How to remove sweat stains on clothes

Yellow sweat stains on clothes

Unpleasant yellow, white or grey stains sometimes appear on clothes and bedding. Their source is sweat. Heat, stress, specific diseases cause its excessive secretion. And deodorants often not only do not solve the problem, but also make it worse. How to remove sweat stains on white, black or colored clothes without ruining the item?

Choosing a Cleaner and Precautions

Any stain that forms on fabric requires a special approach. Sweat stains are no exception. Before you begin removing them, you should definitely consider:

  • Composition of the product. Unpainted cotton and linen items that do not have additional decorations or filler can be cleaned with most of the available means, excluding concentrated acids. For natural wool, leather, suede, silk and many synthetic materials, intense friction, high temperature and a number of cleaners are unacceptable. For example: polyester does not tolerate gasoline and solvents (acetone, white spirit), viscosedoes not react well to vinegar, and wool and silk – to alkaline detergents.
  • Fabric color and color fastness. Many substances used to remove stains have a bleaching effect. Therefore, before washing out sweat stains, it is necessary to test on the inner seam of the product or a piece of fabric. If after 5 minutes the colors have not flowed or faded, then you can start cleaning.
  • Time of stains stay on the item. The easiest way to get rid of sweat stains is when they just appeared. The longer they stay on the item, the more deeply they penetrate the fabric. And if you wear sweat-soaked clothes over and over again, even the strongest products will most likely be powerless.
  • Features of contamination. Sweat stains, like blood stains, are protein stains. Therefore, when removing them, you should remember two mandatory general points:

When soaking before the main wash and local cleaning, use water at room temperature. Hot water will further embed yellow stains into the material.

Sweat stains cannot be removed with chlorine-containing products. As a result of the chemical reaction, yellowness (especially ingrained) does not lighten, but changes color to gray.

It is advisable to remove white and yellow stains from the back of the product, placing a highly absorbent cloth or napkin under the stain.

Universal methods for removing sweat stains

Although each item ideally requires a different approach, there are products that are suitable for items made from any type of fabric.

Universal cleaners have a gentle effect and only deal with fresh dirt.

  • A strong solution of table salt. Salt and water are taken in equal parts and the resulting mixture is used to remove dirt using a cotton pad.
  • Acetylsalicylic acid. The preparation is ground into powder and water is added little by little until a paste is obtained. It is applied to the stain from the edges to the center for 30 minutes or an hour, depending on the degree of penetration of sweat into the fibers.
  • Bath or baby soapthat does not contain dyes. A small part of the bar is dissolved in water and whipped into foam. It is collected on a soft sponge or brush and the stain is removed without pressure. It is forbidden to soap fabric, especially light and delicate, with a bar.

White film and yellowness can be removed using oxygen stain remover and laundry soap. These are strong, broad-spectrum cleaners. They are not suitable for natural silk only.

After processing, the fabric is washed with water at the same temperature, and if necessary, the item is washed completely.

Removing Stains from White Clothes

For white items spoiled with yellow marks, substances with a bleaching effect are used. Their choice depends on the fabric that was contaminated.

The sweat stain is cleaned with hydrogen peroxide added to cool water (ratio: 1 to 10). The mixture is slightly heated and the dirty area is cleaned with quick movements. Then the remaining solution is immediately washed off with water at room temperature. The method is universal, suitable even for delicate silk.

Peroxide should be washed out of the fibers very carefully, otherwise after a walk in the sun, yellow spots on the textile will appear from it.

The embedded yellow stain is removed from white clothing using a mixture of a glass of water, 1 teaspoon of ammonia and 1 teaspoon of salt (the latter can be replaced with denatured alcohol). The stain is treated and left for 15 minutes, after which a normal wash is required.

Sweat stains from linen and cotton items are removed with a mixture of water, table salt and ammonia (5 ml (g) of each substance per 250 ml). Salt can be replaced with the same amount of borax. In addition, it is worth trying to apply to the yellowed segments:

  1. Dishwashing liquid or citric acid (1 tsp per 200 ml of water) for 1.5 hours.
  2. Diluted 9% vinegar for half an hour.
  3. Aqueous solution of “Persoli” (1 teaspoon per 200 ml) – for 2 hours.

Synthetic fibers, such as polyester and viscose, are treated with salt and peroxide dissolved in water (1.5 teaspoons per 1 liter of water).

There are cleaning mixtures that are suitable for most fabrics. The exception is sensitive natural silk . Here are some examples of such compositions:

  1. Equal amounts of table salt and soda mixed with dishwashing gel or liquid soap to form a paste. Leave the mixture for half an hour.
  2. Soda solution (1 tbsp. per 50 ml of water). The stain is generously moistened with it, and then the item is washed after 2 hours.

Old stains that are difficult to clean are removed from white clothes in several stages. Let’s consider two options for such treatment:

  • 30 ml of 9% vinegar is poured into a five-liter basin of water and the item requiring treatment is immersed in the solution. After half an hour, the textile is wrung out and a soda solution (40 g per 200 ml of water), diluted ammonia or lemon juice (30 ml per 250 ml of water) is applied to the areas damaged by sweat. Washing is performed after 2 hours.
  • Clothes or bedding are dipped in a soap solution whipped into foam for a quarter of an hour. Then a paste of crushed acetylsalicylic acid moistened with water is applied locally to the slightly wrung out item. After 2 hours, it is again dipped in a warm soap solution and washed. Then a tampon, abundantly moistened in 3% hydrogen peroxide diluted with water (proportion: 1:10), is applied to the sweat-stained areas. Finally, a second wash is carried out.

The methods described should be used with caution on any, especially delicate fabrics. Before cleaning, you should check how they react to aggressive substances.

How to remove stains from colored and black fabric

The range of substances that remove sweat stains from colored and black clothing is small. In addition to universal cleaners, the following products are suitable for colored fabrics:

  • A mixture of ammonia and ethyl alcohol (1:1 ratio) is applied to the stains for 10-15 minutes. Then the item is washed in warm water. If necessary, the procedure is repeated.
  • 2 teaspoons of denatured alcohol can be combined with the yolk of a chicken egg. The mixture is allowed to dry and then removed with warm glycerin or plain water.
  • Artificial fabrics are freed from whitish stains with denatured alcohol or vodka diluted half and half with water. The alcohol solution is applied to the dirty areas and washed off after half an hour.
  • Stains on woolen itemsare removed with laundry soap or wiped with a cloth soaked in a saturated salt solution. For silk fabrics, the concentration is minimal (1 teaspoon per 200 ml) – the exposure time is 10-15 minutes, followed by washing.
  • Sweat gland secretions from cotton and linen are removed with ammonia and salt (5 ml (g) per 200 ml) or any of the methods listed in this section.

Before cleaning, you should test the fabric for color fastness by applying the selected composition to a small area in the seam area.

As we can see, it is possible to remove unsightly stains and spots from things at home. If none of the suggested methods work, you will have to contact a professional cleaner.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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