Guides and Tips

How to Remove Armpit Stains and Odor

August 9, 2022
How to Remove Armpit Stains and Odor

Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and white vinegar are three ingredients that can help remove armpit stains and odor. But don’t pour them over your clothes just yet!

Before you load your next wash, read on and learn about homemade formulas to get rid of and prevent armpit stains on any kind of clothing.

How do I remove armpit stains from my clothes? 

How do I remove armpit stains from my clothes

While you may have used chlorine bleach to remove stubborn stains from coffee or spaghetti on your favorite top, it won’t likely work with underarm garment splotches.

You would need a special kind of solution, and we’ll teach you how to create that. First, you have to gather these ingredients and cleaning tools:

  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Laundry detergent
  • Water
  • Disposable plastic container

Having all of them, you’re now ready to get rid of armpit stains on a white shirt. For this, kindly follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Create the paste – Mix equal parts of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water in a disposable plastic container.
  1. Apply the paste onto the affected area – Use the soft-bristled brush to get some paste, and apply it to the stained part of the clothing.
  1. Gently scrub out the stains – Gently brush and work in the paste on the clothes. But don’t do it forcefully, as it might damage the fabric, especially sensitive ones like silk and wool.
  1. Let the mixture soak in – The duration of letting the mixture soak in will depend on the age and depth of the stain.

Wait for about 30 minutes if the armpit stains are fresh or at least 24 hours if they’re older and tougher to remove.

  1. Rinse the stained area – Afterward, rinse off the paste residue of your clothing under cold water.
  1. Launder the shirt – Once you have finished treating and rinsing the armpit stain, wash the clothes by hand or machine according to the care instructions.
  1. Air-dry the shirt – Finally, hang your newly washed shirt on a clothesline to dry. But keep in mind not to put it in the dryer until the stains or discoloration are completely removed.
  1. Repeat the process (optional) – Still, there can be some armpit stains that remain after cleaning them in this specified manner. In this case, repeat steps 3 to 7 once again and see if that works.

How do I remove armpit stains on dark or colored shirts

Armpit stains may be barely visible or completely invisible in dark clothes. But you would know they’re there if you feel roughness or see small patches in the shirt part under your arms.

Now, the same procedure above may work for dark or colored shirts with armpit stains. However, we highly recommend going with certain modified steps to prevent marring their colors and fabric.

The following items are what you’ll be needing for this task:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Laundry detergent
  • Soft-bristled brush or sponge
  • Water
  • A bucket or bowl

Furthermore, here’s what you need to do to totally eliminate the discolored marks and crusty sensation of dark or colored clothing:

  1. Prepare the solution – Put together 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water in a bucket or bowl. You’ll need this instead of a small recyclable container since you will have to submerge the clothing in the solution later.
  1. Work on the stain – Dip the toothbrush in the stain removal solution, and scrub it carefully onto the affected armpit area.
  1. Let the mixture sit – Next, let the mixture sit for about half an hour to loosen and get the stain out.
  1. Submerge the stain – For more stain-removal power, submerge the stained part in the vinegar mixture of the bowl or bucket. Then, let it soak in for 24 hours.
  1. Wring out the wet clothing – Gently wring out the excess liquid on the clothing.
  1. Launder the shirt – As per the care label instructions, launder the dark or colored shirt by hand or machine.
  1. Air-dry the shirt – Rather than dry the shirt in the drying machine, you must air-dry it. The reason is that the number one enemy of stain removal is heat, and there’s a chance you need to repeat the process because there are still stains that have remained.
  1. Repeat the process (optional) – If one round of stain pre-treatment and wash isn’t enough, repeat steps 2 to 7, but that’s given you have ample vinegar solution to work with.

How do I prevent armpit stains?

Armpit stains can surface in many ways if you’re not careful throughout the day. They’re mainly a result of body sweat coming into contact with aluminum from deodorizers.

Now here are some simple ways you can prevent armpit stains, which can save you from the harder effort of pre-treating and cleaning them:

  • Wear breathable or loose clothing – One of the easiest ways to keep armpit stains at bay is to wear breathable or loose clothing.

The reason for this is if you wear a tight shirt or jumper, your armpits are directly in contact with the fabric, causing the deodorant to leak onto it and your sweat combining with it to produce a visible stain.

  • Wear an undershirt – You could also wear an undershirt to provide you with an extra protective layer between the main shirt and your skin, thereby reducing the likelihood of armpit stains.
  • Launder sweaty shirts at once – As soon as get home, aim to wash all your sweaty clothes at once. This prevents stains from going deeper and a more effortful cleaning afterward.
  • Shave or trim your armpits – Grooming your underarms helps a lot in making you feel cooler and lighter. Also, armpit hair traps moisture and sweat as well as bacteria.
  • Use a non-aluminum antiperspirant – If you plan to use an antiperspirant, choose those without aluminum. As we said, aluminum and sweat can chemically bond to form armpit stains.

There are lots of antiperspirant products out there, so find one that makes you feel good and fresh all day.

Reducing Armpit Odor

For armpit odor that’s still there even after you’ve washed and treated your shirt, you have to rely on the incredible deodorizing effects of baking soda.

Simply add it to your washing machine or pre-soak the affected area in it with baking soda and water. Then, let it sit for half an hour for easy-to-remove stains, while one to two hours for tough laden stains.

Afterward, wash the shirt like you always do and air-dry it. The sweat stains and unpleasant odor should then be completely gone for good.

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