How to Remove White Deodorant Marks and Crunchy Build-Up from Clothing

How to Remove White Deodorant Marks and Crunchy Build-Up from Clothing

Doesn’t it always seem that you discover a white streak of deodorant on an outfit just as you’re rushing out the door?

We’ve got the simple remedy – and then some, because while deodorant on the front of your shirt is a minor annoyance, even when it’s kept in place (i.e. under your arms) it can form stains or a funk.

How to remove white deodorant marks in a flash

Simply rubbing traditional deodorant marks with materials like denim, pantyhose/nylon or foam rubber will quickly fade notorious streaks. If you’re on the go, simply use the sleeve or tail of your shirt instead. When rubbing, take care treating delicate materials.

Why does this method work? The friction caused by rubbing a dry, textured material lifts the deodorant debris from your clothes, doing a better job than wiping with a wet cloth.

If you’re prone to deodorant streaks or if your wardrobe if overwhelmingly represented by black and navy, consumer products like deodorant sponges can be found online.

Why does deodorant cause stains?

Deodorants typically include aluminum and other synthetic chemical ingredients. When mixed with body sweat and left to linger – either for the duration of the day you’re wearing the item or when left in a hamper until laundry day – will begin to develop a discolouration. What’s more, over-applying deodorant can cause residue build-up, which attracts other debris, and can eventually dry and stiffen the material.

Tips for reducing deodorant build-up and stains on clothing

  • Apply deodorant to dry underarms, prior to getting dressed. Yes, this means you will have to take greater care to avoid white streaks as you slip into a shirt but applying while dressed means some degree of the application will immediately transfer to your garment.
  • Don’t over-apply/wear more deodorant than needed. Excess residue will gradually discolour light-coloured clothing and can develop an odor from lingering bacteria.
  • Consider ditching traditional, white stick deodorants altogether. Instead, choose a clear, gel-based formula or make your own zero waste version from coconut oil.

Laundry tips for sweaty clothes

After a particularly sweaty presentation in your best dress shirt, for example, you may feel inclined to wash the item sooner than later. In this case, pre-treat the underarms with a concentrated stain remover.

Step 1: Check the garment care label. Dry clean-only clothing should not be stain treated.

Step 2: Pre-treat with a concentrated stain remover. First, tear a Tru Earth laundry detergent eco-strip into small pieces and place in a shallow bowl. Add one tablespoon (15ml) of tap-hot water to begin dissolving it. Stir with a spoon to form a paste, adding small volumes of water as needed. Smear the concentrate along the shirt’s collar and/or underarms, gently pressing the mixture into it to allow the surfactant to get to work, releasing any residue from the fabric. Leave it for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Run the garment through the washer, selecting the item’s typical wash setting. For hand-wash-only clothing, tear the strip into pieces, place the bits in a sink or basin, and fill with tap-hot water. Allow it to soak, then agitate the article and rinse.

Step 4: Dry the item.

How to remove crusty deodorant build-up from clothing

Step 1: Check the garment care label. Dry clean-only clothing should not be stain treated.

Step 2: Laying the item in a basin or sink, pour boiling water atop crunchy, dried-on deodorant build-up, taking care not to burn yourself. (An electric or stovetop kettle is recommended.)

Step 3: Allow the hot water to run off and then when safe to handle, agitate the build-up, removing excess debris.

Step 4: Apply a hydrogen peroxide-baking soda treatment. Mix 60ml of hydrogen peroxide, 60ml of water and 60ml of baking soda. Allow the baking soda to dissolve before smearing the blend atop the site. Allow the stain treatment to sit for 10 minutes. Then, rinse.

Step 5: Toss the garment in the washing machine with a Tru Earth laundry detergent eco-strip and run on the item’s typical wash setting.

Step 6: Hang dry and inspect.

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