How To Remove Stubborn Underarm Odor And Stains From Clothes
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How To Remove Stubborn Underarm Odor And Stains From Clothes

Underarm Odor And Stains
Underarm odor and stains can make you become less confident when meeting others.

Are you looking for the answer to the question “How to remove underarm odor and stains from clothes?”. You’re not alone. It’s everyone’s problem.

The annoying thing about armpit stains and odor is that it repeats itself every day and dramatically affects your quality of life and relationships.

Not to mention, your favorite shirts with yellow stains might have a trip to the trash bin sooner than they should. What a waste!

I highly recommend that you tackle this as soon as possible and equip yourself with the essential knowledge to prevent the effect of sweats on your clothes.

Read on to know more!

What Causes Underarm Stains And Odor?

Have you ever asked yourself what causes underarm odor or body odor in general? The answer is apocrine glands which are found in your armpit.

Apocrine glands release fats and proteins that attract bacteria and cause unpleasant odors and stains.

Plus, if you are familiar with deodorant products, there’s a good chance that you will notice yellow stains on your shirts which are the results of a chemical reaction between proteins from your armpits and aluminum in deodorants.

Believe it or not, stress can contribute to this problem because when you feel restless, the sweat you produce is far different from your normal sweat – often, it comes with an offensive odor.

One more reason you get underarm stains and smells is that you don’t wash your clothes properly. You might use light-duty detergent, not rinse them well or not take any pretreat action.

Now that you know what causes sweat stains and odor let’s dig deep into various methods to prevent and remove pit stains.

Let’s discover the reason why sweat turns shirts yellow!

Watch this video: Why Does Sweat Turn Shirts Yellow

14 Tricks To Get Rid Of Underarm Odor And Stains From Clothes

Below are 14 effective methods which you can apply right now to attack armpit stains and odor. Most of them use familiar household items so that you can easily find them in the nearest grocery store.

Be patient and choose the best cleaning trick for your items which is both convenient and powerful.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an essential ingredient in many home remedies. Feel free to keep more than one box of it in your house due to its versatility. It can also help you create a powerful approach to erase tea stains on your clothes and many other common troublesome stains.

In this case, baking soda can combat both bad smells from your clothes as well as brighten the yellowed underarm area of your shirt. Keep in mind that baking soda is said to be suitable for white clothes.

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Warm water


Step 1: Create a paste with warm water baking soda. The trick is to add little by little water to baking soda until you achieve the expected consistency.

Step 2: Apply the paste to the smelly area and let it sit for about 15 minutes or overnight.

Step 3: Wash as usual.

Baking Soda Is A Cleaning Ingredient
Baking soda is a versatile cleaning ingredient in your home.

Baking Soda And Laundry Detergent

Baking soda can support the cleaning power of laundry detergent and helps remove bacteria as well as an unpleasant odor. It’s also an important ingredient which can efficiently tackle iron marks on fabric which you can trust. Due to its versatility, don’t hesitate to stock it in your house.

If the smell is too heavy, soak them with baking soda in the washer tub overnight to enhance the cleaning result.

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Laundry detergent
  • A washing machine


Step 1: Add a half cup of baking soda into the washing drum, together with laundry detergent.

Step 2: Wash as usual.

Putting Baking Soda In Washing Machine
Putting baking soda in the washing machine to enhance the cleaning power of laundry detergent.


These little pills can do more than just relieve your headache. When mixed with water, the chemical compound of aspirin becomes salicylic acid which can help remove unwanted stains.

What You’ll Need

  • Aspirin tablets
  • Water
  • An old toothbrush


Step 1: Crush a couple of aspirin tablets into powder.

Step 2: Add a few drops of water and mix to form a paste.

Step 3: Cover the stains with this paste and use a toothbrush to work it into the fabric. Brush gently to remove the sweat mark.

Aspirin Is Used For Cleaning Purpose
Aspirin is often used for cleaning purposes.

Aspirin And Cream Of Tartar

A cream of tartar can be used as a replacement for household bleach; therefore, it can help restore the original appearance of your shirt. When mixing with aspirin, you can create an effective cleaning concoction.

What You’ll Need

  • Non-coated aspirin tablets
  • Warm water
  • Cream of tartar
  • An old toothbrush


Step 1: Make a mixture of 3 aspirin tablets, 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar, and 1 cup of water.

Step 2: Rub it to the underarm stain with an old toothbrush.

Step 3: Let the cleaning solution sit for at least 20 minutes.

Step 4: Launder as usual.

Step 5: If the stain persists, repeat steps 2,3,4.

Cream Of Tartar Helps Brighten Shirt
A cream of tartar helps you brighten your shirt.

Hydrogen Peroxide And Water

Hydrogen peroxide is said to kill germs and bleach color from fabric (1). Therefore, it’s perfect for removing stains and odor from white clothes.

What You’ll Need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Water
  • A bucket


Step 1: In a bucket, mix an equal part of hydrogen peroxide with water.

Step 2: Soak your tops in the cleaning solution for 30-40 minutes.

Step 3: Wash as normal with cold water.

Step 5: Re-soak if necessary.

Hydrogen Peroxide Is Eliminating Stains
Hydrogen peroxide is perfect for eliminating stains from white items.

Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can be a winning combination if you have ever tried it as a home remedy for cleaning clothes, especially for cotton, white, and washable fabrics.

Below is a step-by-step instruction on how to use this combination:

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • An old toothbrush
  • Water


Step 1: Blend the same amount of water, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. Mix well to create a paste.

Step 2: Cover the stain with this paste, or you can dab undiluted white vinegar onto the stains and let the mixture stand for 30 minutes or longer if needed.

Step 3: Gently scrub the yellow spot with a toothbrush.

Step 4: Toss in the washing machine using hot or cold water. Wash with heavy-duty detergent and dry as usual.

Let’s see how to clean your shirt with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide quickly!

Watch this video: Removing Yellow Deodorant

White Vinegar And Heavy-Duty Laundry

White vinegar is suitable for eliminating stains and unwanted smells from both white and colored fabric. The acetic acid in distilled white vinegar can dissolve stains and also whiten the whites and brighten the color of clothes.

What You’ll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • A soft-bristled brush
  • A bucket
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent


Step 1: Mix 1 part of white vinegar with 1 part of water.

Step 2: Rub the solution on yellow spots with a soft-bristled brush for a while.

Step 3: Then immerse the whole garment in the bucket of cool water and 1 cup of white vinegar.

Step 4: Let it stay in the bucket for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Machine wash with a heavy-duty detergent.

Vinegar Is Versatile Household Ingredient
Vinegar is a versatile household ingredient.

White Vinegar

Here’s another vinegar cleaning option for you to try:

What You’ll Need

  • White vinegar
  • A washing machine


Step 1: Toss your clothes into the washing machine and fill them with water.

Step 2: Pour ⅓ cup of vinegar straight into the drum of the washing machine or in the laundry draw.

Step 3: Turn off the machine and let it sit for 20 minutes.

Step 4: Launder as normal.

Dish Soap And Hydrogen Peroxide

Believe it or not, you can try the mixture of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide and get the desired result on the first attempt.

For some who don’t know, this cleaning concoction can be super helpful ways to get rid of cooking and vegetable oil on the fabric. As far as I know, it’s strong enough to loosen most organic stains.

What You’ll Need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • An old toothbrush
  • Baking soda


Step 1: Combine with the ratio of 1:1 dishwashing liquid and hydrogen peroxide to make a simple odor and stain removal solution.

Step 2: Pretreat the crusty armpit area with this blend. Allow it to sit for an hour.

Step 3: For extra cleaning effect, sprinkle some baking soda on the stain, and scrub gently with a toothbrush.

Step 4: Wash as usual.

Find out an easy guide to remove yellow stains on the armpits of your shirt!

Watch this video: Remove Ugly Yellow Armpit Stains


Salt is a super stain removal option on clothing which you surely have a lot in the kitchen. It’s powerful, natural, chemical-free, and affordable.

What You’ll Need

  • Water
  • Salt
  • A soft sponge


Step 1: Dissolve 4 tablespoons of salt in 1 quart of water.

Step 2: Use a soft sponge to dab salty water onto the stain.

Step 3: Keep doing it until the stain disappears.

Step 4: Wash as normal.

Salt Is A Pantry Friendly Staple
Salt is a pantry-friendly staple you should have at home.

Denture Tablets

Denture tablets are made to get rid of yellow stains from false teeth. Therefore, it can be utilized to do the same thing with your items. Let’s check it out!

What You’ll Need

  • Denture tablets
  • Water
  • A bucket


Step 1: Add 4 denture tablets to the bucket and fill it with water. Stir well to make a solution.

Step 2: Soak your shirt overnight to saturate the stain and odor. If you’re in a hurry, take your items out after at least 8 hours.

Step 3: Wash as you often do.

Denture Tablets Removing Underarm Stains
Denture tablets can be useful in removing underarm stains.

Oxygen-Based Bleach And Ammonia

This method is considered one of the most heavy-duty cleaning solutions you can make at home. To achieve immediate results, try it.

What You’ll Need

  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • Household ammonia
  • Rubber gloves
  • A soft brush


Step 1: To protect your hands from chemicals, I highly recommend wearing gloves before cleaning. Gather all materials in a well-ventilated room.

Step 2: Mix 1 part of oxygen-based bleach with 1 part of ammonia. It’s advised that 2 tablespoons of each are enough for 1 shirt. Based on this estimation, you can use a reasonable amount to tackle all of your items.

Under no circumstance should you use chlorine bleach because the combination of chlorine and ammonia will create harmful gas for your health and clothes.

Step 3: Gently scrub the underarm spot in 1 minute. Allow the blend to sit for 10 minutes.

Step 4: Wash as normal.

Using Ammonia And Oxygen Based Bleach
Using ammonia and oxygen-based bleach can show the results promptly.


If you can’t find any cleaning option around your house, reach for cheap vodka and use it to remove pit stains.

What You’ll Need

  • Vodka
  • Water


Step 1: Apply the 1:1 ratio when mixing vodka and water to produce a cleaning solution.

Step 2: Place the stained shirt into the solution in 30 minutes.

Step 3: Launder as you would usually do.

This Alcohol Drink Remove Armpit Stains
This alcohol drink can remove armpit stains effectively.


Remember to test mouthwash in a small, hidden area of your shirt before applying it to the underarm stains. If it does not harm your garment, let’s follow the cleaning guide below:

What You’ll Need

  • A mouthwash product of your choice (Listerine or Scope)


Step 1: Wet the entire affected spot with mouthwash. You might need to add several cups of it to saturate the yellow stain and stinky odor.

Step 2: Wait for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3: Toss the shirt into the washing machine and wash as usual.

Mouthwash Is A Cleaning Method
Mouthwash is an effective cleaning method for armpit stains and odor.

Washing Soda

Washing soda, also known as soda ash or sodium carbonate, is a popular cleaning component in both homemade and commercial cleaning formulas.

Sometimes, it can be used as a quick method to enhance the laundry quality, treat hard water as well as easily get rid of food stains on your clothing items. Let’s clean your shirt with washing soda!

What You’ll Need

  • Washing soda
  • Rubber gloves


Step 1: Put on rubber gloves for protection.

Step 2: Cover the need-to-treat area with ¼ cup of washing soda.

Step 3: Dab water to the stain and work the washing soda into the fabric with your finger.

Step 4: Leave the gel on the stain for half an hour.

Step 5: Wash as usual.

Here’s an instruction to get an armpit smell out of your shirt quickly.

Watch this video: Removing Smells From Clothes

Vinegar, Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide, Salt, And Water

Let’s gather all the cleaning ingredients you have used in the methods above and see the results.

What You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Warm water
  • Salt
  • A small bucket


Step 1: Soak your items in a bucket filled with a solution made from 2 cups of warm water and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar in 30 minutes.

Step 2: Then, mix ½ cup of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide.

Step 3: Take the shirt out of the bucket. Squeeze the water from your clothes.

Step 4: Apply the above paste all over the stain and wait for another 20 minutes.

Step 5: Launder as normal.

Combination Of Vinegar Baking Soda
It’s hard to find a solution that can beat the combination of vinegar, baking soda, and other cleaning ingredients.

Meat Tenderizer

Meat tenderizer is used to break down protein in meat and make it softer. For this reason, it can break down protein in sweat stains and help remove them more easily.

What You’ll Need

  • Meat tenderizer


Step 1: Dampen the armpit area.

Step 2: Apply a thick layer of meat tenderizer on the stain. Let it sit for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Wash and dry as usual.

Murphy Oil Soap

Murphy oil soap is a well-known cleaning product that is used for floor, furniture, wood, and more. It’s perfect for both indoor and outdoor household tasks.

You can utilize its cleaning properties to tackle underarm odor and stains from your garments.

What You’ll Need

  • Murphy oil soap
  • Water
  • An old toothbrush


Step 1: Wet the armpit area of your shirt with water.

Step 2: Apply oil soap on the need-to-treat spot and use an old toothbrush to scrub gently. Leave it to sit for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Launder as normal.

Murphy Oil Soap
Murphy oil soap has been popular for more than 90 years.

Raise Armpit Stain Remover

Raise is a pre-wash product designed to eliminate yellow armpit stains on your clothes. It’s suitable for both fresh and old underarm buildups. Notably, you can use it for white shirts.

What You’ll Need

  • Raise armpit stain remover
  • An old toothbrush
  • A large towel


Step 1: Place your garment on the large towel and pour a good amount of Raise to cover the spot entirely.

Step 2: Scrub the stain with an old toothbrush.

Step 3: Let it stay for 20 minutes.

Step 4: Wash as usual.


Lemons can lend you a helping hand when trying to remove armpit stains and odor like vinegar; its acid has antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

What You’ll Need

  • Lemons
  • Water


Step 1: Squeeze lemons to get lemon juice. Create a mixture with the 1:1 ratio of lemon juice and water.

Step 2: Dab this mixture onto the stain and rub it with your fingers.

Step 3: Leave it there for 30 minutes.

Step 4: Launder as normal.

Lemons Are A Natural Cleaning
Lemons are a natural cleaning option you can trust.

Lemon Juice, Salt, Vinegar, And Enzyme Stain Remover

This homemade remedy is super effective for white stains on dark clothes, which are caused by sweat buildup. Let’s follow my detailed instructions below to get the best result.

What You’ll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
  • An old toothbrush
  • Enzyme pre-wash stain remover


Step 1: Blend 1 tablespoon of salt with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to form a paste.

Step 2: Use the toothbrush to apply the cleaning solution and scrub the white area of your garment gently.

Step 3: Allow it to sit for 15 minutes.

Step 4: Rinse with cold water to remove the mixture of salt and lemons completely.

Step 5: For the remaining parts of the stain, apply enzyme pre-wash stain remover and rub to work it into the fabric. Let it stand for 15 minutes.

Step 6: Toss it into the washing machine. Add laundry detergent and 1 cup of vinegar. For those who wonder, vinegar helps restore the original color of the armpit area.

Lemon And Salt Will Boost The Cleaning
Lemon and salt will boost the cleaning ability of this solution.

Pro Tips To Say Goodbye To Underarm Odor and Stains On Your Items

While these methods are great, there are some more valuable tips you should bear in mind to get the ultimate result. Keep scrolling to discover.

Wash Your Clothes As Soon As Possible

Don’t hang out in your sweaty gym shirt or leave it in the corner of your room for a day. It would be best if you could wash it immediately. This might stop the bacteria from multiplying in the underarm area.

If you’re tight on schedule and can’t do so, try putting your items in the freezer. Low temperature can hinder the development of bacteria and buy you some time.

Air Out The Clothes, Preferably Under Sunlight

Sunlight can help remove unpleasant odor from your clothes and freshen up your garments as long as you keep them outside long enough.

Hanging your clothes in a well-ventilated area of your house will also do the trick. Turn on fans to support airflow and let them dry naturally.

Hanging Your Clothes Under The Sun
Hanging your clothes outside under the sun is a natural way to freshen up your fabric and remove odor.

Wash Sweaty Clothes In A Proper Way

Pay attention to the detergent product you’re using. Is it a heavy-duty detergent? Is it powerful enough to deal with sweat stains? Choosing a more suitable product can be the first step to making your washing easier.

You might want to wash with the right amount of laundry detergent. Too little and your items still smell terrible; too much detergent makes the water become dense and makes it hard to clean whatever you put in the washing machine.

For stubborn buildup, you should turn your shirt inside out so that the cleaning solution can contact directly with the stain.

Sometimes, adding baking soda straight to the drum could quickly remove stains and odor.

Steam Cleaning Your Garments

Steam cleaning is a popular eco-friendly method to lift stains and sanitize the surface of fabrics. It also kills mold, bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and more. (2) Therefore, you can shop for this practical household cleaning application and use it to eliminate sweat stains and odor.

Choose Better Deodorant Products

Opt for aluminum-free, skin-friendly, and natural products if you don’t want to look at yellow stains on your shirt anymore. As I have mentioned earlier, the chemical reaction of aluminum and sweat is the main reason for these stubborn and unsightly underarm spots.

When using deodorant, make sure it dries before wearing your shirt. Another way to protect your favorite clothes is to put on an undershirt.

Reapplying with your deodorant is an excellent way to prevent unpleasant odor but keep in mind that you should use it moderately.

Keep Your Armpits Clean

Shaving your armpits and taking a bath every day are the two essential things to help you prevent offensive odor in this area of your body.


Deodorant stains can cause you a lot of trouble, but you can learn to deal with them. If there’s any question related to this topic, let me know so you and I can discuss it further to find out the best answer. Below are some top-rated questions; let’s see:

Why Do The Underarm Area Of My Shirts Smell After Washing?

Sweat odor, especially from the armpit area, is considered a hard-to-remove smell; therefore, you can’t eliminate it just with normal washing. It would be helpful if you use heavy-duty detergent, pretreat the stain, or find a way to kill the bacteria in the fabric.

How To Get Rid Of Deodorant Marks From A White Shirt?

You can use baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or aspirin to tackle sweat stains from white items. Each of them will work wonders on your clothes and make them white again.

How To Get Deodorant Stains Out Of Dark And Colored Shirts?

For colored garments, including dark and colored clothes, I suggest using vinegar to saturate the stains and remove odor. This simple pantry ingredient has a cleaning power over stubborn marks without discoloring your garments.

What Do You Do To Banish Perspiration Odor From Clothing?

You can try soaking your clothes in a solution of soda or vinegar with water for a while, then wash them as usual in the washing machine.

How Do You Get Underarm Odor From Dry Clean Only Clothes?

Vodka could be an ideal cleaning method you can try for dry clean only clothes. Just turn them inside out, hang and spray vodka directly onto the stain and air them dry in a well-ventilated area.

Why Do My Dark-Colored Shirts Turn White When I Sweat?

Your sweat contains a high amount of salt; therefore, you will gradually notice a white mark developing on your shirt if you don’t wash it properly.

Prevention Is The Key

Feel free to experiment with all of my above methods to fight against underarm odor and stains from your clothes. It’s a safe bet that you will discover a suitable trick to apply daily.

However, in my opinion, I think “prevention is the key.” If you pay more attention to your hygienic habits, you might save yourself a lot of time and effort to get rid of armpit stains and smells. Also, it makes you feel more confident when buying and wearing any clothes you like.

Let me make it simple so that you can grab my idea immediately. For example, you can switch from regular deodorant to aluminum-free, natural antiperspirant or stop consuming alcohol, onions, garlic regularly or wash daily, to name a few.

Changing your habits can lead to many positive results, which you should try as soon as possible.

How can you deal with underarm odor and stains? Tell me your story and experiences about this topic.

Let’s drop a line in the comment section!

How To Remove Stubborn Underarm Odor And Stains From Clothes


[1] Cleveland Clinic. 2021. What Is Hydrogen Peroxide Good For?.

[2] 2021. Steam cleaning – Wikipedia.

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Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

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