Have you ever noticed underarm stains on your white shirt? These stains result from the use of antiperspirant-based deodorants. The main chemical constituent of antiperspirants — Aluminum leads to the formation of underarm stains. These stains can be classified into three; these are; deodorant marks, pit stains and deodorant buildup stains.
These are white patches that form on the shirt when you are wearing the shirt after putting on a deodorant. They are also likely to form on the carpet if a gel deodorant happens to fall on the carpet. Deodorant marks usually result from the use of stick and gel deodorants or antiperspirants.
You can combat deodorant marks by using roll-on or spray deodorants in place of stick and gel deodorants. Alternatively, allow the deodorant to completely dry before wearing your shirt to keep off from deodorant marks.
This is a thick residue that forms around the pit area due to continuous use of an antiperspirant-based deodorant. The little deodorant that gets rubbed on the shirt in small proportions during the day does not get off during washing. Small amounts are left behind. Continuous use of deodorants makes the small deposits increase to form a thick residue on your shirt under the armpit.
These are the yellow stains that form underarm as a result of using an antiperspirant. The aluminum present in antiperspirants together with underarm sweat leads to yellow stains over time. The stains are usually visible on light colored garments. However, this does not mean that dark colored garments do not have them. Well, the stains form on all types of garments but are more visible on light colored ones. Over time, they harden and gets stubborn to normal laundering. Due to this, these stains require special attention before they become stubborn.
How to Remove Deodorant Stains
The first thing to do in the stain removal is to determine the type of fabric affected by the deodorant stain. The stain removal methods differ with the type of fabric.
The fabrics are broadly classified into; washable fabrics, non-washable fabrics, and household surfaces.
These include; Acrylic Fabric, Nylon, Polyester, Olefin, Spandex, and Modacrylic.
To remove stains from washable fabric, follow these steps:
Most deodorant stains present on washable fabrics are easily removed by pretreating. This entails rubbing a stain-removal agent on the stained area before you start laundering then launder as usual to remove the stain.
However, the stain may persist even after preheating. If this happens, follow this short procedure:
- Get rid of the detergent by rinsing thoroughly.
- Flush the stain with white vinegar.
- Rinse using clean water.
The above procedure is usually effective in removal of stubborn stains. If it persists, follow the following procedure:
- Flush the stain using denatured alcohol
- Rinse in clean water.
- Allow the fabric to dry or launder it as usual.
This class of fabrics includes; Silk, Wool, Triacetate, Linen, Cotton, Burlap, Acetate, Rayon, Woolen Carpet and Synthetic Carpet.
The following steps are used in removing stains from non-washable fabrics:
- Rub some alcohol on the stain and then cover it using a dump absorbent pad. The absorbent pad should be soaked in dilute alcohol on the ratio 1:2 for Acetate, Triacetate, and Rayon. For silk, you should first test if the colored fabric will fade due to use of alcohol by first applying the dilute alcohol on a hidden area of the stained patch.
- Keep both the fabric and dump pad moist.
- Allow them to stay for as long as it takes to remove all the stains.
Even if the above procedure is effective in stain removal from non-washable fabrics, it may fail to remove some stubborn stains. When this happens, follow the following steps:
- Flush the stain with a mixture of warm sudsy water and a little ammonia. This method aims at loosening the components of the stain and any residue that could have been left by the stain removers previously. Be cautious when handling wool and silk fabrics.
- Rinse once more using clean water.
- Ensure the fabric dries thoroughly.
The above procedures might cause a bleaching effect on the fabrics at times. If this happens, you can restore back the fabric’s original color by using a damp sponge. To dampen the sponge, use water and ammonia mixture in the ratio 2:1 respectively. Lightly stroke the fabric with the damp sponge by moving it from the center of the stain outwards.
Caution: Never iron a deodorant-stained fabric. Applying heat on the deodorant stain ruins the fabrics permanently.
They include; Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Wall covering, Vinyl Tile, Acrylic Plastic, Polyurethane, Plexiglas, Masonry Tiles, Stainless Steel, Paint/Gloss, Marble, Glass/Tile, Cane, Ceramic, Asphalt, Aluminum, and Bamboo among others.
These stains result from deodorant spilling on the floor or other surfaces. Follow these steps to remove these stains:
- Wipe the affected area using a cloth that has been dumped by dipping in warm sudsy water.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Wipe to dryness using a clean piece of cloth.
Preventing Deodorant Stains
Since deodorant stains tend to be stubborn at times. It is advisable to prevent them from forming on clothes to keep off the menace.
The following steps will help you to prevent deodorant stains from forming:
- Wearing a t-shirt to avoid staining the outer shirt.
- Choose the best deodorant for men. The best deodorants that do not form deodorant stains are the aluminum-free deodorants such as the natural deodorants.
- Allow the deodorant to dry completely before putting your clothes on to avoid them from getting into contact with clothes.
- Use other alternatives to combat body odor instead of deodorants. A good example of body odor combatant is baking soda and sugar-free alcohol based mouthwash products.
Tips to Efficient Deodorant Stain Removal
- Try using one stain remover before trying a different stain removal solution.
- Ensure you thoroughly clean the stain remover you are using before you start using another stain remover.
- Be gentle while removing the stains to avoid tearing the fabrics.
- Allow the fabric to soak in the cleaning solution for some time to ensure all the stain-causing mineral dissolves.
- Before using any stain remover, read the fabric’s tag to see if the manufacturer recommends the cleaning method you want to use.