Sweat is the body's way of naturally keeping you cool. Even though it serves a healthy purpose, the end result can leave your clothes with not-so-hot looking stains. Before you scrub, dry clean, or toss your sweat-stained shirt in the trash, check out these top ways for how to remove sweat stains from your clothes.
Start with an Intro to Sweat
Learning how to remove sweat stains from clothes naturally starts with a little lesson in sweat.
According to Michigan State University, sweat is mostly made from water. It also includes small amounts of electrolytes, bacteria, and some types of toxins. The bacteria and toxins your body excretes can lead to a smelly, staining mess on your clothes—but these less-than-pleasant culprits won't yellow your yoga tees alone.
Antiperspirants plug the sweat glands and can reduce the amount of liquid that comes out, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Stains start when sweat mixes with aluminum in your antiperspirant. Without the chemical reaction between an antiperspirant product and your sweat, it's not likely you'll have major fabric stains. But skipping antiperspirant may not be the best idea, especially if you sweat excessively or want to stop the impending odor.
If you already have stained clothing or plan to switch to an antiperspirant, here's what you'll need to know about how to remove sweat stains.
Try White Vinegar
As soon as you notice sweat stains on your clothing, mix white vinegar and cold water to make a solution for your stained fabric. This strategy works on most types of materials, but it may not help a stain that has already set. Be sure to only use white vinegar. While the balsamic and red wine varieties may mix into a tasty salad dressing blend, these options can add to the existing stains.
After applying the white vinegar solution to the stained area, follow the manufacturer's instructions for care and washing/drying.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Like white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide is also a natural way to remove sweat stains. But this technique won't work on all fabrics. Don't use hydrogen peroxide on dry-clean only clothing or fabrics that aren't dye-stable. Patch test the peroxide on an inconspicuous area before you use it on the entire sweat stain. Peroxide has a natural bleaching action that can whiten whites and remove or reduce yellowing.
After you patch test the item, soak it in the hydrogen peroxide. Never mix peroxide with other cleaning products or vinegar. This can create potentially harmful gases. But you can mix the hydrogen peroxide with equal parts baking soda to make a scrub. Whether you soak or scrub, rinse the peroxide from the item and place it in the washer or hand wash it to remove the remaining peroxide.
Mix equal parts freshly squeezed lemon juice and water to create a sweat stain-busting liquid. Patch test the mixture. If it passes the test, soak your sweaty garment, rinse it, and wash it. Again, always follow the manufacturer's care directions for washing and drying.
If you're starting to think antiperspirants, sweat, and clothing are a never-ending cycle of smells and stains, you're right. But there are natural ways to remove sweat stains and get your clothes fresh and clean.
Is natural sweat stain removal the tip of your do-it-yourself iceberg? Learn more about these types of tips and tricks and follow the DIY Naturally Pinterest board by @tomsofmaine.
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Why It's Good
Natural methods of removing sweat stains can help you fight yellow marks in a way that makes sense for your lifestyle.