How to Remove Sweat Stains on Dress Shirts
There’s nothing more embarrassing than sweat stains on dress shirts (or any shirt, for that matter). They’re a pain to get out and a constant source of anxiety. Plus, worrying about sweat or sweat stains can cause you to sweat even more! It’s a vicious circle.
Until you learn how to stop nervous sweating or understand the causes of excessive sweating, dealing with armpit stains on shirts will be dreadful. And let’s face it: asking someone how to remove sweat stains from clothes isn’t an ideal topic to bring up in casual conversation.
Good thing we’ve got you covered. Here’s our guide on how to remove sweat stains on dress shirts — and how to prevent and stop them in the future.
Check out our tips on how to get sweat stains out of shirts:
- DIY methods to remove sweat stains on dress shirts
- Off-the-shelf solutions to remove sweat stains
- How to remove sweat stains on white shirts
- How to remove sweat stains on colored shirts
- How to remove sweat stains on silk shirts
- How to remove shirt collar sweat stains
- How to remove set-in sweat stains
How sweat stains on dress shirts happen
Sweat is odorless and colorless. So how do those pesky yellow stains keep appearing?And how do you get those yellow armpit stains out once they’re set in?
Believe it or not, the ugly yellow stains on your clothes aren’t just from sweating. Ironically, aluminum, an ingredient found in most deodorants (the very thing that’s supposed to stop you from sweating), is the culprit. When the aluminum reacts with your sweat, yellow stains eventually occur. (See our full blog post about the science of pit stains here.)
Most general stain removal tips tell you to wash your garment immediately to prevent the stain from setting. But this can be difficult if you’re at work or on a date (unless your date is at a laundromat), so it’s important to know how to treat set-in stains as well.
DIY methods to remove sweat stains on dress shirts
Here are a few ways to remove sweat stains on dress shirts.
- Apply a mixture of one part hot water and detergent after every use.
- Combine 1 cup vinegar, one cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide. Soak for 20 minutes and wash.
- Use a toothbrush or laundry brush to scrub the stain.
- After applying and scrubbing the cleaning agent, let it sit before washing.
Don’t have any vinegar or hydrogen peroxide at home? Try crushing a few aspirins with a half-cup of warm water and stir to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stained area and let it sit for at least an hour before washing as usual.
Note: you must use aspirin for this method, not Tylenol or an NSAID like Aleve. Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, which is like the acetic acid found in vinegar. Non-aspirin pain relievers do not work to remove sweat stains.
Off-the shelf solutions to remove sweat stains
If you want to know how to get pit stains out of shirts with a store-bought remedy, there are a few pre-treatment solutions available.
Products like OxiClean, Raise 1502 Armpit Stain Remover and Clorox2 Sport Odor and Stain Remover helps remove yellow armpit stains before laundering. Remember to check care instructions on any garment before use.
How to Remove Sweat Stains On White Shirts
Should you use bleach to remove sweat stains on white shirts? While bleach is a seemingly effective way to remove sweat stains from white clothes, it can actually make stains appear darker.
You can follow either of the methods above (DIY or off-the-shelf) for removing sweat stains from a white shirt. Depending on the fabric, washing in hot water is optimal for keeping white clothes their whitest.
How to Remove Sweat Stains on Colored Shirts
Wearing a colored shirt is always a gamble, especially if you’re prone to unexpected nervous sweats. Colored shirts tend to show sweat stains more than white shirts.
Do not use the DIY method above for removing sweat stains from colored shirts. Using hydrogen peroxide on a non-white shirt can cause discoloration. Instead, soak your sweat-stained colored shirts in a mixture of vinegar and water for 30 minutes. Rinse, then gently rub the affected area to release the stain and wash as usual.
How to Remove Sweat Stains on Silk
Treating sweat stains on silk requires special care. Most silk garments are dry clean only, and treating a sweat stain on a silk shirt or blouse is no exception.
Always check care labels and communicate with your dry cleaning staff. Point out stains on silk blouses (or other delicate fabrics like cashmere and wool) that need extra attention.
How to Remove Shirt Collar Sweat Stains
If you tend to sweat on your face or head, you might have problems with removing “ring around the collar” stains. Most soiled collars are due to a combination of sweat, body oils, dead skin cells and residue from styling products.
Here are four steps to clean typical collar stains:
- Lay your shirt flat, collar facing up.
- Pour liquid laundry detergent or a pre-treating solution directly onto the stained area and rub gently.
- Let it soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Wash and dry as usual.
If you have craniofacial hyperhidrosis and use antiperspirant to control excessive sweating on your face and head, the antiperspirant may be contributing to your collar stains. In this case, follow the directions above to remove sweat stains from respective fabrics or colors.
How to Remove Set-In Sweat Stains
Did you wait too long to treat a sweat stain? Or did you already wash and dry a sweat-stained shirt and now can't get the stain out? Removing set-in stains is more difficult, but it's doable.
Use one of the methods described above based on the type of clothing you're treating, but increase the soaking time. You may also need to use a bit more elbow grease to get the job done.
Preventing Sweat Stains on Dress Shirts
The easiest way to prevent armpit stains on dress shirts is to stop them before they start. If you experience nervous sweating, know your triggers and the best ways to manage them. Or, if you deal with axillary hyperhidrosis, take preventative measures to stay as dry as possible throughout the day.
Wearing an undershirt is an excellent way to prevent sweat stains on dress shirts. They offer a protective barrier that prevents sweat from soaking through to your shirt.
However, if you have hyperhidrosis or just sweat more than average, a simple undershirt might not be enough. That’s why the founders of Thompson Tee spent years developing a sweat proof undershirt that truly works.
Thompson Tees contain patented, Hydro-Shield sweat proof technology built into the armpits. They’re guaranteed to stop 100% of sweat stains and odor from seeping through and ruining your favorite dress shirts.
Ready to win back your confidence and wear all the different dress shirts your heart desires? Try a Thompson Tee risk-free today and take 20% off with code TEES20.