Stains or discoloration on your clothes armpit after using deodorants are caused by these products’ aluminum and other chemical ingredients.
While the severity of these stains depends on the type and quality of the deodorant, you can prevent these stains through regular washing, choosing the right product, limiting application, opting for aluminum-free products, and trying our different variations.
If, unfortunately, your office clothes have already accumulated deodorant and antiperspirant stains on the underarms, you can remove them through wash immediately, rubbing off, soaking in ammonia and water solution
Why Do Deodorants Stain Clothes?
All of us have encountered stains on our clothes from using deodorants. The core ingredients in the deodorants and antiperspirants are why they stain your clothes.
Stains on your clothes after using deodorants and antiperspirants are caused by these products’ aluminum and other chemical ingredients when they react with the protein in the sweat you produce. The effect is stains or discolorations, mostly white and chalky, on the armpit parts of your shirts.
Bonding of the aluminum with the sweat results in the stains that you see. These stains are more vividly clear on dull clothes such as black or dull-colored shirts. But these stains also affect white clothes.
The stains caused by too much use of deodorants and antiperspirants differ from stains from sweat. While sweat stains are from sweat, deodorant stains contain salts from the sweat and other ingredients from these products.
Other common ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants fragrances, oils, and waxes can lead to the stain. A combination of these ingredients may make some brands more prone to staining than others.
Even the spray deodorants will discolor your clothes. Spray deodorants contain the same ingredient and will equally cause white marks, mostly visible on black or dull clothes.
The spray may, however, minimize the amount that transfers to the cloth. Some sprays dry fast as they use a fine mist formula, hence allowing the lowest amount of residue on the skin.
Can You Wear Deodorants without Staining Your Office Shirts
You can wear antiperspirant or deodorant without staining your clothes. Eliminate discoloration or stains from clothes through regular washing, choosing the right product, limit application, opt for aluminum-free products, and try our different variations of products.
Can Regular Washing Get off Deodorant Stains?
Stains from antiperspirants are hard to remove with regular detergent. Regular washing is unlikely to clean off your deodorant stains, especially if using an aluminum deodorant.
Further, if the deodorant or antiperspirant has dried off or accumulated over a long time, your regular wash will unlikely remove the stain.
Guaranteed Expert Tips on Avoiding/Preventing Deodorants/ Antiperspirant Getting to Your Clothes
1. Don’t Apply too Much Deodorant/ Antiperspirant
Do not use too much than is necessary to prevent the discoloration. One or two swipes of the deodorant are enough to keep your armpits fresh and without sweat and odor.
Applying too much antiperspirant or deodorant can lead to excess residue getting on your clothes. As such, reducing the quantity is one way to successfully keep clothes, especially office wear, from getting the stain.
If you apply too much deodorant, try rubbing off the excess with tissue paper. It will avoid too much product transferring to your clothes and create a buildup of antiperspirant or deodorant on your office shorts or dress.
2. Use Aluminum-Free Deodorant to Keep off Stains
It is best to use aluminum-free deodorant to prevent your shirts from getting stained or discolored. The main ingredient in antiperspirants or deodorants that cause stains is aluminum.
Opting for aluminum-free deodorant will effectively get stains from your clothes. Deodorants not containing aluminum are better at keeping the shirts clean than aluminum-based ones. You will not have any stains on your office wear when using aluminum-free deodorants.
Look for deodorants specifically labeled as aluminum-free or products labeled deodorant only. Instead of aluminum, these products may use baking soda, arrowroot powder, or activated charcoal instead. Personally, I use natural deodorant made out of Shea butter with baking soda.
Other alternatives of aluminum-free deodorant include;
- Deodorant Crystals: They are made from natural minerals and do not contain oils, fragrances, or dyes. They prevent staining by discouraging the growth of bacteria that cause smell on the armpits. They are generally invisible and known to not leave any stains on the clothes.
- Deodorant Wipes: There are now pre-moistened deodorant wipes in the market. They are very convenient for freshening up and controlling odor without staining the clothes.
3. Wait for Antiperspirant to Dry
Another way to reduce the amount of staining on your clothes underarms is to wait until your deodorants have dried before wearing your clothes. Letting the antiperspirant dry will eliminate the chance that the product will transfer to your shirt or top, which can cause staining.
A recommended approach is using an antiperspirant during the night. Moms who use this method have good testimonies that their shirts and office dress no longer has deodorant residue. The black and dull color clothes works best for this method.
The trick is to apply deodorant before going to sleep and simply wash off in the morning before going to work. Deodorants and antiperspirants work best when they have time to absorb into your skin.
The deodorant will absorb into the skin overnight, hence keeping you from sweating the following day. Also, taking a shower in the morning after using the previous night’s deodorant does not go away as the skin would have dried and absorbed it.
When you do this, there is no product to get on your clothes, preventing any building of antiperspirant or deodorant on your favorite shirts.
4. Use Stain Free-Deodorant-Only Products
The main difference between deodorants and antiperspirants is their chemical composition. Deodorants do not contain aluminum, while most antiperspirants do.
As such, antiperspirants are more notorious for causing stains on clothes. To prevent these stains on your clothes, you should use deodorant-only only deodorant products and avoid antiperspirants.
Use an antiperspirant after showering/washing armpits before going to sleep, and then use deodorants in the morning. Deodorants with moisturizers don’t have aluminum but are still very effective for people who sweat a lot.
5. Wear Undershirts to Keep Shirts from Staining
Another way you can keep your clothes from getting deodorant and antiperspirant stains is by wearing undershirts. It is simple because it protects your good office shirts and dresses from stains because they are not in direct contact with the skin.
The undershirts will get stained with the deodorant and antiperspirant but it is not as bad because they are cheaper and the stains are not visible from the outside.
Further, avoid your shirts’ contact with the antiperspirant and deodorant by putting the shirt on first. Carefully apply the product after this will prevent it from transferring from the armpit to the shirt.
6. Try Quality and Different Deodorants Formats
One of the main culprits of deodorant and antiperspirant stains is using poor-quality products. I noticed a reduction in deodorant stains when I switched my deodorant. A high-quality deodorant or antiperspirant will help you avoid stains on your office wear.
Also there are different deodorant formats that you may try. There are sticks, roll-ons, sprays, or creams. Each has different levels of residue or transferability, so you may find one that works best for you in keeping deodorant stains off your clothes.
Try out your luck with different types of deodorants until you find that which is not staining your clothes after use. Some people have better luck with certain formulations than others.
Expert Hacks on How to Permanently Remove Deodorant Stains
1. Wash Immediately After Removing Your Clothing
You will have more success in cleaning your shirt off deodorant stain if you wash it before it dries off. Washing your clothes immediately after you take the clothes off will successfully remove the stains and discoloration.
It is the best and quickest hack to remove the stain, though it is not convenient for everyone.
2. Soaking in Ammonia and Water Solution
Pre-soaking a deodorant shirt in an ammonia and water solution has successfully gotten the marks off. I used this method to remove the deodorant stains on my office shirts and dresses before I learned the trick of applying deodorant overnight.
The soaking helps neutralize the acidic antiperspirant and remove the discolored stains. Adding white vinegar to the solution may yield better results. It is a quick method of removing the stains, but you need to soak it overnight.
3. Rub Off the Stained Part – Quick Hack
Rub the stain with the fabric the cloth is made of. My mom got rid of deodorant marks on my dad’s shirts by rubbing them against each other. She would take the two stained armpits and rub them against each other. The product would successfully come off.