How to Remove Sweat Stains and Odor: Ultimate Guide

How to Remove Sweat Stains

Sweat stains and odors are a universal struggle. Do you know how to remove sweat stains? Let’s just admit it. They’re neither attractive nor professional, and they’re downright embarrassing when you’re trying to make a good impression. It’s not that you’re unclean or don’t care about hygiene; it’s just that sweating is a natural body function. It helps us cool down when we’re hot, stressed, or pushing through a vigorous workout. Unfortunately, our clothes often pay the price.

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Some fabrics are more forgiving than others, but lighter-colored garments can betray you with those unattractive yellow stains. It can make even your nicest shirts look old and uncared-for, which is not the vibe you want to give off, right? These stubborn stains can also lead people to make unfair assumptions about your personal hygiene.

But here’s the good news: most sweat stains and odors aren’t permanent. With a bit of know-how, you can usually get rid of them. Granted, there are extreme cases where the stains might not come out, and at that point, maybe it’s time to retire those clothes to ‘around the house’ status. But for the most part, a little proactive care can go a long way in keeping your clothes looking and smelling fresh.

How to Remove Sweat Stains from Clothes?

First off, let’s debunk a myth: sweat stains don’t just happen because you’re sweating a lot or neglecting your hygiene. In fact, your deodorant might be the secret culprit behind those stubborn stains. Many deodorants contain aluminum, which reacts with your sweat and leads to those telltale marks on your clothes over time. So before you blame yourself, know that even the most hygiene-conscious among us can fall victim to these annoying stains.

To avoid them, there are a few things you can do.

  1. Switch to an Aluminum-Free Deodorant: First things first, many deodorants contain aluminum, which can react with your sweat and leave those yellow stains. Look for deodorants that are aluminum-free to avoid this issue.

  2. Let Your Deodorant Dry: Before putting on your clothes, make sure your deodorant is completely dry. This helps to prevent staining and makes your deodorant more effective too.

  3. Turn Your Clothes Inside Out: When you’re washing your clothes, turn them inside out. This way, the detergent directly hits the areas that have come into contact with your skin.

  4. Pre-treat Stains: Before throwing your clothes into the washing machine, try treating the stains with detergent or a specialized stain remover. A little water and some elbow grease can go a long way.

  5. Rotate Your Wardrobe: Try not to wear the same clothes too many times in a row. The more you wear them, the more likely they are to stain.

  6. Don’t Let Dirty Clothes Pile Up: Wash your clothes right after wearing them, and don’t let them sit in the laundry basket for too long. This will make it easier to remove stains.

  7. Consider an Undershirt: If you’re wearing a shirt that you want to keep in pristine condition, think about wearing an undershirt to absorb some of the sweat.

  8. Pick the Right Wash Cycle: Not all wash cycles are created equal. Choose one that’s appropriate for the level of cleanliness you need. Some settings are gentler but may not remove stains as effectively.

According to the NYT, if you have stained shirts or T-shirts, it is recommended to use powdered oxygen bleach mixed with a small amount of hot water. Apply this mixture directly to the stains. According to the New York Times, they recommend covering the treated areas with plastic wrap to prevent the paste from drying out. After that, they suggest letting the garment sit in a warm room for a minimum of 8 hours, allowing the oxygen bleach to work effectively.

After completing this process, wash your clothes using the usual method and allow them to air dry in a location where they are not exposed to direct sunlight.

How to Remove the Smell of Sweat from Clothes?

Even if your clothes don’t have any visible stains, they might still have a persistent sweat odor that doesn’t go away easily with regular washing. This is especially true for garments like undershirts or workout clothes that you wear frequently and tend to sweat in.

According to, there is a solution for this issue. All you need is some white vinegar, baking soda, laundry detergent, and a container.

First, make sure to let the clothes dry if they are sweaty. Then, combine a cup of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda. Put this mixture in a container with enough cold water and soak your clothes in it for at least 30 minutes. Once you have finished soaking your clothes, just place them in the washing machine along with the detergent and wash them as you normally would.

It is advisable to avoid using fabric softener, as it can leave behind residue that can trap bacteria causing unpleasant odors. Instead, it is recommended to allow your clothes to air dry in a well-ventilated, cool area.