How do you remove underarm deodorant from cotton clothing?
I get lots of different questions about deodorant and underarm stains, which I realize mean different things to different people. These stains are hugely problematic because they are highly variable from person to person and garment to garment. I don’t always get a lot of detail (how old the stains are is just one important consideration) with the question that is asked, so I like to provide a lot of different information in the hope of fully addressing the issue.
A light smear of antiperspirant or deodorant that transfers to a shirt while it is being put on will usually come off with regular washing. This assumes good wash habits: a properly loaded washer, a good detergent and the right laundry additive, and the hottest water appropriate for the load.
Removing Deodorant Stains from White Shirts
Crusty build-up on underwear style t-shirts, on the other hand, is very difficult to remove, and it’s better not to let it happen in the first place. If this is the problem you are dealing with, and your shirts are in pretty bad shape, I would start fresh with new undershirts, and keep the stains from building up by doing the following:
Since these stains are very individualized, what works for one person doesn’t work for another, you may also want to try pretreating the stains with a little liquid laundry detergent before washing. Body chemistry, antiperspirant choice and activity level all contribute, so it’s good to experiment to see what works for you. Changing deodorants may even be necessary to help get the stains under control.
Removing Deodorant Stains from Color Shirts
There’s also the issue of what to do for colored shirts — you can try pretreating the armpit area with Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster as follows:
Removing Crusty Deodorant Build-Up from Shirts
Just in case you have some crusty stained t-shirts that you do want to try restoring, here’s a recommendation often provided in clothes washer user’s guides that you can try:
I hope this information is useful. Please let me know if you have any other questions, and thanks for writing!