Underarm stains are frustrating and can be difficult, but here are 2 easy ways to remedy problem.
Some of the most valuable things I learned in dry cleaning, ironically have nothing to do with dry cleaning. Customers often just had basic laundry questions. Without a solid answer, sometimes I would have to practice with some products and learn by trial and error to ensure I was giving my customers advice I could stand behind.
The results of a long career means I ended up with a bag full of tricks that I am anxious to share with hopes that they bring you some guidance and help in dealing with some common, but stubborn laundry issues.
Underarm stains untreated can be a real chore when you finally get around to treating the issue. A few readily available household supplies and some time to kill and you are ready for the challenge.
Easy ways to remove those pesky yellow rings from the underarms of our favorite white shirts. Caution: I would truly only trust this on a cotton white shirt, color may be compromised on any other material or vibrant colors. Mix one part blue dawn dish soap with two parts hydrogen peroxide, and 1/4 cup baking soda to make a paste. Take an old toothbrush to gently work into the fabric (inside out works best). An option is to add some real lemon juice to the mix for darker stains as well. Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent so be careful if attempting this technique on shirts of color or design. Allow mix to set on affected area for approximately 10 minutes, then wash as you normally would in a detergent of your choice. Dry as you typically would as well.
Easy ways to remove deodorant build up in underarms on dark clothing. You may want to try an indiscreet spot before going to work. Turn shirt inside out. Sprinkle affected area generously with baking soda and gently work it into the fabric with a soft bristle brush. Then pour white vinegar directly on top of the baking soda.
There will be some bubbling from the chemical reaction of the two ingredients, but no worries, it’s doing its job. The fizzy reaction of the combination is useful in breaking down the grimy build up. Gently scrub again with a medium bristle brush to loosen the deodorant. Wash in warm water with your regular detergent and dry as you normally would.
White vinegar will work as well if you don’t have time to scrub. Mix 1cup white vinegar and 2 cups warm water in a basin or bucket and let soak for 25-30 minutes. This method is a color safe option for shirts that are not completely white. Be sure to test a discreet area prior to attempting any spotting techniques.
Now, I have mentioned two methods here that require you to scrub to remove these types of stains. A word of caution, scrubbing or friction separates fibers and will damage the color of the garment if done too aggressively. Easy does it. In dry cleaning, the spotting was the trickiest part of the job because the delicate fabrics didn’t hold up to the need of really being able to attack the stain.
When working on a stain, I ALWAYS tap my brush, I never rub. Tapping will lift the stain effectively. Sometimes rubbing will just grind it further into the fabric and separate the fibers. On cotton you are pretty safe to give it a good scrubbing with no real damage to the shirt, just be mindful and everything should go well.