged onto several sites for advice. I was about to try the one where you put in the dishwasher, but instead decided to soak my white t-shirt in the hottest water that came out of the tap in the thickest dis-solvable mixture of "Sard Oxy Plus Soaker". I left it for two days then put in the the wash. To my amazement the stains were gone. The product is made by Colgate Palmolive and I live in Oz so don't know if it's in Canada, but I'm sure they must make one. I am so happy I had to write and post this. (05/12/2007)

By Zoe

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

The product is called "Yellow Out" it is amazing and is specifically for yellow stains such as items that have been over bleached, baby stains and perspiration stains. I have had great success with this product. Good luck. (06/08/2007)

By lesley

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

Lysol Disinfectant Mildew Remover with Bleach spray, in your cleaning aisle at the store.
Just spray it on yellow stains, let it sit for a few minutes or up to 30 minutes and wash as usual. It has worked for most of my yellow stains on shirts that did not come out with Shout or regular bleach.
This also works on clothes with stubborn mildew stains. (08/16/2007)

By Debbie

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

All I can say is RIT whiteout and Oxiclean (09/27/2007)

By L

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

You can buy "Yellow Out" at most BiLo stores. There is also a website for it. You put your zip code in and it tells you the nearest store by you. (01/27/2008)

By Sarah

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

Pour peroxide on the stain and place it in the sun it doesn't matter if the item is wet or dry it will work great on those yellow spots.

By Co Co

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

Try Amway LOC Bathroom Cleaner. Pour a little undiluted amount directly on to the stain, rub a bit and it's gone. (07/10/2008)

By Colleen

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

I am so blown away. We were given some little outfits second-hand, and one of them was the cutest little Scottish Terrier dress with a white shirt that had a terrier on the collar. The shirt had horrible yellow stains all over it and really was unwearable. I looked up yellow stain removal and saw somewhere that soaking in lemon juice and setting in the sun would do the trick. Oh my word, did it ever. I took some lemons we had picked from our tree, squeezed the juice all over the stains, and hung it out in the sun. That was around 30 minutes ago. I just went out and checked on it, and the stains are already almost gone.

I did another one along with it that was a thinner material, and the smaller, lighter stains on that one are already completely gone. So we'll see how much longer it takes to completely get rid of the stains on the first one, but I am definitely a believer in natures remedies. (12/18/2008)

By Happy Mommy!

Yellow Stains on White Clothing

I didn't have Lysol Mildrew Remover, but I did have Scrub Free Mildew Stain Remover so I tried that. It worked like a charm and I didn't have to scrub or soak the garments. All I did was spray it on and leave for a few minutes, then wash as usual. Thanks for the tip. (02/17/2009)

By Cindy

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

Home and Garden Cleaning Clothing StainsJune 20, 2016
Coronavirus Tips
Back to School Ideas!
Pest Control
Summer Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2020-07-23 15:36:40 in 2 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2020 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Add to PageAsk a Question