How to Remove Antiperspirant Stains

By Ashley Ess in Natural Products

If you've ever experienced the frustration of discovering underarm stains on your favorite clothing, you're not alone. The good news is you can save your clothes from permanent damage. Read on for a crash course on how to remove antiperspirant stains (and prevent them from occurring in the first place) so you can feel fresh and comfortable without sacrificing your wardrobe.

Why Antiperspirant Stains Happen

Antiperspirants prevent underarm sweat with aluminum salts, most commonly in the form of aluminum chlorohydrate. These salts dissolve into the skin to block sweat. But as they work to plug your sweat glands, they bond with the minerals in your sweat, creating a harmless acidic reaction that creates those yellow-tinted stains.

If you don't reapply antiperspirant as its effects wane, newly released sweat and acidic compounds join forces to further stain your clothing.

Tips on How to Remove Antiperspirant Stains

So, what can you do about those pesky yellow stains that throw off your fashion game?

A man hangs clothes on a rack.

Try these simple, natural solutions to minimize the appearance of stains. You can use them alone or in combination for truly stubborn antiperspirant stains. Just be sure to read your garment's labels before moving ahead. If they're dry clean only, leave it to the professionals. Finally, avoid mixing vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, as this combination can irritate the skin or respiratory system and damage some fabrics.


Presoak your clothing in a solution of cold water, baking soda, and white vinegar before washing it to help neutralize the antiperspirant's acidic compounds.

Add Vinegar

Apply white vinegar directly to the stain and scrub with a cloth or old toothbrush. Then, soak the area in vinegar overnight and wash as normal. Repeat as necessary.

Skip the Dryer

Heat sets stains. So, check whether the stain is still there after washing—and, if so, don't put your clothing in the dryer. Instead, soak the garment in cold water with mild soap, wash it again, and line dry before trying another method.

Try Hydrogen Peroxide

For less delicate items, like white T-shirts, mix one part hydrogen peroxide with four parts cold water and soak for up to an hour before washing. Pretest the fabric for colorfastness if you use this method on colored clothing.

How to Prevent Antiperspirant Stains

Learning how to prevent antiperspirant stains can save the headache of stubborn stain removal and protect your favorite clothing. Here are some simple methods to save you time and effort in the laundry room.

A Laundry Load of Prevention

  • Apply your antiperspirant to dry skin to support absorption.
  • Apply a thin layer of antiperspirant—two to three swipes should do. Overuse can contribute to stains.
  • Allow your antiperspirant to dry thoroughly before you get dressed.
  • Experiment with different formulas, as some may better fit your body chemistry. Some formulas also stain more easily than others.
  • Switch to an aluminum-free deodorant with wetness protection.
  • Apply garment protectors to your clothing's underarm areas.
  • Wash or dry clean your clothing within a day after wearing it to prevent stains from setting in.

woman crouching outdoors looking at clean clothes to hang

Protecting Your Skin and Your Wardrobe

By finding the right formula and practicing stain prevention, using antiperspirant doesn't have to ruin your clothes. Remember: prevention is always better than the cure! But for the stains that do sneak by, take a deep breath and try these stain removal strategies.

Looking for natural ways to minimize underarm wetness? Check out these five sweat-inducing foods to minimize your risk of sweat stains when wearing your favorite top.

Image Sources: Pexels | Pexels | Pexels

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.

Why It's Good

Antiperspirant is designed to make your life more convenient, so dealing with stains can feel counterintuitive and frustrating. Luckily, you can try at-home solutions to help prevent and remove stubborn stains.