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Removing Deodorant Stains

By Dr. Laundry October 12, 2013

How can I remove the white deodorant marks out of a knit top?

For a light smear of deodorant that happened when you were putting on the top, try pretreating the stain before washing. Your pretreating method depends on the shirt.

For white, bleachable fabrics (100% cotton, 100% polyester, or a cotton/poly blend – note that you should never bleach wool, silk, mohair, leather, and spandex):

1. Pre-treat the deodorant stain with Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel. Use the broad scrubber tip to apply the gel and gently rub it into the stain.
2. Wash immediately in hot water with detergent and ½ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach.

For colored washable fabrics (also white fabrics with spandex in them):

1. Apply liquid Clorox2® Stain Fighter and Color Booster directly to the deodorant stain and rub in. Wait 3-5 minutes (don’t let it dry on the fabric).
2. Wash immediately in the hottest water recommended on the care label with detergent and additional Clorox2® based on your load size.

These are both good for breaking up the water repellent component of the deodorant, making it easier for the stain to come out in the regular wash cycle – liquid laundry detergent can also be used.

I also wanted to mention that you can keep underarm stains (usually a combination of deodorant, sweat and body soil concentrated in the arm pit area) from building up in the first place by pretreating the underarm area of your shirts every time you wash them, whether or not you see stains.