When you get ready to go out, you select the clothes, footwear, etc. that make you look good. In addition to this, you add a fantastic fragrance as a cherry on the icing to smell good when you meet someone out there. These deodorants or perfumes might leave some stains on your clothes that will make them look bad. It is very disheartening to see your favorite outfit getting spoiled and knowing that you won’t be able to wear it any longer.
While you must be looking for alternatives to deodorants or maybe something to prevent sweating, we have come up with some methods for deodorant stain removal from your clothes. This article will take you through a series of quick fixes so that you can say goodbye to the deodorant stains, that too in an inexpensive way. These home remedies will let you enjoy wearing whatever you wish without any worry of stains.
Why do Deodorant Stains Occur?
If this article has drawn your attention, you might be one of those whose favorite dress has been affected severely due to the deodorant stains. Before we learn about the removal of these unwanted stains, let’s first get to know why do deodorant stains occur.
Deodorants are not just a combination of chemicals which prevent odor, but they also contain antiperspirants. This diversifies their functionality, which means, besides avoiding bacteria that produce odor, the deodorants are even capable of preventing the formation of sweat. While this may sound exciting, but it is the most common culprit to be held accountable as to why we need to wonder “how to remove deodorant stains?”.
Antiperspirant contains aluminum-based compounds like aluminum chloride which are the ones to get the task done. A deodorant spray, when applied on a body, causes the sweat ducts to swell. It results in blocking the sweat so that the sweat cannot produce the unwanted smell. But, we are not aware that these active compounds are also pretty acidic in nature, therefore when they combine with the sweat; the clothes to develop stains which are very hard to remove.
Why Should we Opt for Natural Home Remedies Over Stain Washing Detergents?
Did that question just hit your mind too? Well, we have a logical answer to it. We all are aware that there are a variety of products which are available in the market for solving the purpose of stain removal. Moreover, many of them are promoted as they can be used to get stain-free clothes in the first wash, while some claim gradual cleaning and stain removal with each wash.
Are you aware that the detergents used are full of chemicals which directly affect the quality of your clothes as well as may adversely impact your health too? The health-related effects may range from some allergies and skin irritation to hormonal imbalance and even life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. These detergents also reduce the life of the clothes by making them lose their color and go thin by getting to the fibers (1).
To stay away from all the mentioned problems, it is better to do the stain removal by natural ways. The natural remedies not only leave you with clean and stain free clothes but also freshens them up. The results of these home remedies might not be instant or can take some time, but they will not harm your health in any way. Once you know that the solutions are working for you, the use of deodorants or perfumes can be done without any problem.
[ Read: How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes ]
Home Remedies to Remove Deodorant Stains Naturally
1. Lemon and Water
Lemon is one of the most commonly used ingredients for a wide range of purposes. From a chilled lemonade drink in the hot summer and the sour taste added to our favorite dishes for enhancing the yummy experience to the skin benefits like the removal of pigmentation & acne, lemon has countless advantages and uses in our daily lives. Adding more to the list of benefits, lemon can also be the answer to how to get rid of deodorant stains.
Lemon is already famous as a cleaning agent due to its fresh aroma and degreasing properties (2). This kitchen ingredient it is rich in citric acid, which assists it in the process of cleaning (3). Moreover, the citrus effect offers an excellent bleaching action too, specifically in the presence of the sunlight.
Even though the effects of lemon juice are not as instant and strong as the chlorine bleach, it should still be able to remove the stains within some time of application. In case, you are not able to fulfill your motive; you can simply use a blotting paper or a clean white cloth to dilute the concentrations of citric acid and slow down the pace of the bleaching process. The steps to administer this remedy are simple and are as follows –
- Turn the fabric inside out and rinse it with water
- Prepare a mixture of lemon and water in equal amount
- Apply the prepared paste to the stained part of your cloth
- Allow the fabric to remain exposed to the sunlight for an hour
- Rinse it generally as you do in your washing machine
- Let it dry and prepare yourself to witness the magic of the natural agent – lemon
2. White Vinegar
White vinegar is a weak acid which is a colorless substance that can be found in either solid or liquid form. Also known as acetic acid, it gives out a pungent smell when combined with water and is sour in taste. It is usually made by fermenting fresh and natural sweet cider into hard cider which is then fermented again. The product obtained after second fermentation is what we call as white vinegar (4). It has a pH value of about 2.4. It has been a part of a vast range of medicinal solutions since centuries (5). The bleaching properties of white vinegar make it suitable for the list of home remedies to get deodorant stains out.
Besides being a bleaching agent, acetic acid is also capable of killing the foul odor that comes from the clothes and acts as a grease cutter too (6, 7). It brightens and whitens the clothes while softening the fabric. There is a wide variety of vinegar which is available in the market, but what makes white vinegar the most suitable one is the absence of tannins in it. What it does is that it ensures the staining is not increased and it is also a low-cost option as well. Along with battling the underarm odor, it also possesses a capacity to reduce lint and pet hair from clothes. Its disinfectant property helps it fight bacteria and germs, and makes it a valuable product (8).
If you are searching for an answer to how to remove deodorant stains from black clothing, white vinegar is the product you need to use. If you are looking to use it for dark clothes (preferably black), then you will find out that it further darkens the shades and adds to the grace of the clothes. Let’s trace the step by step process to exercise this remedy on your clothes –
- Mix some white vinegar with water. It is done to dilute the concentrations of acetic acid to avoid its harmful impact on clothes if any.
- Soak the stained part of the cloth in this solution for about 60 minutes
- Take the cloth out and use an old & clean toothbrush to brush the stain off
- Put the cloth in the machine with a good detergent to wash it
- Once washed, let it dry and observe the changes
3. Baking Soda and Water
If you are wondering how to remove deodorant stains from clothing, the solution of baking soda and water is another valuable option for you. It is chemically called as sodium carbonate and is naturally present in all the living beings. You might have heard about it often as a medicinal remedy, specifically to treat acidity problems. Being a mild alkali, it is an excellent cleaning agent too. It is capable of causing the dirt and grease to dissolve in water, aiding its removal. Also, since it is a gentle compound, it does not cause any harm to the fabric of the clothes.
Moreover, baking soda is a fantastic deodorizer which helps it neutralize the smell (9, 10). The benefits of baking soda are not limited to stain removal only; it can also be mixed with detergents and bleaches for better results. Baking soda enhances the action of these ingredients. To get rid of unwanted stains from your clothes and make them as new again, you need to follow the given steps –
- Mix baking soda and lukewarm water in a mixing bowl. The ratio of baking soda to water should be 2:1.
- Mix it well to form a paste
- Apply this paste to the stained portion of the cloth and let it stand for about one hour
- Wash it off in washing machine after that
- Dry the washed cloth, and it will be ready for use
4. White Vinegar and Baking Soda
We have already mentioned how both these ingredients, baking soda and white vinegar, are useful for stain removal. So, without going in depth with the wide range of benefits offered by both the compounds, its time to understand the process of forming a wonder mixture by combining the two. The steps that you need to follow for this deodorant stain removal are as follows –
- Take 2 cups of white vinegar, ½ cup of baking soda, 2 cups of hot water and a tablespoon of liquid detergent
- Form a paste by preparing a mixture
- Apply the created paste to the affected portion of the cloth
- Leave it unattended for about 2 hours
- Wash it off and see the result
5. Baking Soda And Lemon
This combination of acid and salt is also an excellent alternative if you are looking for deodorant stain removers. Let’s see how to form and use this concoction –
- Prepare a paste by mixing baking soda with lemon
- Rinse the cloth to be cleaned once
- Rub the paste against the stain
- Leave the cloth untouched for about an hour. Place it in sunlight if you can.
- Rinse off the cloth
- Rewash it using detergent
- Dry it off for use
6. Nylon Stockings
Does it sound like I’m kidding? But, to your relief, I am not. The nylon stockings can be used for the purpose of the removal of deodorant stains off your clothes. It is also a method to look forward at if you want a cost-effective and DIY solution to the query – how to remove white deodorant stains from clothing.
Just take a nylon stocking, a dry towel or clean socks. Rub one of these against the stain. Pop the cloth in the washing machine with the detergent you use regularly. The stains might disappear after the washing of the cloth is done.
[ Read: Remove Oil Stains from Concrete ]
Borax is a naturally existing mineral which contains sodium, boron, oxygen, and water (11). It is free of toxic fumes and does not have any harmful impact on the environment. However, borax should not be ingested because it may cause skin irritation. It enhances the efficiency of detergents to clean better and remove the stains. Besides this, it is strongly recommended for getting the water rid of hardness and also controls the odor.
The best part of using borax for removing the stains is that it gets the deodorant stains off without having caused the fabric to lose its color. You can follow the given steps for using borax to get rid of deodorant stains –
- Take a tablespoon of borax and put it in a mixing bowl
- Add water to it in an amount sufficient enough to form a thick and smooth paste
- Apply the paste to the stains and rub it well
- Allow the paste to dry over the stain for about ½ an hour to 1 hour
- Wash it in the washing machine normally
- Let it dry
In case, you do not observe significant effects on the first application; you can repeat the remedy. Since borax does not have a bleaching effect, it will not cause any harm to the fibers of the clothes due to using it multiple times.
It is another name for acetylsalicylic acid which is often used for treating numerous ailments such as arthritis, toothaches, heart diseases and other pains caused by the inflammation (12). The acidic properties of this medicinal wonder also make it a fantastic cleaner which can help you in removing the deodorant stains. The salicylic acid present in the aspirin dissolves the stains by attacking the compounds which form the sweat and decompose them. All you got to do is described in the steps mentioned below –
- Crush two to four aspirin tablets and add the obtained powder to the mixing bowl
- Add about half to one cup of water to it, depending upon the amount of powdered aspirin in the bowl
- Soak the stained part of the cloth in the paste. Also, you can spray some solution directly onto the stain using a spray bottle
- Wait for about an hour or two
- Rub the stain more and wash the cloth in the washing machine using detergent, as you do normally
9. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a compound formed by the combination of two atoms of hydrogen and two atoms of oxygen. It is a standard part of medicine kits which are used for cleaning and disinfecting the minor wounds, battle the fungus located on foot, get rid of bad breath, fight with various infections and much more. So, it is the time to take the bottle of hydrogen peroxide out from the first aid kit and put it to the use of your laundry purposes.
Hydrogen peroxide is a great stain remover which also whitens and brightens the fabric. Moreover, it exhibits the odor dissolving and disinfection capabilities. It is an oxidizing agent which can also be used as a bleach in the laundry (13). This bleach is safer as compared to the other bleaches such as chlorine. This is how you can apply it for cleaning the deodorant stains from your clothes –
- Rinse the stain with some lukewarm water
- Apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain in a generous amount
- Allow it to rest on the stain for a minimum duration of half an hour
- Rub the stain gently using a soft brush or towel. Stop rubbing once you observe significant improvements in the stain affected area since over rubbing might cause the fabric to weaken.
- Rinse the stain with lukewarm water once again
10. Meat Tenderizer
Next in our list of deodorant stains remover is the meat tenderizer. Yes, you read it right. Meat tenderizer, which is often used for tenderizing the meat can also be used for removing the deodorant stains off your clothes. How does it work? Let’s find out.
Sweat stains are composed of proteins. What the meat tenderizer does is that it breaks down these proteins, thereby dissolving the stains. Also, it contains enzymes known as papain (14). These enzymes react with the organic matter which loosens the bonds of the stain and results in causing them to break down without damaging the fabric of the cloth. Its administration is simple and can be done as follows –
- Take the stained cloth and wash it in warm water
- Sprinkle some meat tenderizer over the stain. It should be enough to cover the entire stain
- Allow it to rest for about an hour
- Brush off the tenderizer and wash it as you generally do
An alternative method for the application of this remedy is to apply the paste of meat tenderizer instead. You can prepare this by mixing some water and meat tenderizer. Rub this paste onto the stain and let it stay for an hour. After that, wash it off as usual.
11. Table Salt
Table salt is one of the most versatile compounds existing in nature. It has been employed for a wide variety of applications such as seasoning and protection of food items and cleaning as well. It works as a gentle and effective scrubbing agent. It also boosts the functioning of other cleaning agents, such as vinegar, lemon juice, and detergents as well. It is capable of brightening the clothes (15). Just following these following steps to apply table salt and get rid of deodorant stains naturally –
- Soak the stained portion of the cloth in lemon water
- Expose it to direct sunlight for 15 minutes
- Sprinkle some amount of table salt on the stain and scrub it gently. You can simply use a brush for the same.
- Rinse it with cold water and leave it in the sunlight for drying. Drying in the sun would enhance the overall impact of this remedy to lighten the stain.
12. Oxygen Bleach
Oxygen bleach, also known as sodium percarbonate, is a compound formed by natural soda crystals and hydrogen peroxide. Its action is slower than the chlorine bleach, but it is considered as a more eco-friendly alternative. As compared to the chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach brightens the fabrics without causing any harm to them. Oxygen bleaches generally consist of sodium perborate, sodium percarbonate, and hydrogen peroxide. Some of them also might possess compounds such as dyes or anticaking ingredients.
When oxygen bleach in dry form comes in contact with the water, it oxidizes to dissolve the compounds which form the stains and also brightens the fabric (16). Oxygen bleaches can also be used to enhance the action of your regular detergent. This remedy can be exercised for dark as well as light shade fabrics for the removal of deodorant stains. Its usage is pretty simple; you have to just follow these simple steps –
- Mix 1 or 2 tablespoons of oxygen bleach in a gallon of water
- Soak the stained clothes in the formed solution and let them rest there for an hour. In case you are applying it for other stains which are tough, you can soak it overnight so that there will be an increase in the amount of oxygen bleach
- Wash the clothes off normally
[ Read: How to Get Nail Polish Out of Clothes ]
13. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is an amazing compound which can be used for getting rid of deodorant stains (17, 18). It is chemically known as Isopropyl alcohol and is one of the most preferred cleaning agents to assist with the removal of stubborn stains. This home remedy is useful for sticky and gummy residues and sap or chewing gums from fabrics and also other surfaces.
This is the reason why rubbing alcohol is commonly used as an ingredient in various cleaning solutions. Apart from this, it is also a potent disinfectant to keep the fabric free of different infectious organisms. Its application can be administered as follows –
- Mix rubbing alcohol with water in the ratio of 1:2
- Stir them well so that they mix well with each other
- Apply the mixture to the affected area
- Let it stay there for about 15 to 30 minutes and wash the fabric as usual
14. Enzymatic Treatments
Enzymes are basically the compounds which speed up the reactions. For cleaning purposes, they are conventionally added to the detergents to augment their cleaning action. Enzymes, such as proteases and amylases are the active ingredients of various detergents nowadays. Of these, proteases are quite beneficial to get rid of the stains caused by the deodorants. It hydrolyzes the large protein molecule and the strong bonds forming the stain are broken down (19).
- Form a smooth paste of the water and detergent containing proteases enzyme as an active compound
- Apply this paste to the stained portion of the cloth
- Rub it using a brush and allow it to stay for about an hour
- Wash the cloth in the washing machine, as you generally do
15. Baby Wipes
If you are wondering how to get the deodorant stain out off your black shirt, this is it. Once any stain ruins up some part of your clothes, it might cause most of you to discard them, or wear something else. Some hard-working friends of mine may also try to clean the stain off using a wet cloth or use many other remedies. However, I would like to suggest you that it can be done quickly using the baby wipes.
It is a tried and tested method, and you won’t be disappointed with it. This remedy works wondrously on the clothes of lighter shades and as efficiently as it works on the darker shades. Let’s see how is it done –
- Rub the baby wipes on the stain for some time. This would cause the stain to soften and hence lift up.
- It can then be later washed using the suitable washing powder and detergent
16. The Wonder Mixture of Three Ingredients
Here’s another experiment, which is not only fun but works well too. Amalgamate baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water. This excellent combination will work awesomely to get those stubborn deodorant stains off your clothes. Besides this, these compounds will leave their characteristic effects on the clothes to enhance their quality too. Read the step by step process below –
- Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda, half a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, and one teaspoon of water
- Mix them well to form a smooth paste
- Apply this paste generously onto the stain
- Work over the stain with your hands and allow it to stay for 30 minutes
- Launder it as usual after that
17. Liquid Dish Wash
If you feel your dishwashing liquid is only good at doing dishes, you are wrong. It has far more uses than you can even imagine, and getting deodorant stains out is one of them. You just need to mix some additional compounds to it, and not only will it remove the deodorant stains from the clothes, but will also brighten them up. Here is how to use the liquid dish wash for stain removal –
- Take some liquid dish wash and hydrogen peroxide in the ratio of 1:2 and mix both the ingredients
- Stir the concoction well to form a homogeneous mixture
- Apply it to the stain and sprinkle some baking soda or table salt onto it
- Scrub it using a laundry brush or an old toothbrush
- Allow the cloth to stay there for about an hour
- Wash the stain off usually, using detergent
Alternatively, you can simply allow some soapy water to stay on the stain for some hours and then wash it off.
Toothpaste is another versatile product that we are adding to our list of natural solutions to get rid of deodorant stains. The kinds of toothpaste that are rich in sodium fluoride content are the essential ingredients of this home remedy. Studies have suggested that such toothpaste are effective cleaners for stains (20, 21). Follow this procedure to get the desired results –
- Directly apply it to the stain and rub it using a toothbrush
- Leave for about 15 minutes
- Pop it in the washing machine for general washing
19. Denture Cleaning Tablets
Denture cleaning tablets can be used for the purpose of stain removal as they are a ready-made mixture of various compounds like hydrogen peroxide, bleaching agents, sodium percarbonate and sodium perborate (24). You must be familiar with these names; all these ingredients are already mentioned in the article. Owing to these compounds, the denture cleaning tablet is an amazing concoction which serves great for getting off the deodorant stains. Here is how to do it –
- Add two to three tablets in a tub of lukewarm water
- Allow the tablets to dissolve
- Once dissolved, soak the stained clothes in the water containing denture tablets
- Let it stay for a few hours and then toss the clothes in the washing machine
20. Baby Powder
Using a baking powder for your clothes that may be regarded as a preventive method rather than a therapeutic one. Just sprinkle some baby powder on the inner side of the cloth, specifically the area which generally comes in contact with the deodorant. Now, iron the cloth. This would form a layer of baby powder within the cloth, hence avoiding the connection between the antiperspirant and fabric.
This carbonated sweet thirst quencher has more widespread uses that its manufacturers themselves would have imagined while making it. It is a useful cleaner for deodorant stains (22, 23). Just spray some coca cola on the stain and allow it to stay for about 15 minutes. This would cause the stain to get tender and hence easy to remove. Toss the affected cloth into the washing machine after that, in order to launder it.
22. The Clever Iron Trick
How about just removing the stain without the hassles of these mixing and applying procedures? Well, the home remedy we are now going to use is a clever trick which needs to be performed carefully. Just grab a pack of kitchen roll and use it to cover the stain. Now, use a hot iron and press it against the paper. The paper will absorb the entire stain, resulting in your clothes being stain free. Isn’t it simple? Just give it a try and get rid of stains instantly.
Yes, you read that right. And, just to confirm, I’m talking about the same shampoo which you use for washing your hair. Did you ever think it can be equally useful for removing the stains from your clothes? All you got to do is, just apply some shampoo to the stain and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. It would cause the stain to weaken thereby aiding the removal process. You can simply wash the cloth after that, using the detergent or washing powder.
“An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”
We all are aware of the saying – Prevention is better than cure. So, to provide a better knowledge of the home remedies to remove deodorant stains naturally, let us go through some prevention tips that attack the origin of the problem to alleviate it rather than causing all the chaos.
1. Apply Only When Dry
Do not be in a hurry to apply deodorants, no matter what. Allow your body to dry first and apply the deodorant only after all the water on the body has been dried as water and deodorant do not share a friendly relationship. Mixing them together proves more favorable for the stains to develop.
Also, ensure that you put on your clothes only after the layer of deodorant has completely dried up on the skin. Higher the moisture content, higher it is prone to penetrate within the fabrics of your clothes. So, allow it to dry appropriately once after application.
2. Do Not Overdo It
It is a well-known fact that anything, no matter how good it is for you, causes more harm than benefit when overdone. Same goes for the deodorant application too. Yes, it gives you an amazing fragrance and leaves an intense and great scent everywhere you pass by. But, don’t go overdoing it as it may be harmful to your body. A good deodorant is enough even if applied in small amounts. Excess application of it results in its penetration into the fabric of the clothing which supports the formation of stains.
In case, it happens mistakenly ever, just wipe off the extra deodorant using a soft cloth. Moreover, maintain a distance of about 6 inches while applying the deodorant spray on your body. Holding it too close while spraying may lead to an application higher than the required amount.
3. Maximize the Speed of Absorption
The deodorant should be applied to the body in a smooth and even manner. This would not only restrict you to apply it again and again, but the absorption of the deodorant by the body would also be done in a subtle manner. If you spray a significant amount of deodorant at one place, the body will take its time to absorb it, and if you wear clothes before the absorption is done, there may be the occurrence of stains on your clothes. Allow it to gain a lit bit of heat by holding it on the area of application to help it penetrate better.
4. Set your Underarms Free
Give some space to your underarms in order to allow them to breathe well. Wearing tight fitting clothes or may be synthetic fibers cause them to be more likely to have various problems such as irregular blood flow, development of the cellulite, a problem with breathing, skin problems and also, high sweating. Due to high sweating, a bad odor is generated. Moreover, your body becomes a location which promotes the breeding of various bacteria. So, just opt for some natural fabrics and loose fitting clothes in order to avoid all the problems for once and for all.
5. Wear an Undershirt or Use Underarm Sweat Pads
Make it a regular habit to put on an undershirt beneath the top wear. The shirts prevent the clothes on the outer side from developing the stains by absorbing the residue of the sweat. Alternatively, you can also use underarm pads for the same purpose. The fabrics or paper used for manufacturing these pads act as a sponge, which absorbs the sweat itself and keeps your clothes away from the moisture. The use of an undershirt or the underarm sweat pads can prevent your favorite outfit from being ruined. Both these methods also make sure that your clothes are not in direct contact with the deodorant, as well as sweat.
6. Check your Deodorant
The most prominent culprit of the stains is the acidic substance and aluminum present in your deodorants which lead to the formation of stains and localized alteration of the color of the fabric when they come in contact. It becomes more favorable for the discoloration process when there is a high amount of alcohol present in the deodorant.
It is pretty simple to avoid this problem. You just need to switch to a neutral pH deodorant instead of acidic ones. Go for the deodorants which have low aluminum content, hence decreasing the chances of the occurrence of the problem.
7. Wash your Garments Soon After Wearing
An inappropriate deodorant may not only lead to discoloration of the fabric but also cause it to weaken. This, basically is a result due to the fact that the deodorant has stayed on a cloth for a longer duration of time. Adding more to the problem is the presence of acidic chemicals and aluminum content which might result in the development of holes in the cloth. This can be avoided merely by washing the clothes as soon as possible after you take them off so that the layer of deodorant and antiperspirant is not allowed to stay on it for long.
Some Points to be Taken Care of While Using These Home Cleaning Hacks
- Before applying the cleaners, make sure that it is suitable for the fabric to use those ingredients on it. For example, enzymatic detergents cannot be used for silk and woolen clothes.
- Do not use chlorine bleach in place of the listed bleaches. It simply causes harm to the fabric of clothes.
- Do not brush it off much. It would cause the fabric to loosen and weaken. Follow the process with patience.
- Higher the time to wash off the stain, more difficult it will be to remove it off. Wash the stained clothes as soon as possible. It would also reduce your efforts.
- Rinse the clothes well after laundering. Failure to do so might cause unnecessary reactions and also may have unfavorable outcomes for your skin.
- Always turn the clothes inside out while washing. This would not only target the affected location but would also ensure that there is no damage to the outer side of the outfit.
- Before applying any product, make sure that it does not cause any harm to the fabric. This can be done by having a patch test done. Just apply some amount of product on the corner of the hem and observe the effects.
Having gone through all the remedial hacks, choose the one that suits you and the fabric of your clothes. Apply it and observe the effects within less time. Some of the remedies may not have favorable results on the first application. You can repeat the process in this case. Being free of harmful chemicals, these products do not have ill effects on the fabric, in fact, they add to its life, appearance, and quality.
If you have any others suggestions or queries on how to remove deodorant stains naturally, feel free to let us know. Cheers!