10 Remedies for Removing Yellow Stains From White Clothes Home fixes and unusual hacks to keep clothes bright

[Feature image by Ryogi Hayasaka]

Have you ever needed to use your arms? You know, like when you’re telling an animated story, or carrying something, or giving your girl a hug?

Yeah, pretty much everyone has. And almost everyone has experienced the pesky embarrassment of yellow pit stains on an otherwise crisp white shirt.

What Causes Yellow Stains?

remove yellow stain perspiration stain

Yellow stains are caused by a combination of sweat and the chemicals from your deodorant. They’re almost as unavoidable as sweating, or as applying antiperspirants so that you sweat less.

You can, however, prevent stains by wearing an undershirt. You can also choose a stain prevention deodorant, or trim your armpit hair so that your pits stay drier. The best prevention method for yellow stains is to wash your white shirt immediately after wearing it. This way, the stains don’t have time to set.

But that’s not why you’re here. You’re looking to get rid of stains that have already embedded themselves into your pristine clothing, attempting to hamper your life at every handshake or wave.

10 Remedies for Removing Yellow Stains from White Shirts:

Here are some home remedies and unusual hacks for keeping your whites bright. The key to notice here is how long you let your solutions soak.

Magic Ingredient: Baking Soda

remove yellow stains with baking soda

Solution: 4 tablespoons of baking soda + 1/4 cup of water

Steps:

  • Mix solution and scrub it into the stain
  • Let the mixture sit on the stain for about an hour
  • Wash in cold water
  • If the stain isn’t fully removed, repeat the process before drying

Magic Ingredient: Vinegar

remove yellow stains with vinegar

Solution: Equal parts white vinegar and water

Steps:

  • Mix the solution into a spray bottle and spray the stain
  • Let the solution sit on the stain for about an hour
  • Wash in cold water
  • If the stain isn’t fully removed, repeat the process before drying

Magic Ingredient: White Vinegar and Salt

remove yellow stains with vinegar and salt

Jason Tuinstra

Solution: 1/2 cup of white vinegar + 1/2 cup of salt + bucket of water

Steps:

  • Mix the solution to create a soak
  • Place the shirt inside the mixture and stir for at least 30 minutes
  • Remove the shirt and wash as normal

Magic Ingredient: Hydrogen Peroxide

remove yellow stains with hydrogen peroxide

Solution: Equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water

Steps:

  • Mix the solution to create a soak
  • Soak the stain or the entire shirt for 30 – 45 minutes
  • Wash in cold water
  • If the stain isn’t fully removed, repeat the process before drying

*Hydrogen peroxide should be used on white clothing only. It could cause discoloring on colorful clothes.*

Magic Ingredient: Dishwasher Soap

remove yellow stains with dishwasher soap

Solution: Dishwashing soap + laundry detergent

Steps:

  • Add a quarter-sized squeeze of dishwasher soap into your laundry detergent
  • Run your white clothing through a regular machine wash cycle

Magic Ingredient: Lemons

remove yellow stains with lemon juice

Lauren Mancke

Solution: 3 lemons + a pot boiling water

Steps:

  • Slice up lemons and put them in a pot
  • Spot treat stains with lemon juice then place clothes in the pot
  • Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil
  • Turn off the heat, and let your clothes soak in hot lemon water for an hour
  • Put your clothes through a regular machine wash cycle

Magic Ingredient: Toothpaste

remove yellow stains with toothpaste

Solution: Just toothpaste

Steps:

  • Apply toothpaste to the stained area and scrub with a bristle brush
  • Keep scrubbing until the stain is removed
  • Put the shirt through a regular wash cycle

Magic Ingredient: Aspirin

remove yellow stains with aspirin

Solution: 5 white aspirin pills + bucket of water

Steps:

  • Dissolve aspirin in water to make a soak
  • Let clothing soak for three hours
  • After soaking, put clothes through a regular machine wash cycle

*Make sure to use white aspirin instead of the colored varieties. You don’t want to dye your clothing*

Magic Ingredient: Denture Tablets

remove yellow stains with denture tablets

Solution: 2-4 denture tablets + bucket of water

Steps:

  • Dissolve the denture tablets in a bucket of water
  • Soak stained clothing in the solution for 8-12 hours
  • Put clothes through a regular wash cycle

Magic Ingredient: OxiClean

remove yellow stains with oxiclean

Solution: 1 scoop of OxiClean + warm water

Steps:

  • Fill a sink with warm water and add Oxiclean
  • Soak shirt in the solution for 1-24 hours (24 hours for super tough stains)
  • You can also spot treat your stains with a thick OxiClean paste before soaking
  • Rinse and put your shirt through a regular machine wash

Don’t Do It: Bleach

Contrary to what you may think, the chemicals in bleach can cause yellowing. Chlorine bleach mixed with the sun’s UV rays, in particular, will cause yellow stains.

Congrats on your “new” white wardrobe! You’ll be looking fresh after using these tactics.

Read next: How to Remove Stains From Your Favorite Ties and Shoes