How to Get Rid of Deodorant Stains Out Of Shirts

I met a close friend the other day. He said he was on a date the night before with a pretty girl he met online. I curiously asked him how it went. He casually said that it was okay. With one eyebrow raised, I asked for details. He continued to say that he felt an initial attraction at first, but things went south when he saw a yellowish stain on her clothes’ armpit area. Yikes. I can’t blame him, though. He said that although he finds her pretty, it was a major turn-off because he sees it as a sign that she doesn’t know how to take care of herself. He has a point, though.

No one wants to flash out some deodorant streaks, especially when you are outside. It ruins even the best looks out there; it’s an instant confidence breaker. Save yourself from this streaky mess and make sure your favorite outfit doesn’t ruin any future dates. Read along to find out ways to get rid of deodorant stains and how you can avoid them.

What Causes Deodorant Stains?

Even if you are careful, your white deodorant can still stain your clothes. You can get it by simply putting on a clean shirt and pulling it over your head. Once the fabric reaches the armpit, there will be deodorant marks that are visible on dark clothes. These stains can build up over time as they don’t get removed easily during washing. Deodorant build-up on clothes causes yellowing on the armpit area of your whites and whitening on your colored clothes.

If you wear too many antiperspirants or deodorants, you are likely to have deodorant stains on your clothes. If used excessively, deodorants don’t get absorbed and will leave white marks on your shirts.

We all sweat; it’s our body’s natural way of regulating itself. However, people who sweat excessively and use more deodorant are more likely to develop deodorant stains and body odor. Suppose you observe that the armpit area of your whites starts to yellow. In that case, it’s because of the deodorant, especially those with antiperspirants. Together with sweat, creates a chemical reaction that causes this yellowish mark.

Consider The Fabric Color and Type

Stain removal is very particular, depending on your fabric type and color. Not one stain removal product works on all clothes. Using deodorant stain removers that are not safe for a specific color can do more harm than good. The same goes when you use a product that is not compatible with particular fabrics. Always check the label before you use stain removers, especially commercially bought ones.

6 Ways to Remove Deodorant Stains from Clothes 

You don’t need to hide your armpits anymore as we listed down ways on how to get deodorant stains out of shirts using some household items. Even if you don’t have them in your pantry, it’s still easy to find them at stores.

1. Vinegar

bottle of white vinegar against blue background

The good old white vinegar works miracles to get deodorant stains off of your shirt. If you want to wear your clothes but saw they were stained with deodorant marks, you can quickly remove them using white vinegar. Just soak a lint-free cloth with white vinegar and wipe it on the areas with deodorant marks until they disappear. Don’t worry; you can still wear your shirt once it dries, and you won’t smell sour afterward as the vinegary smell will dissipate once the shirt dries.

For persistent deodorant stains that cause yellowing on the fabric, you can soak your cloth in a bowl of white vinegar for not more than an hour. The acid from vinegar removes deodorant stains and gets rid of odors caused by bacteria. After soaking, you can lightly brush the stained area with a brush and toss it on the washer and wash regularly.

2. Baking Soda

bottle of baking soda and a spoonful of baking soda against brown background

Baking soda is a general cleaning essential and an excellent stain remover. This wonder-powder works well in removing deodorant stains due to its porous nature. Make a paste using baking soda and a bit of warm water and apply onto the stain. Let it sit on the fabric for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Remove remaining stains, brush off the parts where you put baking soda with an old toothbrush, and toss it in the washing machine and wash as usual.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an effective antibacterial, stain-remover, and bleach. It works by releasing oxygen and thereby destroying organic substances. However, since it can also be used as bleach, you have to be careful not to cause discoloration on clothes. Thus, it would be best if you only used hydrogen peroxide for your whites. It is also not safe for delicate fabrics such as satin, wool, or silk.

To eliminate deodorant stains using hydrogen peroxide for whites, you can mix it with water and soak the fabric in the solution. You would want to do this before putting the garment in the washer.

3. Lemon Juice

lemons and lemon juice against brown background

Because of their slight acidity, lemon juice is an excellent natural cleaner while also containing antibacterial properties. An acidic water-based solution needs to be used to remove acidic stains, such as sweat. To use it as a deodorant stain remover, mix equal parts lemon juice and water and let it sit on the stained fabric for at least an hour. You can then wash it as you usually would in the washer. The marks will lift off after washing, and your clothes will be free of odor-causing germs.

5. Store-bought Stain Remover

If you are hesitant to try or cannot be bothered to make your stain removers, many stores offer various stain removers. You may use them to instantly get rid of stains caused by deodorant. You can spray the solution on the clothing and let it sit for about 15 minutes. You can then proceed to washing it as usual. After washing, you should be able to get rid of the annoying white deodorant streaks on your clothes.

6. Agitation Using Other Fabrics

Rubbing or agitating the fabric with visible deodorant marks will transfer the white spots to the other material. This works as you can disperse the deodorant build-up on clothes by transferring it to other fabrics before washing. You can grab a sock or even a nylon stocking to get the job done, then wash the garment in the washer as usual.

How to Prevent Deodorant Stains Before They Happen

It’s pesky, it’s messy, and it can make your underarm smelly. So if you want to prevent pit stains before they happen, you can follow our tips below.

  • Don’t wear your clothes right after you put deodorant on. It’s best to allow the product to completely dry and set on your skin first.
  • Only apply enough deodorant.
  • Change products. Antiperspirants found in some deodorants contain aluminum that can cause staining over time when mixed with sweat.
  • Use a deodorant spray or gel to get rid of the white substance that causes deodorant stains.

In Conclusion

Deodorant stains are annoying and can make you look unhygienic. However, you don’t have to immediately toss your clothes in the bin once you see them with deodorant stains. You can quickly remove deodorant stains using household items you can find in the cupboard. Get rid of those underarm stains now so you can confidently raise your hands in front of anyone!

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About Margaret Croom

Peggy is a contributor and editor at Tidy Diary. She is a proud mother of three children who inspired her to level up her tidying skills. She enjoys her me time by lounging in her favorite nook with a lovely cup of tea. She also keeps a handy diary.