Buying white clothes always produces the same emotions: excitement at your smart and pristine garment, mixed with trepidation at the inevitable prospect of sweat or deodorant stains. It’s a sad story. But, oddly, it only seems to happen to you. Others around you swan around in their white shirts or dresses, always mysteriously immaculate. Are they in on some secret? How do you remove stains from white clothes?
Removing Deodorant Stains from White Clothing
The initial plan of attack is as follows:
- First, rub the stain gently with a little white vinegar.
- Then leave the garment in methylated spirit for an hour. (Alcohol is a strong solvent so be careful if your shirt has a printed design.)
- Let the spirits evaporate.
If it doesn’t budge:
- Gently rub the stain with laundry detergent and very hot water. (Check the label to see how hot this can be.) .
- Soak in biological detergent, such as Surf or Breeze.
- Leave overnight.
- Wash with the rest of your laundry as normal.
How to Remove Sweat Stains from White Clothes
In a sense, this overlaps with the previous section. Yellow underarm stains are in fact the result of a reaction between sweat and aluminium-based antiperspirants, not sweat alone.
If the stains are not yet yellow (i.e. the stain is just biological without the aluminium component) then, logically enough, soaking in bio detergent and warm water is sufficient.
If the stains are yellow:
- Rub the stain with an appropriate solvent: ammonia if the stain is fresh, white vinegar if it’s old.
- If it persists, use oxygen bleach. This is essentially a mixture of baking powder and hydrogen peroxide, which you can either buy or make yourself.
- Coat the stain with the mixture and leave for 20 minutes.
- Wash as normal.
For silk, dab with 10-times diluted hydrogen peroxide, and then wash as usual on the delicate setting.