You know that feeling when you look at your shirt and see stains in the underarm area.
“Ugh! Another shirt gone – money down the drain! I will never buy a white shirt again!”
Well, no need to fret as there are a few things you can do to remove existing stains and prevent future ones from showing up.
First note that commercial antiperspirant/deodorants made with aluminum put your shirt at a disadvantage as the chemical reaction between that ingredient and your sweat actually causes yellow stains. What the heck?!?!
Switching to a natural, aluminum-free deodorant (such as All Out Natural) is the first step to saving your wardrobe. Deodorants don’t prevent the body from sweating although they do reduce sweat. Sweating is a natural function of the body to keep it cool, maintain salt levels, and remove toxins from the body. You shouldn’t be embarrassed by this, and your shirts shouldn’t suffer either.
Unfortunately, even when you do make the switch you can experience some discoloration and/or oil marks. This may be caused by over-applying. The thing is, organic deodorant is made using unfiltered organic oils & waxes that are naturally light yellow in color. The access deodorant can rub on your shirt causing a stain. Additionally, some delicate fabrics will absorb the formula more readily regardless of how much or little you use. Just something to keep in mind.
Here are some steps you can take to get rid of existing armpit stains and prevent future ones from happening.
First, take a look at the inside of the shirt and assess what is going on. Is it wax build-up? Is it discolored? Does it look oily? If there is wax build-up, scrape with a knife to remove the remnants and follow the following cleansing options.
Baking Soda & Vinegar: Sprinkle baking soda onto stains and let it sit & absorb the oils for about 20-30 minutes. Brush off with a cloth. Next, soak the shirt in distilled white vinegar for 15 minutes. Rinse with cold or lukewarm water. Avoid hot water. Wash as usual and line dry in case the stain doesn’t come out and you need to repeat this process. Works great for dark colored shirts.
Dish Soap: Another product to try either by itself or as a 3rd step to the above method is a degreasing liquid dish soap. This will release the oil from the shirt with ease. Again, wash with cold or lukewarm water and line dry. If stain still persists, repeat the process.
Baking Soda & Peroxide: Combine ¼ cup water, ¼ cup baking soda, and ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide. Using a toothbrush, rub the mixture onto the armpit stains. Allow the item to sit for 20 minutes. Repeat as necessary. Use for white shirts only.
Regardless of the method you choose, always wash in luke-warm water. Cold water doesn’t release the stain, and hot water will set the stain. Also, resist the urge to use a dryer machine as the heat will set the stain for good. Instead, line dry the shirt until you see that the armpit stain has been completely removed.