One of the problems almost every man has faced at one point or the other has to do with gross armpit stains on their dress shirts and the stress of removing them can be unpalatable. If you are yet to encounter this, take a look at your dress shirts. Do they look like they did when you purchased them? Chances are they don’t.
No matter how much you try to keep those brand crew shirts of your clean, they’ll probably eventually get nasty stains on the collar and armpits. The main culprit behind those yellow spots is sweat.
It combines with body oils, product buildup, and environmental pollution to create that dreaded dingy collar that plagues your crisp-white button-downs. While you may not notice it at first, the combination of the sweat and body oil seep into the fibers of your shirts as soon as you start to perspire. You can decide to buy as many undershirts as you want but they will most probably be unable to save you from the inevitable gross armpit stains.
Body oils like sebum are oily and this makes them harder to remove because they don’t mix with water. After consistent sweating, regardless of how often you wash your shirts, the buildup of grime begins to change the collar into the yellow, or gray, a discoloration some men are all too familiar with.
Are you wondering how you can fight it? Follow the tested and trusted measures below.
Fight Discoloration Before It Happens
While you can’t tell your body to stop sweating, you can however prevent how much you sweat. Sweating is your body’s way of ensuring you keep yourself cool when the temperatures rise, but the benefits sweat has for regulating body temperature are what makes us constantly go out and buy new dress shirts.
Experts recommend keeping deodorant and antiperspirant use to a minimum, if possible. Aluminum in antiperspirants reacts with sweat to create yellow sweat stains that are even harder to remove than stains from the collar.
One of the best ways of removing this is to apply a light layer of talc over your deodorant before dressing. This helps absorb excess moisture, keeping the area dry and reducing chances of sweat stains. Also, avoid wearing your shirts more than once before washing or taking them to the dry cleaners.
Treat stains immediately, or else the stains will continue to build up, becoming almost impossible to breakdown.
Fight Discoloration After It Happens
A good way of fighting discoloration as a result of your armpit stains is to pretreat the area with vinegar, which breaks the bonds between cotton fibers and sweat, and allow it sit for 20 minutes.
Soak the garment for another 20 minutes in a solution of a half-dose with a cleaning product, like Tide Ultra Stain Release, and a gallon of water. Repeat as necessary, and do not machine dry until the stain is removed as that may set in the stain.
Furthermore, you can also use a sweat stain removal treatment that only requires items you already have in your house. A home made stain removal process includes, dissolving five tablespoons of salt in one liter of hot water. Use a sponge dipped in the solution, and gently rub it on the afflicted armpit stain areas until the stain starts to lift. Follow that with a quick cycle in the washing machine with a cup of baking soda.