How To Get Rid Of Armpit Stains On Shirts
Are you bothered by armpit stains on your garments? Its true, armpit stains are difficult to clean, or even impossible to get out altogether. It’s painful and feels super wasteful to toss away a shirt that’s still in perfectly good shape. Let’s take a closer look at understanding underarm damage to shirts.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH ARMPIT STAINS?
Here’s some basic science: Armpit stains occur when the proteins in your sweat react with the aluminum and other chemicals in your antiperspirant.
Weak areas and tears show up in the underarm areas of shirts made of cellulose, such as cotton, rayon, ramie or linen. This damage could also occur in other cellulose fibers, as well as some cellulose blends most notably cotton and polyester.
WHAT DOES ARMPIT STAINS LOOK LIKE?
The fabrics’ weakened and torn near the underarms, while the lower sleeves and body of the shirt remain strong. Sometimes, but not always, there is staining in the area such as a ring, streak, splotch, or even a light area.
WHAT CAUSES ARMPIT STAINS?
Antiperspirants that remain on the fabric for a period of time are the cause of this type of damage to the garment. Antiperspirants are acid-based chemicals and may also contain aluminum chlorides. These chemicals can form hydrocellulose (chemical degradation) on fabrics containing cellulose fibers, and holes can result. Many times, the damage isn’t noted until the agitation of the cleaning process separates and tears the already weakened fiber.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO PREVENT ARMPIT STAINS?
By understanding the basic science behind underarm stains and knowing how they form, you can resolve the problem at the source.
Here are our top three tips to stop underarm stains and avoid them for good:
- Change your antiperspirant or deodorant routine
- Wear a sweat-proof undershirt for protection
- Take proper care of your clothing- dry clean or professionally launder shirts
Only the shirt owner can prevent this type of chemical damage. You can wash your shirt or bring it to your reputable cleaner, thus removing the antiperspirant from the fabric, as soon after contact as possible. For people that have continuous problems, it may become more beneficial to switch to a neutral pH type deodorant rather than acid antiperspirants.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS?
The cleaner has no way of knowing that a fabric or material is already in a weakened state. Therefore, this damage cannot undergo prevention during normal cleaning procedures. Only the consumer who owns the shirt can be responsible, since the damage originated from circumstances of use.
IS THERE A REMEDY FOR ARMPIT STAINS ON SHIRTS?
In most instances, this chemical damage cannot become reversed and mending the affecting area is usually not a satisfactory option. However, there is one solution you can try at home that may help the stain dissolve a bit.
Vinegar, baking soda & hydrogen peroxide: Mix one cup of white vinegar, half-cup of baking soda, one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Use a brush to scrub the paste into the stain and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, machine wash per the shirt’s instructions written on the care label.
Feel free to take a look at our published blog post to learn more about 3 steps for stain removal on your garments. And, contact Avon Cleaners today with any questions you may have in regards to caring for underarm stains on your shirts.