Deodorant stains on your clothing can be incredibly difficult to remove, especially if they’ve been sitting there for days or even weeks. But you don’t have to resign yourself to throwing away that shirt with deodorant marks on it; instead, try this simple technique that will remove deodorant stains from clothing in no time at all. Read on for step-by-step instructions.
Step 1: Cover Stain With Salt
Sprinkle a generous layer of salt over your clothing to fully cover any areas that are stained. Don’t worry if it looks like too much—it’s better to add more than you need than not enough. Salt can be messy, so wear gloves or old clothes when working with it. Place your clothing on topof a trash bag or newspaper and tape down each side so it doesn’t move around during washing. Let it sit for several hours (or overnight) before moving onto step 2. You should see some change in color after just one hour. If there is no change, let it sit longer. The salt will absorb all of the oils from your deodorant stain and pull them out from under your fabric. It may also help remove other stains as well!
Step 2: Rub Stain
Once you’ve determined where a deodorant stain is, your next step is to rub a dab of toothpaste or baking soda into it. It’s best to avoid applying these compounds with your fingers as they will not only dirty them, but also run the risk of transferring bacteria and oils from your hands onto your clothing, which can cause stains in their own right. Rather, rub them directly onto a clean cloth that can then be applied to your clothing. Toothpaste works particularly well for white clothes, while baking soda should be used on darker items. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing away.
Step 3: Try vinegar
I’ve tested many different methods, and I find that vinegar works best. Simply soak a cotton ball in vinegar and apply it to your deodorant stain. Let it sit for at least an hour, then launder as usual. If you don’t see any improvement after an hour, repeat until you do. If you do see improvement but still have some residual discoloration or smell, try repeating with a few more applications of vinegar before laundering again. If you have time, let it sit overnight before laundering; if not, just go ahead and run your regular wash cycle immediately after applying the vinegar solution.
Step 4: Use Aspirin
In case you’re wondering, aspirin does indeed work wonders for removing deodorant stains. The acids in an aspirin solution help break down deodorant stains and remove them entirely. Simply crush a few aspirins and add them to some warm water, allowing them to dissolve. Apply the solution directly to your stain with a brush or cotton ball, let it sit for 30 minutes or so, then follow up with laundry detergent as normal. Aspirin is also effective at treating armpit sweat stains on shirts. However, keep in mind that it can take several treatments to completely eliminate a stubborn armpit sweat stain from clothing. So don’t give up!
Step 5: Wash as Usual
You can now throw your clothes in with your regular laundry. Be sure to use cold water when doing so, as hot water sets deodorant stains. And, just to be sure you are completely removing them from clothing, wash a second time on its own. If there is any staining left behind by that point, we don’t know what will get it out for you. But if you follow these steps, though, you should have no problem at all!
Step 6: Post-Cleaning Tip
When washing clothes, use a detergent meant for delicate fabrics. Treat stains immediately with cold water and a light touch. Repeat several times if necessary, then wash in warm water with regular detergent. Apply rubbing alcohol to remaining stains until they disappear before laundering again in warm water and regular detergent. When done washing, run an empty dryer cycle to remove excess moisture from clothing and clear out residual odors caused by odor-causing bacteria. Hang dry or put clothes on a drying rack so air can circulate through them as they dry. If your garments have been stained by perspiration, consider treating them with oxygen bleach (available at most grocery stores) or color-safe bleach alternative instead of other bleaches to avoid discoloration of white fabric.