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Yellow Stains on White Clothing

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

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