Skip to content

Summer Is Here & You'll Be Ready With This Guide To Getting Out Pit Stains

Image by Kristen Curette & Daemaine Hines / Stocksy
June 17, 2022

Warm weather is here, and that means our favorite summertime tops are back in action. But if there's anything worse than staining the pits of your favorite shirt, it's not being able to get said stain out. So, we rounded up three methods for getting pit stains out from green-cleaning experts, plus how to avoid them in the first place.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

DIY pit stain-removers:

1.

Baking soda paste

This first method comes from green-cleaning expert Tonya Harris and should only be used on white clothing. Use cold water in place of hydrogen peroxide for colorful shirts, and to be extra safe, test a small area first.

What you'll need:
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide (or cold water if it's a colored shirt)
  • Salt (optional)
Method:
  1. Rinse your shirt in slightly warm water to dilute the stain.
  2. Combine 1 part baking soda to 2 parts hydrogen peroxide, making a paste.
  3. Add a pinch of salt if you need extra scrubbing power.
  4. Dab the paste over the stain, and scrub gently with a laundry brush or an old toothbrush, then let the paste sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Launder as usual.
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
2.

Dish soap

According to Harris, Dawn dish soap can break down pit stains. Here's how.

What you'll need:
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Cold water
  • Hydrogen peroxide (for tough stains on white shirts only)
Method:
  1. Mix dish soap and cold water in a 1:2 ratio. For stubborn stains on white shirts, you can use hydrogen peroxide in place of cold water.
  2. Dab over the stain and scrub gently with a laundry brush or an old toothbrush.
  3. Let sit for 30 minutes, then launder as usual.
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

How to avoid pit stains going forward.

So, you've managed to get the stains out—but how do you avoid them going forward? The key is in your deodorant, Harris tells mbg.

"Pit stains are actually typically caused by a reaction of sweat to chemicals in antiperspirant, particularly aluminum," she explains.

The solution? "To avoid pit stains, use aluminum-free antiperspirants/deodorant, and let deodorant dry completely before putting on a shirt," Harris notes.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

The takeaway.

The bottom line is pit stains happen to the best of us, but they're no reason to let a perfectly good shirt sit unworn. The good news is they're easy to tackle—and avoid with the right deodorant.