How To Remove Deodorant Stains From Clothes

by Taylor

A frequent question I get here on the site is "how to remove deodorant stains from clothes?"

It is really no surprise because antiperspirant sticks, rolls on and sprays all easily get onto clothing, where the chemicals within them can cling to the fibers, and even begin to change the color of the dyes within them.

As with most kinds of stain removal, the quicker you can remove the stain the better.

If you notice these marks and spots right away, you may be able to fix the problem merely by using a deodorant remover to rub away the residue.

However, if you don't notice the stains until they've sat for a while, or if they've build up over time, such as in the underarms of your clothing, this can be much more difficult to remove.

Below I've collected tips and ideas, several of which contain videos, for removal that you can try from around the web. I'd love to hear your ideas and tips too, so you can share what works for you here, and I'll add your home remedies, tips and ideas to the page as well.

Further, you can also check out my article on deodorant stain removal here, for instructions for how to remove these marks from all types of surfaces.

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Removing Built Up Deodorant Stains With Vinegar & Citric Acid

This video has no sound, but basically gives tips for how to remove built up stains from the chemicals within the deodorant.

It explains that the stains you typically find in your underarms of your shirts are caused by a chemical reaction between the aluminum salts in the antiperspirant and your perspiration.

Since they state that the salts become soluble when the pH is lowered, they suggest using acidic products, such as vinegar and citric acid, for this task.

For built up stains they suggest making a solution of a tablespoon of citric acid, dissolved in warm water (although an exact amount is not specified in the video, it appears to be about a cup). Then, let the stained area soak overnight with this solution, and then wash as normal.

Then, to keep these stains from building up again it suggests to always pretreat the underarm areas of shirts with a spray of vinegar prior to washing them.

There are lots of citric acid uses. You can click the link to read more, or share how you use this natural product within your home.

In addition, you can also share your uses for vinegar here, or read other ideas and ways to use this product in your home that have already been submitted.

Citric Acid {Referral Links}

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Remove Deodorant Stains From Clothes Naturally

Here are some ideas for removing these stains from your clothing naturally.

Natural stain removers are always a good bet, if they will work, because they are generally better for the environment than some of the chemical stain removers sometimes suggested.

Some methods you can try include:

  • Using panty hose to rub off the excess deodorant (this only works if the marks are really fresh and new)

  • Using soaks of either a dishwashing soap solution (use a natural castile soap for the most eco-friendly solution) or white vinegar solution; or

  • Using a baking soda poultice, where you make a paste of baking soda and let it sit on the stain for a couple of hours

Photo by SMN

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How To Remove Deodorant Stains From Dark Clothes

by Veronica

It seems like dark colored clothing is the worst for deodorant marks and spots because the white shows up so well.

I often apply baking soda and vinegar to the clothing, which will bubble and which will remove the stain.

In addition, I will often spray vinegar over the stained area, and then presoak with a detergent solution overnight, and then wash it like normal, which also seems effective.

Photo by Chuck "Caveman" Coker

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Rub Your Deodorant Stains Away - Video Tip

Finally, below is a video giving a tip about how to rub your deodorant stains away when you get a stripe of deodorant on your clothes.

You can get one of these streaks if you put your deodorant on after you have on your clothes, or even if you put on your clothes too quickly after applying deodorant.

The tip includes rubbing the streaked portion of clothing together with another unstreaked portion of the same fabric, making the stain disappear.

Be warned, in this video she say one cuss word, so if you take offense at that, don't watch.

Me, myself, I find her pretty funny.

woman applying deodorant
I've added this tip here just to remind you there are really two types of these stains. If you just get excess antiperspirant on you, and can catch the problem quickly it often works to just rub it away.

For more information about that, you can read more deodorant remover reviews and how to make your own.

If on the other hand it is older, or a more built up stain, try out some of the methods suggested above.

In addition, you can submit your tip for removing these spots and stains here, and I'll add them to the page.

Photo by danisabella

Related Links On This Site

100's Of Stain Removal Tips

Clothing Stain Removal Hints & Tricks

Go From How To Remove Deodorant Stains From Clothes To Home Page

Comments for Rub Your Deodorant Stains Away - Video Tip

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Melted deodorant
by: Alice

A stick of gel deodorant melted in my son's suitcase all over his new suit. How can I get it out?

underarm stains
by: Debra

My nurses uniforms have yellow stains in the arm pits. I have tried just about everything, nothing has worked. Any ideas?

Dark stain in underarm area of garments
by: Anonymous

Sounds strange but the antiperspirant I was using caused the underarms of many of clothes to turn dark/yellow. Of course my whites are the worst. I have tried other products and I cannot seem to get it out. Is borax safe to put directly onto the stain?

husband's deodorant / antiperspirant leaves oily stain
by: Melissa

My husband uses Arm & Hammer Ultra Max Antiperspirant Deodorant and sweats a lot. The shirts he wears are Polyester and a couple of them are Polyester and Spandex. If I don't treat them with something it leave an oily, dirty stain. I've tried dish soap, purple power, baking soda, and it doesn't get rid of it. Any suggestions would be great.

deodorant/sweat white marks from black polyester shirt
by: Judy

Black polyester shirt has recently turned white in the armpit area. Been switching deodorants. Seems to have happened recently when Suave was used. Normally use a crystal or Toms, without aluminum. I am wondering if Fels Naptha bar soap would get the stains out, and the best way to apply it and/or wait. I do my laundry at a laundromat so unable to just toss it in a washer.

antiperspirant stains
by: Sheena Collins

I have a polyester dress that I tried on but antiperspirant wasn't dry and it has left a white stain even after washing. Unfortunately I steam ironed the dress because the stain was not visible at the time. It is only in certain lights. So frightened to do anything It almost looks as if the dye has come out of the dress. Some sites say vinegar. Will that harm the dress?

How to remove set in old yellowed deodorant stains!
by: Ronda

Mix equal parts baking soda and peroxide. Make a paste. Rub it all over stained area and let sit for an hour to the whole day, then machine wash like normal.

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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.

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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.