It’s summertime and the sweating is easy. Isn’t that how the saying goes? Sweat stains needn’t ruin some of your best clothes. Here are four secrets for removing sweat stains from clothes so you don’t wind up throwing them away.
Stains should be treated differently depending on whether they are fresh or dried and embedded. That said, it’s important to remember you should never pour a cleaning solution directly onto the stain. Instead, use a clean cloth or a cotton ball.
If the garment has already been washed and dried, it may be too late to remove the stain – even for a professional dry-cleaner!
But all is not lost! Before deciding to throw out your sweat-stained clothes, try these tips.
1. Soak fresh stains with vinegar or lemon
A cloth dampened with lemon juice or vinegar can be used to blot out the stain. It can also be left on the garment to dilute the stain, and is safe enough to let stand for a few minutes to a few hours.
- Once rinsed, throw the garment into the washing machine selecting the suggested wash cycle according to the garment’s label.
- If the fabric is delicate, such as satin or silk, a solution of vinegar or lemon diluted with a little water can be used to treat the stain.
2. Use an iron for perspiration and deodorant stains
Deodorant is the main culprit that causes discoloured, dry areas on the underarms of shirts and sweaters after washing. It can form a residue in the fabric’s fibres. As such, the best way to get rid of these kinds of stains is to use an iron.
- Cover the affected area with a tissue or paper towel and then pass over the stain with the iron.
- As for sweat stains (without deodorant), the area can be blotted with either lemon juice, vinegar or even diluted ammonia. Then, rinse and wash the garment as normal.
3. For white clothes avoid bleach!
Avoid bleach at all costs! It doesn’t whiten yellowed underarms on sweaters or shirts. On the contrary, because of a chemical reaction with the sweat the colour of the stain will become much more obvious.
Instead of bleach, mix a paste of baking soda and water. Four tablespoons to ¼ cup of water is the right ratio. Thereafter:
- Using an old toothbrush or your finger, gently rub the paste into the fabric to penetrate the stain.
- Let stand for one hour, rinse, and then wash the garment as normal.
- If the stain is still there, repeat the process until it is completely gone.