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How to Remove Deodorant Stains from White Clothing

Deodorant can leave unsightly yellow stains on shirts - but luckily, they're easy to remove when you know how. Find out here!


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

Images of white shirt, read on to learn how to remove perspiration odours from clothes

It’s great to get outside and enjoy nice, hot weather, but what’s not so great is the stains. Deodorant stain, white shirt… they don’t work so well together, do they? Deodorant can leave your shirts with ugly yellow marks on the underarms, but don’t panic – here’s everything you need to know about how to remove deodorant stains from white shirts.

Pre-treat deodorant stains to loosen them using a good quality laundry detergent like Breeze. Breeze with ActivBleach can be especially beneficial for white clothing, helping to restore the original colour. Always test your item is color-fast on an inconspicuous area before saturating the garment – ideally on an inside seam where discoloration will not be noticeable.

Key Steps for Removing Deodorant Stains on White Shirts

Think it’s difficult to get rid of deodorant stains? Think again. Deodorant removal from clothes is actually very easy when you know how. There’s only 3 steps separating you from fresh, clean, crisp-looking clothing:

  • Step 1: Pre-Treat the Stain

Deodorant stains on white shirts respond very well to pre-treatments before being cleaned in the washing machine. Vinegar is an effective cleaning treatment – not only can it help to break up stains, but it can also help to neutralise any not-so-fresh odors that are still lingering after that hot, sweaty run you went on. On white clothing, always use white vinegar – if you use darker coloured vinegar, you’ll be left with even more stains to deal with.

  • Step 2: Soak the Clothing

After neutralising the stains with vinegar, you can help to break down the stains even further by soaking the clothing overnight in a detergent such as Breeze. If you lead a busy life, you’ll love how easy this is – simply mix together warm water and Breeze like you were hand washing, and leave your clothing to soak. That’s it – there’s nothing more to it. The water and detergent will work together to help draw the stain out of the material. Simple!

get deodorant out of clothing
  • Step 3: Wash as Normal

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The final step is perhaps the easiest of all – simply pop your stained clothing into the washing machine with a bit more Breeze. There’s no need to wash at very hot temperatures – 30 degrees should remove the stain effectively, but always check your care labels first to see what temperatures the manufacturer recommends. You should find that your white clothing looks fresh and clean, but if some discoloration remains, simply repeat steps 1 to 3.

Now that you know how to remove deodorant stain marks quickly and easily, there’s no need to worry when those warmer months roll around each year. No longer do you need to make a choice between having fresh-smelling underarms or fresh-looking clothing. You really can have both, and all you need is a bit of white vinegar and a great detergent like Breeze that’s powerful on stains, yet gentle on your clothing.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on removing deodorant stains from white clothing

How do you get rid of white deodorant stains under your armpits?

Putting on deodorant is a normal part of most people’s routine when getting ready, but if it is not managed correctly then stains can appear. The best way to remove deodorant stains is with our old favorites baking soda and vinegar. Mix either baking soda or white vinegar with water and rub into the white deodorant mark to lift it out of the piece of clothing.

Why does deodorant stain clothes?

Despite being a product meant to keep you smelling clean and fresh, many of us may experience stains on our clothes from deodorant. Why does deodorant stain clothes? Sweat is colorless and odorless but it can mix with the ingredients in a deodorant or antiperspirant to leave behind those common yellow stains some people find on their clothes.

How do you not get deodorant on your shirt whilst wearing it?

If you frequently get marks from deodorant, you may be wondering how to not get deodorant on your shirt. First, try using spray-on deodorants as roll-ons may be more likely to leave streaks. Next, make sure you hold the deodorant a couple of inches away from your body while you spray as spraying closer may cause a build-up of deodorant and lead to stains. Always follow the directions of your deodorant too - some antiperspirants actually suggest applying at night! Finally, allow the deodorant to rest a few minutes before dressing to prevent your clothing rubbing against the freshly applied deodorant.

Why does deodorant leave white marks on your clothes and skin?

You may ask yourself, why does deodorant leave white marks? It is mainly because of their ingredients. Antiperspirants contain aluminum salts which helps reduce the signs of sweating but can collect and leave marks across your clothing. Similarly there are ingredients in deodorants that leave streaky white marks.

Originally published