Friday, July 11, 2014

Underarm Stains? They're The Pits!

I love household tips and tricks, I have always appreciated Hints from Heloise. One of the great blogs I read, One Good Thing by Jillee, has loads of awesome household tips and tricks.  One of Jillee's tips I was excited to try was how to get rid of armpit stains, so I figured I would document it to tell you about it and let you know if it worked or not. I had several white shirts in my closet that I was avoiding wearing because they had some yellow armpit stains, so I was certainly ready to give it a shot. I tried this one morning when I had a few extra minutes before I had to leave for work.


One Good Thing how to get rid of armpit stains


In a small plastic container I mixed up 2:1 ratio of hydrogen peroxide to dish soap (2 Tablespoons peroxide, 1 Tablespoon dish soap).  I used Palmolive dish soap since that's what we had even though the recipe called for Dawn.  I accidentally omitted the baking soda because I was in a hurry and forgot.

I pulled all my white shirts out of the closet, a nail brush, and the peroxide-soap mixture and took it all downstairs to the laundry area in the basement.  We don't have a countertop in the basement, so I grabbed a lid for a plastic tote and put it on top of the utility sink as my work surface. 


I dipped the brush in the peroxide-soap mixture, dabbed it on the stained area, and scrubbed as best I could.  It's hard with only a tiny piece of fabric to work with.  I did that for all of my shirts and even a pair of white jeans that still had an unknown grey stain after just coming out of the wash. 

I thought I photographed the same two shirts for my "before" and "after" shots to show my progress, but I don't think this first set matches.  But whatever, it's a good concept so you can see some results.
Pit scrubbings. Might not be the same shirt for the before and after shots.
Click the image for larger view.
For both sets, hopefully you can see a bit of yellow underarm stains in the first picture. There's still a tiny bit of yellow in the "after" shot, but it's a lot less.
Good results.  Not perfect, but much better.
Click the image for a larger view.
For this second set of pictures it's definitely the same shirt since it's the only white one I have with longer sleeves.


I was really happy with the results, it's nice to know I can wear my shirts without having that nagging voice in the back of my head being a little worried about my yellow armpit stains.  I will definitely use this mixture again to see if I can remove a bit more of the stains, and hopefully remember the baking soda in the recipe and see if it helps!

One important reminder is that you need to be gentle, I have some noticeable pilling on some of the shirts.  But whatever, I would probably be more worried about the pit stains rather than a little bit of pilling under the arms.  

A coworker mentioned she had heard of boiling the clothing in vinegar and that it worked for her, so maybe that'll be another experiment.

Oh, and Husband Jeff said he heard the advice to not use bleach on protein stains like this since it makes the stain worse.  A quick search on the internet seems to confirm this, it'll set the stain and darken it, so definitely DON'T USE BLEACH on yellow armpit stains

I hope you get a chance to try this and maybe make some more of your shirts wearable again. 

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!