Have you ever had a soul-crushing moment between you, the iron, and your favorite sweat proof shirt?
You thought the shirt had survived the worst on laundry day, but as soon as heat touched the underarm area, there it was…that muted yet unmistakable odor of stubborn sweat.
Pit stains are the worst. But they are normal.
About 35 percent of both men and women experience at least one weekly "sweat event” or underarm wetness, according to research from Procter & Gamble. A similar study from Unilever indicates that at least 25 percent of adults consider themselves “excessive sweaters”.
Sometimes sweat stains can be impossible to get rid of.
Instead of suffering through trying to clean them, some people opt to throw them away. But this is economically wasteful. And no one wants to keep buying new white shirts every 2 weeks.
There’s some good news, though. Sweat stains and odors don’t have to torment your life.
Read on to discover what causes sweat stains and some easy ways to prevent or remove those unsightly yellow underarm stains from your shirts.
Types of Sweat Stains
To prevent future sweat stains and the resulting odors, one must understand the types of sweat stains that appear on clothes.
Wet Ring Stains
It could be a short jog, a stressful encounter, or a high stakes meeting. Any activity that speeds up your heart rate can produce instant sweat.
When sweat seeps through to an outer shirt, the result is a wet ring.
Wet rings appear within minutes of sweat production. Sometimes they appear in spite of deodorant or antiperspirant. They are particularly visible on light-colored shirts like soft blue, beige, or white.
Yellow Sweat Stains
When your wet ring stains dry up, but you procrastinate dealing with them for a few days, you will likely find a bigger problem: yellow stains.
Yellow stains occur when proteins and bacteria found in sweat mix with the aluminum in antiperspirants. In some cases, yellowing can be caused by overzealous deodorant use.
White Deodorant Stains
Sometimes you may want an extra layer of deodorant before you leave for the day.
Those extra layers create a residue on your skin, which transfers to your shirt. This is what we refer to as a white deodorant stain.
Once the residue sticks to the fabric, basic water wiping will be of no use. These stains may carry over even after washing and drying.
The Science Behind Sweat Stains
Don’t just blame normal or overactive sweat glands for those annoying sweat marks.
Sweat and antiperspirants love cotton undershirts. The yellowing can be so noticeable that your only option is to throw it out.
The active ingredient in most over-the-counter and prescription antiperspirants is aluminum. Sweat is made up of:
- and urea.
On its own, sweat is both colorless and odorless. But when the sweat stays in an enclosed environment, bacteria get involved, causing the telltale smell.
When these elements in sweat mix with antiperspirant ingredients, those annoying yellow pit stains appear. People who regularly wear white undershirts struggle with this daily.
So How Can I Keep My Sweat Proof Undershirts Smelling Nice?
It might take a bit of work, but it is possible to remove sweat stains.
Most garments have laundry and care instructions, and there are many tips, tricks and home remedies for both avoiding and removing pit stains.
One simply has to find the best remedy for their own shirts, clothes, and undershirts.
Here we’ve listed a few strategies below:
Wear Sweat Proof Undershirts
Sweat proof undershirts do more than your regular cotton undershirt. They are designed to keep you cool and comfortable while keeping sweat stains hidden from your outer shirt.
When you have a sweat proof undershirt as your first layer of clothing, you will benefit from an impenetrable barrier.
Sweatshield Undershirts have a special keep cool technology. This means your sweat proof undershirt:
- Blocks sweat stains from forming
- Is luxuriously soft on your skin
- Stops body odor from the source
- Allows heat to escape, keeping you cool
Trim Your Armpit Hair
This simple lifestyle hack can improve your sweat situation tenfold.
Armpit hair traps dirt, bacteria, and sweat. Trimming it can significantly reduce your chances of a thriving sweat environment.
Use Meat Tenderizer
This quirky kitchen remedy has been approved by many.
Meat tenderizers break down chemicals embedded in the fabric. This protects it from underarm odor.
To use this hack:
- Wet the armpit area.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of meat tenderizer over the armpit area.
- Work in well with your fingers.
- Set aside for 20 minutes, then launder.
The best type of vinegar for odor neutralization is white vinegar.
- Fill your washing machine with water.
- Soak the garment in 1/3 cup of white vinegar with the machine off.
- Leave for 20 minutes, then launder.
Combine Baking Soda with Hydrogen Peroxide
This method was once the homemaker’s go-to solution and it still works.
Mix baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water in equal parts. This is for one shirt.
- Scrub the paste into the stained area.
- Leave for 30 minutes or longer.
- Scrape the mixture off of the fabric, then launder.
Use Aspirin and Cream of Tartar
This is another highly acclaimed kitchen hack.
- Combine one tablespoon of cream of tartar with a cup of warm water and three white, uncoated aspirin tablets.
- Rub this solution onto the stained area.
- Leave it for 20 minutes or more, then launder.
- Repeat this method until satisfied.
- Don’t leave sweat on your clothes. The longer the stains sit, the harder they become to remove. You can quickly hand wash sweat stains with some detergent before settling in after a long day.
- Deal with stains and odors on clothes before drying them. Tossing stubborn stains into the dryer can further set them.
- You can eliminate some odors by line drying clothes.
- Opt for natural fabrics as they are more breathable than synthetic ones.
- Allow moisture or sweat to evaporate before throwing clothes into a packed laundry basket.
- Wash clothes regularly, following manufacturer instructions to maintain durability.
- Bleach doesn’t help much with sweat stains. Avoid as much as you can.
- Some stain removers may not be suitable for bright, dark, or colored shirts. Always conduct a swatch test on a small corner of the garment just to be sure.
Stop Sweat Stains in Their Tracks
Mostly we tend to perspire at inconvenient moments. No matter where you are, sweat stains can pop up at any time.
No matter how much you sweat, sometimes regular undershirts are simply no match against sweat stains.
The good news is that you have the power to stop sweat stains from ruining your favorite shirts:
Sweatshield Undershirts are guaranteed to block armpit sweat, which means those stains won’t stand a chance. Here's our complete guide to excessive sweating.
Our sweat proof shirts will keep all your shirts smelling fresh