How to Get Yellow Stains Out of White Shirts


This is one of the most common problems that women face!  The easiest solution is never let them happen in the first place (one of the reasons we created our Essential Undershirts).


What causes yellow sweat stains?

Perspiration is mostly water, but the small percentage of other things - ammonia, sodium chloride, urea and lactic acid - are what cause the stains.

What causes underarm odour?

Body odour is created when bacteria reacts with moisture.  Bacteria grows quickly in the presence of perspiration, especially if the pH balance of the skin is off or if moisture remains on the skin for a prolonged period.  Shaving also contributes to bacteria growth because it removes hair which is meant to wick perspiration away from the surface of the skin.

Why don't antiperspirants stop sweat completely?

Antiperspirants do not prevent perspiration they simply reduce the amount you perspire (the FDA requires antiperspirants reduce perspiration by 20% to meet standard guidelines and 30% to be considered extra-effective.

Do antiperspirants cause stains on my clothing?

Yes.  They use aluminum based compounds that cause perspiration ducts to swell and block moisture from releasing.  However, these ingredients bond with perspiration and when they do escape they create stains.

How do you remove yellow stains from white clothing (and any other colour for that matter!)?  Here are our top 7 tips:

  • Baking soda & water.  Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda with a quarter cup of water and scrub into the stain.  Let the mixture sit on the stain for an hour.  Wash in cold water.  Check if stain is removed, if not repeat before drying.
  • Vinegar & water.  Mix equal parts vinegar and water.  Spray onto stain and let sit for an hour.  Wash in cold water.  Check if stain is removed, if not repeat before drying.
  • Hydrogen peroxide & water.  Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water.  Soak stain in mixture for 30-45 minutes.  Wash in cold water.  Check to see if stain is removed, if not repeat before drying.  Note:  hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent so we recommend testing a small area for colour discolouration first.
  • Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda & water.  Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and water and apply to stain.  Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Brush off any dried residue and wash in cold water.  Check if stain is removed, if not repeat before drying.

Two more important tips to remember:

  • Always soak and wash in cold water.  Avoid hot water and the dryer, the heat will set the stains.
  • No bleach.  Even though it may seem like the right solution, chlorine bleach will actually darken the stains when it reacts with the proteins in the sweat.