How to Remove Sweat Stains

Woman in pale blue athletic hoodie wearing headphones in green field.

Considering swearing off white shirts forever? Here at Molly Maid, we believe life is too short for sweat stains. Those yellow stains are a common problem and nothing to feel self-conscious about. Follow these simple tips to banish pit stains forever. And remember — everybody sweats!

Why Does Sweat Stain?

Fun fact! (Okay, maybe not that fun.) Sweat is colorless. It’s actually a reaction between your sweat, the bacteria on your skin and your deodorant that causes the staining.

You might be lucky enough to only sweat when you’re working out. But many people suffer from excessive sweat in their everyday lives.

There are some simple ways to prevent sweat from staining clothes in the first place:

  • Wear antiperspirant. Wearing strong antiperspirants can significantly reduce the amount of sweat your armpits produce. Always check the product label to make sure it actually contains antiperspirant ingredients — many products are only deodorants.
  • Apply a thin layer of antiperspirant to clean dry skin before bed. It works best this way!
  • Don’t apply too much deodorant. This can cause even more staining.
  • Wear an undershirt or sweat guards.
  • Trim underarm hair.
  • Clean clothes before sweat dries. You can try applying some lemon juice and water to keep the stain from drying before you can treat the stain. Alternatively, run the shirt under some cold water.

It’s always a good idea to keep a sweater or extra clean shirt at the office. Put those on if you’re feeling sweaty before a big presentation.

How to Remove Sweat Stains

If there’s already a sweat stain on your favorite shirt, it’s time to get cleaning. You can always consult the Molly Maid Stain Removal Guide. It has loads of tips for every cleaning scenario.

Here’s how to remove pit stains:

  • Flush with white vinegar. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with two cups of warm water. Let the stained fabric soak in the mixture for about 30 minutes.
  • If the stain is still there, flush with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide has a bleach-like effect but doesn’t damage color. Blot hydrogen peroxide onto the stain generously and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Launder with hot water. Use your usual laundry detergent.

More Tips for Sweat Stains

Consider these additional tips if you’re dealing with sweat stains:

  • Do not use bleach. Interestingly, bleach is not a good option for sweat stains. It might actually make the stains worse.
  • Don’t try to clean dry-clean-only or silk clothing yourself. Always take those items to your cleaners and point out the stain. They can remove sweat stains for you.

Taking care of the laundry and keeping the house clean can be a serious endeavor. Hiring a trustworthy cleaning service can help lighten your load. Contact your local Molly Maid or call for help today.