The combination of perspiration and deodorant are to blame for the dreaded yellow underarm stains of a once-white shirt. It's not an easy task, but Steve says a sweat-stained shirt can sometimes be salvaged.
If the garment is washable, Steve says to treat the stain at home with a stain remover and an old toothbrush. Use the toothbrush to gently work the stain remover into the underarm of the garment and let it sit for three to five minutes. Follow by washing with the hottest water the garment's tag allows. As with any stained item, avoid the dryer and opt for air-drying.
If the stain doesn't want to budge, a home remedy might do the trick. A little bit of white vinegar mixed with water is acidic enough to change the color of a cotton shirt, Steve says. "It's aggressive, so make sure not to use it undiluted."
The bottom line is that an old sweat stain may never come out—the key to keeping stains away is to prevent them in the first place. "Make sure your deodorant is dry before you put your garment on," Steve says. In a rush? "It's not unheard of to use a blow-dryer to dry your underarms first."
If you begin to sweat, Steve says to pop into the ladies room and dab your underarms. At home, don't just put a soiled top into the hamper or back into the closet. "Just because you can't see the stain doesn't mean it's not there," Steve says. "Be proactive. If you know that you perspired, make sure wash the garment within 24 to 48 hours. If it's 'dry-clean only,' make sure to get to cleaner with in day or two."
At the dry cleaner, point out the stain to the clerk so that it's cared for properly. "Don't be embarrassed or shy about it," Steve says. "They've heard it all."
Next: Sweater pilling and dry-clean only