Ask Belle: Removing Deodorant Stains
Jun 13, 2016
I think you’ve done a post on this, but I couldn’t find it when I did a search. I’m ruining my black clothes – for example, a lovely dress with deodorant sweat marks that I can’t get out. I have this happening with my suits, too, and sent them to the dry cleaner and the cleaner didn’t get the stains out either. Is it possible to restore the black armpits?
Thanks for the advice! Emily
Deodorant stains are usually caused by a chemical reaction between the aluminum salts in your anti-perspirant and your sweat. If you switch to a deodorant or an aluminum-free anti-perspirant like Arm & Hammer Naturals or Tom’s, you should be able to prevent new stains.
For fresh deodorant stains, try a sponge like this one from Hollywood Fashion Secrets. It will even lighten older stains in some cases. These Microfiber sponges are also a good choice. In a pinch, you can also use a balled up pair of nylons or a used dryer sheet.
To remove stains from light-colored clothing, use white vinegar or citric acid mixed with warm water. For set-in stains, you may want to try a paste made of Oxy Clean and water. Mix the two products together until it is the consistency of wet sand, then lay it on the stain and leave it for a few hours. Before you try it on a piece you love or a suit, do a small test patch somewhere that isn’t visible to make sure it won’t damage the item.
Any other tips? Leave them in the comments.