Some deodorants can create hard-to-erase stains, white marks made up of antiperspirant particles that contain salts and other ingredients designed to help prevent sweating. When you sweat through these ingredients, they can form solid stains that are often hard to remove in the wash. But though some stains are more worrying than others, there are some natural ingredients that can help to erase them.
The best way to remove these types of stains is to prevent them from happening in the first place. So, you should not apply too much deodorant, should allow your deodorant to dry before you get dressed and change to an all-natural deodorant that doesn’t include aluminium or other synthetic ingredients, and should use a clear gel or aerosol spray instead of solid products.
Here are some tips to get rid of deodorant stains in an environmentally friendly way:
Salt and white vinegar:
The simple combination of salt and white vinegar can help loosen pesky deodorant stains from both white and coloured clothing. Both of these ingredients will penetrate the fibres and leave them clean and odour free. Mix three-quarters of a cup of coarse salt, one cup of white vinegar, one cup of hot water, and half a tablespoon of dish soap. Apply the solution to the affected area and rub. If the stain persists, let your garment sit in the solution for almost an hour. Use a cloth or old toothbrush to scrub the stain away, and throw the garment into the washing machine and wash as usual.
Nylon stockings or baby wipes:
To remove white deodorant marks, firmly rub the stained area in a circular motion using a clean sock, nylon stockings, dry towels, make-up remover or wet wipes. Then throw the garment in the laundry and wash as usual. This trick only works on coloured garments with fresh deodorant marks.
Thanks to its astringent qualities, baking soda is perfect for removing deodorant stains. Direct application absorbs any residues and neutralises any unpleasant odour that accompanies the stains. Mix three parts of baking soda with one part of water to make a paste, then rub it onto the stain. Leave it for an hour. Remove any residue with a brush and rinse. You can also add some white vinegar to the affected area while washing to help the removal process. This method is particularly useful when stains have become old and dry.
This can be very helpful when it comes to cleaning. The acidic compounds in aspirin will help remove deodorant stains from garments. Grind four aspirin tablets using a mortar and pestle. Mix the finely ground medication with a quarter of a cup of warm water. Apply the paste-like mixture to the stain. Leave it for about an hour and then throw the garment into the wash. This method is best suited for white shirts as it could cause damage to coloured clothes.
The high citric acid content of lemon juice can effectively help eliminate deodorant stains and enhance the brightness of your whites. To remove old stains from white t-shirts, apply a quarter of a cup of fresh lemon juice onto the stained area. Add a heavy pinch of table salt. Rub the mixture into the shirt until the discoloured area vanishes, and then leave it out in the sun for about an hour. Rinse the area of the stain and then throw the garment into the laundry with some detergent to get it looking as good as new.
You can eliminate yellow stains from your white t-shirts with a pinch of salt. Dissolve four tablespoons of salt in a quarter of a cup of boiled water. Dab a sponge or cloth into the salty solution and firmly rub the stained area. Rinse and wash as usual.
Dish soap and hydrogen peroxide:
Mix about three tablespoons of dish soap with six tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. Dip a used toothbrush or scrub brush into the solution, and scrub the stained area for a couple of minutes. Leave the shirt for an hour and then throw it into the washing machine and wash as usual.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 18 March, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly