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How to Get Rid of Pit Stains From Your Favorite Shirts

Let’s talk about pit stains. It’s a problem many people have to deal with, but it’s seldom discussed.

Armpit stains are embarrassing, and they can ruin your favorite shirts. And if you've ever tried to remove sweat stains from clothing, you know it's no easy feat.

Getting rid of armpit stains is tough, but it’s not impossible. We’ve compiled the most effective formulas to remove sweat stains and save your beloved shirts.

HOW TO REMOVE PIT STAINS

To remove sweat stains, use a formula consisting of white vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, which work well together for removing stubborn, set-in stains.

Mix one cup white vinegar (don’t use other types of vinegar) with ½ cup baking soda, one tablespoon salt and one tablespoon hydrogen peroxide into a paste.

Next, use a toothbrush or laundry brush to scrub the solution into the pit stain.

After scouring, let the shirt soak. For newer stains, a 10 or 15-minute soak should do the trick. For older stains, let the shirt sit for at least a few hours, although it’s best to leave it overnight.

Lastly, machine wash the shirt and follow the washing instructions accordingly.

OTHER WAYS TO REMOVE PIT STAINS

Note that vinegar is highly acidic. Although it’s effective against tough underarm stains, it may be too harsh for certain fabrics.

If the vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide method isn’t feasible, you can also try using these common household ingredients to remove pit stains.

To remove mild sweat stains:

  • Crushed aspirin: Aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid. Like acetic acid found in vinegar, aspirin’s main ingredient acts as an agent to remove stains.
  • Dish soap and hydrogen peroxide: Mix one part dish soap and two parts hydrogen peroxide.
  • Salt: Dissolve four tablespoons into one liter of hot water.
  • Lemons: Mix equal parts lemon juice and warm water.

Scrub the stain thoroughly with your preferred ingredients, and allow the shirt to soak for at least a few hours (or overnight if possible, especially if the stain is severe). After, machine wash your shirt according to the care instructions.

To remove heavier sweat stains, consider using products such as OxiClean or Raise Stain Remover. OxiClean carries a variety of products to help with stain removal — just follow instructions according to the package. Raise is specifically designed for removing pesky pit stains.

Important: Avoid using chlorine bleach or club soda to remove sweat stains. Bleach can damage shirts and even cause pit stains to appear darker, while club soda is only useful when applied before the stain sets.

TIPS FOR CLEANING ARMPIT STAINS

There are many techniques to get rid of pit stains. However, removing yellow sweat stains is a trial-and-error process.

Because pit stains are set in, removing them requires extra elbow grease. Your mileage may vary depending on the fabric, the severity of the stain and how long the stain has been there.

Sweat stains don’t always come out the first time, and you may have to repeat the process more than once. You can also try a different combination of ingredients to see if you achieve better results.

Read more: How to Remove Sweat Stains on Dress Shirts

PIT STAINS: CAUSES AND PREVENTION

If you want to get rid of pit stains for good, you need to understand what causes sweat stains, and how you can prevent future sweat stains.

WHAT CAUSES YELLOW PIT STAINS?

Sweat is odorless and colorless. Yellow pit stains occur when aluminum (the main ingredient in most antiperspirants) reacts with your sweat’s proteins. It’s why you see yellow stains appear on your white shirts after only a few good sweats.

While most deodorants don’t contain aluminum, applying deodorant excessively can also cause pit stains.

Learn more about the science behind pit stains.

HOW DO I PREVENT YELLOW PIT STAINS?

The process of cleaning armpit stains is sweat-inducing itself. Spare yourself the time and effort, and learn how to stop yellow pit stains in their tracks.

Here are a few ways to prevent yellow armpit stains from damaging your shirts:

  • Wear an undershirt. Undershirts offer an extra layer of protection against seeping sweat. A standard undershirt may meet your needs, but consider wearing a sweat proof undershirt for the best protection.
  • Swap antiperspirant for natural or organic deodorant. If possible, eliminate aluminum-based antiperspirant from your daily routine, and use deodorant instead. Also, go easy on the application — a few swipes is enough. Excess product applications will ruin your shirts.
  • Wash shirts after wearing them — the sooner, the better. Yellow stains bake into shirts over time; it’s why they’re so difficult to remove. After wearing your shirt, don’t just throw it in the hamper and let it sit for a week. Wash it ASAP to prevent pit stains from setting, so your shirts can last longer.
  • Trim your armpit hair. Regular maintenance of underarm hair can reduce sweating, which means less antiperspirant (or deodorant) usage and fewer yellow sweat stains.
  • Stay away from sweat-inducing foods and beverages. Caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods are common sweat culprits. Consume foods that ease digestion and won’t cause you to break a sweat.

For more tips to prevent sweat stains, check out our guide.

REMOVE SWEAT STAINS FOR GOOD WITH THOMPSON TEE

The best way to remove pit stains is to prevent them in the first place.

Thompson Tee’s patented sweat proof undershirts for men and women are 100% guaranteed to block underarm sweat and odor. The lightweight layering system traps heat and moisture and allows it to evaporate instead of seeping through to your outer layer.

The result? Absolutely no sweat marks! You’ll never have to waste time scrubbing a yellow pit stain again.

Save your favorite shirts with a Thompson Tee sweat proof undershirt. Try one risk-free today and take 20% off with code TEES20!

REGAIN YOUR CONFIDENCE FOR $28.99

Men's Sweat Proof Shirts

MEN’S SWEAT PROOF 
SHIRTS

ORIGINAL FIT - COTTON - $28.99
Crewneck / V-Neck / Deep V-Neck

SLIM FIT - RAYON FROM BAMBOO - $34.99
Crewneck / V-Neck

Women's Sweat Proof Shirts

WOMEN’S SWEAT PROOF 
SHIRTS

ORIGINAL FIT - COTTON - $28.99
Scoop Neck

SLIM FIT - RAYON FROM BAMBOO - $34.99
Scoop Neck / V-Neck