Deodorant stains are very exasperating, because at least I never realize I have them until I am taking off my shirt, after I've been out all day.
You know it has happened to everyone -- we are in a hurry in the morning and instead of just applying our deodorant where it is supposed to go, it gets all over the inside (or even worse, the outside) of our clothes.
Or, you drop that darn deodorant stick and get a stain on your upholstery or carpet.
Below are step by step instructions for deodorant stain removal from your clothing and other washable fabric, upholstery and carpet, because everyone would appreciate it if you keep using deodorant instead of quitting for fear of stains. :)
Step 1: Determine if the stain caused by the deodorant is fresh or has been sitting for a while. If it has been sitting for while, like at the bottom of your laundry basket, it may have started to change the color of the fabric.
Hint: It is best to treat stains caused by deodorant as quickly as possible so this change in color does not occur, because that is difficult to impossible to fix.
If the deodorant is discovered almost immediately, you may just be able to rub it off the clothing. I recommend a foam deodorant remover for removing these stains from fabric. You can click the link for a review and video demonstration of what these little foam deodorant removers are designed to do, and also how to make your own at home.
Step 2 (Alternative a): If the deodorant has been sitting for a while you should apply distilled white vinegar to the stained area, allowing it to sit for approximately half an hour.
Step 2 (Alternative b): If it is a fresh stain, then you should apply ammonia to the stained area, and let it sit for approximately half an hour.
Hint: Be sure to test the ammonia in an inconspicuous area first to make sure it will not damage the fabric.
Please note that you should not apply both vinegar and ammonia to the stain at the same time thinking this would be twice as good. Since one is a low pH and another is a high pH, when combined they basically neutralize each other and neither one is effective.
Step 3: Rinse either the vinegar or ammonia from the fabric and apply a laundry prewash stain remover.
Step 4: Launder in the hottest water the fabric will allow to get out the stain caused by the deodorant.
Hint: Make sure the stain is gone after washing, but before you place in the dryer or you may set the stain. Repeat if necessary.
(This means it is very important to check your clothing before you wash it for stains caused by deodorant because once it has gone through the wash once, it is much more difficult to remove.)
After this presoak go ahead and wash as instructed above in Step 4.
You may also be interested in the tips and ideas I've collected from readers, and from videos around the web, about how to remove these stains from clothes, for even more hints and suggestions for these tough spots.
Step 1: Mix a solution of two cups warm water, one tablespoon dishwashing liquid, and one teaspoon of either vinegar or ammonia.
Hint: Do not use both ammonia and vinegar, just choose one, because if you combine them they will neutralize each other's stain fighting characteristics.
Make sure if you choose ammonia that you test, in an inconspicuous location, for colorfastness.
Step 2: Using this solution, sponge the stains caused by deodorant with a clean white cloth.
Step 3: Next, blot at the stain until the liquid is absorbed.
Step 4: Repeat steps 2-3 until the stain from the deodorant is removed from the upholstery.
Step 5: Now that the deodorant is removed you should get plain cold water and a new white cloth and sponge the area to remove the cleaning solution, and then blot dry.
Hint: Be sure to get the upholstery only as wet as necessary to remove the stain.
Step 6: If the stain still remains blot at the stain with rubbing alcohol.
You can get more information on how to clean upholstery here.
The instructions for removing deodorant stains from carpet is the same as for upholstery.
Perhaps you don't want to make your own stain remover, but instead want to use something designed to remove deodorant stains.
Here are some articles and reviews on this site which discuss various products that are designed to remove these stains:
Gal Pal To Remove Marks From Clothing
Carbona Stain Devil #9
PitStop Underarm Stain Remover
You can also share your own stain remover reviews here for other removers that work on deodorant, or any other stain.
Do you have your own stain removal tip for removing stains caused by deodorant? If so, submit your tip about removing stains caused by deodorant here, or read other tips already submitted.
Are you a stain magnet like me? If so, check out the A to Z Stain Removal Guide which gives directions for how to remove over 100 types of stains from all kinds of surfaces.
Plus, follow me on Pinterest where I'm always sharing the latest tips and ideas.
Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.
I update the website all the time with tips, tutorials, cleaning recipes, reviews of products from readers like you, and tests I've done on various cleaners, removers and laundry supplies.
I'd love to give you a gift! When you subscribe to my free weekly newsletter you will receive a free printable laundry stain removal chart that you can reference as needed.
I hope you enjoy this gift, and stop by again soon!
CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.
Get Free Email Updates
(and get a FREE printable)