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Removing Yellow Armpit Stains from Shirts

Q: So I am in my late 40's, and in the last couple years, I seem to suddenly have underarm stains on all of my 100% cotton long-sleeve shirts (button down, dress-shirts). I don't sweat a lot, have tried switching deodorants, and switched from using "All-Clear" to Wisk-- with Clorox-two. The stains are sort of dark, not yellow, especially noticeable on darker shirts. What do I do? I can't keep throwing out shirts! This does not seem to happen to t-shirts I work out or garden in, or really any of my other shirts. Any ideas?

Tip #1: Use some palm olive on the stain and let sit for a while. My grandma used to put white vinegar in with the laundry and it used to work.

Tip #2: I've found that the only way to really remove underarm stains caused by using deoderant, is to dissolve the built up deoderant first, using something like Goo Gone. Squirt some on, let it sit for a bit and scrub. (You might need to squirt on some more). Then wash, using a little more detergent than usual. Check the underarm area before you dry the clothes, you may need to use a bleach (regular, oxygen or even just vinegar, depending on fabric type) to remove the rest of the discoloration, but the results are much more satisfactory than just attacking the stain, without removing the deoderant residue first. Good luck!...Amelia

Tip #3: I have to do my laundry at the local laundermat - needless to say I made friends with the owner at the establishment. One day we had a conversation about this very same subject of all things - bleach will eventually disintegrate the clothing if using it too strong - she told me to use just good old plain white vinegar and you know what, it actually works! I use about a cup to two cups per load depending on just how obnoxious the stains are and it works for me - (My boyfriend has some obnoxious ring-around-the collar stuff going on too) I don't mix it with the bleach however due to one is acidic and one is a base and they will end up neutralizing each other out - so give it a shot (it really is not that expensive after all) I hope it works for you too. I now put a cup of vinegar in just about every load it is really effective on greasy stains as well. Nope the clothes don't wind up smelling like vinegar either - Hope this helps.

Tip #4: I have found that sometimes when I wash shirts, they still smell stinky under the arms. The best way I have found to fill the washer up, add detergent and whatever, let it agitate for a few minutes, then I TURN THE WASHER TO OFF AND LET IT ALL SIT FOR 20 -30 MINUTES, and then continue the cycle. To turn off the washer pull out the knob you push in to start it. Everything just gets cleaner and smells better. One lady once told me, it is the water that cleans, not so much the soap. I saw one website suggested soaking stained shirts in a pail with non-chlorine bleach and water for two days, then washing. I am a big fan of oxy-clean myself. I have also heard some people wash their clothes by letting them soak in a tub full of water and soap overnight.

Tip #5: FRESH STAINS: Pre-treat with a PreWash Liquid Spot treatment (with Enzymes), launder with a powder detergent. OLD STAINS: Soak in vinegar and water (at a 1:8 ratio).

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Rachel Paxton
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