It’s not something that’s fun to talk about, but armpit stains are inevitable. They make white shirts looking unclean, even if they are freshly washed. I don’t like to throw away anything that’s perfectly usable, as it’s not very frugal and new work shirts can be fairly expensive. If there is a chance of cleaning the shirt first, I’ll always have a go!
I try to be proactive and treat the stains when they first appear, so the problem doesn’t get too bad, and the shirt or T-shirt becomes unwearable. Typically, these stains seems to appear more on plain white t-shirts, than coloured t-shirts or shirts.
I haven’t tried these cleaning methods on other fabrics, but the following stain treatment works well on plain white t-shirts and shirts.
Using vinegar to get rid of underarm stains
Pour vinegar on the affected area, enough so that the stain is fully soaked. I let it sit for about 30-45 minutes, and then throw it in the washing machine.
I add washing powder and select the hottest water setting indicated as safe on the label of the shirt (this is usually 60C). Once the wash is complete, I check to make sure the stain has come out, before leaving it to try.
Using baking soda to get rid of underarm stains
Use a one to one ratio of 1/4 cup each baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water and mix together. Rub the solution into the shirt stain, and let it soak in for about 30-45 minutes. I keep an old toothbrush in the laundry room to scrub away any residue, then wash on the hottest water setting indicated as safe on the label of the shirt.
Using white vinegar for treating coloured shirts
For darker coloured shirts, you can add one cup of white vinegar to cold water soak in the washing machine. I let it soak 30-45 minutes, then turn the washing machine on to drain the water. Start the wash cycle as normal, using the temperature settings indicated as safe on the label of the garment.