Removing sweat stains from silk

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We’ve all been there—you toss on your perfect white tee only to notice that dreaded yellowing at the armpit. But don’t sweat! You may be able to save your favorite tee with common household items hiding in your cupboards and keep sweat stains from happening altogether.

Read on for a few DIY tips to remove sweat stains:

First things first: Did you know? Sweat stains are not actually caused by sweat! Your aluminum-based deodorant might be the culprit, which can cause yellowing when it reacts with sweat.

Spot treat with vinegar

Add two tablespoons of vinegar to one cup water & apply to the stains. Rub gently, let sit for 30 minutes & wash. Use cold water to wash & don’t add heat until the stain is completely gone to avoid setting.

Mix baking soda & hydrogen peroxide

Mix equal parts of two household staples—baking soda & hydrogen peroxide—with equal part water to form a paste. Rub into stains & wash as above.

Use Lemons as a Stain Remover

Have a few lemons in the garden? Squeeze the juice into equal parts water, rub into stains & toss in the wash.

Soak Out the Stain

If one spot treatment isn’t enough, double up! Mix one cup vinegar with two cups of water & let your garment soak for 20 minutes. Next, mix ½ cup baking soda with a tablespoon each of salt & hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Wring out your tee & rub! Toss it into a load of whites & voila!

Washing Tip: Never reach for bleach! Chlorine bleach can actually have the opposite effect by making sweat stains appear darker.

If you’ve got more stains to combat, you’re in luck! We’ve got a printable washing guide that you can tape right next to your washing machine—or wherever you do your laundry.


Have your own tricks for removing sweat stains? Tell us!

How to Remove Sweat Stains on Dress Shirts

There’s nothing more embarrassing than sweat stains on dress shirts (or any shirt, for that matter). They’re a pain to get out and a constant source of anxiety. Plus, worrying about sweat or sweat stains can cause you to sweat even more! It’s a vicious circle.

Until you learn how to stop nervous sweating or understand the causes of excessive sweating, dealing with armpit stains on shirts will be dreadful. And let’s face it: asking someone how to remove sweat stains from clothes isn’t an ideal topic to bring up in casual conversation.

Good thing we’ve got you covered. Here’s our guide on how to remove sweat stains on dress shirts — and how to prevent and stop them in the future.

Check out our tips on how to get sweat stains out of shirts:

  • DIY methods to remove sweat stains on dress shirts
  • Off-the-shelf solutions to remove sweat stains
  • How to remove sweat stains on white shirts
  • How to remove sweat stains on colored shirts
  • How to remove sweat stains on silk shirts
  • How to remove shirt collar sweat stains
  • How to remove set-in sweat stains

How sweat stains on dress shirts happen

Sweat is odorless and colorless. So how do those pesky yellow stains keep appearing?And how do you get those yellow armpit stains out once they’re set in?

Believe it or not, the ugly yellow stains on your clothes aren’t just from sweating. Ironically, aluminum, an ingredient found in most deodorants (the very thing that’s supposed to stop you from sweating), is the culprit. When the aluminum reacts with your sweat, yellow stains eventually occur. (See our full blog post about the science of pit stains here.)

Most general stain removal tips tell you to wash your garment immediately to prevent the stain from setting. But this can be difficult if you’re at work or on a date (unless your date is at a laundromat), so it’s important to know how to treat set-in stains as well.

DIY methods to remove sweat stains on dress shirts

Here are a few ways to remove sweat stains on dress shirts.

  • Apply a mixture of one part hot water and detergent after every use.
  • Combine 1 cup vinegar, one cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide. Soak for 20 minutes and wash.
  • Use a toothbrush or laundry brush to scrub the stain.
  • After applying and scrubbing the cleaning agent, let it sit before washing.

Don’t have any vinegar or hydrogen peroxide at home? Try crushing a few aspirins with a half-cup of warm water and stir to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stained area and let it sit for at least an hour before washing as usual.

Note: you must use aspirin for this method, not Tylenol or an NSAID like Aleve. Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, which is like the acetic acid found in vinegar. Non-aspirin pain relievers do not work to remove sweat stains.

Off-the shelf solutions to remove sweat stains

If you want to know how to get pit stains out of shirts with a store-bought remedy, there are a few pre-treatment solutions available.

Products like OxiClean, Raise 1502 Armpit Stain Remover and Clorox2 Sport Odor and Stain Remover helps remove yellow armpit stains before laundering. Remember to check care instructions on any garment before use.

How to Remove Sweat Stains On White Shirts

Should you use bleach to remove sweat stains on white shirts? While bleach is a seemingly effective way to remove sweat stains from white clothes, it can actually make stains appear darker.

You can follow either of the methods above (DIY or off-the-shelf) for removing sweat stains from a white shirt. Depending on the fabric, washing in hot water is optimal for keeping white clothes their whitest.

How to Remove Sweat Stains on Colored Shirts

Wearing a colored shirt is always a gamble, especially if you’re prone to unexpected nervous sweats. Colored shirts tend to show sweat stains more than white shirts.

Do not use the DIY method above for removing sweat stains from colored shirts. Using hydrogen peroxide on a non-white shirt can cause discoloration. Instead, soak your sweat-stained colored shirts in a mixture of vinegar and water for 30 minutes. Rinse, then gently rub the affected area to release the stain and wash as usual.

How to Remove Sweat Stains on Silk

Treating sweat stains on silk requires special care. Most silk garments are dry clean only, and treating a sweat stain on a silk shirt or blouse is no exception.

Always check care labels and communicate with your dry cleaning staff. Point out stains on silk blouses (or other delicate fabrics like cashmere and wool) that need extra attention.

How to Remove Shirt Collar Sweat Stains

If you tend to sweat on your face or head, you might have problems with removing “ring around the collar” stains. Most soiled collars are due to a combination of sweat, body oils, dead skin cells and residue from styling products.

Here are four steps to clean typical collar stains:

  1. Lay your shirt flat, collar facing up.
  2. Pour liquid laundry detergent or a pre-treating solution directly onto the stained area and rub gently.
  3. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Wash and dry as usual.

If you have craniofacial hyperhidrosis and use antiperspirant to control excessive sweating on your face and head, the antiperspirant may be contributing to your collar stains. In this case, follow the directions above to remove sweat stains from respective fabrics or colors.

How to Remove Set-In Sweat Stains

Did you wait too long to treat a sweat stain? Or did you already wash and dry a sweat-stained shirt and now can’t get the stain out? Removing set-in stains is more difficult, but it’s doable.

Use one of the methods described above based on the type of clothing you’re treating, but increase the soaking time. You may also need to use a bit more elbow grease to get the job done.

Preventing Sweat Stains on Dress Shirts

The easiest way to prevent armpit stains on dress shirts is to stop them before they start. If you experience nervous sweating, know your triggers and the best ways to manage them. Or, if you deal with axillary hyperhidrosis, take preventative measures to stay as dry as possible throughout the day.

Check out our exhaustive list of ways to prevent armpit stains on dress shirts.

Wearing an undershirt is an excellent way to prevent sweat stains on dress shirts. They offer a protective barrier that prevents sweat from soaking through to your shirt.

However, if you have hyperhidrosis or just sweat more than average, a simple undershirt might not be enough. That’s why the founders of Thompson Tee spent years developing a sweat proof undershirt that truly works.

Thompson Tees contain patented, Hydro-Shield sweat proof technology built into the armpits. They’re guaranteed to stop 100% of sweat stains and odor from seeping through and ruining your favorite dress shirts.

Ready to win back your confidence and wear all the different dress shirts your heart desires? Try a Thompson Tee risk-free today and take 20% off with code TEES20.

Fabric Care Guide: How to Clean Silk and Remove Stains

Can you think of anything worse than dropping your lipstick down your silk blouse? Or spilling coffee on a silk tie? What about removing silk clothes from the wash only to find they’ve shrunk to half their size? This delicate material is the source of many a clothing catastrophe, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, cleaning silk isn’t all that difficult.

Key points to cleaning silk

Cleaning silk doesn’t have to be risky – just keep these key points in mind.

  • Check colourfastness first. You don’t want your silk threads to lose their colour. Find out if the dye will stay put by dapping a small area of the clothing with a damp white cloth (making sure it is clean first). If colour comes away then visit the dry cleaners.
  • Wash silk gently. You’ll want a non-biological detergent for delicate fabrics. Persil Non-Bio Liquid Detergent is a good option – there’s even a clue in the name!
  • Don’t tumble dry silk. The heat is likely to shrink or damage it.
  • Avoid using bleach. Cleaning silk with a harsh chemical like this can easily damage the natural fibres.

How to wash silk by hand

Hand washing is generally a safe method for cleaning silk as long as the garment isn’t marked as ‘dry clean only’. Check the garment care tag to be sure, then follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that your silk item is colourfast and is safe to be hand washed.
  2. Fill a sink with lukewarm water and add a dose of Persil Non-Bio Liquid Detergent, following the instructions on the product label.
  3. Add the silk garments to the water and let it soak for five minutes.
  4. Drain and refill the sink with fresh cold water, and add Comfort Pure fabric softener. Again, follow the dosage instructions on the product label.
  5. Soak the silk for another minute, then rinse the item under cold water until all the detergent and fabric softener has been washed away.
  6. Gently squeeze the garment to press the water out. Do not wring silk as this could cause the fabric to stretch and cause damage to the shape of your clothing.
  7. Lay the silk on a flat towel and roll it up to remove excess water. Then lay it flat on a towel to dry. Do not use a tumble dryer as the heat can cause silk to shrink.

How to clean silk in the washing machine

Not got the time (or patience) for handwashing? Some silk is safe to be machine washed so have a look at the label and give it a try if it is safe to do so.

  1. Make sure that the silk item is colourfast and machine-washable. If the care label says your silk garment is hand wash or dry clean only then don’t use the machine.
  2. Place the silk in the washing machine on its own or with similar colours and fabrics – do not add any heavy items, particularly those with fastenings, as these could damage the silk during the rough and tumble of the wash cycle.
  3. Add a dose of gentle non-bio detergent according to the instructions on the packet.
  4. Set the washing machine to a ‘delicate’ cycle, with a cool water temperature.
  5. Once the washing cycle has finished, place the silk on a clean, flat towel to dry naturally.

Getting stains out of silk

If you’ve discovered a stain on your previously flawless, glossy silk, it might feel like a lost cause. Don’t lose hope just yet: there are a few silk stain remover tricks you can try.

  1. Treat the stain as soon as possible – a dried stain will be much more difficult to remove.
  2. Gently blot the marked area with a paper towel or clean cotton wool to draw out as much of the stain as possible.
  3. Make a gentle silk stain remover out of a couple of tablespoons of either white vinegar or lemon juice, mixed with a couple of tablespoons of lukewarm water.
  4. Test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the silk first, before dabbing the stain with it using a clean, white cloth. Do not rub the stain.
  5. Wash the silk as usual, according to the instructions on the garment care tag.

With these tips, cleaning silk next time you have a laundry emergency shouldn’t be difficult. Just remember to treat the fabric gently and you won’t have to worry about coffee stains, shrunken blouses, or greasy lipstick residue ever again.

How to Clean Pit Stains and Breathe New Life Into Your Favorite Shirts

It’s a problem many people encounter, but few talk about it — yucky yellow sweat stains.

They appear out of nowhere, even if you’ve only worn your shirt a few times. They’re annoying, embarrassing and ruin your favorite shirts. And, if you’ve ever tried to remove pit stains from clothing, you know that it’s no easy feat.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. We share the best ways to remove sweat stains and save your shirts.

What Causes Yellow Pit Stains?

Why do you get yellow stains? Surprisingly, your sweat isn’t the only culprit.

Sweat is odorless and colorless. Yellow pit stains form when aluminum (commonly found in antiperspirants) reacts with proteins in your sweat. It’s why you see yellow stains appear on your white shirts after only a few good sweats.

While most deodorants don’t contain aluminum, heavily applying deodorant can also cause pit stains.

Learn more about the science behind pit stains.

Unlike sweat marks — wet rings that crop up at the first sign of stress — yellow pit stains take time to form, making them a formidable force in the laundry game.

What Gets Rid of Armpit Stains?

Is there an easy way to remove sweat stains? Getting rid of armpit stains is tough, but it’s not impossible.

There are a variety of techniques and ingredients to remove armpit stains. Like managing your sweat, there’s no magic solution that works for everyone. It depends on the fabric, how much you sweat and how long the stain has been there.

We scoured the web, our archives and personal experience to find the most effective ways to remove sweat stains. The best part? You most likely already have a lot of these supplies in your kitchen and medicine cabinets.

How to Remove Pit Stains

When it comes to getting rid of yellow sweat stains, the process matters as much as the ingredients. Because they’ve had time to set, removing sweat stains requires extra elbow grease.

Best Ingredients to Remove Pit Stains

Here’s a list of ingredients you can use to remove pit stains.

To remove mild sweat stains:

  • Crushed aspirin: Aspirin contains salicylic acid. Similar to the acetic acid found in vinegar, aspirin can be used to remove stains.
  • Dish soap: Mix one part dish soap and one-part hydrogen peroxide.
  • Salt: Dissolve four tablespoons into one liter of hot water.
  • Lemons: Mix with equal parts lemon juice and water.

To remove heavier sweat stains:

  • Vinegar and baking soda: These two work well together. Mix one cup vinegar with ½ cup baking soda, one tablespoon salt and one tablespoon hydrogen peroxide into a paste.
  • OxiClean: Follow instructions and mix with water.
  • Raise: Try this stain remover specifically designed for removing pit stains.

Do not use:

  • Bleach: It doesn’t remove stains and can damage colored or dark shirts.
  • Club soda: While club soda is a powerhouse stain remover, it’s only effective when applied before stains have time to set. By the time yellow stains have formed, they’ve too tough of a match for club soda.

Instructions to Remove Pit Stains

Follow these instructions to clean pit stains from your favorite shirts.

  1. Pick your ingredients. Select your ingredients from the list above. (For really tough pit stains, our favorite is the vinegar and baking soda combination.) For black or colored shirts, you don’t want to risk ruining it by using hydrogen peroxide. Try something gentler like baking soda.
  2. Scrub the stain. It’s not enough to wash it, especially if it’s an old shirt — it needs a deep clean. Use a toothbrush or laundry brush to scrub the solution into the armpit area.
  3. Let it soak. After scouring the stain, let it soak. If it’s a newer stain, a ten or fifteen-minute soak should do the trick. If it’s an older shirt, leave it overnight.
  4. Wash your shirt. After letting the shirt sit, throw it in the washer.
  5. Repeat if necessary. The stains may not come out the first time. If those yellow pit stains have been there for a while, it may require more than one wash. Try a second time if the first doesn’t do the trick.

How to Prevent Pit Stains

The process of removing yellow pit stains is sweat-inducing itself. Save yourself the extra laundry work and stop yellow pit stains in their tracks. Here are a few ways to prevent yellow armpit stains from ruining your favorite shirts:

  • Wear an undershirt. An undershirt stops sweat from seeping through your undershirt, saving your shirts. A standard undershirt may meet your needs, but consider wearing a sweat proof undershirt for better protection.
  • Trim your armpit hair. Keeping your armpits trimmed can help reduce sweating and prevent yellow sweat stains.
  • Wash shirts immediately after wearing them. Yellow stains get baked into shirts over time — it’s one of the reasons they’re so difficult to remove. After wearing your shirt, don’t just throw it into the hamper and let it sit for a week. Washing it immediately prevents pit stains from setting, helping your shirts to last longer.

Try the Thompson Tee Sweat Proof Undershirt

The best way to remove pit stains is by preventing them in the first place. The Thompson Tee sweat proof undershirt blocks underarm perspiration and odor. The lightweight layering system traps heat and moisture and allows it to evaporate instead of seeping through to your outer layer. The result? No more sweat marks or yellow pit stains.

Save your favorite shirts with Thompson Tee’s sweat proof undershirt. Try one risk-free today and take 20% off with code TEES20.

Tha will dry into a delicious stain (Picture: )

Summer is the best season (I’ll fight you if you say otherwise) but it does have its drawbacks.

The long days and balmy(ish) nights can be somewhat marred by our bodies’ newfound love of sweating.

We all sweat – it’s a useful bodily function to cool us down – but none of us particularly enjoy the damp sweat patches. Or the yellow stains that appear once the sweat has dried.

You know, those pesky ones that don’t disappear after you chuck your top in the wash.

So what are we supposed to do?

What causes it?

Here comes the science bit – concentrate.

You’d think that chucking your fave white shirt in the wash would get that sweat stain out, but no.

Sweat contains a compound called urea which reacts with salts to create that yellow stain. Urea mixing with deodorant can also, ironically, make it worse.

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How can I get rid of it?

Give the following remedies a go:

Baking soda – make a paste out of four tablespoons of baking soda and 1/4 cup of warm water. Massage on the stain and then leave to sit for half an hour. Wash as usual.

Aspirin – crush two aspirin and mix the powder in 1/2 cup warm water. Soak the stained part of the clothing in the aspirin solution for two to three hours. Wash as usual.

Salt – Mix four tablespoons salt in one litre of hot water and rub on the sweat stain. The mild abrasive will help remove the stain-causing bacteria. Wash as usual.

Lemon juice – Lemon juice is a natural bleach. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water, and rub into the stain.

White vinegar – This works well for older stains. Pour directly onto the stain and let sit for 30 minutes. Wash as usual. (Obviously, only use white vinegar, otherwise you’ll have a whole new stain to contend with.)

Good luck!

MORE: How to remove suncream stains from clothes

MORE: Why do we get covered in salt rather than sweat after long hot runs?

MORE: How to spot signs and symptoms of heatstroke

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How to Remove Perspiration Stains

To remove particularly tough sweat stains, like those that plague the underarms of shirts and dresses, you’ll use some of the same active ingredients as mentioned previously, but you’ll increase their strength. This can make the treatments more harsh, but also more effective.

Before you start pouring on the product, though, you need to figure out whether the stain is in fact a sweaty one. In the underarm area, you could be looking instead at an antiperspirant stain, which requires a different treatment (see How to Remove Grease Stains and Save Your Clothing). Basically, if it’s yellowish and stiff, it’s probably sweat; if it’s white or clear and greasy, it’s probably antiperspirant.


If you determine the underarm stain is sweat, give one of these pre-wash, extra-strength remedies a shot:

  • Vinegar — Just pour it, full-strength, right on the stain and let sit for about 30 minutes.
  • Hydrogen peroxide — Same instructions as vinegar. And remember, do not use hydrogen peroxide on a colored item.
  • Ammonia — Apply it, full-strength, directly on the stain and gently rub it in. You don’t need to let it sit before washing.
  • Baking soda paste — Start with full-strength baking soda, and apply just enough water to create a paste. Work it into the stain using a toothbrush, and then let it dry for a couple of hours before washing.
  • Aspirin — Dissolve two to three tablets in a half cup of water, apply it to the stain, and let it sit for several hours before washing.

Since you can throw some fairly heavy-duty cleaners at a sturdy fabric, you’ve got a good chance of getting the sweat stain out of a basic cotton shirt or dress. But what about when the stain is on something more delicate? This takes a considerably gentler approach.

A basic white tee is a summer afternoon’s best friend—except for that whole unfortunate potential of, eek, sweat stains.

Here, a trick to avoid yellowing for good.

What you need: A couple of lemons, water, a small glass and a cheapie spray bottle.

What you do: Squeeze the lemons so you fill the glass halfway with juice. Fill the other half with water so the mixture is equal parts. Pour it into a spray bottle and give it a good shake. Then, spritz the mixture on the underarms of your tee until the stained area is soaked. Gently rub the lemon juice into the fabric and the stain will start to lift. (Bonus tip: A sprinkle of table salt will help make it easier to scrub.)

Now what? Let the lemon juice soak in for about an hour, then toss the tee in the washer to properly clean.

Wow, that was so easy: We know.


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This story originally appeared as A Genius $1 Trick For Treating Sweat Stains on PureWow.

Photo Credit: Getty

Image: Koldunov / .com Advertisements

You find yourself having to buy clothes from time to time not because they wear out but because there are those embarrassing sweat stains. Especially at the armpit areas.

It’s not like you can help it given how Singapore’s so damn hot and humid 90% of the time. Even when it’s raining.

Well, if you, like me, have this embarrassing problem, here are 8 hacks you need to know against sweat stains.

1. Salt


Salt isn’t great for a lot of things, from your health to sweat stains. Dissolve 4 tablespoons in 1 litre of hot water. Sponge the sweat stained area with the solution until it disappears.

2. Meat Tenderiser


Before washing that shirt with yellow sweat stains, dampen the affected area and sprinkle some meat tenderizer onto it. Then put the shirt to wash and be amazed at the results.

3. Lemons


When life gives you lemon, use them to make sweat stain removers. Just scrub your shirt or blouse with a mixture of equal parts water and lemon juice. The stain will disappear like magic.

4. Vinegar


Pour some vinegar onto the sweat stain and gently rubbing it in before throwing the shirt into the washing machine. Then admire the stain-free shirt that comes out. And best of all, it can also be used to remove smells from clothes. Simply pour some vinegar into the detergent compartment.

5. Baking Soda


Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda and one-quarter warm water to create a white paste. gently rub the paste into sweat stains and watch it disappear. If it’s a particularly stubborn stain, leave the paste on for two hours before washing it off.


6. Aspirin


Aspirins are good for more than headaches. Crush two tablets and mix them together with 1/2 cup of warm water. Soak the stained part of your shirt into the solution for two to three hours and wait for the magic to appear.

7. Cold Water


Sometimes, the simplest way might just be enough to solve the problem. Try running stain-prone clothes under cold water and rub the problem areas before throwing it into the washing machine. This will help stains from setting in.

8. Eat Right

Know the right things to eat. Eating excessive salt or ingesting a huge amount of caffeine will cause your body to sweat more which makes it easier for sweat stains to set in. Eat clean and you’ll find your sweat becoming cleaner too.

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