I’ve talked a bunch about how to remove deodorant stains from shirts, but haven’t so much on preventing pit stains.
Here’s an email from a reader wondering what’s the best way to avoid getting pit/deodorant stains on his shirts:
I have recently come across your website in search of a new undershirt. I just ordered the Underfit shirts.
I have been having problems with all of my shirts (undershirts, button downs, etc).
Over time, my shirts develop deodorant/sweat stains that have an odor and are impossible to remove.
Do you have any advice on getting rid of/preventing this issue?
I would really appreciate your help with this, as most of my shirts are getting ruined.
How To Remove Deodorant Pit Stains
Good to hear from you buddy and thanks for your question!
For underarm stain removal, this is the best solution I have found to date:
5 Ways To Avoid Getting Underarm Pit Stains
I’m going to avoid stating the obvious that wearing an undershirt will help (uh, ok…well I just said it) – but it will.
1. Apply antiperspirant at night
This article below covers it pretty nicely.
In a nutshell: When you apply antiperspirant after showering in the morning, it doesn’t have enough time to dry and take full effect.
2. Switch over to a 7-day antiperspirant like SweatBlock
Details in this following article.
In a nutshell: 7-day antiperspirants are applied at night and keep your underarms drier, longer.
3. Wear a lighter weight undershirt
Lighter weight (or thinner) undershirts can help you sweat less.
In a nutshell: If you sweat less, you’re less likely to pit out your undershirts and shirts.
4. Pre-Treat the stain
Once you take off your shirts for the day, turn them inside out, and apply water or a pre-treater to the underarm areas of your shirt before putting them in your clothes hamper.
By diluting whatever chemicals or residues that may be on the underarms of your undershirts or shirts for period of time before washing, the less likely it will be for those stains to get set in.
5. Stop using antiperspirant. Switch to deodorant
This one is a tricky one because if you switch to a non-antiperspirant, and if you sweat a good deal in the underarm area, you’ll likely get pit stains (sweat marks) on your outer shirts.
That said, those sweat stains/marks won’t contain any of the stain-causing ingredient (aka: aluminum) because true 100% deodorants contain no, or very little aluminum.
So, if there is no stain causing ingredient, even if your shirts do get underarm sweat marks, there shouldn’t be any long lasting stains.
For the last 10-12 months, i stopped using antiperspirant as an experiment.
I’m finding that i don’t sweat too much in my underarm area, and my lightweight undershirts are enough to prevent getting armpit sweat stains on my outer shirts.
Prevent Underarm Odor
For #5, to manage/prevent underarm odor, I do the following:
- keep my underarm air trimmed very short (not shaved)
- after showering & drying off, i take a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol, and clean my underarms a bit more
Hope the above information helps (:
[Feature Image Credit: Esquire (link)]