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How to Remove Deodorant Build-up

Deodorant can leave an unsightly residue on clothing that can be difficult to remove. This is a guide about how to remove deodorant build-up.


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 17, 20090 found this helpful

Does anyone know how to remove the built up hard yellow stuff in the armpits of shirts? I have been told it is a deodorant/antiperspirant buildup. It is unsightly and uncomfortable to wear as it is very hard, let alone looks dirty, even if just laundered. Any hints and help is appreciated!

By Beau from Vancouver, WA


September 21, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I wear a lot of black. Unfortunately the antiperspirant that works best for me is a white solid kind. As Megan F. mentions, try rubbing the underarm areas with a pantyhose when damp before drying. The texture of the pantyhose works better than anything I've found so far.

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September 21, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I use Mean Green on the underarms of my husband's shirts and it helps with deodorant buildup. However, I have only tried this with white shirts. The spray recommends you test it on an inconspicuous area first if you are in doubt about it discoloring something.


I've heard that you can drop a couple of plain aspirin in the wash with new white tee shirts to prevent buildup in the first place.

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September 27, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar and place this on damp clothing (area like under arm). Or put white vinegar on shirt then baking soda and add a bit more vinegar till it fizzes, then scrub away and wash.

If you can hang it out in the sunshine, that will help too. They also sell "whitener" the people who make RitDye has these and use in the yellow areas to get the dingy color out.

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December 5, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had a black polyester Nike work-out shirt that had the white caked anti-perspirant in the under arms. I boiled a full tea kettle of water and poured it through the fabric, then laundered as usual and the build-up is gone now.

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September 17, 20090 found this helpful

How do you remove deodorant residue from t-shirts? It has hardened on the armpit of the t-shirt. I have tried vinegar with no luck.

Sara from Southeast Missouri




Try to soak the shirts in Cascade. Yes, the dishwasher soap. I have seen stains removed from garments that have been there for some time. Good luck!

By Monica from Detroit


Try rubbing the marks with some pantyhose. It works for me and it's the only use I get out of my pantyhose!

By Megan F.


I had a shirt that had been washed several times with a paint stain on it that would not come out. I sprayed it with a little WD-40 and it took the stain out completely. Can't hurt to try.

By busdrivr


I have always used white vinegar per "Hints from Heloise", even on old stains. There were shirts that I had stopped wearing until I remembered reading it years ago and tried it for the first time about 3 years ago.


Vinegar is a natural sanitizer too. It works on coffee pots, nebulizer breathing treatment machines, dishwashers, etc.

By B

Spray Deodorant

I have the same problem, so I switched to spray and no more stiff pits. I might try regular deodorant instead of antiperspirant in stick and see if that works. I don't really like spray.

By Tom


I have had this problem with only a few shirts. Today I discovered that "Goof-off" does the trick. I used it on a black shirt. It can be bought at any Lowe's or Home Depot, probably in the paint departments. It smells like gasoline, but after trying vinegar, baking soda, boiling salt water, etc, this is the only thing that made any difference at all.

By Just Me

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October 12, 20060 found this helpful

My husband is a professional firefighter who wears navy blue t-shirts under his uniforms. The underarm areas become stiff and extremely uncomfortable due to a build-up of deodorant and the otherwise good shirts quickly become unwearable. Any suggestions for preventing this or for removing the deodorant build-up?



Meat Tenderizer

Make a paste of water and meat tenderizer, and spread it on the stiff area. Let it set overnight. Brush off the dried paste, pre-treat with liquid detergent, then wash as usual. Make sure you buy the unflavored tenderizer, the flavored has spices in it which could add to the stain!

By lmlhlinc

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