How to Remove Deodorant Stains

How to Remove Deodorant Stains

No one wants to find white marks from deodorant on their favorite women's blouse or dress. Even if you’re careful when getting dressed, you may still find these stains on your clothing. The good news is that you can remove deodorant marks with household items you may already have on hand. Here’s how to remove deodorant stains:

Ways to Remove Deodorant Stains

Deodorant stains are unsightly, but they’re also relatively simple to remove. Check out these five strategies for eliminating white streaks and spots:

1. White Vinegar

White vinegar is one of the most versatile household items you can have in the cabinet. It has plenty of kitchen uses, and it’s an effective stain remover. To remove deodorant stains from clothing using white vinegar, combine one cup of vinegar with one cup of hot water. Let your garment soak for 45 minutes, then brush the stain with a scrub brush if it’s still there.

To complete the vinegar treatment, rinse the item in cold water and launder it as you usually would—whether that’s in your washing machine or by hand.

2. Lemon Juice

Another way to remove deodorant stains from clothing is with lemon juice. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water—enough to cover the stain—and apply it to the area. If your garment is white or light-colored, you can even place it outside in the sun for an hour to boost the effectiveness of the lemon juice.

Rinse your apparel item in cold water and see if the stain is still visible. If so, repeat the treatment or try a different method. If the stain is gone, wash your garment as usual.

3. Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide

Power away those unwanted white marks with a mixture of dish soap to two parts hydrogen peroxide. Use a toothbrush to work the mixture into the stain and allow it to sit for one hour. Rinse the clothing item in cold water and check to see if the stain has been removed before laundering.

4. Pinch of Salt

Gather enough hot water to submerge your stained garment, then add a few tablespoons of salt. Soak the item for an hour, then look to see if the stain is gone. If it’s still there, use a toothbrush to scrub a saltwater paste into it with circular motions. Rinse again in cool water and launder as normal.

5. Aspirin

Aspirin is an unexpected stain remover that may already be in your medicine cabinet. You’ll want to ensure that the uncoated tablets dissolve properly. Two tablets to one-half cup water are enough to create a powerful, stain-busting potion. Saturate the stained area with the aspirin and water mixture and allow it to sit for an hour. Rinse with cool water. If the stain is gone, wash the item in your machine or by hand. If the white marks are still there, try a second application.

The Science Behind Deodorant

You might be wondering “How do deodorant and antiperspirant work?” and “Why does deodorant leave such persistent stains?” Well, it's actually pretty simple. According to “Deodorants contain aluminum and zinc salts, and fragrance to mask the smell of perspiration. Most conventional antiperspirants rely on aluminum compounds, like aluminum trichlorohydrex gly, which plug the sweat ducts, and stop sweat coming to the skin's surface.” It turns out that the aluminum salts and compounds that are found frequently in deodorant and antiperspirant just leave chalky marks. So, if you apply deodorant and it isn’t dry or clear, it can transfer to your clothes and leave white marks under your armpits as well. So, it’s just a result of the ingredients within the antiperspirant or deodorant.

How to Prevent Deodorant Marks Before They Strike

In addition to knowing how to remove deodorant stains, it’s good to know how to prevent them. 

Changing your Products

One of the easiest ways to prevent these unsightly marks is by using a deodorant that’s clear. Multiple deodorant brands on the market offer gel deodorants that don’t leave white residue behind.

If you can’t part with your white deodorant, go lighter on the application. A single swipe is enough to prevent odor and perspiration, especially if you use a brand that works well for you. It may be necessary to try different brands and formulas to find the most effective one.

Another method that some fashion experts swear by is to put your deodorant on after you put on your top. If you do put your deodorant on first, let it dry for a few minutes before getting dressed.

Choose Easy-Care Apparel

Stocking your wardrobe with easy-care, stain-resistant apparel is always a good idea and can help make stain removal easier in the long run. Shop Lands’ End to find turtlenecks, tunics, and women's polo shirts made from sturdy cotton and polyester fabrics. These tops can be worn with women's jeans or jeggings to create an array of versatile outfits.

There’s also an excellent selection of loungewear for women and women's sweatshirts that can be washed in your machine.


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