The $4 Trick to Outsmarting Yellow Armpit Stains Forever

what causes yellow armpit stains



Here we go again, I thought to myself as I was walking into the nearest department store, in the market for a white T-shirt for what felt like the hundredth time. As I started to sift through the racks and pull options, a sales associate approached me with a smile that almost insinuated she knew I was tossing white tees like it was my hobby. Little did she know that I also have a minor sweating issue, but doesn’t everyone in the summer?

Either way, she politely asked if she could help me with anything. “What is your thickest and best white tee,” I replied. “I need one that will last me and that won’t turn yellow after multiple wears.” Her follow-up—asking what kind of antiperspirant I use—prompted a rather odd look from me. You know, one of those I don’t even know you, and you want to know what antiperspirant I use? looks, but I nonetheless replied, “Men’s Dove.” (Before you judge me, I assumed men’s antiperspirant aided with sweat more than women’s did, and don’t lie—you did too.)

This is what causes yellow armpit stains



It was then and there that she let me in on a hack that will save my white T-shirts forever. She promised this would be the last white tee I buy for a while if I started to use aluminum-free deodorant. Apparently, aluminum is what was turning my tees yellow, not my overactive sweat glands (phew). This was a life-changing hack for me, but it also made sense. Sweat is a colorless liquid, so it’s virtually impossible for sweat itself to stain your clothing, yet we assume that’s what causes all that yellowish underarm coloring.

Naturally, I needed to know more. I read through a few articles, including one from Business Insider that stated, “Aluminum is actually the active ingredient that is supposed to prevent said sweating in your pits, but when it mixes with the protein in your sweat, it leaves a trail of yellow destruction in its wake on white fabric.” I couldn’t believe that this was a scientifically proven phenomenon that no one openly talked about or that there was an actual difference between deodorant and antiperspirant. (Antiperspirants block your pores to reduce the release of sweat while deodorants neutralize the smell.)

The best vintage T-shirts



I took my newfound knowledge to the depths of Amazon and shopped out my first-ever aluminum-free deodorant that day. Say hello to the proud purchaser of Soft & Dri Aluminum Free Deodorant, and in the two and a half months since, it has become the best and most important “fashion” purchase I’ve made all summer. My white tees have remained stainless, and I have become the happiest girl on the planet. I feel like I’ve solved a fashion mystery and that sales associate will forever be my white tee savior. And hopefully, I have now become yours.

Shop my aluminum-free deodorant and white-tee picks:

Available in sizes XXS to XL. 

Available in sizes L to XL. 

Available in sizes X to 3X. 

Still want to shop out some more white-tee options? We've got some great picks here

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