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By: Maria Diefenbach
Posted on: May 14, 2019

Prevent (and remove) arm pit stains with these tips and tricks

We’ve all been there—in a packed meeting post-workout, at lunch with friends or on the train, when you realize something: the pits of your favorite shirt are soaked and stained in a deep, dark yellow. The stains are unsightly, and embarrassing. The worst part? Arm pit stains are hard to remove and they always leave us wondering: what causes them, and what can we do to prevent them in the first place?

It might surprise you to know these dreaded pit stains plague even the most regimented of antiperspirant appliers. Why? Because sweat alone isn’t the culprit. Rather, clothes stain when underarm sweat, bacteria on your skin and chemicals in your antiperspirant—like aluminum—mix and react with one another. But you don’t have to give up your antiperspirant to stop the staining. Use these five easy tips to prevent and remove stains from your favorite shirts:

  1. Beat the heat: Look for tops that are made with natural fibers and “anti-odor,” “moisture wicking” and “breathable” features. Wearing these fabrics won’t just keep you cool, they’ll prevent sweat from soaking into your clothes.
  2. Dress strategically: Wear dark-colored shirts rather than lighter, bright colors as they are less forgiving. When you opt for a tighter fitting shirt, wear a cotton undershirt to act as a filter before the actual shirt catches the sweat. If you can help it, choose to wear loose-fitting clothing to give your pits some airflow.
  3. Don’t overdo it: You might think loading up on your antiperspirant will do the trick, but really, applying too much will just lead to buildup—causing even darker stains. Additionally, most drugstore antiperspirants and deodorants will do the trick but for severe sweaters, you may want to consider a stronger product that says, “extra strength” or “clinical strength.” If you’re still struggling, consult with your dermatologist for prescription strength options.
  4. Paste on, paste off: When stains strike, mix equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to create a paste. Then, rub it on the stains gently and let sit for 30 minutes before washing with cold water.
  5. Spot treat: Mix two tablespoons of vinegar with one cup of water, and rub the solution into stains. Again, let your garment sit for 30 minutes before washing with cold water. Pro tip: Think twice before you reach for the bleach. Washing with chlorine bleach can actually make your stains appear darker.

Apply these tips to your everyday routine and you’re sure to see the difference. Did we miss a tip or trick that works for you? Let us know on Facebook!