Sweat can stain clothing, but unfortunately so can deodorant. If you’ve spotted yellow stains under your garment’s arm area, then these could be stains caused by the antiperspirant in your deodorant. They occur when your sweat reacts with the aluminum salts in antiperspirant deodorants, or when you accidentally spray deodorant on your clothes. Wondering how to remove deodorant stains? We’ll show you how to remove these stains from shirts and help you get rid of deodorant stains for good!
Just like sweat stains, deodorant residue on clothes sometimes can't be avoided if you use deodorant with antiperspirant, which has aluminum. This may be unfortunate news for you, especially in the summer months, but you don't have to throw away your favorite top! Even older deodorant stains are not that difficult to remove from clothing—red wine stains, for example, are more cause for a headache. As with any stain, older ones will take more work than newer stains. The sooner you remove the deodorant stains, the sooner you'll be rid of them.
The reason for the discoloration causing a stain on your shirt is a chemical reaction with aluminum salts that are used in antiperspirants. If you want to avoid deodorant stains in your clothes, it's best to check the ingredients when you buy the product.
To remove yellowed or dark deodorant stains from your shirt, the first step is to choose a suitable product for stain treatment. There are lots of commercial cleaners available, made for every material. In addition to stain removers, the right detergent also plays an important role. Depending on the fabric and color, you’ll need to pick the right detergent. For a white shirt, you can apply the detergent directly to the deodorant stain to remove it. For colorful textiles, first check in an inconspicuous place if your clothes are colorfast—if they are, you can use the stain remover directly on the stain.
Knowing that new deodorant stains are easier to remove than old ones, it's best to act quickly. If the stains are older, soak the clothes in lukewarm water for at least half an hour. Then you can proceed to the next few steps, which are based on a good laundry routine—if you want tips for the best way to do laundry, we can help with that, too. But first things first:
- Brush off any visible deodorant with an old toothbrush.
- Pre-treat the stain with a stain remover like Purex® Fels-Naptha® Laundry Bar. Just rub the stain with the wet bar and let it sit for a few minutes.
- You can also pre-treat the stain with a laundry detergent like Persil® ProClean® Plus OXI Power. Simply a small amount of the laundry detergent onto the wet stain and blot gently. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Wash your garment in the washing machine with the same laundry detergent at the highest possible temperature for your garment according to the label—this doesn’t mean the highest temperature of the machine, but what the garment can take. For delicate fabrics, such as wool, silk or satin, hand washing or dry cleaning is better.
- Then check if the deodorant stain is completely removed—you may have to repeat the process several times. Do not dry your garment until the stain is completely gone.
Homemade stain removers are sometimes quite successful in removing deodorant stains from clothing. However, when using them, there is a risk that colors and textile fibers will get damaged during the treatment. When in doubt, use a normal detergent and a stain remover.
We hope these tips have helped you remove deodorant stains—and shown you how to prevent them from forming in the future. For more tips, head to the laundry section on our website.