How to Remove Deodorant Stains

How to Remove Deodorant Stains

Removing deodorant stains from clothing caused by sweat or perspiration is a job that should be treated as soon as is possible.

Most deodorant stains look white or yellow. Getting the stains out depends on a number of factors: The amount of deodorant that was used, the chemicals in the deodorant, the pH level of the sweat, the type of fabric material the garment was made from, and so on.

To get rid of deodorant stains, try these methods to see which works best on your clothes.

Step away from the Bleach

You’ve probably already tried using bleach to remove the stain, but discovered that it does not work. You can bleach the stain till kingdom comes, and your clothing will be in tatters (bleach is destructive and damages fabric) and the stain still remains.

Bleach will not help with deodorant stains, so if you haven’t tried it yet don’t bother.


Borax (or boric acid)is an natural acidic mineral and is the main ingredient in 20 Mule Team Detergent: The mineral is soft white and powder like crystals. Borax can be used for general cleaning and laundry brightening without bleaching.

  • Start with one tablespoon of borax (20 Mule Team) and add just enough water to make a thick paste.
  • Apply the paste to the deodorant stains and rub well.
  • Let the paste dry on the garment for 30 to 60 minutes
  • Launder as usual.

If the stains didn’t come out completely, but they are visibly lighter, make another round of paste. This time, scrub the area with the scratchy side of a clean dish sponge and allow to dry for 30 minutes before washing again.

The borax isn’t as harmful to the fibers of your shirt as bleach is, so you can try the borax method several times on all colors of clothing without risking damage.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Put two to three tablespoons of straight hydrogen peroxide on the stain and rub it in. Allow the solution to sit on the stain for 30 minutes or more away from direct sunlight. (Hydrogen peroxide converts to water when exposed to sunlight.) Hydrogen peroxide is the main ingredient in the “oxy” type cleaning products. Don’t dilute the hydrogen peroxide and don’t mix it with any other type of cleaner.

Enzyme Stain Remover

There are several brands of enzymatic cleaners that work by breaking down the bacteria and enzymes in sweat that cause the deodorant stain. Most are economical and safe for the environment. You can find enzymatic cleaners in the laundry section of your grocery store.

Pretreating the Stain

If all else fails and you don’t have any of the above products in the house, try shampoo. Shampoo is an excellent detergent and will help to break down the natural oils that sweat produces. This method can also be used on yellowing collars too.

  • Drizzle shampoo on the area
  • Rub it in gently.
  • Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Launder as usual.

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