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How to Remove Armpit Stains

From dried, hard patches to yellow stains, armpit stains on your favourite t-shirts and shirts are highly annoying. Don’t fret though, these pesky stains can be removed quickly and easily with our tips for armpit stain removal.


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How to Remove Armpit Stains

Keep reading to find out more about how to remove armpit stains and keep your favourite tees from looking newer for longer.

Types of Armpit Stains

They are a few different types of armpit stains that can occur on our clothing. The most common of which include:

  • Yellow stains – this is the most common type of armpit stain and is generally caused by a combination of the chemicals in our sweat reacting with the fibres in our shirts, as well as the chemical ingredients (mainly aluminium) in our deodorants and roll-ons reacting with our sweat and fabric too.

  • Blue, Grey or Black stains – sometimes the stains on our shirts that are under our arms can be a blueish/greyish and even blackish colour. The reason for this is the same as to why and how yellow stains occur but it just is an indication of a different kind of chemical reaction taking place. It could mean you have more heavy metals being excreted by your body in your sweat or that there are other chemical elements at play that are reacting with each other.

If you’re keen to know more about why yellow stains occur under the arms of our shirts, read our blog on How To Remove Yellow Stains From Clothes now.

Step-By-Step Guide to Removing Armpit Stains

No matter the colour, follow these easy steps on how to get rid of armpit stains for good.

Step #1 – Pre-Treat and Soak the Stains

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Pre-treating the stains well and allowing them to soak is going to be essential in breaking down the stains at a fibre level in the fabric. We highly recommend using these two methods:

  • Baking Soda & Water – create a paste of one part baking soda to one part water (or even white vinegar for white clothing) and rub it into the armpit area well. You can use your finger or the back of a dessert spoon to rub it in. Allow the paste to soak in for 1 hour.

  • Lemon juice and white vinegar also make great ingredients to mix with water as a pre-treat solution for armpit stains on clothing.

Step #2 – Wash on A Hot Cycle

Using a good quality washing powder like Skip Auto Washing Powder or Liquid and washing your shirts (remember to only wash like colours together) on a hot cycle is the next step. The hot water will help to break down the armpit stains even further after they’ve been pre-treated.

How to Prevent Armpit Stains

Preventing armpit stains (especially on white clothing) isn’t really possible because our bodies naturally sweat and secrete chemicals and hormones that create the stains – there is nothing we can do to stop it. Most of us want to smell good during the day too, so we choose to wear underarm deodorant or antiperspirants too.

If you’re worried about the sweat smell on some of your shirts (especially your exercise gear), here are our top tips for getting the sweat smell out of clothing:

  • By pre-treating the stains as we’ve recommended above, you’ll also be tackling the sweaty odour too. So, the first step in getting rid of the sweat smell is to pre-treat.

  • Make sure you always air-dry your clothing after washing – especially your shirts and activewear. Air drying will help to take out the sweat odour.

For more clothing care tips and tricks, browse our Clothing Care today.


What causes armpit stains?

Armpit stains are mostly caused by the chemical reaction that takes place as a result of us sweating. Sweat is made up of many different chemicals including ammonia which can react with the aluminium in the deodorants and roll-ons that we wear.

How do you get rid of hard armpit stains?

Pre-treating and soaking your stained shirts is the first step in breaking down the stains and softening them up. Then it’s time to wash them in the machine with a good detergent on a hot cycle.

How do you get rid of armpit stains naturally?

Pre-treat the stains with baking soda, lemon juice or white vinegar. Read our blog above to find out how.

How to get sweat smell out of clothes?

Along with stains come smells too. By pre-treating the stain well, you’re also treating the smell. Also, make sure you air-dry your clothing really well to get rid of the sweaty smell.

Originally published