How To Get Rid of Sweat Stains

How To Get Rid of Sweat Stains for Good (From Fabrics and Clothes)

Every fabric has a story to tell, and unfortunately, sweat stains are often a part of it. For most of us, they’re an annoying reality – a battle against biology, fabric, and fashion. I remember my favorite white shirt that succumbed to the infamous yellow armpit stains despite my best efforts. The despair of losing my favorite garment to stubborn sweat stains led me on a mission: to find the most effective ways on how to get rid of sweat stains.

In this post, you will learn:

  • What causes sweat stains and the myths surrounding stain removal.
  • Seven effective methods to remove sweat stains from various types of clothing, including the ingredients and steps for each method.
  • Tips to prevent sweat stains from forming, to help protect your favorite garments in the future.

Understanding Sweat Stains

Sweat stains appear as yellow discolorations on fabric, particularly in the underarm area. They are caused by a combination of sweat and the ingredients found in antiperspirants and deodorants. Sweat contains substances like salt, proteins, and fatty acids, which, when combined with aluminum from antiperspirants, can result in yellow stains on clothes.

Fabrics most prone to sweat stains are generally those that are tightly woven and absorbent, such as cotton and polyester. These fabrics tend to soak up the amount of sweat we produce, leading to more visible stains.

Common Myths About Sweat Stains

There are plenty of myths out there regarding sweat stain removal. Some people believe that bleach can help remove yellow armpit stains. The reality is that using bleach can actually make the stains worse, particularly on white or light-colored clothes, as it reacts with the proteins in sweat, darkening the stain.

Another common misconception is that all stain removers work equally well on all types of stains. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, especially when it comes to removing sweat stains on shirts. Not every product may work, and it’s crucial to read the product label to make sure it’s suitable for your garment.

Methods to Remove Sweat Stains

Are you ready to learn how to remove sweat stains? Let’s dive into various methods you can use at home. Please note that every method may not work for every type of fabric or stain, and results can vary.

Using White Vinegar and Water

White vinegar is a versatile substance when it comes to stain removal. Mix one part distilled white vinegar with two parts cold water. Apply this solution to the stained area and let it sit for 30 minutes before washing. The acidity of vinegar helps break down the stain, making it easier to wash out.

Using Baking Soda, Salt, and Hydrogen Peroxide

This combination of ingredients works as a stain remover by forming a paste that can break down stubborn sweat stains. Mix one part baking soda with one part salt and two parts hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the stain, scrub gently with a sponge or an old toothbrush, and let it sit for 20 minutes before washing.

Using Dish Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide

This method involves mixing one part Dawn dish soap with two parts hydrogen peroxide. Apply the mixture to the stained area, scrub lightly, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before washing.

Using Oxygen Bleach, Laundry Detergent, and Water

Oxygen bleach is less harsh than traditional bleach and can be used on white and colored clothes. To remove the stains, mix one tablespoon of oxygen bleach and one part laundry detergent with warm water. Submerge the stained garment in the solution, let it soak for at least an hour, then wash as usual.

Using Enzyme-Based Laundry Detergent

Enzymes in laundry detergents are great for breaking down proteins in sweat stains. Pre-treat the stains using an enzyme-based laundry detergent and soak the garment in cold water for 30-60 minutes before washing.

Using Baking Soda and Peroxide

Another effective method involves creating a paste with a cup of baking soda and enough hydrogen peroxide to form a thick mixture. Apply this paste to the stain, scrub gently, and rinse with cold water before washing.

Using Dawn Dish Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide

A mix of one part Dawn dish soap and two parts hydrogen peroxide can effectively tackle stains. Apply the mixture to the stains and let it sit for at least an hour. Rinse in cold water and wash as usual.

Special Considerations for Different Types of Clothing

Different types of clothing require different approaches to stain removal. For white shirts, using a mix of lemon juice and water or vinegar and water can be an effective way to get rid of sweat stains. On colored shirts, avoid bleach and opt for methods involving dish soap or oxygen bleach instead.

For stubborn sweat stains out of hats, create a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water, apply it to the stains and let the hat sit in the sun for a couple of hours. Then, rinse with cold water and let the hat air dry.

Prevention Tips

The best way to prevent sweat stains is by reducing the amount of sweat and deodorant or antiperspirant residue that comes into contact with your clothing. Here are a few tips:

  • Let your antiperspirant dry before dressing.
  • Wear an undershirt to absorb sweat.
  • Wash workout clothes immediately after use to prevent stains and odor from clothes setting in.
  • Opt for an aluminum-free deodorant or antiperspirant. Aluminum in your deodorant reacts with sweat and creates yellow pit stains. Using an aluminum-free deodorant can help prevent this.
  • Change your clothes if they get sweaty, even if it means multiple outfits in a day.
  • Rinse clothes in cold water before washing. This helps to remove sweat residue and prevents the stain from setting in.


Sweat stains can be difficult to remove, but with a little knowledge and patience, it is possible to restore your favorite shirt to its former glory. The key to tackling stains on clothes is understanding what causes sweat stains and finding the right balance of products and techniques that work for your specific needs. With the tips provided in this article, you are now well-equipped to handle those pesky sweat stains.

Do you have additional tips for handling sweat stains? Or maybe a story about a particularly stubborn stain? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.






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