Sweat stains are an unsightly nuisance that can ruin your mood and your day. It’s probably more of an issue for you than it is for others, but it’s unwelcome regardless! If you live with hyperhidrosis, you might assume that sweat stains are unavoidable, especially if you haven’t found the best way to manage excess sweating yet. With that said, you don’t have to accept them as a necessary evil. This post will take a look at how you can prevent and remove sweat stains if you have an issue with them.
How Sweat Stains Appear in the First Place
Sweat stains appear when the salt from your sweat mixes with the ingredients in your antiperspirant or deodorant. Aluminum is a key culprit here, and when it mixes with the salt, it builds up to create that yellowish tint (which is usually seen on white shirts). These stains won’t appear right away but over time. So that stain you just noticed has actually been in the making for some time.
Naturally, we’d advise that you switch from an aluminum-based antiperspirant to an aluminum-free one. However, that may not be a viable option for you if the cause of your sweating is hyperhidrosis - the prescription-strength deodorants recommended for the condition almost always contain aluminum. But you can still prevent sweat stains with other methods.
How to Prevent Sweat Stains if You Suffer From Hyperhidrosis
First and foremost, we recommend that you wear moisture-wicking fabrics in the form of a sweat proof shirt. Moisture-wicking fabrics won’t offer 100% protection against sweat stains, but they can come close.
Moisture-wicking fabrics pull water droplets (sweat) through a process known as capillary action. Molecular forces pull the droplets through tiny spaces in the fabric until they rise to the surface of the material. When the droplets reach the surface, they evaporate due to exposure to air and heat.
The result? Your garments stay drier, faster. With a lighter volume of sweat, the likelihood of sweat salt mixing with your antiperspirant becomes less of an issue. Our line of NEAT Apparel sweatproof shirts are formulated with moisture-wicking material that will keep you dry even if you sweat excessively.
Of course, a moisture-wicking shirt won’t do it all - you need to make sure of a few other things to prevent sweat stains.
The Simple Fix to Prevent Sweat Stains
To prevent sweat stains, here’s what you need to do - wash and dry your clothing properly. That’s the not-so-secret secret. The key here is to wash your clothing IMMEDIATELY - don’t let it sit in the hamper (or on the back of your office chair or couch). Remember, pit stains form when the salt and residue of your antiperspirant build up, which usually results when they’re not washed out early or often enough. So if you sweat heavy, make it a habit to throw your sweaty shirt in the wash as soon as you’re done washing it.
How to Wash Out a Sweat Stain After it Appears
Whether you suffer with hyperhidrosis or not, sweat stains are bound to appear from time to time. So the other battle when it comes to dealing with them is learning how to remove them. With that in mind, rest assured that it’s not hopeless if sweat stains appear - the right products and procedures will do the job.
You can also rely on some trusted laundry products such as Oxi-Clean or even basic household cleaners such as dish soap and hydrogen peroxide to clean them. And yes, if you’ve heard about crushed Aspirin being effective, it’s not a myth or urban legend. You can simply crush a few pills and mix them in with water to create a paste which you can apply on a stain (for roughly 15 minutes).
But don’t overlook some of the cheapest and most accessible alternatives, many of which sit right under your sink. Our two favourites include:
Baking Soda to Remove Sweat Stains
Make the Mixture
- Mix one part baking soda, one part hydrogen peroxide, and one part water.
Rub the Mixture
- Rub the solution into the sweat stains.
- Let it sit for 30 minutes.
Scrub Your Garment
- Use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush with soft bristles to scrub and loosen any residue.
Wash Your Garment
- Wash with a heavy-duty laundry detergent in warm or cold water.
White Vinegar to Remove Sweat Stains
- Mix a 1:1 solution of white distilled vinegar and water.
- Use a soft-bristled brush or an old soft toothbrush to scrub the armpits of the shirt before soaking.
- Fill a washing machine or large bucket with cool water.
- Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar.
- Add the colored shirts.
- Let shirts soak for 30 minutes.
- Drain the vinegar/water solution.
- Wash in cool water using a heavy-duty detergent.
Lots of people who suffer from excessive sweating have had plenty of success removing sweat stains using baking soda and white vinegar. They’re a low-cost, low-stress solution (excuse the pun) to this nuisance.
Don’t Sweat the Stains - They’re Not There to Stay
Yes, sweat stains are annoying and they can ruin a shirt if you don’t get on top of them right away. The good news about sweat stains is that they’re both preventable and removable, as long as you’re proactive and follow the tips above. So don’t fear sweat stains any longer - they’re not destined to last.
Looking for more tips to help you keep hyperhidrosis under control? Check out our NEAT Freaks blog for more insights on staying dry.