Tips For Getting Out Sweat Stains

My mom used to always say you needed a new white t-shirt every summer. That stayed with me and just like the sound of the ice cream truck or the feeling of sliding on flip flops for the first time, ripping the tags off a new white shirt hails summer for me. I’ve thrown away countless tanks and tees because of the nasty yellow sweat stains, but maybe I was too hasty. Want to get the stains out? Here’s how.

Armpit stains (the stain is often a reaction between the deodorant and the sweat.)

  • soak the shirt in water and vinegar in a 2:1 ratio for at least 1/2 hour
  • mix 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp hydrogen peroxide into a paste
  • take the shirt out of the water and vinegar, squeeze dry, spread the paste onto the stains and let sit for another 1/2 hour
  • wash with other whites

Baseball hats

  • in this case, prevention is better than treatment. Try a stain repellant you can purchase at a sporting goods store or on Amazon.
  • hat liners can absorb the sweat from your head and save a favorite hat
  • rubbing shampoo on the inner brim can release body oils
  • spot clean with non-bleach based cleaners and a white cloth
  • rinse in cold water and air dry


  • I have never tried this, but research is telling me a little bit of dish soap in the fabric softener dispenser works well. I can see the sense in this as they are designed to break up oils.
  • OR …
  • Put 1/4 cup of vinegar into your fabric softener dispenser.
  • Wash white sheets twice. Once with detergent and then once with a cup of bleach.
  • For yellowed sheets, purchase a bluing agent, like Mrs. Stewart’s , which will offset the yellow color while you wash.

Spot cleaning a sweat stain with equal parts lemon juice and water has also been shown to work.

Still, there is nothing like a nice, new, white summer shirt!


Strawberry Citrus and Jalapeño Infused Tequila

25 Ridiculously Refreshing Fruity Cocktails

Our Pick: A Mess-Free, Fruit-Infusing Water Bottle


Facebook Twitter Google Digg Reddit LinkedIn Pinterest StumbleUpon Email

Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness Coach. She helps clients with parenting issues, the challenges of college and young adulthood and issues related to health and habits. Email her at to learn more. She is the author of the Audible Original, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents.


Sign up for our email newsletter