Guide to Removing Pit Stains from Dress Shirts

December 11, 2020 3 min read

removing pit stains from dress shirts

A well-dressed man needs to keep his image intact. From his necktie to his buffed shoes, his appearance is key. As such, it is imperative for men who regularly wear dress shirts to keep them looking crisp and clean. This may prove particularly difficult if you sweat so much that your dress shirts become soiled. Unfortunately, sweat stains need to be treated since they don’t easily wash out. In this article, we’ll look at four laundry hacks for removing pit stains from dress shirts.

Caring for Dress Shirts vs Other Shirts

As you probably know, dress shirts typically require a little more attention than your t-shirts or polo shirts. A high-quality dress shirt can last for years with proper treatment.

To start, check the care instructions on the garment. Many dress shirts are machine washable. For those you can wash yourself, wash in cold on the delicate cycle, and hang dry. (Be sure to separate white dress shirts from colored and dark ones so the colors stay sharp.) Iron as needed, and immediately hang in the closet. If possible, space the dress shirts out in your closet so that they can breathe and hang naturally. To keep dress shirts looking sharp, regularly check them for any loose buttons, wrinkles, or stains.

How to Remove Pit Stains from Dress Shirts

Because dress shirts require extra care, some of the traditional methods of stain removal may be too harsh or ineffective. As such, we’ve compiled four highly effective stain removal methods that are safe to use on dress shirts.

1. Dish Soap & Hydrogen Peroxide

What You'll Need:

  • Dish soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Clean soft-bristled toothbrush

This is a popular method for removing pit stains from dress shirts. To use, mix together one part of dish soap with two parts of hydrogen peroxide for the optimum strength. Generously apply the mixture to the stain and scrub with a clean toothbrush. Let sit for 60 minutes, and then wash as usual. (Note, the use of hydrogen peroxide may cause discoloration in white dress shirts. So either choose another method for your white dress shirts or test this method on a small, inconspicuous area.)

2. Vinegar, Baking Soda & Hydrogen Peroxide

What You'll Need:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Salt

This is another effective combination for getting sweat stains out of dress shirts. It is a comparatively stronger solution, so it is a good choice for particularly stubborn stains. To use, combine one cup of vinegar, one cup baking soda, one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, and one tablespoon of salt. Mix together, and apply to the stained areas. Let sit for 20 minutes, and wash as usual.

3. Crushed Aspirin

What You'll Need:

  • Aspirin tablets
  • Warm water

Don’t let the stress of getting sweat stains out of dress shirts give you a headache. Instead, crush up two aspirin pills and mix with a half cup of warm water. Apply the paste to the affected areas. Allow to sit for an hour, and then wash as usual.

Sweat stains need to be treated since they don’t easily wash out.

4. Oxiclean

What You'll Need:

  • Oxiclean (or another oxygen-based bleach product)
  • Warm water

Another option for removing pit stains from dress shirts is to use an oxygen-based bleach such as Oxiclean. It has the reputation of being the ultimate yellow stain remover for years, and rightfully so. To use, simply mix one scoop of OxiClean with one gallon of warm water until it dissolves. Place dress shirt into the solution, making sure the stains are submerged. Allow to sit for 1-6 hours, depending on the severity of the stain. Rinse, and wash as usual. 

What about Collar Stains on Dress Shirts?

Now that you know how to get pit stains out of dress shirts, it is also important to learn how to treat your sweat-stained collars.

What You'll Need:

  • Laundry detergent

Lay your shirt out flat with the collar facing upward. Apply laundry detergent to the stained area and gently rub. Let it sit for 30 minutes, and then wash as usual.

    Using one of these stain removal techniques will help restore your dress shirts to their former glory and help them to last longer. 

    To avoid pit stains altogether, wear an Ejis sweat proof undershirt (available from our shop or on Amazon). Our sweat proof undershirts are designed to protect your dress shirts from sweat marks and odor. The slim fit design and extra length ensure they stay tucked in and remain invisible under your dress shirts.

    (Note: Do not use bleach or vinegar on Ejis sweat proof products. Some of these armpit stain removers may not be suitable for bright or dark colored shirts. When in doubt, test a small area in an inconspicuous place.)

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