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How To Remove Fresh Deodorant Stains

t-shirt deodorant stainsLet’s face it: as much as we try to remember to apply our deodorant after we put our t-shirt on to avoid those horrible white schemers and stains, we forget. We’re not perfect, (well, I am, but whatever).

The fact is, you planned to wear your favorite black t-shirt with hilarious phrase on it today because you know how much your Grandmother loves a good pun and you were headed over to her place for lunch.

So what do you do now, walk over there with white splotches on the side of your shirt like an INSANE person? You might as well walk down the freeway attacking homeless men and eating their faces off, crazy.

Get real, you need to get those deodorant stains off your shirt before you become Youtube’s next psycho man sensation.
There’s two ways to go about this. First you can forfeit your shirt, give up, and find some other shirt just as hilariously puny as your first.

However, what’s to say you won’t mess that one up too with your white-caked armpits?
So the other, more suitable option is to remove the deodorant splotches from the shirt while you’re still wearing it. Check this out:

1. Grab a clean, cotton sock

basic white sock

2. Put it over your hand like a puppet.  Take some time to have your sock puppet talk, give it a name, annoy your roommate, whatever.

sock puppet

 3. Use the sock to rub off the deodorant. It should come right off!

clean white t-shirt

It’s as easy as that, Brainiac. Now just to clarify, these aren’t stains from over-wearing a shirt and under the arms discolors from sweat and deodorant.  This is just for when the white line stains occur with fresh deodorant that rubbed off on the shirt.

Wait, you don’t like our sock idea and want other ways?

Unlike the skid marks on your drawers, we can help you get rid of your deodorant stains with several tried-and-true methods. Before you go gung-ho, be sure to test out a bit of whatever we’re recommending in a small corner of the shirt. This way you’ll know if the remedy will cause the shirt to stain further or colors to run (it shouldn’t – but you never know).

Cleanse it With Fire

The very best way to get deodorant stains out of your t-shirt is to go outside, take a match, and light the shirt on fire. After a few minutes, viola!

No more deodorant stains! (and no more t-shirt either).

If you’re looking for less destructive methods on how to get rid of deodorant stains, read on:

Damp Washcloth

Sometimes, the best methods are the simplest ones. Grab a clean washcloth or towel, run it under the tap water and wring it out. Make sure it’s damp and not dripping wet.

Swipe, swipe, swipe and the stain should go away.

Microfiber Sponges

If the simplistic method of a damp washcloth did not work to remove the stain, you should try the microfiber method next:

Buy a microfiber sponge or cloth. Get it damp (not soaking wet) and swipe, swipe, swipe. We’re not sure how the science works, but the microfibers should work on a micro level to micro-remove the stain. Or something like that.


Ask your girlfriend, wife, or random lady in the grocery store if you can borrow one of her nylon pantyhose.

Much like the microfiber sponges, swipe, swipe, swipe and it should come clean. Nylons are great for delicate clothes such as silk or….other stuff that’s delicate.

Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are not only good for wiping a baby clean, but they’re great for removing deodorant stains on t-shirts. The ingredients contained baby wipes will help attract some or all of the deodorant stain.

By now you should have gotten that deodorant stain out of the t-shirt. If not, we’re going to have to break out the big guns.

The next few tips and tricks should be used only after you have tried to gently lift the stain with a sock or microfiber cloth. These tips involve adding other cleaning products in the high hopes of lifting the stain off the shirt.

Makeup remover

We read on another blog that women use makeup remover to get powder and foundation stains out of shirts. So why not deodorant out of t-shirts?

Grab some makeup remover wipes and swipe, swipe, swipe. Be sure to test the shirt to see if it’s color fast.

Stain Removers

Shout, Tide Ultra, etc. et al. There are many products that claim to remove deodorant stains. We’re not going to suggest one over another. Look on the back of the label and if it says it removes deodorant stains, it probably does. Keep in mind that you’re adding chemicals to your shirt and it could potentially lock the stain in. So, stick to the big brand names and you should be O.K.

Distilled White Vinegar

Vinegar is a very weak form of acetic acid and can break the stain down. Fill up your washing machine with cool water and add a single cup of distilled white vinegar. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain the concoction and wash in cold water with normal detergent.

If the deodorant stain is really obvious, mix 1-part vinegar and 1-part water and directly treat the stain itself. Use a toothbrush to gently scrub the area after applying the solution. Let sit for around an hour then wash in cold water as usual.

Baking Soda

Baking soda might be your best bet if none of the other tactics have worked. It’s a natural cleanser and deodorizer. It’s gentle enough to use on most types of fabrics (except maybe silk).

Grab some baking soda and water and make a thin paste. Give it about an hour and allow it to dry. While it’s drying, use a toothbrush or your finger to agitate the paste by rubbing gently.

Wash as usual.

Last Resort  

If your t-shirt has sentimental value, or absolutely nothing else has worked so far, try taking it to your local dry cleaners.

They’re the experts on how to remove stains and they might have a squirt bottle of “the good stuff” that could potentially remove the stain immediately.

We’re not sure what exactly is in the “good stuff,” but it’s worth a shot. If you still can’t get it out, you’ll either have to live with it, or buy a new shirt.