Underarm Stain Removal

Photo credit: Art Of Manliness

There is no counting how many of my shirts and sweaters look like those above.  More often than not I simply throw them away or donate them to a thrift store (as if someone else would want them).  No more!  This year I am going to face these bad boys.  So, to the Internet I go to find out just how to lick this problem.  The suggestions below are simply collected from various internet sources.  The wheel has not been reinvented.

Apparently aluminum in antiperspirant/deodorants is one culprit and chlorine bleach is a big no-no (who knew?).  Yesterday I picked up the current fav in my stock, Suave, Baby Powder fragrance and yeppers, 20% of aluminum chlor.  Crystal Body Deodorant Stick-4.25 oz to the rescue.

Green Idea way

Perspiration stain removal

The recipe for the cleaning solution is:

  • 1 part liquid dish soap
  • 2 parts hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 part baking soda

How about this suggestion?  Keep a spray bottle of undiluted white distilled vinegar handy and spray the underarm areas before washing. The vinegar will help cut through any deodorant residue and reduce odor.

House Cleaning Central lists the following suggestions. Go directly to their website for more information.

Stain Removal Option #3 – Hydrogen Peroxide to the Rescue

With white fabrics, 3% hydrogen peroxide is one of the best possible solutions for perspiration stain removal.

Hydrogen peroxide will react with the proteins in the perspiration and break them apart, helping to prevent the gradual darkening of the area over time.

You can use the hydrogen peroxide either full-strength or diluted to half-strength (half water, half hydrogen peroxide). Since less is more, we recommend always starting with half-strength and adding more if necessary.

  1. Pour your hydrogen peroxide solution onto the stain
  2. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Launder on cool and air dry.
  4. If the stain remains, soak it for another 30 minutes in a stronger solution using full strength hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is like chlorine bleach in its whitening properties, but it doesn’t remove color so it’s safe for both white and colored fabrics.

Stain Removal Option #4 – Vinegar and Water

If hydrogen peroxide is not effective for your colored fabric, another option that is also safe is a solution of vinegar and water to clean out stubborn perspiration stains.

  1. Mix 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar and a half-cup of water.
  2. Allow the affected area to soak for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Launder on cool.
  4. Repeat if necessary.

Stain Removal Option #5 – Cream of Tartar and Aspirin

If you just can’t get the stains out with detergent, hydrogen peroxide or vinegar, make a paste using aspirin and cream of tartar and scrub it in with your old toothbrush.

Make sure to use full-strength aspirin and ensure that they’re white and have no colored coating that can stain fabric.

Form a paste:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Cream of Tartar
  • 3 crushed aspirins
  • 1 cup of warm water

Using an old toothbrush:

  1. Work the paste gently into the fabric.
  2. Let the treatment sit on the stain for 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse the affected area in warm water until the paste is completely removed.
  4. Repeat if necessary.

Not too shabby of an idea is to start making and using dress shields:


You all know me.  I’m about finding instructions for making my own.  Juxtapose to the rescue with a dress shield tutorial.  If you just can not fathom the idea of making your own Kleinert’s to the rescue.

Do you have suggestions for removing and preventing underarm stains on clothing?  Give us all a heads up in the comment area below.



2 thoughts on “Underarm Stain Removal

  1. My husband’s sweat was toxic. It wasn’t just his shirts, it was our sheets and towels too. Hydrogen peroxide didn’t touch it, nor did anything else. After years of tossing shirts, I skeptically tried Oxiclean. It worked, and all I had to do was add it to the wash load. Main ingredient is sodium percarbonate, which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and soda ash. In the apparently perfect proportions to save my sheets and his shirts. I really should experiment with a home made version, but the stuff works.


    1. Thanks for the OxyClean heads up, Rita. I am definitely going to keep this in mind. My stack of white blouses with this “issue” is ever growing and I have them hanging on the post of one of my book shelves (oy vey) awaiting a solution.



      Liked by 1 person

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