How To Get Rid of Underarm Stains on Your Clothes

KDC-Yellow stain on jacket

Don’t throw out those sweat-stained clothes. You can remove yellow underarm stains and associated odors with a few simple tricks and save your clothes.

Underarm stains exist, whether you like them or not. The fact is, we sweat, and when we sweat, staining and odors are virtually inevitable. Sweat stains are an aspect of life, and everyone gets them to varying degrees. Perspiration can leave foul smells on clothes, even when antiperspirants and deodorants are used. But don’t throw out your stained clothing. You can preserve it if you learn to remove underarm stains.

The good news is that it’s possible to remove underarm stains and odors with some simple washing techniques.  But first, understanding what they are and what causes them can help you avoid them from the get-go.

What are Underarm Stains 

According to science fundamentals, underarm stains result from sweat proteins reacting with aluminum and other compounds in your antiperspirant. Apocrine sweat glands, which are found in your underarms, create a distinct sort of sweat. Apocrine sweat contains lipids and proteins, which contribute to discoloration and foul smell.

Sweat comprises water, ammonia, urea, salts, and sugar, and most commercial antiperspirants contain aluminum. Technically, sweat is odorless and colorless on its own. As the composition of your armpit sweat combines with the components in your antiperspirant, the outcome is a bothersome yellow underarm stain that’s difficult to remove.

How Do you Prevent Underarm Stains

 Armpit stains can be difficult to prevent unless you are diligent in your prevention efforts. What causes black underarm stains in clothes? The answer is your deodorant. There is an active ingredient in deodorants, specifically aluminum, that chemically reacts with your skin.The aluminum in most antiperspirants causes a chemical reaction in your skin, which causes the stains, not sweat. To avoid underarm stains, here are some key points to consider:

  • Treat stains promptly. Rinse your garments as soon as you remove them to avoid sweat and deodorant from sticking to the fabric.

  • Try various antiperspirants. Your favorite antiperspirant may perform an excellent job keeping you feeling and smelling clean throughout the day. However, it may also be the leading cause of underarm stains on your clothes. It would be best to examine the efficacy of antiperspirants without aluminum by trying various formulations.

  • Armpit hair should be trimmed or shaved. Moisture and odor are retained in the underarm hair, and deodorant will stick to the same hair. The combination of sweat and deodorant is virtually guaranteed to stain your clothes.

  • Wearing a sweat-proof undershirt is recommended. Make a barrier between your armpit and the top of your shirt to avoid underarm stains.

How to Get Rid of Underarm Stains Using Baking Soda 

If you are wondering how to get rid of armpit stains, try using baking soda to bring white garments back to their former luster. Here are the steps detailing how to use it:

1. Prepare the mixture. 

Combine one part water, one part hydrogen peroxide, and one part baking soda.

2. Rub the Area 

Using a sponge or an old toothbrush, thoroughly rub the mixture into the discolored area. Allow the garment to remain in the solution for up to thirty minutes.

3. Clean the Shirt  

Use a heavy-duty laundry detergent and water heated to a temperature that won’t damage the fabric, and proceed to wash as usual.

How to Get Rid of Underarm Stains Using White Vinegar 

Yellow underarm stains are unsightly and particularly noticeable on white clothing. If you discover some of your clothing still has yellow stains after washing, you can take the following actions:

1. Apply an armpit stain remover. 

To remove stains from the underarm area of shirts and other garments, carefully scrub the underarm area with a toothbrush or a soft brush. Pour water into a white distilled vinegar solution at a 1:1 ratio. For a single shirt, a few teaspoons of each should suffice.

2. Combine the components 

Fill a large sink or basin with cool water. Then add one cup of white vinegar.

3. Soak the clothes. 

Soak the shirts for at least thirty minutes.

4. Discard the water 

You should remove the vinegar and water mix from the basin or sink.

5. Wash the T-shirt. 

Use a heavy-duty detergent and cool water to wash the clothing.

How to Get Rid of Underarm Stains Using Oxygen Bleach 

Besides baking soda, a mixture of oxygen bleach (not chlorine bleach) and ammonia is an effective way to remove yellow underarm stains.

1. Make a mixture 

A well-ventilated area is best for mixing components. You should wear rubber gloves always. In a non-metal basin, combine one part oxygen-based bleach with one part household ammonia. Each garment should have around two tablespoons of each component.

2. Rub the fabric 

Use a soft-bristled brush to apply the solution to the underarm stains. At the very least, rub for a full minute.

3. Allow the mixture to soak. 

Allow at least 10 minutes for the solution to settle before washing away.

4. Clean the shirt 

Depending on the shirt’s cleaning instructions, wash as usual with heavy-duty laundry detergent in warm or cold water.

Tips to Keep Your Clothes Stain-Free and Smelling Fresh 

  • When possible, rinse off your clothing with warm running water after a strenuous workout or a particularly rough day before putting them in the hamper.

  • To avoid mildew/mold odors, remove your workout clothing or towels from your gym bag and allow them to air-dry before placing them in your laundry hamper.


Antiperspirant components react with sweat leaving underarm stains on clothing. Typically, aluminum is a common ingredient in antiperspirants, and it can cause discoloration and yellow-colored buildup on white or light-colored clothing.

Sweat stains can gradually damage your favorite clothes if left untreated, but fortunately, you can clean most washable garments with everyday home products and simple procedures, as mentioned above.

Let Your Clothes Be Stain-Free and Smelling Fresh With the Services of Kelly’s Dry Cleaners. 

You can try many DIY procedures at home to eliminate those underarm stains and smelly clothes. However, if you don’t have the luxury of time to do it yourself, you can always seek the services of Farmington Dry Cleaners to do the dirty work for you. With their years of experience tackling these laundry problems, you can rest assured that your clothes will return to you fresh and stain-free. Visit us now and get your garments professionally and safely cleaned at a realistic price.