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How to Remove Sweat Stains from Shirts - Give Them One Last Chance

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White Shirts

This is where it can be the most noticeable.  If you have a crisp white shirt that you love to wear but have become embarrassed by the yellowing under the arms, there is something you can do besides throwing it in the back of the closet.

Save yourself some money on shirts.  You don’t need to get rid of it just because of sweat stains.  Give this a shot, these ingredients are not expensive and are good for many household chores, so invest in this care package of natural cleaners and save your shirts!  It doesn’t take long if you have the ingredients assembled.

how to remove sweat stains from shirts

What you will Need:

I cup of white vinegar

½ cup of baking soda

1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (good to have around for wound disinfection and for skunked dogs but that is another story!)

1 tablespoon table salt


Treat one shirt at a time, but finding a large salad bowl and pour in the one cup of vinegar and then 2 cups of warm water.  Make sure you submerge the shirt entirely and let it soak for 20-30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the table, counter or some other surface with a clean towel and then in a small bowl mix together the baking soda, peroxide and salt and mix until a paste forms. 

Take the shirt from the water and squeeze out excess until it is just damp. 

Lay it on the toweled surface and then place the paste over the stain.  Let it sit for 20 minutes Wash.  Put your shirt in with other whites and do laundry as usual. 

This process will inspire you to go to your bedroom and check out your other white shirts, or white tee shirts.  Many people will try bleach but that can be very harsh on fabrics.  The stain is not caused by your sweat alone.  It is the mixture of your perspiration with deodorants and antiperspirant which we need if we don’t want to offend people!

But for the sake of an hour, you can save the shirt and save on dry cleaning or replacing it.  It will definitely renew that favourite white shirt. 

how to remove sweat stains from shirts

Colored Shirts or Patterned

You can try the above recipe, but here is another one that seems to work well and you put it on the shirt dry rather than soaking the garment.  You should try it on a a

how to remove sweat stains from shirts

rea of fabric first that doesn’t show, but I am impatient and figure I am going to throw this shirt away anyways, so I just dove in and this worked on a red tee shirt quite well

There is a video below, but basically try and find the hydrogen peroxide in a spray or get a spray bottle for the dollar store and fill with some peroxide.  

Spray on the stain, and then add dish soap over the area and some baking soda and rub into the stain with an old tooth brush or something similar.  I found after an hour it did the trick, but you can experiment.  As long as the garment is washable, this is worth trying.  Wash as normal.




Removing Ring around the Collar or Neck Sweat Stains

These stains are a little different from underarm ones.  With the armpit it is the combination of salts in your sweat with the aluminum in the antiperspirant whereas the ring around the collar is from oils on your neck as well as hair products and dead skin.  I know it sounds gross but it happens!

One of the easiest and fastest ways to treat these stains is with a gentle oil removing agent such as Dawn dish soap.  We have all seen the commercials where they use this soap to take heavy oil off of sea birds and critters, so it works quite well on collar stains.  Wet your shirt and then pour Dawn onto the stain and gently rub in.  Let it sit for 30 minutes or so then throw in the laundry as usual.  

how to remove sweat stains from shirts

Another option is shampoo designed for oily hair, but make sure you do a test patch first so as not to ruin your shirt. 

Also try and treat these stains when you first begin to notice them, so they don’t get so bad you end up throwing the shirt out.  

Laundry Room Kit

Keep a kit of these products in the laundry room.  Even if it means doubling up on these household supplies, I found that if these things were not nearby, the shirt ended up in the corner for “another day”.  Invest in a few supplies, such as the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, small salt box, dawn detergent, white vinegar and a toothbrush (dollar store is perfect for these), some measure cups and spoons from the dollar store as well.  If you have very sensitive skin, then add a pair of latex gloves.  This way you can stay on top of stains before they get out of hand.

how to remove sweat stains from shirts
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Keep on the shelf in a dollar store basket, so that you can simply grab the basket, and pre-treat or deal with any stain issue as it arises.  I personally have found that these products work much better than the store bought ones that end up on the shelf afterwards because they didn’t work and many were harsh on my hands.  Just my opinion!. 

Clear an area where you can quickly inspect and layout shirts to be dealt with, such as a portable laundry table or even a card table, and a clean towel for laying them on.

If you are at the point of pitching the shirt or shirts, then give the above methods a try.  If you work in an office and need to look decent, these issues can become embarrassing and you end up spending way too much to replace these garments.  

how to remove sweat stains from shirts

Natural Deodorants

This is another option you could try once you have the shirts cleaned.  Many health food stores and some grocery stores are now carrying natural deodorants and antiperspirants without aluminum, something to consider. 

how to remove sweat stains from shirts

Armpit Shields

If you really perspire and find it hard to keep up with the stains, you can get armpit shields that will absorb rather than your shirt.



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