Stop Throwing Money Away! How To Remove Yellow Stains From White Shirts
Sick and tired of throwing out white shirts with yellow armpit stains? Have you stopped buying white shirts altogether because you can't find anything to get rid of the stains?
We don’t blame you.
Let’s talk about how to remove yellow stains from white shirts so you can stop wasting money and increase your white shirt's lifespan.
What Causes Yellow Stains On White Shirts?
Yellow armpit stains and white shirts are like cheeseburgers and vending machines. They just shouldn’t be a thing. (Example A.)
All kidding aside, why do we get them? Because science.
More specifically, chemistry. When the aluminum in your antiperspirant mixes with proteins in your sweat (and you’re wearing a white shirt) — you get a yellow stain. These stains aren’t bad at first but bake into your shirts over time as they go through multiple rounds in the washing machine and hot dryer.
For a more in-depth description, check out our post, The Science Behind Pit Stains and How To Stop Them.
But who cares about the why right now — what are you supposed to do about it? Stop sweating profusely? Stop using antiperspirant, the only thing that works to stop the sweating? Neither one of these options is realistic.
What To Do About Pesky Yellow Stains?
There's a wealth of information out there on how to remove yellow stains from shirts. But what actually works?
When it comes to yellow stain removal, two ingredients work best: hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Both substances have powerful stain-lifting abilities that make them effective.
When hydrogen peroxide breaks down, it releases oxygen gas. This process (known as oxidation) is what lifts stains or "bleaches" them.
Baking soda also has a number of chemical characteristics that make it an effective stain remover. It's mildly alkaline, which makes it great for removing grease and oil, two ingredients integral to yellow stains. It also fizzes when mixed with water and can lift dirt or other particles (like antiperspirant). And because of its crystal-like structure, baking soda makes a great abrasive (substance capable of cleaning a hard surface by rubbing or grinding).
So how do you use these ingredients to banish yellow sweat stains from your favorite white shirts?
The Best Ways To Remove Yellow Stains From White Shirts
Here are the two best ways to use hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to remove yellow stains. Unlike some of the other solutions out there, these methods actually work.
But don't just take our word for it, here's proof.
Solution #1. Salt, Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Like baking soda, salt is an abrasive. Its granular texture makes it great for scrubbing out the toughest stains and absorbing grease and oil.
Check out how effectively it gets rid of yellow stains.
In this video, beauty blogger Henna Ali uses hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and salt to remove serious armpit stains from one of her favorite shirts.
After some soaking, scrubbing and a spin in the washing machine the stain disappears completely! Try the exact recipe at home on one of your toughest yellow stains.
- Combine 1.5 cups baking soda, two-ish tsp hydrogen peroxide and 1.5 tsp of salt
- Dampen stained shirt
- Pour mixture onto stains
- Let it sit for 20-30 minutes
- Scrub the mixture into the stains with short-bristled brush
- Toss into washing machine for one wash cycle
Be sure to use cold, not hot water for steps two and five. Ignore the conventional “warm for whites,” tip in this instance and wash it in cold water so it doesn't bake in the stain.
The longer you let hydrogen peroxide soak into a stain, the better. Soak your white shirt in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water overnight. Then try the above method the next day.
Lastly, for even brighter results, dry the shirt in the sun instead of the dryer. Let nature's bleach work its magic on your white shirt!
Solution #2. Dish Soap, Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Dish soap — it's not just for dishes! It's also a great stain fighter.
Dish soap is designed to break down oil — one part of a dish soap compound attracts oil, while the other part attracts water. When you apply dish soap on a stain, the oil-loving side grabs onto the grease. Rinsing it pulls the dish soap molecules away from the grease and lifts out the stain.
Here's how you can use it to remove yellow stains from your white shirts.
In this video, this pit-stained shirt goes from dull to bright with a little dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
The before and after shots at the end are something we can really get behind! We highly recommend trying this recipe on your pitted-out shirts. Here's how to do it.
- Combine one cup dish soap and two cups of hydrogen peroxide
- Pour mixture onto pit stain
- Let it sit for one hour
- Use toothbrush to gently scrub in baking soda
- Throw into the washing machine for one cycle. (We recommend cold water here as well.)
Now that you know the two best ways to remove yellow stains from white shirts, here are some final tips.
Final Tips On Dealing With Yellow Pit Stains
First, don't use bleach to get rid of yellow pit stains. Many articles online recommend this solution, but it can actually make pit stains worse. There’s a laundry list of fabrics that you should never use bleach on, and if your pit-stained shirt has even the smallest percentage of one of those fabrics, bleach could make the stain PERMANENT.
If you’re looking for a quicker way to remove yellow pit stains, try OxiClean. It’s the best option if you don’t want to do any scrubbing or waiting.
Lastly, wear a Thompson Tee to stop pit stains for good. Our sweat proof undershirt is not just a barrier between your white shirts and sweaty skin. It’s built with patented technology that absorbs and releases sweat into the air as a vapor.
Save your white shirts and take a step toward pit stain prevention: Try one risk-free today!