At the beginning of 2017, I committed to not buying any new clothes for the rest of the year. Given that I have already made it 6 months (happy June by the way!), I have no intentions of turning back now!
No new clothes also means no new white shirts, and I have a few that I love that over time have developed the dreaded yellow armpit stains. Without the option to replace them with new white shirts I was on a mission to find a solution that could remove the stains. After trying a number of stain removal recipes that didn’t work, I finally found a winning combination.
What causes stains?
Sweat itself is supposed to be colorless, the yellow stains happen when sweat from your armpits interacts with chemicals on the surface of your skin (typically aluminum – a chemical in antiperspirants). Livestrong also told me that yellow stains can happen due to sweat + bacteria on the surface of your skin… yipes!
How can I avoid yellow sweat stains?
One way to avoid the yellow stains caused by chemicals in antiperspirants is to stop wearing antiperspirants! Remember, deodorant and antiperspirant are not the same – so using aluminum-free deodorants might be the easiest way to avoid yellow armpit stains. I switched to natural formula deodorants earlier this year.
How do I remove sweat stains?
For stubborn stains definitely pre-treat by soaking them for 30 minutes – 1 hour in the following:
- 1 part cold water
- 1 part white vinegar
Next comes the scrub. I tried a number of scrub recipes that either barely worked or didn’t work at all, namely: salt + baking soda + hydrogen peroxide, crushed asperin + water (I think that this trick actually made the yellow stains worse…), dish soap + hydrogen peroxide.
- 1 part dish soap (I used blue dawn)
- 2 parts hydrogen peroxide
- Add enough baking soda to form a paste
Really rub this mixture into the stain (I spent a good minute scrubbing it around) then let it sit on the stain for an additional 30 minutes or so.
Then toss the shirt into the laundry machine and wash according to label instructions.
Works like magic! Before you throw your stained white shirts away this method is absolutely worth trying. Then switch to natural deodorant and you won’t have to worry about those pesky yellow stains coming back.