How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way

How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way

How To Remove Unsightly Yellow Armpit Stains

Several years ago, both of my youngest boys joined the basketball “league” at our church. I was happy that they were both having a great time playing, but their laundry was suddenly giving me a headache!

After running around and getting all sweaty, their white undershirts took on yellow sweat stains at the armpits that just wouldn’t budge, no matter what I tried! I even tried pouring straight bleach on the stains at one point, and still, those stains stayed put. But I was determined to find a solution to those stubborn stains!

After scouring the internet for hours, I came across the following method. And to my surprise, it worked like a charm! The secret is the combination of grease-cutting dish soap and oxygen-powered hydrogen peroxide. It’s able to cut through the greasy residue and dissolve the organic compounds from the sweat, so that a regular laundry cycle can lift the stain right out. Here’s how it works!

How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way

How To Remove Sweat Stains (& Other Stubborn Stains)

You’ll need:

How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way

Directions:

Combine 1 part Dawn dish soap and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl. Stir to combine.

How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way

Apply the soap and peroxide mixture to the stain(s), and sprinkle a bit of baking soda over the area.

How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way

Use a laundry scrub brush or an old toothbrush to work the Dawn, peroxide, and baking soda into the fibers of the shirt. (Make sure to clean an area slightly bigger than the actual stain so you don’t accidentally miss any of it.)

How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way

After scrubbing, let the clothing sit for at least an hour or so, and then launder as usual. I accidentally let this white shirt sit for an entire weekend before washing because I forgot about it, but it was completely fine and came out of the wash looking brand new!

Related: Removing Blood Stains Easily with Hydrogen Peroxide

How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way
How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way

I’ve also tested this method on stains on dark shirts, and in my experience it works just as well as it does on lighter shirts. (On the dark shirts I have tried this on, I haven’t let them sit for longer than a few hours, so I can’t say for sure that it wouldn’t cause fading if left for a few days. If anybody tries it, let me know how it goes!)

How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way

Removing Armpit Stains (Step by Step)

Jill Nystul
The secret to this cleaning trick is the combination of grease-cutting dish soap and oxygen-powered hydrogen peroxide. It’s able to cut through the greasy residue and dissolve the organic compounds from the sweat, so that a regular laundry cycle can lift the stain right out!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cost $8
Yield 1 clean shirt

Equipment

  • Scrub Brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Mixing Bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup dish soap
  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide

Instructions
 

  • Combine 1/2 cup dish soap and 1 cup hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl.
    How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way
  • Apply the soap and peroxide mixture to the stain(s) and sprinkle baking soda over the area.
    How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way
  • Use a laundry scrub brush or an old toothbrush to work the soap, peroxide, and baking soda into the fibers. (Make sure to clean an area slightly bigger than the actual stain so you don’t miss any of it.)
    How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way
  • Let the clothing sit for an hour or so, then launder as usual.
    How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way

Video

YouTube video

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • I tried this a few months ago on my dads dress shirt collars. It took most of it out. We were so impressed with how much better they looked afterward.

  • After my first attempt at doing this but with a different recipe that somewhat worked, I searched the net and came across this site. It worked on the first try! I will say the work shirts I had said to air dry and I think it was a factor. You just gained a new subscriber.

  • I’ve heard before that certain ingredients in deodorant s can cause the yellowing . It has to do with your sweat mixing with chemicals in certain brands can cause this.

  • Hi Jillee and everyone Can anyone give me an alternative to use as in the UK we don’t have dawn it’s not even available in Amazon I see it used for so many things but sadly we Brits can’t get it Any suggestions would be great thank you

  • I am AMAZED! I just tried this on a white sweater with yellow arm pit stains that’s been sitting in the bottom of my hamper for the last 6 months. I had almost given up on getting the stains out as nothing else I tried had worked.
    Today, I followed your instructions carefully and even let the concoction sit for 2-3 hours, for good measure. Well, I just pulled the sweater out of the washer and am beyond thrilled that the yellow stains are completely gone!!! Thank you SO much for sharing this method. I can’t wait to tell my friends about this incredible recipe for removing those pesky stains!! I’m so happy my white sweater has been saved!! :-)

  • How do I launder men’s white undershirts? The label says no bleach. When I do use bleach the white color fades and shirts become grayish. Without bleach they become yellowish.

  • The reason the stains appear in the first place is that ones deodorant has aluminum in it. That reacts with the sweat. Use a non-aluminum deodorant and you will not have this problem. I make my own deodorant with coconut oil, baking soda, arrowroot, etc. and never have a problem. The stain remover works well, though on other stains too. Like “ring around the collar”.

    • Oh, and I never use Dawn. It has petrochemicals in it (that’s why its good for cleaning up oil spills), but use Dr. Bronner’s Sal-Suds (similar to Castile Soap, but one can add acid – like vinegar or lemon juice for whitening) instead.

  • Have you ever used this on wool? I have a fairly thin “washable wool” sweater that is starting to pit (booo….). I might just give it a go with this method!

  • Thank you for this amazing tip. I was going to throw out 2 stained colored blouses. I was worried about using peroxide on them but thought why not since I’m going to throw them out anyway. I let the solution so for about 30 minutes. Not only did the stains come out but the blouses look brand nrw!

  • Thank you so much for this information! I will try it this weekend on some of my husband’s shirts. Do you have a remedy for antiperspirant/deodorant play buildup on clothing?

  • I have been using this method for a few years. Yellow pit stains were my biggest laundry problem. I was actually looking at making dress shields to protect my good shirts. I always added the baking soda to the liquids. Sprinkling it on the treated stain looks like a better method

  • If the colored garment is 100% cotton only leave the mixture on for a few minutes. It will lighten the fabric if left on for several hours. Five to 10 minutes after scrubbing should be sufficient. Then launder. Cotton poly blends can be left longer without fading, but not too long. I have left it for 2 to 3 hours with good results. This us the best stain remover I have found.

  • Hi Jillee, thanks for this wonderful tip – I never figured this out and perhaps could try this on other stains that happen along the way. Been using a little turmeric as part of the cooking and sometimes, I have to say the stains can be hard to come off when it spills on rugs and towels. I am sure the stains will come off with the method you figured out! Thanks!

  • I love all of your recommendations and observations and just wonder if there’s any way you can make the “print friendly” format w/o pictures. I really don’t need 11-12 pages of instructions where it’s mostly pictures. I realize a lot of people need the pictures to help them, but is there any way to have a “print friendly” format w/o picture in addition to the one already prepared.

    Thanks.

    • When you click print friendly, it bring up a preview. Instead of just clicking print on this preview, you can remove the pictures first! Just select “no pictures” in the drop down menu at the top of the page :-)

  • I’ll give this a try. Do you think it would work on getting the grassy, dirt stains out of baseball pants? I need a stain fighter solution for that one too.

  • This has become my go-to stain remover since I first heard about this combination. I have a spray bottle in my laundry room with a hydrogen peroxide and Dawn mix, ready to tackle all my stains. The very toughest get the baking soda added. I usually don’t use a brush, but will scrub the cloth between my hands and I let the clothes air dry, so as not to set whatever stain might remain.

  • This is good to know. I wear white t-shirts under my work shirts for layering. The shirts everyone wears are so thin. I don’t care so much about the stains on a shirt I’m wearing underneath work clothes.

  • This is very similar to a stain remover formular I’ve used for 20-25 years. It was given to me by the owner of a children’s clothing resale shop. I mix up a huge batch, put it in a squirt bottle and use it on everything. I treat the stain (on any color clothing) and just throw it in the hamper until laundry day – no fading. The formula is 1 part Dawn, 1 part ammonia, and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide. I was told the ammonia breaks down body oils (and Heloise advises using a cup in your load of towels or sheets to remove body oils – which also helps brighten and freshen them). This takes out almost every stain and has been kid-tested on sports stains, blood, etc. I will try it with the addition of the baking soda!

    • Thank you so much Jillee and Margot, it is wonderful to read this helpfull comments.
      I happen to live in Argentina, thus I don´t know if the products are the same.
      Our Ammonia is liquid and has a very, very penetrating smell. Is that the Ammonia you use???, mixed with the liquid soap and hydrogen peroxid.
      How strong is your hydrogen peroxid?
      Kindest regards

  • Thank you, Jillee. I’m starting workout classes soon and I remember how indelicate the underarms of my T-shirts can be. I’m definitely keeping this one handy!

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