How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
jastevenson
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:32 am

How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by jastevenson » Sat May 18, 2019 1:22 pm

I have some nice white/light colored button down short sleeve shirts that look nice and are good for hot weather, but I worry about getting those dreaded yellow underarm stains. The shirts have some colored stripes and such, so dipping them in bleach sounds like it would damage them.

I live in a very hot climate, where it is too hot to wear an undershirt. My understanding is that the staining is caused by wearing antiperspirants, but stopping that isn't an option!

Is there any way to prevent or fix this problem? They are nice shirts and I don't want to destroy them!

Here's an example pic I found online.
Image

Edit: thanks for the the tips thus far! To clarify, the goal is to let me wear a button down shirt without an undershirt underneath
Last edited by jastevenson on Sat May 18, 2019 5:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.

buhlaxtus
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:55 am

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by buhlaxtus » Sat May 18, 2019 1:25 pm

I wear undershirts anyway. Also try using a liquid aluminum chloride overnight antiperspirant - Certain-Dri is one company that makes those. Likely you can reduce your use of the antiperspirant sticks that make these stains.

rk6
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by rk6 » Sat May 18, 2019 1:31 pm

Speed Stick Stainguard/Overtime also works well for me, if the others are not to your liking.

ThriftyPhD
Posts: 811
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:43 am

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by ThriftyPhD » Sat May 18, 2019 1:34 pm

https://www.amazon.com/Arm-Hammer-Essen ... B002BX4E0Q
Stain Shield
Get long-lasting odor protection without sacrificing your clothes. Essentials won't leave yellow underarm stains on your favorite shirt or blouse.

buhlaxtus
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:55 am

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by buhlaxtus » Sat May 18, 2019 1:39 pm

Not an antiperspirant.

User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 8747
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat May 18, 2019 1:45 pm

buhlaxtus wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 1:25 pm
I wear undershirts anyway. Also try using a liquid aluminum chloride overnight antiperspirant - Certain-Dri is one company that makes those. Likely you can reduce your use of the antiperspirant sticks that make these stains.
Mitchums has an unscented type (roll on or gel).

After several days' use, many people don't need to use it every day or even every other day. YMMV, obviously.

I switched to simple aluminum chloride [I think that's what I got] for some years, but that became difficult to find. The Mitchum's formulation has changed slightly, but it's still great.

We both use it.
(Makes travel just a bit easier, one bottle.)

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

DesertDiva
Posts: 377
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:49 pm
Location: In the desert

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by DesertDiva » Sat May 18, 2019 2:48 pm

Prevention is always a good idea. For the stains that already exist, I would try:

https://carbona.com/products/staindevil ... -number-9/

Disclaimer: I haven't used this formula, but I use other Carbona products and am very happy with them.

mortfree
Posts: 1616
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by mortfree » Sat May 18, 2019 3:31 pm

Don’t sweat. Just stand there

bloom2708
Posts: 6221
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by bloom2708 » Sat May 18, 2019 3:35 pm

https://www.thecrystal.com/products/min ... nscented-1

Great product. I like unscented. They have other scents. Pomegranite is good too. Roll on is my choice. Works great.
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

Cycle
Posts: 1247
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by Cycle » Sat May 18, 2019 3:46 pm

Clean your arpits thoroughly when you shower, and shower every day. Some people don't actually need deodorant.

I use deodorant most days, but only when necessary. I keep some at work.

You don't necessarily need to apply it every day. YMMV though, as everyone will have different bacteria on their skin, and some should have a hermetically sealed shirt.

Also, if you're overweight, consider not being overweight to reduce your sweating

Leemiller
Posts: 1192
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:42 pm

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by Leemiller » Sat May 18, 2019 4:06 pm

For those who advocate not wearing deodorant, I truly hope I never work with you. I’m very aware of what people smell like when they don’t and you may not think you smell, some people might not think you smell, but I will smell you being somewhat more sensitive then many other people.

Even with undershirts, some people just have to buy new clothes after awhile due to staining.

User avatar
obafgkm
Posts: 371
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:12 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by obafgkm » Sat May 18, 2019 4:11 pm

Remember antiperspirant is not the same as deodorant.

Original Poster (OP), I had stained undershirts, but switched from an antiperspirant/deodorant to just a deodorant (Speed Stick) and I have not had any problem in the years since. I acknowledge that you were specifically interested in an antiperspirant.

Okay, this is not what I thought I might be contributing to the World Wide Web today... :o

bac
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:19 pm

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by bac » Sat May 18, 2019 4:15 pm

Apply antiperspirant at night, even if you shower in the morning. It works much better that way. See <https://lifehacker.com/apply-antiperspi ... 1570562830>

Alas, I learned this lesson (via an item in an AARP publication) only after I retired and stopped wearing dress shirts daily, so I know what you're dealing with.

User avatar
Tycoon
Posts: 1471
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by Tycoon » Sat May 18, 2019 4:17 pm

Use yellow undershirts?
“To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.” Confucius

Steven in NC
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:43 am

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by Steven in NC » Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 pm

How old are these? I think you have to swap out for new at least each season...perhaps more often.

WillRetire
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:01 am

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by WillRetire » Sat May 18, 2019 4:30 pm

On a weekday, if you have time, call the 800 phone number on the antiperspirant bottle, and ask for tips to prevent & remove underarm shirt stains.

yellow may indicate excess perspiration, whereas grey may indicate excess product.

If the stains have been there a long time, they might not come out.

Try all of the following every time you launder the shirts:
1) apply stain remover according to bottle directions,
and
2) wash shirts with bleach plus detergent, assuming the material can handle bleach. Most cottons can.

criticalmass
Posts: 1005
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by criticalmass » Sat May 18, 2019 9:42 pm

Leemiller wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:06 pm
For those who advocate not wearing deodorant, I truly hope I never work with you. I’m very aware of what people smell like when they don’t and you may not think you smell, some people might not think you smell, but I will smell you being somewhat more sensitive then many other people.
If you focus much on smelling folks and noticing much on what folks smell like, I suspect you will be quite unhappy if you travel to Europe, Asia (including India), the Middle East, much of Latin America, and the rest of Africa. (Especially in summer for a Europe and Asia). To keep shirts clean, apply stain remover after wearing and wash as soon as practical. Don’t wear multiple times between washes when not using undershirts.

User avatar
TeamArgo
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:18 am

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by TeamArgo » Sat May 18, 2019 11:40 pm

I spent the summer of 1969 in Puerto Rico, and soon discovered that most men there wear cotton t-shirt undershirts in even the hottest weather. They absorb perspiration and help keep you a bit cooler instead of making you warmer. I have worn undershirts year round ever since, even here in Florida.
The downside is that you develop yellow stains in your undershirts. That problem disappeared when I switched over to one of the newer generation of non-yellowing antiperspirants. I suppose you could skip straight to that solution, but try the undershirts just a few times at least, too.
"Florida Man", Doing stupid stuff so you don't have to!

mattsm
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:27 am

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by mattsm » Sat May 18, 2019 11:52 pm

Helps to not put shirt on right after applying anything to the pits. Let it dry out some, if you do it right after shower it goes from pits to the shirt and causes stains.

cheesepep
Posts: 803
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:58 pm

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by cheesepep » Sun May 19, 2019 12:45 am

There are some dress shirts with built in tampax pads in the armpit area. Consider buying those. Saw it on shark tank once.

Caduceus
Posts: 1891
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:47 am

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by Caduceus » Sun May 19, 2019 2:21 am

Leemiller wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:06 pm
For those who advocate not wearing deodorant, I truly hope I never work with you. I’m very aware of what people smell like when they don’t and you may not think you smell, some people might not think you smell, but I will smell you being somewhat more sensitive then many other people.

Even with undershirts, some people just have to buy new clothes after awhile due to staining.
I actually don't use deodorant, and I am very sure I don't smell at all. I have asked intimate partners throughout my life. I had some body odor as a teen (but strangely enough, maybe TMI, it actually was the good kind of BO - musk?). To be fair, I have only dated one other person who smelled good naturally rather than foul, so you are probably right that many people do need deodorant. It's a genetic thing.

At work, I am actually much more bothered by folks who use too much perfume/cologne/deodorant than I am with folks who use nothing. I once had to sit with a colleague in a car and the smell of her perfume was really overwhelming up close. I think the norms have changed in the corporate world - I very rarely smell anything now, whether good or bad, and that is as it should be. I hate being close to people who wear too much perfume/cologne/deodorant as they make me feel physically nauseous - so I would say if you use it to be considerate and use only a little.

VanGogh
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:37 pm

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by VanGogh » Sun May 19, 2019 2:48 am

Rub a little Dawn dishwashing liquid with baking soda into the stain before washing. If the shirts are pure white, you can use Dawn plus a little peroxide on the stain before washing.

A440
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:46 am
Location: NJ

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by A440 » Sun May 19, 2019 5:47 am

I'm "test-driving" this product with new undershirts: https://www.amazon.com/Dove-Men-Care-St ... 35TD54QMV7
Time will tell how it works with avoiding yellow stains.
I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.

User avatar
legio XX
Posts: 515
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:37 am
Location: NYC

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by legio XX » Sun May 19, 2019 8:19 am

cheesepep wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 12:45 am
There are some dress shirts with built in tampax pads in the armpit area. Consider buying those. Saw it on shark tank once.
If you search eBay or Amazon for "armpit protectors" you get plenty of options, some treated with deodorant. These worked when I was into silk shirts. Saved a lot on the cleaning.

I have a lot of pretty old workout t-shirts. They get sprayed with 50/50 vinegar when I toss them into the laundry bag to keep the sweat smell from staying put. Just looked at a couple of the white ones and there's no yellow so . . .

Never could get the whole anti-perspirant thing - prefer unscented deodorant. If it's that hot, business attire should be tank tops!

User avatar
Bogle7
Posts: 169
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 9:33 am

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Post by Bogle7 » Sun May 19, 2019 11:37 am

1. Wear blue or pink shirts. Think conservative https://www.brooksbrothers.com/mens/dre ... refv1=Pink
2. Wear sleeveless shirts. Think https://www.asos.com/asos-design/asos-d ... ?clr=white
3. Grow old. Old people sweat less. I write from experience.

Post Reply