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White spots and blemishes are gone! With these expert tips, you can easily remove pesky deodorant residue from your shirts – and make sure it doesn’t damage them over time.
How To Get Hard Armpit Stains Out Of Shirts
It’s a sad fact of life: scars happen. Of course, it’s essential to know how to remove all kinds of stains from your clothes, but fortunately, you only have to deal with a few every now and then, like blood stains and red wine stains. Not the same for deodorant stains, which happen everywhere. The. There’s that moment when you’re wearing a dark shirt when you pull it over your head, stretching it as far as possible on the way down to try to avoid your armpits, only to find –
How To Remove Deodorant Stains From Clothes
– White marks everywhere. And even if you miraculously manage to avoid it, you’ll probably still end up with that white deodorant residue near the armpits of your shirt, which builds up over time and eventually damages them. But you don’t have to grin and bear it or throw those items away. Not if you know how to get deodorant stains out of shirts.
How can you prevent this from happening? Instead of waiting until there is a real problem, tend to your clothes regularly. But don’t worry: even if you already notice that white build-up, it’s not too late. To save your clothes and ensure you don’t end up with permanent stains, all you have to do is reach for the best stain removers on the market – or look in your pantry. Believe it or not, some of the best stain fighters for deodorant stains are common household items, and that’s true when you need to remove sweat stains.
A few important notes before we begin: The techniques you will find below are best for cotton and poly-blend fabrics. For delicate fabrics such as soft, silk, satin or wool, it is usually best to leave them to the professionals and take the relevant items to a dry cleaner. Also, for all options below, soak the cloth in the hottest water acceptable according to the care label for the best chance of success. With that said, here are the most effective stain removers you can use to fight deodorant stains.
The best way to remove deodorant stains from shirts is with white vinegar. “Soaking your T-shirt in a bowl of white vinegar can help lift stains and remove any lingering odors that may be stuck to the stain,” says Jenny Varney, brand manager for Neighborly brand Molly Maid. “Let it soak for an hour, then lightly agitate with a brush. Then put it through a regular wash cycle.” Vinegar can also help you remove coffee stains from clothes.
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This powder can work wonders on blemishes. “Making a paste of baking soda mixed with a little water can help gently exfoliate the stain and lift it before washing with warm water,” says Varney. Apply the paste to the stain, let it sit anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight, depending on the severity of the stain, then toss it in with your regular laundry.
The acidity of this liquid can help break down the thickness of the deodorant, says Sean Bush, CEO and co-founder of Puracy. It is also safe for most fabrics. “A simple 1:1 ratio of lemon juice to water works as a good spot treatment that you can leave on the stain for an hour before a normal wash cycle,” says Varney. Lemon may be one of the secret ingredients you should add to your laundry, stain or not.
Grind some aspirin into a powder and then make a paste. “Mixing it with a little water is a good option for treating white clothes,” says Varney. “It’s comparable in effectiveness to baking soda because it’s abrasive to the stain without damaging the fabric.” Let it sit anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the severity of the stain.
Hydrogen peroxide is really effective, but it can discolor your clothes, so experts recommend using it only on whites. “A simple mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water is good for soaking all white clothes before a wash cycle,” says Varney. If you want to try it on colored clothing, test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to see if it causes damage. And make sure you don’t use it on delicate fabrics like silk, satin or wool.
How To Remove Armpit Stains (because, Ew)
Classic stain removers can help with deodorant residue. “Treat it with a stain remover, preferably a natural one designed to remove all stains and residue, including white deodorant stains,” says Bush. “I recommend spraying a stain remover on your clothes later in the day, and that’s it—you don’t have to rub it in.” Let it sit for 15 minutes and then throw it in your regular wash with the other clothes. Two effective options to try: Puracy’s Natural Stain Remover and The Laundress’s Stain Solution.
Ideas here? To remove stains with other items before washing. “It works to spread the build-up concentration,” says Varney. “Just rub a clean cotton sock, a shirt or even a nylon stocking over the stain and then wash the items as you normally would.”
While you should never let a stain sit for too long, you have a little breathing room with deodorant stains. This is not true if you are dealing with grease, which is why you should bookmark this information on how to get oil stains out of clothes. Time is of the essence when dealing with that one!
While it’s certainly important to know how to prevent and remove those built-up deodorant stains, what about all those fresh, white stains on your dress shirt? The following two-step process will remove the stain so you don’t have to change your clothes.
How To Remove Deodorant Stains & Get The Stains Out Of Clothes
“Don’t blot the stains with a damp towel, it will just wash away the color,” says Onker Bali of Bali’s Cleaners in Palm Desert, California. “Instead, lightly moisten it with steam. This will loosen both the dust and the deodorant, making it easier to remove.”
For those who don’t have a steamer, remember that many irons have steamer capabilities. Alternatively, you can hang the shirt in your bathroom while you run the shower.
Once the stain has evaporated, there are a few ways to remove it manually. First, you need to make sure you are scrubbing it with the right ingredients. Believe it or not, a pair of padded tights is incredibly effective at rubbing out deodorant stains. If you don’t have any tights, you can also opt for a new dryer sheet. Don’t have one of these at home? The stretchy, foam rubber strips you find on dry cleaner hangers are a great option. Or if you wear a lot of black, spring for a Miss Uff Rescue Sponge. It instantly removes deodorant and other powder-based stains and is especially useful on dark colored clothing.
Once you’ve found the right dry, textured material to work with, it’s time to get to work. Gently rub the tool of your choice over the stain in a circular motion. The fresher the stain, the faster it comes out, and the older the stain, the longer and longer the hair has to be worked on. Either way, you will notice that the white spots will gradually disappear. And FYI, while rubbing is a good technique for removing deodorant stains, you’ll want to avoid it when trying to remove mustard, turmeric, or chocolate stains from clothing or other items. In this case, rubbing can cause those stains to become more embedded in the fabric.
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“Deodorant easily transfers from our skin to our clothes, and it’s very difficult to avoid it—especially with tight clothing,” says Varney. “Deodorant that contains antiperspirant, which is usually an aluminum-based compound, will go through your clothes over time because it reacts with your sweat and creates that yellow stain that we normally notice.” And while gel and clear deodorant stains may not be immediately visible, they also leave residue.
Deodorant doesn’t build on clothes—it’s made to stay on the skin—and it can ruin your clothes over time. “It’s designed to sit on your skin and slowly evaporate with friction,” says Bush. “That’s why deodorant doesn’t work for weeks, but is designed to work for 12 to 24 hours. If you use too much and it gets on your shirt, and if you don’t treat it every time, the deodorant can damage the fibers of the shirt penetrate and begin to break down the fibers.” be both.
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