Lynn asked: How do I clean antiperspirant stains from clothes? After applying antiperspirant, they will stain onto clothes. Despite washing, it doesn’t come off easily.
Antiperspirant contains a chemical ingredient that will build up and stain clothing over time. The longer it is allowed to build up, the more difficult it is to remove. Fortunately, there’s a method that has been proven effective on both colored garments and whites. Even better, it will not only clean, but softens and freshens garments as well. Here’s what you need to do.
If your stains are from deodorant, not antiperspirant, see the guide How to Remove Deodorant Stains from Clothing.
You Will Need:
- White vinegar
- Regular laundry detergent
- Washing machine
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Turn the clothing inside out so you can attack the stain directly.
- Pour white vinegar directly onto the stain.
- Allow it to set for a minute so the vinegar can penetrate the stain completely. Apply more vinegar as needed.
- Scrub the area gently with an old toothbrush. Try to loosen as much of the softened stain as possible.
- Moisten the area well with vinegar, and allow it to sit overnight.
- The next day, wash as you normally would with your usual laundry detergent. The stain should come right out.
- If the stain persists, repeat the above steps until it is removed.
Additional Tips and Advice
- For a little extra cleaning power, pre-treat the stain before you wash the garment. Use an oxygen-based stain remover like OxyClean.
- Vinegar may also be added directly to the wash water. Add 1-4 cups as needed. For regular loads, one cup is sufficient. However, if you are treating several heavily affected pieces, add up to 4 cups.
- Deodorants are used to remove or prevent odor. Antiperspirants are used to stop sweat. It is actually the natural bacteria in your armpits that causes the odor, not the sweat, so if you are only using the antiperspirant for odor, consider switching to a deodorant instead.
- A good way to decrease armpit odor more permanently is to spray or wipe your armpits with white vinegar (which is lucky, since you already have it on hand for removing the stains). Simply apply the vinegar to your armpits and let it dry. The vinegar will kill the bacteria that are causing the odor and reduce the need for deodorant. Repeat as needed.
- Thin panty liners can be attached inside the armpit area of a shirt to prevent sweat stains or stains from an antiperspirant.