Oh no, another white streak on your favourite black shirt? We’ve all been there. If you’re feeling a bit frazzled by those pesky deodorant stains, take heart. There are lots of ways to battle those stubborn marks, and lucky for you, you’re in the right place to discover them all.
So, what’s the best way to get deodorant stains out of clothes? The good news is, it’s simpler than you might think. There are several natural ingredients you can use to sort out the issue – things like baking soda, vinegar, or even your laundry detergent.
But hold on, we’re not spilling all the beans just yet! We’ve got six of the best methods to share with you, each one designed to make your life easier and your clothes stain-free. Let’s dive into how to get deodorant stains out of clothes.
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Why Does Deodorant Leave Stains on Clothes?
Generally, aluminum salts, such as aluminum chloride, are the main culprits behind these white marks.
Antiperspirants rely on these chemicals to block skin pores and prevent sweating. Not only that, but aluminum has antimicrobial activity, prevents odor-causing bacteria from growing.
All that sounds great. However, the problem is that aluminum salts can leave chalky marks on your clothes.
They can also cause yellow stains.
As surprising as it may sound, sweat is colorless. However, it contains proteins, urea, and other compounds. Combined with aluminum and skin bacteria, sweat can change color, resulting in armpit stains.
How to Get Deodorant Stains Out of Clothes
Although challenging, deodorant streaks aren’t bulletproof. They ruin dark clothing, but you can prevent them or get rid of them using a few hacks.
Many common household items, like baking soda, vinegar, and more, can help you fight those built-up antiperspirant stains. You can also use commercial products.
Here are six methods to help you restore your favorite shirts to their former glory:
1. Commercial Deodorant Stain Remover
You can use commercial products to remove white deodorant marks from clothes. These stain fighters typically contain surfactants and enzymes that help eliminate pesky smears.
For those wondering, surfactants are chemicals that help decrease the surface tension of stains. It contains two parts: a water-loving portion and an oil-loving portion. That helps coat the stain and mix it with water, making it easier to remove.
As for the enzymes, they break down proteins and other molecules so that they’re easily washed during cleaning.
To use stain removers to get rid of deodorant marks, here’s what to do:
- Using a clean cloth, nylon stocking, or foam rubber, gently erase all deodorant traces.
- Follow the care label instructions to prepare a solution containing the stain fighter.
- Pre-treat the fabric with the stain remover. Let the clothes soak for a couple of minutes.
- Use a biological detergent and throw the clothes into the washing machine. For tough stains, use warm water.
Pro tip: avoid using hot water, especially for delicate fabrics, to avoid damaging the clothes.
2. Soak in White Vinegar
White vinegar is hailed as the ultimate cleaning solution in many households. So, it comes as no surprise that you can use it to remove underarm stains.
The reason behind vinegar’s superpowers is its acidic nature. That helps increase the positive and negative charges on the stain.
As you know, water contains positive hydrogen and negative oxygen molecules. Thanks to the increased charges due to vinegar, the stain becomes attracted to it and dissolves easily in water.
The best part is that this DIY approach is straightforward! Here’s what you need to do:
- Remove any debris from the clothes using a towel, clean cloth, or something similar.
- Add two tablespoons of vinegar to one cup of cold water to dilute it.
- Soak the clothes in the mixture for around an hour.
- Gently rub the stained area to remove the stain.
- Launder the garments according to their instructions and use a biological detergent (optional).
3. Use Water and Lemon Juice
Like vinegar, lemon is a strong acid. It has a pH of 2-3. So, you can use it to remove tough stains, including deodorant marks.
As you might have guessed, lemons work exactly like vinegar. They increase the stains’ charges, detaching them from the fabric once washed.
Here’s how to use this fruit to clean your clothes:
- Squeeze fresh lemon into a bowl.
- Add an equal amount of water to dilute the acid. This prevents the chemical from damaging the fabric.
- Apply the mixture to the stain and let it work for around an hour.
- Use a clean toothbrush or cloth and gently rub the stain (optional).
- Throw the clothes in the washing machine and wash them as you normally do.
4. Rub Using Baking Soda
Baking soda is a common DIY cleaner that can help remove sweat stains from clothes. For one, this chemical is an excellent absorbent. So, it can help draw the pigment off the fabric.
Additionally, baking soda is alkaline, while sweat is slightly acidic. That means it can neutralize the smears, breaking them down. This treatment is ideal for removing an old, yellowish stain. However, it may not be suitable for colorful clothing if the pigment wears off easily.
Here’s how to use this chemical:
- Mix three parts of baking soda with one part water in a bowl.
- Apply the paste to the stain.
- Using an old toothbrush (clean, of course) or dry towel, gently rub the affected area in a circular motion.
- Let the mixture set for around an hour.
- Wash the garment and throw it into the laundry machine.
5. Remove with Hydrogen Peroxide
While hydrogen peroxide is efficient at removing stains, this method is only suitable for white clothes.
That’s because the former chemical is a powerful oxidizing agent. It reacts with the pigments and breaks them down. So, it acts as a bleach, making the stains invisible.
Sure, that is necessary to remove stubborn spots. However, hydrogen peroxide can damage colored clothing. For that reason, for best results, only use it on white shirts. To do so:
- Remove any aluminum salt debris from the clothes using a cloth.
- Dilute one cup of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water.
- Soak the garments in the mixture for around an hour.
- Throw it in the laundry machine and wash it as you usually do.
6. Crush Some Aspirin Tablets
As surprising as it may sound, you can use aspirin to remove deodorant stains. The idea is that this drug releases salicylic acid when broken down.
Such a compound can have some bleaching effects. However, it’s not as efficient as vinegar. So, it’s best to use it for fresh deodorant marks. Here’s how:
- Remove any white debris from the clothes.
- Using a mortar and pestle, crush 3-4 aspirin tablets until they’re powder.
- Pour the powder into a bowl.
- Gradually add hot water and mix until the aspirin dissolves.
- Soak the clothes for a couple of hours.
- Crush additional aspirin tablets and place them on the stain.
- Rub the paste and let it sit for five minutes.
- Wash the garment with warm water and place it in the washing machine.
PIN FOR LATER!
Tips When Removing White Deodorant Stains Out of Clothes
Regardless of the method you choose, you need to follow a few tips to avoid damaging the fabric. These include:
- Always test the chemicals on a small, inconspicuous area from the inside of the garment.
- Read the clothing washing instructions before using any bleach or detergents.
- Avoid mixing products or chemicals, as that can be harmful. Not to mention, mixing can make the product less efficient.
- Don’t wash the clothes with hot water before pre-treating them with a stain remover. The former can strengthen the bonds between the deodorant marks and the fabric.
So there you have it! Removing white residue from black shirts doesn’t have to be a nightmare anymore. Whether you’re using good old vinegar, or taking the surprising route of aspirin, remember it’s all about treating the stain before it sets in.
Always try a patch test to avoid bleaching your beloved clothes and stick to the washing instructions. Now, don’t be afraid to raise those arms high without a worry about deodorant marks.