Tip Wild

Deodorant stains

Deodorant build-up is beginning to accumulate in the armpits of some of my shirts. It has a sticky, damp feeling and leaves a visible stain on lighter shirts. Is there any way to remove this build-up and prevent this from happening again (other than not using deodorant)?

Hmmmm, not using deodorant might be an idea… then no one will even come close enough to notice the stains! Perhaps we’ll call that plan “B”.

If perspiration is permitted to stay in clothing, with time it will stain and weaken the fabric. The aluminum chlorides in antiperspirants can also damage the fibers beneath the arms.

Controlled use of antiperspirants and frequent washings immediately after wear can minimize this type of damage. Wearing an undershirt or perspiration pads, can also keep stains off your shirts or blouses. You might also consider experimenting with different anti-perspirants, anti-perspirant crystals, or deodorants.

The resulting stains can be difficult to remove. In fact, the build-up of aluminum chloride or zinc salts may be impossible to remove. Old stains are much more difficult to treat as they have been set over time, particularly from being heated in the dryer.

Rub lighter stains with a liquid detergent, or a prewash stain remover. Allow the garment to stand 5 to 10 minutes, before washing in the hottest water recommended on the label.

For very heavy stains, let the garment soak in a solution of warm water and an enzyme based detergent overnight. Launder using either a color safe, or chlorine bleach, again in the hottest water possible. Be sure to reference the label for washing temperatures and bleaching instructions.

Silk blouses, and other dry-clean only fabrics should be taken to the cleaners as soon as possible. The quicker you are, the more success your dry cleaner will have in removing the stains