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How To Get Armpit Stains Out Of Shirts

Is there anything more annoying than going to put on your favorite shirt and then find out that there are stains under the armpits? Stain removal on clothes can be a never-ending issue, especially armpit stains.  In this article, we’ll share a few tips on how to get armpit stains out of shirts.

What Causes Yellow Armpit Stains?

Yellow stains under the armpits of your shirts can be caused by a few different factors. One of the main factors that cause these stains is the composition of your sweat. From head to toe, an average adult has millions of sweat glands.   Sweat is made up of mostly water, with trace amounts of ammonia, urea, salts, and sugar.  When your body breaks down protein, very small amounts of ammonia and urea are left behind.

On its own, sweat is colorless and odorless. However, when your sweat reacts with other chemicals, such as some of the active ingredients in your deodorant, antiperspirant, laundry detergent, or bacteria under the arms, the sweat can turn yellow and cause those stubborn stains under your white shirts that are so hard to remove.

How Do You Get Rid Of Armpit Stains?

Underarm stains and deodorant stains are unsightly and annoying. To get rid of them, you can send your shirts out to a laundry service to have them removed and cleaned professionally, or you can use a special stain remover product at home.

If you don’t have a stain removal product on hand, then there are some other measures you can take to get rid of these unsightly underarm stains. To remove sweat stains, pre-treat your clothes before you wash them, using one of these DIY methods:

Lemon Juice

Gently dab the yellow stain using a soft sponge with a mixture of lemon juice and water.

White Vinegar

Pour some white vinegar directly onto the stain. Rub the white vinegar in gently and let it sit for around 15 minutes.


Crush two aspirins and mix them with ¼ to ½ cup of water to make a solution. Soak the stain in this mixture, and rinse after 30-60 minutes.


Dissolve some salt in hot water and gently sponge the solution into the stain until the yellow stain is gone.

Baking Soda

Mix baking soda and warm water to make a paste and rub this baking soda paste into the yellow armpit stain. Let the paste dry before you wash the shirt.

Cold Water

Run the shirt under cold water and gently massage the stained area. Don’t use hot water, as this can set the underarm stains in place.

Dish Soap

Dish soap is not for just cleaning dishes! When you combine dish soap and hydrogen peroxide, this mixture will work wonders on your white shirts.

Should You Use Bleach On Armpit Stains?

You might think that bleach should be a great solution for removing ugly yellow sweat stains from your white clothing. But using bleach can actually make the stain worse.

If you do not want to try any of the at-home solutions listed above, look for a stain remover, not bleach, that is designed to work on yellow pit stains. You can also save yourself the headache by having a laundry delivery service tackle this job for you!

How To Prevent Armpit Stains

You can prevent armpit stains by getting your sweating under control. It’s actually better to apply your deodorant and antiperspirant at night before bed, rather than in the morning.

Before bed, shower and make sure your underarms are completely dry. Apply a light layer of antiperspirant. Clinical strength antiperspirant can also help if you sweat a lot. Allow the area to dry completely before you put on your pajamas.

You can put on antiperspirant at night when your sweat glands are less active and it will still be effective. When you get up, swipe a thin layer of deodorant onto your underarms. Use a thin layer, as sweat stains are caused by sweat mixing with deodorant. Don’t put on your shirt until the deodorant is completely dry. The best way to prevent armpit stains is to keep the area free from moisture.

If you need more protection, carry a small bottle of baby powder. You can apply it in tiny amounts to absorb moisture.

Try wearing an undershirt or sweat guard. These are especially useful for wearing with white clothes. In a pinch, you can even make your own sweat guards by cutting a panty liner in half. Attach the side with the adhesive to the armpit area of the shirt so the absorbent pad can soak up any sweat. This trick has been used in the wardrobe departments of theatres for years.

If you sweat when you’re nervous, try skipping your morning coffee or cut down on your caffeine intake during the day. Caffeine activates your ‘fight or flight’ response, which raises your temperature and your blood pressure, and increases sweating.

Instead of worrying about how to get armpit stains out of shirts, try to prevent stains from occurring in the first place.

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