Has anyone had any success with removing sweat / antiperspirant combo stains?
September 8, 2007 3:21 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone had any success with removing sweat / antiperspirant combo stains?

On my black undershirts the armpits are kind of caked on with white and on the white undershirts the armpits are stained yellowish. There seem to be 'recipies' out there to remove armpit stains but I was curious if anyone has found success. I use Mitchum clear gel antiperspirant if that makes any difference.
posted by GleepGlop to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also if it makes any difference, the stains have been there for a while, I'm not talking about getting out fresh stains.
posted by GleepGlop at 4:30 PM on September 8, 2007

I've had some luck with white vinegar diluted with water (about 1:1, I think) on white shirts. It didn't get the stain out completely, but it faded. I don't know if that would work on the black ones, but it didn't hurt when I tried it on a white shirt with a black print.
posted by doift at 4:48 PM on September 8, 2007

I don't think it can be done. Would like to be proven wrong.
posted by univac at 4:49 PM on September 8, 2007

Several months ago I soaked some sweat-stained whites in OxiClean, with pretty great success. Coincidentally I tried this again this morning, but really didn't have enough left. I recall using many scoops for a small amount of water. (Instructions are on the packaging for stain removal.) The stuff is expensive. Anyway, I bought a new bucket today and will try again later this weekend and report. :)
posted by iguanapolitico at 5:02 PM on September 8, 2007

I have JUST solved this problem, after much experimenting. Squirt Shout on armpits of clothes and let sit for a while. Then, fill washer with a small amount of very hot water and a LOT of Oxiclean, like iguanapolitico said. Like four scoops for the "mini" size amount of water. And let soak for about an hour. Then run through the wash with detergent. This worked like a charm for me yesterday, and I had a bunch of white shirts with yellow stains in the pits. Note: I only tried this with light and white shirts.
posted by Ollie at 5:25 PM on September 8, 2007 [4 favorites]

With marathon training, my house is the Land of Sweat Stained Clothing.

Nothing seem to work better than soaking the stained item in BIZ. Oxiclean is good, but enzyme based stuff like BIZ is the truly exceptional.

If BIZ doesn't remove it, then I assume it's there forever.
posted by 26.2 at 5:29 PM on September 8, 2007

eHow seems to have a pretty good answer...

I found the comments on this article also interesting.
posted by DavidJ710 at 7:28 PM on September 8, 2007

Lifehacker: "The heartache of nasty yellow pit stains got you down? The Gomestic weblog says you can remove perspiration stains from your white T-shirts with just two aspirin and half a cup of warm water applied to the stain. Aside from the sweat stain removal, Gomestic also suggests nine other unusual uses for the ubiquitous pain killer, like de-yellowing your chorinified hair, de-itching mosquito bites, and de-dandruffing your head. I can't attest to most of these, but they at least seem to make sense. If you've gotten creative with aspirin, let us know how it works in the comments."
posted by rumbles at 10:21 PM on September 8, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks people, I will start experimenting with my pile of soiled undershirts and post in here what works!
posted by GleepGlop at 7:11 PM on September 9, 2007

wow, interesting. i'm almost embarrassed to ask, but what the hell: i have a few old t-shirts (not one of them white), and i've become kinda attached to them. i used to wear the kind of antiperspirant that's like white, hard stuff, and i'm pretty certain that's what caused most of the caking.

now, the stains i don't really mind, since they are old shirts anyway... the thing is that the cakey thing causes almost immediate b.o. every once in a while, i forget about the whole thing and throw one on... and funk ensues. ugh.

like i said, the visible stain i don't really mind, but the funky vapors just plain suck. or better said, reek. now, i wouldn't want to throw these away (emotional attachment, etc etc)... the thing is that in this central american country i have little access to the hard stuff that others mentioned (biz, oxiclean). if anyone knows of a solution involving more common chemicals (and that won't ruin the color of the t-shirts), i'd love to hear about it.

and yes, i'm wearing one of the shirts right now. i forgot, ok?!
posted by papafrita at 7:16 PM on September 9, 2007

I just tried The shout/oxy-clean method suggested above, and it did make a difference. Part of the problem was that I tested it on my pile of old, really disgusting pit-stained shirts. A few of these actually feel a little waxy under the arms because the aluminum/zirconium has completely penetrated into the fibers of the shirt.

Even on these nasty shirts, the oxyclean/shout combo made some difference. On one of the shirts that only had light pit stains, I can't even see the stains anymore.

I'm running the bad ones through the wash again with some bleach to see if I can lighten them even more.

So on lightly stained shirts, Ollie's advice works pretty well. Beware though, because shirts can be stained past the point of no reasonable return
posted by chrisamiller at 7:22 PM on September 9, 2007

Tidy Bowl (the toilet cleaner) squirted directly on the stains... and an overnight soak. It completely removed them from white shirts. You can only do it a few times before the shirt falls apart....but it works.

My guess is that any "blue" toilet bowl cleaner would work.
posted by answergrape at 8:40 AM on September 10, 2007

To follow up on my last post: I used 4 scoops of OxiClean on the smallest load setting, and let it soak for many hours (over the 1-6 that the label recommends -- let's say 7). It did a great, but not perfect, job. Sweat stains are MUCH reduced. (Um, underwear discoloration is nearly gone as well.)

Last time I did this I really think the ratio was more like 4 scoops in a bucket of water, and I recall the yellow sweat stains being *gone*.

I also have a bottle of Clorox Oxi Magic spray that I haven't really used before. I just sprayed it on some heinous sweat stains on a knit top that I have. Vee shall see....
posted by iguanapolitico at 9:56 AM on September 10, 2007

papafrita, I have that problem with several of my athletic shirts. They still stink even right out of the wash. Put 'em on: instant b.o. for me. I'm seeing if my recent OxiEscapade fixes that as well.
posted by iguanapolitico at 9:58 AM on September 10, 2007

switch to lavilin. That stuff has radically changed my life.
posted by lastobelus at 2:10 AM on September 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well the 1:1 vinegar didnt work (i threw in baking soda also on my aunt's advice). The OxiClean seems to have significantly reduced the stains on my black undershirts to where there is just a faint stain left. I soaked a bucket of undershirts in water with 4 scoops of OxiClean for 4 hours, then put them through the wash with detergent.
posted by GleepGlop at 8:20 PM on September 19, 2007

Response by poster: Actually i spoke way too soon, after drying them the stains didnt come out even slightly.
posted by GleepGlop at 7:31 PM on September 20, 2007

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