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How to Remove Sweat Stains from Black Shirts and Clothing

August 21, 2020 3 min read

how to remove sweat stains from black shirts

Isn’t it annoying when sweat stains sneak into your wardrobe? Whether they’re ruining the armpits of a new black dress shirt or a working to discolor the collar of your favorite navy polo, sweat stains don’t exactly scream out professionalism. Apart from tainting an otherwise polished appearance, sweat stains can be an expensive problem to treat. It’s not sustainable for you or the environment to replace sullied items each time stains appear. This article shares practical tips for how to remove sweat stains from black shirts to improve garment longevity.

White Sweat Marks on Dark Clothing

White sweat marks on dark clothing make for an attention-grabbing contrast. Most antiperspirants use the active ingredient aluminum to combat wetness. Although this has the undeniable benefit of keeping you dry, it can cause undesirable white stains on dark clothing when the aluminum mixes with sweat. 

Ways to Remove Sweat Stains from Dark and Black Clothes

Wash Immediately

Our first piece of advice on how to remove white sweat stains from black shirts is to wash the item immediately. Or at minimum, run the garment under cold water and rub the problem area as a pre-wash treatment. Stains make themselves at home quickly and the more time they have to dry, the more stubborn they’ll be to get out.

Lemon Juice, Salt, Enzyme Pre-Wash & Vinegar (Five-step process)

What You’ll Need:

  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Enzyme Pre-Wash Stain Remover
  • White Vinegar
  • Toothbrush

Follow these five easy steps to eliminate white sweat marks.

  • First, combine one tablespoon each of lemon juice and salt in a small mixing bowl until they form a thin paste.
  • Second, use an old (but clean) toothbrush to scrub the mixture into the white stain. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Third, rinse the piece of clothing with cold water. This will wash away the lemon and salt concoction lifting the white stain with it.
  • Fourth, scan the dark item for any stain remnants and cover them with an enzyme prewash stain remover. Rub this deep into the fabric and leave for 15 minutes.
  • The fifth and final step is to add one cup of white vinegar to your wash cycle along with your normal laundry detergent. This final ingredient brightens dark clothing to recolor the areas where the white armpit stains were eradicated.

Laundry Detergent, Vinegar, Baking Soda (Three-step process)

What You’ll Need:

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda

You’ll probably already have these ingredients at home!

  • First, take your stained dark clothing and rub liquid laundry detergent into the problem area, allow this to sit for 30 minutes before washing as normal.
  • Second, mix half a cup of water with one tablespoon of vinegar and apply the solution to the sweat stain with a sponge. This helps to restore color as well as removing the stain and any sweaty smells.
  • Third, mix water into baking soda until a paste forms. Spread this over sweat stains and leave for 20 minutes. You can then wash the dark garment as you would normally.
how to remove white sweat stains from black shirts

Baking Soda and Water

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Water

Prepare your item of clothing by running the stain under water. Then, mix a paste from a quarter-cup of warm water and four tablespoons of baking soda. Apply a liberal amount directly onto the white stains and gently rub the fabric together so that the paste is absorbed. After leaving the mix for 30 minutes, you may machine wash as per normal.

Aspirin and Water

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 Aspirin Pills
  • Water

For tough stains that won’t budge, crush up three aspirin pills and mix in half a cup of warm water. Dip the white stain in the solution and leave it there for two to three hours. This allows the salicylic acid in the aspirin to get to work. Follow up with a regular wash.


What You’ll Need:

  • White Vinegar

Vinegar is a household jack-of-all-trades and can teach us a thing or two about how to remove sweat stains from black shirts. Before washing your stained dark clothes, pour a little vinegar directly onto the affected area and rub it into the fibers before continuing to wash as normal.

As you can see, sweat stains don't have to be a death sentence for your favorite dark or black garments. Addressing the stain immediately, using the right ingredients and putting in a little elbow grease may the secret to keeping your dark clothes fresh and stain-free. We've also created a list of laundry hacks for white or light-colored clothes.

Want to prevent sweat stains altogether? We think your best bet to avoiding sweat stains and deodorant marks on your clothing is by wearing an Ejis sweat proof basics. (Buy from our shop or on Amazon.) We strategically place sweat proof technology in the places you need it most to stop troublesome stains in the first place. Plus, the infused silver fights odor-causing bacteria to keep you feeling confident and fresh.

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