yellow underarm stains??

kbramwellSeptember 14, 2007

Hi, I'm a new member with an issue that's confounded me for a while now. Does anyone know how to prevent or remove yellow/gray sweat and deoderant underarm stains on white tshirts? I'm tired of having to buy new shirts every couple of months. I currently have a GE frontloader, but I've had this problem for as long as I can remember. I usually wash them in warm or hot, using All or Wisk HE, sometimes bleach sometimes not but nothing seems to make a difference. Thanks much for letting me pick your brains!


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I have had good luck removing the underarm stains by soaking in a solution of oxi-clean. I fill a plastic bucket with hot water (just enough to cover the shirt) and one scoop of oxi-clean. You have to let it soak for a day or two to remove the stains. It's worked every time for me. I only put one shirt in the solution, but you might want to try more.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 4:23PM
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I've also had good luck w/ Oxy Clean (actually the cheap brand). But, all I do is wet the stain down good, I made a spray of water/oxy clean & use this, then I sprinkle the powdered oxy clean over it, then spray that so it makes kind of a paste. I then just fold the shirt(s) up so the oxy clean stays on the spot & let set overnight. When I wash, I use the hottest cycle & either a couple of scoops of oxy clean or bleach, either one works, and the stain is gone. However, do note that I am still stuck w/ an older TL, so you may not want to use 2 scoops of Oxy Clean. Also, be weary of using this method on pale colors, b/c Oxy clean will "fade" spots if left sitting. Hope this helps, good luck!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 6:30PM
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I tried to save on detergent and cut back like someone suggested. Pretty soon I was scolding my husband because he had under arm odor. He said he was bathing and using deodorant. I felt bad when I realized it was my fault, his shirts weren't getting clean anymore. I went back to using what the manufacture suggested on the box and no more problem. I remember ironing my Dad's shirts and boy did they stink. Mom had a ringer washer and probably not much she could do without changing water between loads. If you use enough soap, there shouldn't be any stains. Although he had an odor problem I have never had stains on our clothes.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 10:59PM
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Jonesy~ This isn't true. Do a search on the internet & you'll find that how you wash the clothes doesn't have anything to do w/ the stains (obviously, to an extent). Anti-perspirant (not plain old scented deodorant) mixed w/ perspiration causes clothes to yellow and over time it builds up. Before Oxy Clean, the only way I knew how to get this out was to use vinegar immediately.

Anyway, kbramwell, I would try the oxy clean method & see if this works.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 10:08PM
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Kbram I suffered from this for years and then I switched from using a standard antiperspirant which basically is designed to cake your pores shut. And those same chemicals mix with the sweat and dead cells and bacterial residues to make those stains on the underarms.

Our bodies are designed to sweat, and pure sweat has no smell but it creates a haven for bacteria and other little creatures to breed and its their waste products which make up body odor. Plain sweat also does not stain.

I switched to using a hypersaline deodorant, this basically allows you to sweat but because it is so salty it kills all the bacteria off so you don't have any noticeable odor. It works. I have put a link to the one I currently use called the Crystal but there are many brands. I like the roll-on although the stick one is more effective. It just gets a bit abrasive after a while.

My wife couldn't believe the results and although no conclusive studies have shown harmful effects from aluminum based anti-perspirants I will say I feel better too for what that's worth. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Crystal deodorant

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 10:36PM
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I have washed a lot of different stains in my day but I have never had to wash yellow underarm stains. I use anti-perspirant and I don't have any type of stain. While it is true that antiperspirant prevents your arm pits from sweating the rest of your body can and will sweat. You are not denying your body the ability to sweat. It doesn't make sense to me to go around with wet, sweaty arm pits to avoid yellow stains. I would think the oxiclean would work.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 10:49PM
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what you say may be true, but I have never had stains or odors until I cut back on my detergent.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 11:07PM
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My soon-to-be son-in-law had a huge collection of t-shirts with really bad underarm stains. He had been wearing them in college and washing them in community laundry rooms for a while. He was going to throw them out but my daughter brought them home to me to see if my new Bosch washer could get them clean. I soaked them overnight in an oxy-clean solution, and then washed them on my hottest wash cycle. The shirts came out great.

I do think that washing whites in hot water and using an oxygen bleach keeps this from happening in the first place.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 7:11AM
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i have hd luck with oxi clean and also spraying vinegar onthe stains. I also just got a boschh 500 and over the weekend used the sanitary cycle on my husbands workshirts/undewear/socks. IT was quite unbelievable the smell the water had when it was rinsing and the underarm and the socks/underwear were really much cleaner than other cycle and without bleach. I am curious to see if when my son brings home some shirts he wants me to try to get the yellow underarm stains out of if that cycle will take care of it right away. Normally those types of stains/odors took at least 2 washings with the oxiclean and vinegar.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 11:48AM
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I had similar problems with yellow underarm stains on my husband's and son's t-shirts. I called the Gillette company for a recommendation to remove the stains and build-up, and I received a letter from the Gillette Co. that made alot of sense. They said the build-up and yellow stains were from using too much product. I knew my son always used more deodorant than necessary. I showed the letter to my husband and son, and they cut back on the amount of deodorant they used. I cut up the stained t-shirts for rags, and bought new t-shirts. I wash white t-shirts in hot water,or 140 degrees, and wash normally. No more stains, or build-up on the new t-shirts, and my husband and son do not have underarm odor, either.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 11:05PM
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I would think that washing your stained white cottons in extremely HOT water would make them shrink???

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 9:58AM
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