How to Get Yellow Stains Out of White Shirts: 4 Easy Tips That Will Save Your Clothes

How to Get Yellow Stains Out of White Shirts: 4 Easy Tips That Will Save Your Clothes

Somehow, no matter how careful you are to wear deodorant and keep your white clothes clean with regular wash cycles, they always end up yellowing after just a few wears. What gives? Are you just doomed to an endless cycle of buying white clothes and having to get rid of them when they get stained? Should you stop wearing white shirts entirely? 

White clothing is appealing for so many reasons. It’s classic and timeless. It goes with everything. It’s easy to mix and match with other clothing. And it gives off a crisp, clean look. That is unless your white shirts have yellow stains in the armpits. Then they don’t look quite as good.


But, somehow, no matter how careful you are to wear deodorant and keep your white clothes clean with regular wash cycles, they always end up yellowing after just a few wears. What gives? Are you just doomed to an endless cycle of buying white clothes and having to get rid of them when they get stained? Should you stop wearing white shirts entirely? 


The answer is no. Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy your white shirts without staining them. You can read all about them below. 

What Are Sweat Stains?

What Are Sweat Stains?

Sweat stains are those pesky yellowed spots that tend to appear in the underarm area of lighter-colored clothing. They’re usually pretty stubborn and difficult to wash out of your clothes. They can also show up as discoloration in darker clothes, but they’re most prominent in white shirts just like the ones you buy to wear to work… how inconvenient. 

What Causes Yellow Sweat Stains?

There is actually a very common misunderstanding about sweat stains that we want to clear up. No, they don’t just come from sweating, although sweating is part of the process. The truth is that something you think might be helping prevent you from getting too sweaty is actually the culprit behind your sweat stains. We’re talking about antiperspirant. 


Yep, the aluminum active ingredient in antiperspirant that stops your perspiration by blocking your pores also does something else. It can react with the proteins in your sweat to create a chemical reaction that shows up as yellow stains on your underarms. 


That’s why your sweat stains are probably limited to the armpit areas of your shirts even though you’re also sweating from other parts of your body. Shocking, right? 


Looking for a guaranteed way to avoid sweat stains? Check out Social Citizen’s sweat-proof Social Tee.

How To Get Yellow Sweat Stains Out Of Clothes

So what can you do to remove the pesky yellow sweat stains from your clothing? There are a few methods that could be worth trying out. 

1. Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Salt

Both baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are known to have powerful stain-lifting abilities which is why they’re a favorite hack for getting rid of yellow sweat stains. ​​The hydrogen peroxide can lift the stain while the salt and baking soda work as an abrasive agent to scrub out the tough stain and absorb grease and oil.


To use this hack, just combine 1.5 cups of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide and 1.5 teaspoons of salt. Wet your shirt with cold water and apply the mixture to your yellow stains. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then scrub with an old toothbrush. Rinse and then machine wash in your laundry with your usual detergent on cold. Dry as usual.

2. Dish Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide

You already know that hydrogen peroxide is a good option to fight sweat stains, but adding dish soap into the mix can help add extra stain-fighting power. 


Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and liquid dish soap. You can optionally add baking soda for better abrasion. Let the combination sit on your yellow stains for up to an hour, then scrub with a toothbrush and wash and dry as usual.

3. Vinegar 

Vinegar may not smell great but it is amazing at cutting through grease and killing bacteria. You can use it on its own or as part of a combination of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and salt. We recommend using white distilled vinegar as it is the type that contains no coloring agents. Just put it (plus any mix-ins that you choose) on your sweat stains for at least 30 minutes and then wash on a cold setting.

4. OxiClean

If you want to use a product that’s actually made for getting clothes clean, there’s no better way to go than OxiClean, considered by many to be a miracle cleaner. Just mix one scoop of OxiClean into a gallon of warm water. Submerge your stained shirt for an hour, remove it, and wash and dry as usual. Some people swear by this is as the best possible way to get rid of yellow stains. 

What Causes Yellow Sweat Stains?

Cleaning Tips For Removing Yellow Sweat Stains From Clothes

Some stained shirts are unsalvageable, but there are some cleaning tips that you can use to help maintain your white shirts and stop new yellow stains from forming.


The first and most important tip is to always wash your white shirts immediately after wearing them, especially if you perspired a lot that day. The longer you let your dirty shirts sit without cleaning, the more stubborn the sweat stains will become and the more difficult they will be to remove. 


Beyond that, it’s also a good idea to try out different detergents and track which ones work best for you. If you find that the one you’re using doesn’t do anything to help with your sweat stains, making a switch might be the best solution.

How Social Citizen Sweat Proof T-Shirts Can Help You

Regular white shirts are highly susceptible to yellowing and sweat stains. But that doesn’t mean that you have to stop wearing them. Instead, try Social Citizen’s sweat-proof Social Tee. It’s designed specifically to stop sweat stains - in fact, it’s guaranteed to stay 100% stain-free. 


Made with a comfortable, hidden underarm pad that absorbs sweat and stops it from showing on the outside of the shirt, the Social Tee is the only white t-shirt that you can wear without having to worry about unsightly pit stains. Plus, the underarm pad is made with anti-bacterial bamboo to help fight odor as it’s fighting stains. Check it out in men’s and women’s cuts. 

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.