Save Your Best Blouses: How to Stop White Shirts From Turning Yellow


Collage Vintage

Sartorially speaking, few things kill your vibe quite like finding out the white shirt you're wearing has some unfortunate underarm stains. Yellow armpit stains are never chic, and whether they're popping up on your work blouse or your favorite white T-shirt, they instantly downgrade your ensemble and can leave you feeling self-conscious.

Once these yellow stains set in, a quick trip to the dry cleaners or a few rinses on the whites setting of your washer are rarely enough to eliminate the problem. So if you're wondering how to stop white shirts from turning yellow before stains even pop up (or are curious about how to remove yellow underarm stains after they pop up), follow these steps to combat the embarrassing issue and keep your white shirts crisp, clean, and stain-free. Head below to learn the three main precautions you can take to stop white shirts from turning yellow.

Switch to Aluminum-Free Deodorant

The biggest reason for yellow armpit stains on white shirts comes down to a chemical reaction with your deodorant. According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society and Ruma Organics, aluminum-based compounds found in your antiperspirant to stop sweat react in a way that results in yellow sweat stains on your clothes. You can avoid this issue by nixing your go-to deodorant in favor of an aluminum-free formulation.

Launder Right Away

One of the worst things you can do is let the sweat sit in your clothes long after you've worn them. If it's a dry clean–only blouse, take it to get dry cleaned as soon as possible after wearing it. If it's a white T-shirt, make sure to wash it right away. If you'd rather hold off on a laundry load, you can hand-wash the shirt instead, right when you've taken it off, to avoid any stains from forming.

Avoid Bleach

It may seem counterintuitive, but using bleach on your clothes can actually cause them to turn yellow—especially if it is wrinkle-resistant cotton or there is any polyester in the fabrication. It is best to steer clear of bleach when laundering your whites and opt for a naturally whitening alternative instead. You can dilute lemon juice in boiling water then soak the stained garment in the solution for one to two hours. Once done, let the garment dry in the sun.

Now find out exactly what to wear to avoid sweat stains.