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Man lifting his arm to reveal a sweat patch in the underarm of his blue shirt.

3 tips on how to remove sweat stains from clothes

Do you know how to get sweat stains out of clothes? It’s a must-have skill for busy parents who are constantly working up a sweat running after those little explorers. We’re here to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to help keep your whites looking fresh and clean. Plus, these top tips are great for tackling those smelly P.E. kits, too! Yellow sweat stains can happen for a number of reasons, including a build-up of bacteria in sweat and also because of the deodorants that we wear.

These stains can seem troublesome, but the good news is that learning how to remove sweat stains is actually very quick and easy, no matter what sort of fabric you’re dealing with. Here are 3 easy options to try out at home.

Remember: when tackling sweat stains, always read the garment care label carefully and test your chosen stain removal method on a small area first.  



1) Natural bleaching agents to remove sweat stains


If you ask a friend how to get rid of sweat stains, they may recommend using bleach. Unfortunately, using bleach on sweat stains can be risky, as you can never be sure how the bacteria in the stain will react with the bleach, and you could ruin your favourite outfit. Instead, you can try to remove sweat stains from shirts using natural bleaching agents. Just follow these steps:

  • Using the base of the dosing ball, apply a small amount of Persil small & mighty Bio to the stain and leave it to work overnight
  • Rinse the clothing and then squeeze some fresh lemon juice – a gentle bleaching agent – onto the stain
  • Wash the item as normal in the washing machine at 30 degrees with some more Persil small & mighty, check the product label for dosing instructions
  • Hang white clothing out to dry in the sun for a natural and gentle bleaching effect
  • For stubborn stains you can try using hydrogen peroxide, diluted as per instructions

Natural bleaching agents such as fresh lemon juice work best on natural fabrics such as wool, silk, and cotton. Always take necessary safety precautions if choosing to use hydrogen peroxide to avoid causing damage your clothes.  



2) Removing sweat stains with neutralising acids


If you want to know how to remove sweat stains from shirts, then think acid. Some acids are very effective at neutralising sweat stains, helping to keep your clothes looking great. White vinegar (not a coloured vinegar which could stain your clothes) is a great option, and salicylic acid, which is found in aspirin tablets, is also claimed to be great at tackling discolouration.

  • If using vinegar, drizzle it directly onto the stain (vinegar is great for older stains)
  • If using salicylic acid, crush two aspirin and make into a thick paste with cold water
  • Allow the acid to do its job, rinsing your clothing after around 30 minutes
  • Pop the garment in the washing machine, set the temperature to 30 degrees, and use a biological laundry detergent, like Persil small & mighty Bio, to help shift any remnants of the stain.

Neutralising acids such as white vinegar work best on synthetic fabrics such as viscose, acetate, and acrylic. If using aspirin to treat sweat stains, remember to keep the paste and tablets away from children and to always store medicines out of reach of little hands. 



3) Using abrasives & absorbent powders for sweat stain removal


Here’s another great tip on how to remove sweat stains from clothes – mild abrasives and super absorbent powders. Mild abrasives such as coarsely ground salt help to work the stain-causing bacteria out of the fibres of the material, while absorbent powders like baking soda (the same stuff you use to bake cakes) are great for drawing the bacteria out.

  • Wet the stain, sprinkle on some salt, and gently massage the salt into the fabric
  • Rinse the clothing, sprinkle over some baking soda, and leave overnight
  • Scrape off any residue using a spoon, and rinse the clothing well
  • Follow up sweat stain removal by popping the garment in the washing machine with some Persil small & mighty Bio

Abrasives and absorbent powders work great on synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon. Remember never to use abrasive substances on delicate materials, like wool or silk.  



Stress-free sweat stain removal

So, whether you want to know how to remove sweat stains from P.E. kits, school shirts, gym clothes or anything in between, these three top tips can help. With the right approach, and a little help from Persil, you can remove sweat stains without worry.

Chat live with our Persil Careline team 8am-6pm Monday-Friday