Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

If 1 Fails, There are 5 More Methods to Get Deodorant Stains Out of Shirts!

Adriana Aziz
December 19, 2022
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How to clean deodorant stains off clothing custom graphic

Stains on clothing is something that just cannot be avoided. No matter where you are, and no matter how clean that environment is, you will still run the risk of getting stains on your clothes. That said, most stains aren't exactly a recurring problem, and are often caused by occasional, one-off incidents. On the other hand, there are some things that can stain your clothes regularly, and leave a permanent mark even. This brings us to deodorant. 

As hard as you try to keep it off your clothing, those white marks from the spray can still get onto your shirt. This residue left behind on the material can build-up, and actually cause some damage to the fabric if not addressed in time. If you begin to notice deodorant stains on your shirt, don’t panic because it’s not too late to get them out! 

The key is to wash the fabric carefully to remove the residue that's left behind. This can involve using commercial cleaners, or if you're looking for a home-remedy, there are a few effective methods you could try that are less-than-obvious but work well all the same.

While it is recommended to follow the wash care instructions on your shirt's label as much as possible, there are some more durable fabrics that allow you to use alternative methods for cleaning. Cotton and poly-blend fabrics come to mind for this, however, more delicate fabrics like silk will be severely damaged using the methods mentioned below. Therefore, we urge you to carefully look at the fabric in question, and use appropriate cleaning methods only. 

Now, with that said, let's discuss the best ways to get deodorant stains out of shirts.

#1 Commercial Stain Remover

bottle of yellow commercial stain remover on a white background

This is actually a great practice since it can get rid of the stain while also helping to prevent the build-up that causes it to begin with. For this, spray a solution of the stain remover onto the affected area after you take the shirt off, and let it rest for 15 minutes before washing. In doing so, you won't have to worry about deodorant staining your clothes again. 

The key thing to keep in mind here is to try using a stain remover that's natural, and is designed to help with deodorant stains. This pre-treatment helps prevent the stain from setting in, and allows the wash cycle to easily get rid of the residue left from the deodorant. 

#2 Vinegar

bottle of white vinegar next to a white pressed shirt being hand washed in a blue basin

Breaking into the alternatives, distilled white vinegar is a very effective stain remover. To use this household ingredient to get rid of deodorant stains on your shirt, take the item and place it into a bowl or basin filled with a bit of the vinegar. Allow the stained area of the shirt to soak in the vinegar for about an hour. At the end of 1 hour, take a soft bristled brush, and gently scrub the stain. Agitating it with a brush helps to dislodge the residue that is causing the stain, so you can now wash it out freely. Wash the shirt in a regular wash cycle using cool temperature water, and the results are guaranteed to please you! 

#3 Baking Soda

white pressed shirt on a wooden table next to a jar labelled baking soda

Baking Soda is considered a holy grail of stain removal. You can make a paste out of the powder and just enough water, and then apply it to the stained area of your shirt. The amount of time you allow the paste to sit will depend on how bad the stain is; this can be anywhere between 2 minutes to a few hours. Once it has sat as long as necessary, continue by washing the shirt normally, and it will come out of the wash completely clean.

#4 Lemon Juice

man holding white pressed shirt on wooden table next to a lemon cut in half and pegs

The citric acid in lemon juice can be crucial in removing stains on clothes. The acid can cut through the thickness of the deodorant, and break it down easily. Since lemon juice is safe for most fabrics, it's an inexpensive, and very effective way to treat a stain. Allowing the juice to sit on the stain for about an hour before washing, will get rid of any residue for sure. 

#5 Hydrogen Peroxide

woman holding up white shirt with deoderant stain

This is an option you ought to be careful with. The problem with Hydrogen Peroxide is that, while it can get rid of stains, it can discolour clothing as well. This is why it is only recommended to use on ‘white’ white shirts. Here, you will need to make a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide (follow the instructions on the label for the correct ratios), and soak the garment in it for about 30 minutes before machine-washing. 

#6 Aspirin

white shirt being washed in soapy water

Yes, that's right; as unusual as it may seem, even aspirin can help with stains. The trick is to crush the pill up and add a little water to make it into a paste. This will work in a similar way as the baking soda paste that we discussed earlier. It helps to break down the mineral, dirt and grime deposits on your fabrics, so you can leave it on the stain for anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour. Once this pre-treatment has been completed, proceed to wash the shirt as usual, and the stain should come right off!

As with any stain on your clothes, treating white deodorant residue on shirts early and carefully is paramount. That said, sometimes the stain may settle in and we are then tasked with the trouble of getting it out. Fortunately, any of the stain removal methods above can be used individually, or by combining two or more of them, to effectively remove deodorant stains from shirts.

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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