Katherine asked: How do I remove armpit stains (possibly old) out of sweaters that have to be dry cleaned. I have three sweaters that all have these sweat stains in the armpits. Is there any way to get rid of the stains at this point?
Methods to Remove the Stains
It’s your favorite sweater, and now it’s become victim to the nasty, yellow sweat stains in the armpits. If the fabric is delicate, such as wool or silk, it is best to leave it to the pros. Have the sweater professionally cleaned and have the cleaners remove the stain.
Other fabrics with yellow armpit stains can be cleaned with an enzyme digester stain remover, such as Kids ‘N’ Pets or Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover. These stain removers need to only be applied to the stains and often do not need to be rinsed off, which will keep the rest of the garment safe and dry. Follow the directions on the label of your selected cleaner. It may take several applications to remove all of the stains. You may want to wrap a thin fabric like cheesecloth over the vacuum hose to vacuum the area afterward to remove any residue from the cleaning solution.
Fabrics other than wool and silk that are dry clean only can also be gently washed and air dried if needed. If you want to tackle the stain yourself using regular methods, there are a variety of options available in our guide How to Remove Sweat Stains from Clothing. If the stains are black armpit stains rather than yellow, those are actually caused by deodorant, so use the guide How to Remove Deodorant Stains from Clothing instead. Always test a small area first to see how the fabric will react. If there are any adverse effects, do not continue.
Additional Tips and Advice
- For information on washing “dry clean only” clothing, see our guide How to Wash Dry Clean Only Clothing.
- To prevent future stains, try wearing a thin shirt underneath the sweater. This undershirt will absorb armpit moisture and help prevent staining.
- Underarm shields or sanitary napkins can also be used to prevent sweat from absorbing into the garment.
- 10,001 Hints & Tips for the Home by Reader’s Digest
- Don Aslett’s Stainbuster’s Bible by Don Aslett
- Amazing Kitchen Cures by Joey Green