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How to remove deodorant stains from clothes

remove deodorant stains from clothes

Everyone knows them – those unsightly yellowish stains, which are created on clothing by the use of deodorant. However, there are some simple tips that make it easier to remove the stains – so the clothes can still be worn and look like new again. Our step-by-step guide shows how to remove deodorant stains from clothes.

Deodorant stains on clothing usually appear after the application of aluminum-containing deodorants. Sweat and talc combine with the aluminum salts and leave their mark. The spots usually shimmer yellow on the white shirt and white on the black shirt. The big evil: when they are washed in the machine, they cannot be removed or even intensify. To remove them, you need pretreatment.

Citric acid for white & yellow deodorant stains

You can fight white or yellowish deodorant stains with citric acid. It is best to use it only on light-colored clothing. To do this, completely dissolve three tablespoons of citric acid powder (available from the drugstore or pharmacy) in one liter of water. Soak the clothes for several hours (preferably overnight) and then wash them in the machine as usual.

Vinegar for hard & white deodorant stains

With vinegar essence you can remove hard, white or older deodorant stains from colored and black clothes . Dilute the vinegar with water (be careful not to concentrate too much) and soak the garment in it for a few hours. Then wash as usual.

Baking powder for older deodorant stains

To remove older stains on a white shirt , you can apply baking soda. Moisten the corresponding areas of the clothing first and then sprinkle with baking soda. Rub the powder lightly and leave it in your clothes for a few hours. Then wash as usual. If there are persistent deodorant residues, you can repeat the application after 24 hours. Attention! Baking soda may dissolve the colors. So it’s better to only use it on the white shirt.

Washing soda for any deodorant stains

If you use washing soda to remove stains, dissolve one or two tablespoons in warm water and let the clothes soak in them. Rub after about 30 minutes with your hand or a soft brush. Then wash as usual.

Denture / braces cleaner for deodorant stains

Alternatively, stains on light-colored clothing can be removed in denture or braces cleaners. Soak clothing with one or two tabs of denture / braces cleaner in warm water overnight. Then wash as usual.

Tip: Better use deodorants without aluminum. Not only are they better for your health, they don’t leave annoying stains. And let the deodorant dry before pulling your clothes over it. By the way, not only your laundry, but also your armpits need special care. Here you can read what you have always forgotten during care.

Make-up sponge for fresh deodorant stains

An unused makeup sponge is suitable for fresh, white deodorant stains on dark clothing . Carefully rub the sponge over the stain and erase it.

Gall soap for fresh & yellow deodorant stains

Fresh, yellow deodorant stains on a light-colored shirt can be easily removed with gall soap. Moisten the clothes slightly on the spot and rub the gall soap. Then wash as usual. If the stain is not yet so intense and still very fresh, this type of pretreatment also works with clear water.

Remove deodorant stains from clothes: Materials

Depending on whether the stains are on light or dark clothing, different materials are needed for removal. 

For dark clothes

  • clean make-up sponge from the drugstore
  • Citric acid or acetic acid

For light clothes

  • baking powder

Remove deodorant stains from clothes: Color test

Whether you want to remove stains from light or dark clothing, first perform a color test on a small area of ​​clothing. Apply the method and check if the method attacks the color of the clothing. Without such a test there is a risk that the clothes will fade. 

Remove stains from dark clothing

First, you can try to remove stains with a MakeUp sponge. Simply rub in circular motions with a clean MakeUp sponge over the affected area. Through the surface of the MakeUp sponge, the aluminum particles, which cause the discoloration, are removed from the textile. If this method does not work, the use of citric acid is recommended.

  • Fill the sink with cold water and add about three tablespoons of citric acid.
  • Now the clothes are soaked – this process should take about an hour.
  • Then the garment is washed as usual. 
  • The spots should then have disappeared.
  • Alternatively, acetic acid can be used. 

Remove stains from light clothing

Stains are often more persistent on light clothing – in this case, baking soda can be used.

  • Fill the sink with cold water again and then add the baking powder.
  • Soak the garment for about an hour.
  • Then wash the garment as usual.
  • The spots should then have disappeared. 

How to avoid stains

Annoying yellow or whitish stains can be avoided by selecting the correct deodorant. Deo-stains always occur when a deodorant containing aluminum is used. The body’s sweat, which is also discarded when using a deodorant, reacts chemically with the active ingredient aluminum oxychloride and then forms the unsightly discoloration. If you now choose a deodorant that does not contain aluminum, this chemical reaction does not occur – the discoloration then remains. 

This saves you the time-consuming cleaning of textiles. Deodorants without aluminum are now available at fair prices in every drugstore.

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Author: Genevieve Dumas is a food, fashion, health and beauty writer from New York, who has worked for a range of major magazines.